Monday, February 13, 2012

I’m Hired

I neglected my house again this week-end. I headed home to the land of slow internet and bonded with the family. 

On Saturday night, my cow painting little brother got news that he was a homeowner.  Nate and I were unsure that day would ever come.  We’re very proud of him.

His new house is charming and full of potential…

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Most of you would pass out if I told you what he paid for it.  (Not a lot of dinero.  We love Iowa.)

He hired me as his interior designer.  By hired, I mean that I get to help him pick things out that are masculine but not dorm-like.  And I have to do a lot of painting.  Something about owing him for helping me paint two houses. Details.

Here’s what he has to work with (photos courtesy of my mother)…

The living room needs a fresh coat of paint.  We are still arguing deciding on painting the trim.  I’m obviously pro painting.  Our father is very against painting.  It’s all up to little brother.  I’ll have a poll at the end to assist us in this decision.  (The family loves when I use the blog for these kind of things.  Who doesn’t love a good poll?)

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I love the front door.  The purple ceiling, however, isn’t working for the brother.  I don’t get it.

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The current plans for the kitchen include painting the walls and cabinets.  What possesses one to paint a ceiling bright yellow?

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The dining room has a fancy striped flat/gloss paint treatment.  It could be worse.  At least the ceiling isn’t purple or yellow.

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Little brother loves everything about this powder room.  He is lucky to have a bath on the first floor.  I’m not sure lucky is the word to describe this room though.

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There are three bedrooms and a full bath upstairs.  He gets to keep that cast iron bedframe.  I’m drooling.

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There will be no changes in the following room.  I kid, I kid.  I wish someone would have asked the former owner to step away from the primary colors and paint brush…

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There you have it.  The first of many posts about my little brother’s house. 

My dad and I are thinking about pitching a show to HGTV.  We’re thinking the title could be “No, you can’t bleeping paint that.”

And because I love a poll…especially when it comes to the ever controversial topic…


What are your thoughts on the great paint vs. stain debate?  Have you painted stained trim?  Do you love it or regret it?  (Post a link if you have one!)

54 comments:

  1. I don't even want to try to guess what you all pay for houses in Iowa because I might have a panic attack! Let's just say that the prices around here are nuts...it's amazing how little you can get for half a million!

    That house has soooo much potential!!! You bro is lucky to have you as a designer :). The ceilings are nuts! I thought our glitter popcorn was bad...yellow and bright blue may take the cake!

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  2. Everyone needs photos of loved ones to look at while using the bathroom. Everyone.

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  3. Congrats to your little brother! That house has serious potential!

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  4. what a charming house- i think it will be adorable i have seen all the ideas you have pinned and can't wait to see how it all plays out!

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  5. Hmmm looks like your dad is WRONG!! Men have no idea when it comes to decor. Unless they are gay. Gay men have fabulous taste. Straight men should just stick to the DIY and do as they are told.

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  6. Aw, there was no third option so I'm going to suggest a compromise: stain that trim supah dark!

    ALA http://www.jhinteriordesign.com/glamorous-four-square/

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  7. Congrats Marshall! You know I am pro trim painting. I will warn you it's a giant pain in the you know what. Our house has the dark mahogany color before it went cream. You've seen the results :o)

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  8. I want to know who lived here and chose all of those paint colors. Is that red mesh on the cabinets under the sink? What an... interesting design idea...

    The before and after photos are going to be amazing that's for sure. Congrats cow painting little brother!

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  9. WOW! How exciting. Question for you, Michelle - our entire house has brown trim just like your brother's place. So 1980s. I hate it, but I really don't want to paint ALL THE TRIM in our ENTIRE HOUSE at once. So is it legit to just paint one room at a time? Or is that dumb? We really do have a LOT of trim....ugh. (is this a weird comment on this post?)

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    1. If he decides to paint it, it won't be painted all at once. I'm guessing it will be done room by room!

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  10. Haha, looks like Dad is losing the paint vs no paint debate. Since I'm sure the poll results will be the final word and all. Congrats little bro!! Welcome to fixer-upper world. Can't wait to see what he does with the house.

    Can we vote on the purple ceiling, though, too? I think it adds character.

    (I'M KIDDING)

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  11. You know I am all about painting the trim white! My hubby even did a blog post about men and painting the "wood." You should read it, it's pretty funny although you're dad might not find it funny. ;)

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  12. What a charming house! Congrats to your brother. How exciting! I voted for painting the trim...it looks to matchy matchy with the floor.

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  13. I love how the poll is (currently) 44 to 1.

    Also love the idea for the show title, hahaha.

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  14. What a cute house!

    Paint the trim for sure! I grew up in a house with stained trim and I currently have stained trim in the downstairs of my house and I dislike it thoroughly.

