scenes from the trenches

picking paint


picking carpet


covering yet another paneled surface, this time brick(!) paneling. who knew they even made such a thing.


thanks for all the input on drywall v. paint! in the end we had to go with the economical "paint over it" option. good thing because I think the carpet guy just took me for a ride. I’m totally numb to financial pain at this point. what? it’s going to be one gazillion billion dollars for that? ok.

if you’re looking to sell me something…now’s your shot.

36 thoughts on “scenes from the trenches

  1. elizabooth says:

    Oh dear. I do know how you feel. If it makes you feel better, our last house — the one that was wood paneled nearly everywhere — didn’t have brick paneling, but a weird tactile brick contact paper that was like a giant sticker covering our kitchen walls. Underneath was a layer of sticky black goo. That, my friend, can’t even be painted over. I still have nightmares.

  2. moki says:

    I’ve loved reading all these house renovation posts! I think I need to do a search for a renovation/remodel blog!!! Or find some creative person willing to start one 🙂

  3. June says:

    You’re undergoing a ton of work and making a gazillion decisions. However, everything is going to work out just great–always remember to follow your own dream and instincts.

  4. