Hicks House

From Builder Basic to Beautiful


Silver Mink you Minx

We’ve actually had the TV room painted for a couple of month you saw a sneak peek of the wall in this post, but I have been putting off writting about it because I didn’t have any photos. Bad Blogger!

This is one of the most used rooms in the house and it’s also Chloe’s bedroom (that girl just does not pick up her toys) and therefore has the most, lived in look and we don’t like any of the furnishings in here – it’s ALL on the to be replaced list so needless to say my motivation to show this room was lackluster. But hey in the long run it will make a great before and after.

The only other time I spoke of the TV room was in this post last summer when we mounted the TV.

Testing out the TV Mount | Hicks House

One of the best photos of me ever testing the weight limit of the TV mount. The photo also showcases the blase white walls that originally made up the entire house (we’re slowly chipping away at that.) You may also remember from this post that we had selceted Benjamin Moore’s Silver Mink for this room. It’s one of the darkest color choices we made for the entire house as this is the room where we relax and watch TV and we purposefully didn’t want it to be too light.

I was slightly nervous because it seemed so dark and the rooms we’ve painted so far looked so dark when the paint first start and this room was no exception:

Silver Mink You Minx | Hicks House

But we’ve learned to keep going. We LOVE it

Silver Mink You Minx | Hicks House
Silver Mink You Minx | Hicks House
Silver Mink You Minx | Hicks House

This room still has a long way to go as far as decorating goes here’s the list:

  • Mount TV
  • Paint Walls
  • Hang curtains – purchased need to hang
  • Create custom three canvas art piece for over the couch – canvas purchased need to paint
  • Get a new sectional – Ken’s TV room DREAM is to have a reclining sectional so we’ve been on a look out
  • Get a more substantial lamp for the top of Chloe’s crate
  • New coffee table maybe a cool repurposed trunk that could double as storage?
  • Get a cool lamp for the corner of the sectional – one of those bowed ones that overhang your furniture?

Here is a super crude mock up of all of the suggested changes:

Silver Mink You Minx | Hicks House

And the classic side by side showing the difference between Silver Mink and the Revere Pewter in the hallway.
Silver Mink you Minx | Hicks House

So what do you think of the color? What’s your favorite paint color we’ve used so far?
Hicks House


Relax it Away with Stonington Gray

I apologize in advance if you’re sick of the painting posts. Since the beginning of the year it’s been our main house priority. Especially being in New England and the wicked weather we’ve had this year we are pretty much stuck indoors.

As I mentioned in this post the color we chose for our guest room was Stonington Gray. It’s one swatch down on the same color strip as the Coventry Gray we used in the dining room.

If you are looking for a little refresher on where we last were with the guest room we were here:

shot of them both

shot of them both

I had also created the custom pillows to put on the bed with the intention of eventually altering some curtains to match.
zippered pillow case (15)

Here is the inspiration room we are kind of “modeling” the style of the room after.

getting closer to the inspiration room...

getting closer to the inspiration room…

So far I think we’ve got the bedding nailed. 😉 I actually like my pillows better – I’m not a huge fan of pink.  We followed the same painting technique we’ve done in the other rooms we’ve painted so far which is I cut in the ceiling with Ken following behind taping off the baseboards and side of the doors and windows. The taping generally takes less time than the cutting in so Ken then moves on to rolling the walls while I follow behind getting all the top of the baseboards and next to all the window and door frames.

In the end we’re left with this:
Hicks House | Stonington Gray Guest Room
Hicks House | Guest Room Stonington Gray

What do you think? I love that the gray in the walls makes the white nightstands, dresser and trim POP. It’s still a little too much white though so here’s what’s still left to do.

  • Get pretty bedding
  • Create custom pillow covers
  • Get and assemble nightstands
  • Spray paint the old hand-me down dresser white
  • Paint the walls
  • Make a custom painting for the wall
  • Hang the awesome mirror I found at Khols above the dresser (you’ll have to wait to see it – but it’s perfect for this room
  • Hang curtain rods
  • Create custom removable “bottoms” to much too short white Target curtains we already own
  • Make second set of pillow covers and curtain bottoms – so we can switch it up whenever we want

So that’s the current progress. What do you think?
Hicks House



1 Comment

Green with Envy?

