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The Farmhouse Painting Has Begun – Some Blue And Pink (Plus The Two Things Brian And I Didn’t Initially See Eye to Eye On)

A LOT is happening at the farm while we are in California. We always planned on going to Lake Arrowhead for the 4th of July, and then when ARCIFORM told us that painting and sealing the floor would happen on July 11th we figured we’d stay until most of it is over. The plan is for us to move into the house mid-August and live upstairs until the downstairs is ready. It won’t be a construction zone and might even be ready, but either way, we will be living there. Before we left we chose paint colors for the entire house (eek) and they started upstairs. Now as a recap – we are trying to basically create a farm version of the mountain house – a quiet, calm, Scandinavian home full of warm minimalism but less contemporary and modern, more traditional. We want more color and pattern than the mountain house – not a ton, but more. So today I’m taking you upstairs, where it’s all painted and ready to show and tell/give my thoughts and feelings after seeing it all done.

A caveat – I typically like to choose paint colors last – after I’ve chosen rugs, furniture, etc. My philosophy is that there are more paint colors than there are rugs, and knowing what those major pieces are will dictate the color on the wall. But for this house, we haven’t even lived here yet. And I’ve been so focused on the renovation that I haven’t even thought about the decoration part yet (fine, I’ve thought about it, but I’m just taking it much much slower this time). I want to live there, use what we have, integrate vintage, etc, and that all takes time. We aren’t even totally sure if the kids are going to share for a while, or have their own separate rooms. So I did have to choose paint colors with the knowledge that some of them might need to change. We played it relatively safe with a lot of white upstairs but figured it’s easier to paint a light color darker than a dark color lighter. We almost left the walls just primed but it would save us so little money (the prep work is always more than the actual painting) and it would be chalky so we just let them actually finish the job, knowing that we are hanging wallpaper in Birdie’s room and likely painting Charlie’s room a color (should they stick to their claim that they no longer want to share a room – during the day they want their own rooms then at night they say they aren’t ready).

upstairs landing before

Blue Doors – All Around

This is the landing – it has 3 bedroom doors, a bathroom door, and two laundry closet doors – so it’s really “door heavy”. The floor here will be painted (doing it last and not sure what color) and I might even paint a harlequin pattern on it in two tones later down the road. We decided to do all the casings and baseboard white semi-gloss, and then painted most of the doors up here in a super soft sweet blue called Upward by Sherwin-Williams. We are EXTREMELY happy with the color both in photos and in person when I saw them drying right before we left. Brian and I decided on this color quickly and he was firm that it was the right one. The light is not accurate up here because the skylight and all the windows are covered on the exterior, but Kaitlin was able to shoot it in a way to get a fairly accurate reading.

When I first saw the photos my immediate reaction was OH, WOW I LOVE THAT COLOR. Then I was a little, hmmm did I play it too safe? Should we have done the casings and baseboard? But knowing that the floor is going to be painted as well makes me feel like we did the right thing. And there are 5 doors on the landing so painting the casing the same blue would have looked great in photos, but I fear that it would have been a lot in person. Maybe not, but I think that using restraint was probably smart.

The Kids Bedrooms: Shared or Separate? We Don’t Know.

As you can see we didn’t change much up here – just improved it all – bigger closets, new carpet (eventually), simpler moldings, new ceiling…oh yah and we installed electricity :). Note how the cords for the only light fixtures, the pull string sconces, coursed outside the wall through the ceiling. Remember when Brian and I were like “we can restore this ourselves, like a YoungHouseLove DIY project!”. Haha. The upstairs didn’t really have lighting and each room had like 2 outlets. And not to digress too much but you know what happens when you start opening up the walls of a 110-year-old house… ANYWAY, that was over a year ago. Look where we are now!

All the doors are vintage 5-panel that were either original to the house or salvaged at an auction to match. We are putting back on the original hardware (which are vintage crystal knobs, I believe). Now seeing the photos, I kinda wish we had sourced a new knob…But between decision fatigue and not wanting to be wasteful, we were like, “just put those cute knobs back on”.

For two of the bedroom’s walls and ceilings we went with Sherwin-Williams Extra White – in a matte finish (a slightly higher sheen than flat), which is supposed to be super wipeable but virtually no sheen. Then for the casing, baseboards, and doors, we chose the same color in a semi-gloss which I haven’t done in a long time. Semi-gloss for all woodwork is super traditional due to its durability and washability (baseboards can get dirty with scuff marks) but the world was leaning away from shiny paint for a while, myself included. For this house, I thought that the shinier finish would be just classic and pretty, not to mention reflect light and be easy to clean. I can’t really tell a difference here, tbh. Always a reminder that the things you obsess about often go unnoticed. I’m curious if in person the gloss of the paint will make me happy.