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  15. I like the look of the wood molding but it really depends on the color chosen for the room. If it's dark or saturated then it certainly would look odd, but if it was light then the original trim would work (maybe re-staining it?). For some reason, I hate painting wood trim.

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  16. Don't paint the trim!! Am I the only one voting against the paint? I like Casey's idea about painting it super dark. Wood is so masculine and keep in mind this is a boy's house!!

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  17. What in the world is up with the kitchen? What's going on under the sink and what an odd place for the stove.

    Other than that, it's a super cute house- Love the arched doorways.

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  18. Congrats on landing the new gig! And to your little brother. I'm with you - paint the trim... Oak just doesn't do anyone any favors.

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  19. I love imagining the former owners decision-making process. "Oh yes dear, mustard yellow on the ceiling will spark my culinary prowess." Ha. Excited for your brother and to see what you do w/ it!
    Oh about the trim...I voted to paint but was thinking maybe a compromise w/ another stain might be another option.

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  20. Oh so much charm! I envy you *and him. Have a blast! Can't wait to see the results!
    Thanks for sharing - have a marvelous Monday.

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  21. We have oak trim in our house (albeit, faux oak), and I hate it! If we planning on staying here long term, I'd definitely paint it, but since we're planning on moving this year (fingers crossed), I'm not going bother.
    Very cute house, needs a minor "makeover" in some areas, but good bones! I totally agree with you on that HGTV idea. My GOODNESS some of the colors we saw when we were looking for our house. Primary colors should be forbidden in paint! Apparently, a LOT of people like bright yellow. I don't get it.

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  22. Cute house - but man some of those paint colors left the the former owner....

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  23. Ah! Yet another wood trim debate! My husband refuses to paint our trim in our new place, also read wont let me paint the trim. I'm working on convincing him to stain it darker so it looks less 80s though!

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  24. Before I even read the comments, I have to post mine.

    You have beautiful wood floors. The wood trim is not so beautiful.

    Paint it. The room will feel larger and you still have your beautiful floors.

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  25. Ha! I love that the "no paint" option on the poll has 7 votes as of this very moment . . . 7 out of 103 total. I think I know which side is going to win. That house has so much potential--I'm excited to see what you (and he, I guess, but mostly you) do with it! I would like to see another poll on which I can vote for you to keep the original purple ceiling and "boy" definition on the wall.

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  26. What a great house for your brother. I bet you're going to have a lot of fun working your magic in there. The trim really needs to be painted out. It's not even that it's oak but that it's too scrawny to make any kind of statement (positive statement that is!). Looking forward to all the future transformations!

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  27. This is a great house and I can't wait to see the end result. I have painted wood trim before. It was really ugly wood and I didn't regret it for a minute. It really made the room look clean and crisp.

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  28. Those kitchen colors are just wow! I've eaten in a few Mexican food restaurants painted those colors! ha! And I agree with Casey above about staining the trim dark. That would be a good compromise, I think.

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  29. NO, I have never painted trimwork white, but I did paint an oak mantle and absolutely HATED IT!!! SO I will be stripping it in the near future...I think it depends on the look you are going for. I think your home has a LOT of charm on its own. You could paint the kitchen cabinets, though, if you don't plan on remodelling soon. THey are kind of bad...but otherwise lots and lots of potenial! We lived in Iowa for 10 years, bought a little 1700 sq ft. fixer upper home for (gasp) $6,000 and remodelled it. Wish I could have moved that home to where we live now!!! You have a good home!

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  30. K...so I bought my parents house 2 years ago....and there is oak EVERYWHERE! Not just oak stain, but the wood is all oak. Oak doors, oak kitchen cabinets, oak trim, and honey oak stained pine in the basement...
    I HATE IT! But i think I would kill my mother if we painted 1 speck of it. One thing that is a plus about the stained trim?? With 2 boys (4 & 6), a Chocolate Lab, and a husband, is that I CAN tell you that it hides dirt more than white trim ever could.... :) LOL!

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  31. You have to look at this house as a blank canvas (even if it is not your own). An exciting project! I voted to paint the trim.

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  32. haha they really liked their ceiling treatments, huh...seriously, though, it is a pain in the butt to paint ceilings, so I really can't understand that yellow thing. Congrats to your little brother! I bet you'll have a lot of fun helping him!

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  33. Didn't your MIL paint all her trim in her house white recently? I think my mom told me that. It can't be all that bad to paint it.

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  34. What a cute house. Beyond the painting nightmare I hope you have fun with the decorating side of things. I voted for painting the trim.

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  35. First of all, I love the house. It's quite charming.