Continuing on our painting spree we have painted the hall bathroom on the second floor. As you may remember from this post the color we picked for the upstairs hall bath is Silver Marlin by Benjamin Moore.

The color choice for this room wasn’t in the original plan at all. Originally we were looking at grey’s or dark greens to go with the existing shower curtain we had picked out when the walls were still builder white. However none of those colors really resonated with us when we had the swatches in the room so we decided it was silly to pick a paint color around a $20 HomeGoods curtain. We should pick a color we like then get the curtain afterwards as shower curtains are much easier to change than paint.

Silver Marlin was originally a contender for our Master bath but we decided we wanted something a little bit more blue for in there, yet we still really liked the color – so hall bath it was.

Like is common with paint all the subtle tones you see in the swatch are greatly amplified once it goes on the wall. What we thought was a soft grey with hints of light green turned out to be light green with hints of grey.. c’est la vie.  We used the same technique outlined in this post to get behind the toilet.

The longer its been up the more I like it especially now that we’ve replaced the shower curtain. Here is a photo of the paint with the old curtain. Clash central…

Hicks House | Hall Bath

Hicks House | Hall Bath

And here is the new curtain we found at target. I think it plays off the green much better.

Hicks House | Silver Marlin Bath

Hicks House | Silver Marlin Bath

And a few photos from around the rest of the bathroom:

Hicks House | Silver Marlin Bathroom

Hicks House | Silver Marlin Bathroom

Hicks House | Silver Marlin Bathroom

Hicks House | Silver Marlin Bathroom

Now the room at least has some personality although there is still a lot to do.

  • Paint the walls
  • Get and install toilet paper holder
  • Get and install towel bar
  • Replace the chrome faucet and shower head with brushed nickel ones
  • Replace the 80’s style Hollywood lights with something more contemporary (seriously I can’t believe they still make these ugly fixtures)
  • Replace the countertop with a granite or marble one rather than the plastic all in one pieces

So still a lot to do, but I’m liking the direction is headed. What do you think have you painted any of your rooms Silver Marlin? If so which ones?
Hicks House


Half Bath goes Blue

The painting continues over here at Hicks House. You may remember our color scheme that I shared at the begining of the year. So far I’ve shared “finished” pictures of the dining room and halls, the next room to get the royal treatment was the half bathroom downstairs.

From the color chart you can see that we chose Woodlawn Blue for this room. So far of the rooms we’ve painted this is Ken’s favorite color. It’s a very soothing light blue that feels very “spa-like.” It didn’t photograph all too well (story of this blog – if you’re reading this I could use a new camera – that would be a nice gift…) mostly I think because the room is so small its hard to photograph especially since I didn’t want to be seen in the mirror reflection (I hate that). But here it is:
Hicks House | Half Bath | Woodlawn Blue
Hicks House | Half Bath | Woodlawn Blue

The tightness of the room was also challenging to paint, I couldn’t fit the full sized ladder in here so I had to cut in the ceiling on a step stool standing on my tip-toes. Great for working out your calves… not so great for straight lines. Also painting behind the sink required me to twist up and around the pedestal sink to get around all the water lines. Not my finest moment.

Luckily painting behind the toilet wasn’t as difficult. In the condo when we had painted the bathrooms we also had to remove wallpaper requiring us to remove the entire toilet, something we really did not want to do So we looked for something and some way we could paint behind the toilet while leaving it in place. We had seen small rollers in the store before however they had always been foam so you could see the texture difference on the wall between the foam rollers and the fabric rollers.

Then we found these:
Hicks House | Half Bath | Woodlawn Blue

Fabric Mini Rollers they looked like they were the perfect size to fit behind the tank and the wall. So we found a long handle screwed it onto the mini roller, removed the top of the tank and tested it out – perfect. Here’s a size comparison with a regular size roller:
Hicks House | Half Bath | Woodlawn Blue

And here it is painting behind the toilet.
Hicks House | Half Bath | Woodlawn Blue

I know not the most exciting post in the world but we’re pretty excited to have one more painted room in the house. Since this bathroom is off the hall and next to the dining room, that half of the downstairs is done which is a huge accomplishment.