What you don’t know is that these rooms are getting wall-to-wall carpet – similar to what we did at the mountain house with the 1/2″ memory foam carpet pad underneath. More on that later, but trust me – it’s going to be so Scandi and so cozy.

If you are wondering why those closet doors are so short it’s because ARCIFORM found those doors at an auction for $50 and thought they would be great for a kid’s reach-in closet. They are pretty hilarious and if they were in our room I would have switched them out, but for a kid’s room, we think it’s quirky and makes us smile every time.

The painters spent days prepping those windows around the diamond pattern. DAYS. Which is probably a good thing because turns out painting the entire inside of a house after renovation is one million dollars. So part of me is glad that it’s clearly more laborious than I had thought, therefore worth the high price, while the other part of me is nervous about how long the downstairs is going to take. It’s a big job, I know, and so far from what I can tell they are doing a fantastic job.

Debate #1: To Panel Or Not To Panel The Ceilings

Whether to panel either the walls or ceilings in these bedrooms was a huge debate, for months. I wanted paneling, always, but Brian felt it was unnecessary. The windows are SO pretty, the light is good, the ceilings are high and the doors are so cute. He felt that it was enough and that we’d be spending likely around $5k per ceiling (including wood + labor) and even more to paint it. So when you put it like that, that paneling the ceilings would cost nearly $20k…it was an easy decision. BTW if you did it yourself of course it would be MUCH cheaper. We kept reminding ourselves that we have certainly splurged in other rooms (our room haha) and that these kids don’t need paneling on the ceiling. But do I wish that someone else would have surprised us with free paneling on the ceilings? Of course!

Y’all – The Pink Guest Room

While we don’t totally know whose room is whose, we really think that this is going to be the guest room because it is attached to the new little bath. That bath has the dark rose/mauve tile so we wanted to tie it in. This color is called Artistic Taupe by Sherwin-Williams and it’s incredible – so warm, so calming, so soft. We painted both the walls and ceiling in the pink and while I haven’t seen this in person I’m VERY into it in these photos.

Debate #2: To Paint the Trimwork, Casings, and Closets Pink Or White

The one thing I questioned is whether we should have done all the casing, windows, and baseboards the same color but with a different sheen. I wanted to, but Brian was a hard “no”, and he is generally far more classic than I am because he’s not on the internet looking at trends like we are. I personally love this look and have not regretted it in the past. But erring on the side of classic and timeless is certainly not a bad thing. He tends to be right, long-term (not always btw). I let him take this one, but when I saw the photos I kinda wished it was all pink. I showed them to him and he still said “absolutely not,” which I appreciated. I trust him a lot and think his instincts are good. So while my preference would still be to paint everything the same color, I also know that this looks so good. Also, all of the windows are totally covered up on the exterior so this room is actually far brighter than it looks, meaning that the contrast between the pink and white is even less than it looks here. It’s a really really light hue.

This room is getting the same carpet and I think it’s going to be VERY VERY DREAMY. I’ve always wanted a pink room and I have a feeling that this is going to be the coziest room in the house because of that color.

For downstairs we have more colors coming at you soon – some soothing, some moody, none are too saturated, but all make me so very, very, happy. xx

*Photos by Kaitlin Green

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Elle
1 month ago

I really love that pink room! But I’m with you on wishing the woodwork had been painted to match – it’s only paint, as you often say, and it’ll need touched up in ten years anyway so might as well have the colour you want now! I think I’d have preferred the blue doors with painted trim too – the pale blue is definitely not a big statement so think it wouldn’t have looked too much. But I really like the soft muted tones and it’s a nice departure from dark colours (which I still like, but this is so pretty!) and high contrast!

LouAnn
1 month ago

I’m with Brian on the trim/baseboards issue. White woodwork looks like a farmhouse. Painted woodwork looks like one too many trendy instagram rooms these days.

LouAnn
1 month ago
Reply to  LouAnn

P.S. The blue doors are amazing.

Erin
1 month ago
Reply to  LouAnn

So amazing. I love them.

Kate
1 month ago
Reply to  LouAnn

Agreed. I appreciate the design trend of painted woodwork because it looks interesting to those of us that look at design photos daily, but do think it’s a pretty oversaturated trend at this point. Of course it can look classic in certain environments, but I definitely think white trim is the way to go here.

Betsy
1 month ago
Reply to  Kate

Honestly, if something is “trending”, it makes me want to do the opposite. I want nothing to do with being trendy, and having the same thing as everyone else.

Renee
1 month ago
Reply to  LouAnn

Agree 110%!

Courtney N.
1 month ago

Oh my gosh, those doors! So beautiful and sweet! It’s all going to be gorgeous and I can’t wait for it to be finished (although not as much as you, I’m sure). I have to say….pink mounding would look really good in the guest room……

1 month ago

You’ve made this house so HAPPY! – so fresh and renewed for a young family. Can’t wait to see the painted floors and I vote yes on the harlequin pattern.

🥰 Rusty
1 month ago

Oooooh! Lovely dovely!💗
I think all the white trim is farm house all the way, and I also agree with Brian (again, ha!).
I can almost ‘feel’ the coziness of carpet upstairs and I’m generally not a fan of carpet – however, in that climate? Maybe I’d want carpet.
It must be tricky with the kids unsure about still sharing a room or not.
This is all so delicious!😊

Erin
1 month ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

I can picture Birdie deciding she wants the pretty pink room, with her very own bath. Bath storage issue solved-lol! Might make for a more chill morning routine when they get to be teens and kinda makes sense to have that extra bath used regularly rather than waiting for future guests (for me it would anyway). I would love to see a young lady version of the LA Birdie nursery-Emily would create a total dream.

Amber
1 month ago

I think the white trim is fine, but the pretty pink seems more girly to me with white trim, especially because of the diamond windows are white. Pink trim would make the room look more sophisticated, which might seem more appropriate if the room ends up as the guest room.

Ann
1 month ago
Reply to  Amber

Came here to say the same thing! The pink is a super pretty color, but with the white window trim it definitely leans a little juvenile. But I am curious to see how it looks once styled out. Also, as said above, it’s just paint so easy to change up down the road!

Roberta Davis
1 month ago

It’s getting real! I didn’t realize you would be moving in in August! I thought it was going to be later! How exciting!

Cris S.
1 month ago

Looks lovely – I’m now considering painting our second floor doors that all open up onto the same landing.
My first thought though was “that pink room with it’s own bathroom is going to be Birdie’s room within a year.”

patty
1 month ago

BLUE DOORS!! They are so perfect.

Trixie
1 month ago

Just came here to say again that I think the mini-closet doors in the kids’ rooms are a mistake. Kids don’t stay kids forever — Charlie could end up being 6 feet tall and those Lilliputian doors will be annoying. Every. Single. Day. And even if this isn’t a forever-home for Emily, another buyer might not have kids at all. IDK, I really love almost everything else about this house, but those doors make me irrationally ragey.

Erin
1 month ago
Reply to  Trixie

Stay cool, Trixie. Try to remember it’s somebody else’s problem. It also might help if you can remember that “cute little chaise” Emily bought on craigslist without bothering to read the dimensions:
https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/my-farmhouse-ok-to-shop-list-sofas
sometimes her decisions don’t make sense to us, or anybody for that matter. Sometimes she does hilarious things, sometimes it’s awesome. She is a human capable of making her own choices, right or wrong. With everything going on throughout our world it seems like such a waste of energy to rage against something so trivial. Peace out.

Stacia
1 month ago
Reply to  Erin

… and some of us love quirky houses!

Carrie
1 month ago
Reply to  Trixie

The closet doors appear to be about 6-inches shorter than the other doors in the room. They are not that “mini”.

Shannon
1 month ago
Reply to  Carrie

Yes Carrie! Exactly. What are people up in arms about?! To me they are just the right amount shorter than the other doors to register as cute and quirky. I just don’t see how functionality will be affected.

Rachel
1 month ago
Reply to  Trixie

I feel like I’m missing what the problem is. They aren’t walk in so why does it matter, wouldn’t it be just like having a stand alone wardrobe in the room?

Sarah
1 month ago
Reply to  Trixie

also $50 doors. what a steal!

Elaine
1 month ago
Reply to  Trixie

Six foot tall (6′ 2′ when I used to throw on a pair of heels) adult woman here to confirm that the slightly shorter closet door height will not be a problem to anyone, future tall Charlie or anyone else of the six foot height variety for that matter. Rage not!

Emilie
1 month ago
Reply to  Trixie

I agree that they may not be the best long term and I don’t like designs that prioritize looks over function, but an adult can still clearly use the closet and it’s ok if something isn’t the absolute best it could possibly be. People can deal 🙂

Jae
1 month ago
Reply to  Trixie

Our craftsman-era bungalow that we just renovated has the exact same “mini” closet doors and they are so sweet! We kept them and used them on new closets in the guest and kids’ rooms. They are perfectly functional for adults in non-walk-in closets. It’s like opening a tall cabinet with the clothes rod around eye level, and you can reach up easily to the top shelf. It’s an era-appropriate quirk that really does not detract from the function.

KellyS
1 month ago

That blue!!!! So beautiful, I noted the color to use in my own home…. I have done both white trim and wall matching trim which I love, but I fear Brian is right and the white trim will remain timeless. I’m quaking at the thought of someday painting my very dark blue trim back to white.

kiki
1 month ago

I think the perception of keeping the trim (baseboards, windows, etc) all white as the “timeless / classic / traditional” choice is really interesting. Historically, (pre 1920’s in the US) they were usually never white. Typically they were left wood or painted a color. Think of historic homes in New England, or even back over the pond in the UK. White trim is actually much more “modern”! The current trend of painting them all the same color is a throwback to an older style. They look lovely. you don’t need to change a thing! I just don’t think you’d be “wrong” either way 😉

LouAnn
1 month ago
Reply to  kiki

But the main farmhouse Emily bought was built in 1910 or 1915, right? So that places it at the time (early 20th century) when people started painting trim white. So white trim makes sense historically for this farmhouse.

Amber
1 month ago
Reply to  LouAnn

I think white trim is fine here, but the house is a craftsman style Foursquare (they were usually either craftsman, prairie or colonial revival in style), so the trim probably wasn’t painted at all originally.

Misty
1 month ago
Reply to  kiki

I find it interesting that the trim in a color seems trendy to people, as well. Our house was built in 57 and all the doors and trim were painted a color – majority of it in sage green. All original. I hated it, but kept it in one bedroom and love it now. In another bedroom the trim is coral. My daughter begged me not to paint it white and I’m so glad I didn’t now. I think it seems like a trend, but it really isn’t. Either are traditional. I say compromise and do it in one room and leave the rest white!

Paula
1 month ago

My bedroom is pink — a very pale pink. It’s such a cozy color! And the glow when the sun hits it! I hate that so many people think it’s “unmanly” or just for little girls. Pink, as in your guest room, can be very sophisticated. The blue doors are so light and closer to grey than blue on my screen that I think it might have been nice to paint the trim to match.

KL
1 month ago

I gasped when I saw that pink room because I almost picked that color for my own guest room last year! Went with SW Sashay Sand instead, which is an even warmer tone of pink. I also debated for a long time about whether to paint the ceiling and trim in the same color or leave them white — my architects, whose taste I otherwise generally agree with, were strongly on the white-ceiling bandwagon because it’s a low-ceiling basement room. But I went for painting everything the same color after consulting Velinda, and I have zero regrets. My house is modern (built in 1990) and it feels right to lean into contemporary styling. However, for YOUR house… I think I have to agree with Brian that the white trim reads more classic farmhouse and classic pretty. I’m happy that you made the leap for the ceiling though!

kathleen
1 month ago

I think it was a good call to sit and wait on the ceiling. From what I can tell from the photographs there is something that feels fresh and modern about the simplicity (and I love cladded ceilings). It almost feels calmer but maybe once carpet is in and furniture you will come to see that feeling is no longer present and cladding the ceiling is the right move.

Nora
1 month ago

Both of the colours are really lovely – I love the blue doors! And really glad you painted the ceiling in the pink as well. I prefer matching woodwork (or tonal woodwork), but it’s all quite sweet 🙂

Sue Sur
1 month ago

LOVE the light blue paint color on doors. Also love the calm vibe of the pink room.

Karen
1 month ago

Love the blue gray doors and love the pink color of the guest room. For the guest room, I’d prefer the trim the same color in a glossy finish. It would be cozier and more sophisticated.

Shannon
1 month ago

Love that these muted tones are back in style. Brings me back to my freshman dorm in ‘88, resplendent with floral Laura Ashley sheets that coordinated perfectly with my dusty rose duvet cover. It was ALL about the dusty rose.

Sarah
1 month ago

love the guestroom color. i stayed in an old victorian airbnb and my room was that pink mauve color and it was so warm and welcoming to stay in.

i absolutely love the colors you picked. very soothing. that pink room. woooowheeee!

1 month ago

Great work!

Ann
1 month ago

Always so excited seeing a new update on the farmhouse! I love the blue doors in the landing but just a side note as you said it is ‘door heavy’. As those laundry doors stand out a bit from the other doors I wander if painting them white would make a difference. Just a thought. Always love your posts and I’m really looking forward to the end result!

Renee
1 month ago
Reply to  Ann

I think this is a good idea. Definitely something to consider!

Anita
1 month ago

Super fun seeing it all coming together!! And I love “hearing” about the decision process! Ahhh so exciting

A.B.
1 month ago

So much pink! Keep trim white. Love the harlequin floor idea – would you do a pale green & the blue?

LC
1 month ago

Any chance you can share or do a post on where the casement and mouldings are from?? SO simple and pretty!

Margaret
1 month ago

Love the blue and pink! But, hopefully you were kidding that it costs a million dollars to paint? Probably just seems like it. Right? Right?

Jessica
28 days ago

Oh gosh these photos just made me sigh with happiness! It all looks so wonderful. I think you made the right decision only painting the doors blue on the landing and I LOVE the idea of painting a checkerboard pattern on the floor!!

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