Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Holy Guacamole!

Ever wondered what it was like to sleep on the inside of an avocado?  Probably not, but if you wanna give it a whirl come stay in our second guest room.

We DIYed that headboard -- Later I'll post the deets.

That's right, you're seeing some serious green; Behr's Retro Avocado to be exact.  With a name like that I think most people would drop the paint chip in disgust after nightmarish flashes of orange shag carpeting, dark walnut furniture, and kitchen appliances gone wrong.  But not me.  The dare devil in me took one gander at that paint chip and I immediately had to stifle myself from squealing like a freak in the middle of Home Depot.

Before you deem me peculiar, let's back-step a little bit to the story behind the avocado.  Our second guest room has been dubbed the Texas Room.  If you don't know me, you probably don't know that I grew up in the great state of Texas and consequently own a disgusting amount of Texas-themed memorabilia.  I also don a dominant attitude that Texas is the paramount state in the U-S-of A, and like many Texans, I will force this opinion down your throat in a manner that can be found highly offensive to many.  Sorry I'm not sorry.

Anyway, I need a place to put all of my Texas sh*t.  A "shrine" if you will.  What better place to spread the love of Texas than in a guest room?  This nasty room had "destined Texas room shrine" written all over it:
This room has been a storage space for most of our crap.

I am not proud of the lava lamp.

Creepy freaking door. The kind that scares the bejesus out of you as a small child.

Fugly door with an old-school Scruff McGruff sticker on it.

I'm sure when one hears the term "Texas Room", they immediately think of a room decorated with armadillo bobble-heads, cactus plants, cowboy silhouettes, and "Giddy up" playfully stenciled across the wall in a rope-like text.  It's okay, it's a common misconception (though I do own an armadillo bobble-head, and it will be living in the guest room).  To me, there's a warmth about Texas, both literally and figuratively.  I want our Texas room to emanate Texas; like you're staying in a chill hotel in downtown Austin somewhere.  There's nothing "giddy up" about Austin -- it's a super cool city with all kinds of creative character and kind folk to go along.  Do yourself a solid and add a visit to your bucket list.  Commence pictorial brag session of my homeland:
Capital building on Congress Ave.

Keepin' Austin Weird with some awesome building art.  I think it's meowvelous.

UT Tower (sorry I'm not sorry, Aggies).

Frost Bank Tower in downtown Austin, a skyline superstar.

Matt Costa performing at The Parish in Austin.  Live music capitol of the world, baby.

Bats emerging from their bridge dwelling at dusk in my hometown of Round Rock.

BOOTS, BABY.  Allen's Boots should be the only place you buy boots.

Some of the kewlest Congress Ave shoppes.

The Oasis -- hands down, best restaurant ever.

View from Mount Bonnell.
The round rock in Round Rock <3
The Round Rock water tower, which is quite the antique.
The Alamo, and don't you forget it.
Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible.
 See, I warned you that I would force feed you all things Texas.  Let's not digress here...back to decorating the guest room.  I basically decided I wanted a rich avocado green with gray and turquoise accents -- to me, these colors scream the vibe that I'm looking for.  So the hunt was on for a bold paint color to make my Texas statement.


Bold colors.  They're awesome, but so many people are terrified of them.  I'll admit, I waddled around the paint section for a good twenty-or-so minutes searching for something with a little less "POW" just so my guests wouldn't run screaming from my house.  Pale greens, "kid" greens, grassy greens, greens the color of "tasteful" Italian olives.  Nothing compared to the awesomeness and utter perfection that is Retro Avocado.  So I said, "Screw the guests [sorry Mom].  This is my house."  And in that brief moment of power and sheer insanity I felt a lot like Kevin McCallister when he decided he wouldn't let the wet bandits corrupt his abode of independence.

Not so much defending it as slathering its walls with rich, delicious guacamole.

Simply put, Retro Avocado was the exact shade I had in my kooky little mind so it needed to grace the walls of our guest room.  Purchased.

Getting motivated to paint the upstairs guest room has been an ongoing struggle of mine for the past few weeks.  Even though I'm on a tight deadline (I have family coming to stay in less than a week for Chris' sister's wedding), I find myself glamorizing the idea of re-reading The Hunger Games like a loner on my sofa.  But I gotta say, the discovery of Retro Avocado really put a spring in my step and I had a roller in my hands in no time.