So here’s where our half bathroom list stands:

  • paint walls
  • get new light fixture for ove sink
  • get new mirror? or frame the mirror?
  • add toilet paper and towel holders

So what do you think, would you paint your bathroom or any other walls in your home Woodlawn Blue?
Hicks House


Revered Halls

Continuing with our painting, we’ve tackled perhaps the most complicated area yet: the hallway. The hall goes from the kitchen/living room to the front door up the stairs then down to the bedrooms. As I outlined in this post we selected Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter for the hallway.

Originally I was completely convinced that I wanted Revere Pewter in the kitchen/living room area. After looking at the swatch in various areas of the room, I loved it in the kitchen area and was underwhelmed in the living room. While it looked perfectly greige against the dark counters it looked much to beige against the oatmeal colored chairs and the curtains we’ve already purchased that pull in more of the oatmeal color.

However, we both really liked the color and hated to not use it somewhere. The perfect solution seemed like the hallway it would help tie in a lot of the more gray colors we’d chosen with the beige carpet that’s upstairs in the bedroom. However, before we could start there was A LOT of prep work to do, much more than in the dining room.

Instead of nail pops there were lots and lots of screw pops that looked like this:
wall patching 2

See the screw trying to work its way out of the wall? The big problem with this is you can’t patch it as is… you have to dig the drywall off the screw –
wall patching 1
then tighten the screw –
wall patching 5
then patch the screw –
wall patching 4
Allow the compound to dry, sand it then repeat 2 to 3 more times. Needless to say that took a couple of days. Once that was complete the cutting in could start. Ken set up an adjustable ladder on the stairs so that he could get to the ceiling above the stairwell.
hallway cut in 1
this made me kind of nervous… glad I didn’t have to get up there. I’m not comfortable with heights and this probably would have made me hyperventilate. Luckily Ken is braver than I am and accomplished this while I was at work.
hallway cut in 2
Once he got to this point and I arrived home we kind of just stood there and stared it a while. What we were both thinking is “Uh Oh… this looks DARK.” We both thought it would be lighter. But we bought several gallons of this color so no backing out now… the cutting in must continue!
hallway cut in 3
Once it was complete we were both still a little unsure. Did we make a mistake? Is it going to be really dark? This is such a large portion of the house what if we don’t like it? Is it really as dark as it looks, or does it appear dark because we’ve been living in a white box for so long? (I was hoping this was the case.) Only one way to find out roll it and finish it – reserve final judgement until its done.

Good thing we forged on because it’s awesome.
hallway painted 1
hallway painted 2
hallway painted 6
hallway painted 4
hallway painted 7
I love how it pops off the white trim, and once the entire wall was done it didn’t appear too dark at all. For comparison sake here is where the hall meets the dining room (also a great shot of how annoyingly close the window is to the trim… but that’s another story)
hallway painted 8
We’re very excited that we’re starting to inject some of our personality and style into the place!


Awash in Color

If you’ve been keeping up and read my last post you know that we bought all new paint colors for the house. While picking out the colors and bringing them home hand me jumping up and down like an excited school girl ready to jump right in and start painting – my more practical counterpart ensured we did the proper prep.

We collected all of the painting supplies we had leftover from when we painted the condo (see here, here, and here) and laid them out on the dining room table to see what we had and what we needed.  Then Ken went around the room with a flash flight (the lighting in there is currently a single bulb in the center of the room – thus very very bad) to find any imperfections (paint drips, globs, popped nails) in the wall so that we could mark them to be sanded down.

Inspector at work

Inspector at work

Then we covered the dining room table in a tarp which I think made it look like a Dexter Kill Room

paint prep dining room 1

paint prep dining room 2

Perhaps it is.. Afterall this is the Room the Builder Grade White Paint Came to Die dun dun dun… Thanks to the Master Hide (seriously that is the name of it) paint the builder used there were actually quite a lot of imperfections; some we had noticed previously, some we had not. They were all sanded down and the ones that needed it were compounded then sanded down again.

Thankfully the builder was nice enough too lazy to move the paint out and we used it to go over the sanded spots bringing it back to a nice smooth even colored surface. Had we been priming this step might have been unnecessary however we are using the builder white paint as a primer level and didn’t want any discolored spots showing through.