    And, I have a feeling you are going to like this job better than the job you get paid for. That doesn't seem quite fair.

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  36. PS - I could star in that show if you paint it. As my poor, oak-loving father.

    I also mentioend this weekend that I may paint my childhood rocking chair for the nursery. The HORROR!

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  37. That house has good bones! The doorways, the moulding, and I spied those fabulous doorknobs! Paint that trim girl! Our house has the same and I hate it. Doing it room by room as well. Can't wait to see its mans-formation!

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  38. My fancy iPad does not let me use the poll. Crabs. But I say you better paint that no matter what! Yuck to the yuck to that trim. I like the basics of the house the decor make me feel a little pukey. I'm so glad he "hired" you to make it stylish yet manly. Can't wait to see your future updates on this!

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  39. I was wondering why you were pinning all of that stuff for your brother's house! :) Is he cute and single and in need of a MN girlfriend? Because I would like to be your sister-in-law. ;) Kidding. In all seriousness, I can't wait to see what you do with the place!!

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  40. Paint the trim!!! The house has a lot of charming details and character. I can't wait to see what it looks like after all the painting is done. Congrats to your brother!

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  41. I love the front door - dont paint that but do paint the trim. Thanks for sharing!

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  42. ^What she said. Paint that noise! Paint the trim. Keep the doors stained though, until they get replaced with a paintable vinyl exterior door.

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  43. What is up with the previous owner and their ceilings? Totally weird. I don't know much about trim. Ours is painted, but we didn't paint it. I think I would decide by whichever is easier to keep clean. :)

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  44. Paint, paint, paint that business!! White trim make everyone happy inside =)

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  45. FUN project! I want someone to let me redo their house. Isn't it a MILLION times easier than redoing your own house?! Jealous! Keep us updated!

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  46. What a cute house - it has a ton of character! I have and older home with painted woodwork and it is kind of a pain to keep up! Everytime I want to paint the walls I also have to paint the woodwork, window trim, doors etc. to freshen it up to match the newly painted walls. I would leave the baseboards, doors, windows and paint the crown molding white.. the kitchen cupboards totally paint (I have done this as well- sand and use a good primer and you are good to go). Excited to watch the progess!

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  47. Paint it!!!! I hate wood trim. I love wood furniture (most of the time - but I'll paint that too) but not trim.
    -Diana

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  48. The only reason I would say keep the trim is if the house has any other historical attributes. Otherwise, paint away!

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  49. I have to admit, I might have evily giggled at the thought of how many ceilings he'll make you paint :) Awesome house though! It'll be so cute!

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  50. Oooh yeah, the previous owners painting is not good. But, the house looks like it has good bones. Glad you're going to paint the cabinets, I just convinced my mom to do the same with hers.

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  51. Normally I would be all over painting that trim. EXCEPT. Have you lived with painted trim? It gets dirty. Really dirty. And you have to really wash it to clean it. I mean, sure you could have a pro come in and spray it with oil based paint to assist with that, but then it's VOCs and all that. Anyway -- for myself, paint, for sure. For a typical man who probably won't be washing his trim all the time? No freakin' way. It'll just look dingy and dirty all the time.

    Depending on the taste of your brother, I would (a) leave the trim and pick colors that look good with it (ochres and warm colors), a la the Craftsman look, (b) stain it super dark like someone else suggested. OR, you could compromise and paint all the vertical surfaces, but leave all the horizontal surfaces stained (baseboards, sills, etc..) -- it can look really nautical like that and will help with the dirty trim issue (it's the horizontal surfaces that get grimy the fastest).

    Just my .02! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

    ~Angela~

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  52. First of all, I remember the cow painting and hope he'll be hanging a lot of his own artwork on the walls! The cows were awesome!

    The house is awesome! I agree - the front door is gorgeous! And I loved the rounded archways. If there weren't snow on the ground where you are I think I'd move from New England to find some less expensive housing, but I'm not ready to move from one snow state to another! haha

    To paint or not to paint - that is a TOUGH question! I initially wanted to paint all of the wood in our house. And I did do it in some of the house. The baseboard and some doors and trim were painted white. But when it came time to think about doing the windows and trim, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So all of the windows/trim in the house were left with their original dark stain, and in the family room I even left the closet doors and trim dark. I like the contrast with the white walls.

    You asked for a link so here's an older post from my blog that shows a variety of the rooms with the combination of stained trim and painted trim. There are also pictures of the kitchen cabinets that I painted white (they were dark brown) and that I do NOT regret at all!!! I love it!

    http://anenchantedcottage.blogspot.com/2011/05/its-we-love-white-party-and-youre.html

    Good luck and congrats to your brother! I can't wait to see the progress!

    Donna

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