I'm a lazy gal but I value the art of doing things "right".  For instance, primer is a must have when painting any room, especially if the walls are dingy and old.  With that said, the lazy girl in me buys Behr's Ultra Premium Plus paint with built in primer so that I can eliminate the annoying task of priming before painting.  Don't get me wrong, I may be somewhat slothful but I always caulk, putty, sand, and wipe down my walls before I paint.  Then I crack open that exciting new can of color and get my paint on.  Even though some people say that they can get away with one coat of paint and primer in one, I'm a firm believer in two coats -- any room, every time.  In the case of Retro Avocado, two coats was a must since the first coat looked super blotchy with lots of old paint peeking through.  After the second coat, the walls were lookin' creamy 'n dreamy.

You'll notice that the wall featuring the window is not decked out in Retro Avocado.  That's because I wanted to salvage any feel for "size" that the room might have by making it feel wider.  Since that wall is the first wall you see when you enter the room I wanted to paint it lighter so that the room feels deeper than it is.  Plus it makes the window seem bigger and brighter.  For this insane mind trickery I went with Behr's Pebble Stone, which is a really fabulous tan/gray sort of color.  I also used the same color in the closet as well as on the attic door.  For all of those tasks I only needed one can of paint and still have some leftover for future touch-ups if needed.

For the trim I used my go-to pure white semi-gloss paint.  I don't get the paint/primer in one combo in this, though two coats are still a must.  Most of our house's trim is slathered in shellac, a shiny wood finish made of beetle parts that was popular way back when.  My issue with this beetlejuice is that unless you prime it with oil-based primer first, it will bleed through fresh paint, littering it with orangey splotches.  Luckily, whoever loved the shellac in our house stayed away from the upstairs trim.  All I needed was two coats of clean white on the trim and I was done.  As tedious as trim can be to paint, it's really a highlight of the renovation process since it makes everything look so crisp, clean, and new.

Then it was onto the doors.  I hate doors, especially these doors.  Our house came equipped with some cheap 'n fugly wood slab doors that were just begging to be thrown into a bonfire.  Though none of our unfortunate looking doors met their demise in flames, we did however replace all of the downstairs doors (except for the basement and living room closet).  If you've ever hung a door before, then you know the sheer frustration that can ensue.  If you haven't hung a door before you probably think "eh, how hard can it be?"  Real hard.  Go ahead and try it to prove my point.  I dare ya.  Anyway, since we're rarely upstairs we decided to leave the upstairs doors alone and opted to spruce them up with a fresh coat of paint.  Simple, easy, done.
Sans doorknobs, but you get the idea.

As for the decor, I'll have to dedicate another post to the careful placement of my Texas charms in their new shrine.  I know you can't wait.  'Til then, enjoy this sweet and savory guacamole snack we've provided for you.
Antique mirror that I salvaged from my beach house: the perfect place to hang our bandana bounty.

An antique lamp made out of a bullet, vintage cheese boxes holding historic Round Rock postcards, and more bandana fun.

Fellow Austinites will recognize this dude.  One day I got homesick and embroidered him.

I used to have the Texas plate on my car -- I think the rust adds charm.

Told ya.  Homeboy's chillin' in comfort now.

Sweet rug that I scored from HomeGoods for only $50.

Antique chair that I salvaged from the barn at Chris' parents' house.  She's a beaut.

And a special added note for my fellow East-Coasters: I hope you don't feel too left out with all of my Texas banter.  Just remember, we live where the grass is lush, the beaches are dreamy, the summers are cozy, the winters are snowy, and where the crabs trump all.  Some things just can't be beat -- that's why I  appreciate Texas for the love that it gave me and the East coast for the home-sweet-home that it's become.  Amen.


  1. loooove your guest room. such a sweet dedication to Texas!!! And is that "Hi how are you" picture from Daniel Johnston? such a freakin' wierdo!

  2. Thanks Jess! And the "Hi how are you" is by Daniel Johnston! Look at you with your Texas knowledge ;)

  3. The guest, er Texas room looks great! Can't get over all you've done not only with that room but all of the others in your home with Chris. Can't wait to see in person!