After the “primer” dried I worked my way around the room with a ladder cutting our chosen color (Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore) in while Ken taped off around the doors and windows. Including this nice teeny tiny area between the window and the door. Seriously what were they thinking when they put these things so close together?

tiny space between door and window

tiny space between door and window

Not only does it complicate the painting (I had to use a tiny craft brush) but it creates a conundrum on how exactly we are going to hang a curtain rod here. We have some ideas but are definitely open to suggestions as well 🙂

Once the taping was done and I was about 3/4 through the room with the cutting in process Ken rolled the walls. This is a decent sized room and we really wanted to try to get it done in one coat and with one gallon. (paint for an entire house is expensive) Lucky for us we had decided to go entirely with Benjamin Moore paints for our house – a brand we had never used before – and learned you definitely do get what you pay for with paint. The Benjamin Moore paint covered much thicker, didn’t come off the wall if you rolled over a still wet painted area and had a much more even coating we couldn’t see the roller or brush marks after the one coat which is something that always bothered us with the “bargain paint” when painting the condo.

We made it by the skin of our teeth, there was merely a drop left in the bucket once the first coat was done. I wasn’t able to get very good pictures due to the crappy lighting single bulb and the fact that the kill room will be set up until all the rooms are complete; but you can get the general idea for now.

dining room

dining room

that pesky spot

that pesky spot (still wet thats why the shiny spot)

So there we go, 1 room down 9 more and the hallways to go!


New Year – New Paint

Bye Bye 2013 Welcome 2014

Bye Bye 2013 Welcome 2014

2014 is finally here. I don’t know about you but for me it came up faster than any past year I can remember (although I think I say that every year).

Hopefully you all had a wonderful holiday season and New Years with family and friends. We were lucky in that we were both “on vacation” from Christmas Eve through New Years Day so we were able to get some work done around the house as well as some relaxing and visiting with family and friends.

The major home accomplishment was that we picked out and bought paint for the ENTIRE house. If you’ve read this blog before you may know and that we haven’t had the best luck picking paint colors in the past… the condo guest room, half bath and house front door were all pretty big disasters. We’re taking them as learning experience.

We choose to believe that after three BAD choices now we know what we’re doing (we hope) and due to time and money we decided not to do any test paint swatches (GASP). I know, I know it’s against all decorating advice you’ve ever heard. How can we be so sure that we won’t massively screw up again? Well we can’t, but we’ve learned a few things:

  • Paint colors always look brighter on the wall than they do on the paint swatch ALWAYS
  • We don’t like bright colors on our walls (a problem since the “muted” colors we’d picked in the past all ended up being super bright)
  • We need to pick colors that are much lighter than we think we want to get the color we actually want

We went to the paint store with a list of swatches we wanted to pick up based on other blogs I’d read about great paint colors, searching on the Benjamin Moore website, and of course the holy grail of anything home decorating – Pinterest. Then we picked up additional colors that spoke to us in the store and brought it all home.

There were a LOT of colors. It seemed completely overwhelming however once we got started the process of elimination was actually a lot easier than we had thought. There were even several cases where looking at a color on the “list” for a particular room we both said not for this room but definitely for this room. Having a couple of items in each room that were staying helped too.

For the large kitchen/living room area we held up the swatches to the cabinets, countertops, couch, painting and curtains (that we bought but will wait to hang until after we’re done painting – so be patient). Interestingly the color I thought I wanted Revere Pewter – in fact I hadn’t even picked a back up color didn’t work. It looked great in the kitchen area but was too close to the color of the and the aforementioned curtains. The pretty “greige” of Revere Pewter was just much to beige next to them. We ended up going with a color that Ken grabbed on our way out the door that helps pull in all the turquoise accents while still giving that cool neutral feel.

To see just how many colors we went through in our mad dash through the house here are the rejects:

pile of rejects

pile of rejects

And here are our choices. I will go into more detail as I post the finished painted rooms one by one. As I said ignore the writing on some of the swatches. We wrote room names on them in the paint store and as stated earlier some rooms got switched… you’ll also notice a lot have no room name written on it showing how many we picked out of the random pile off of our original list. I think we only went with 2 or 3 original picks and not all of them are in the originally intended room.

Hicks House Color Scheme

Hicks House Color Scheme

They all look very similar in this photo, and even when looking at them in person. However from we’ve learned in the past once its on a big expanse of wall the differences – the now subtle undertones of green and blue – will be greatly magnified while still having a nice cohesive look and feel. We’re confident that this time our picks will be more what we’re looking for, and from the painting we got done over vacation that appears to be the case so far.

So what do you think, do you like our cool neutrals?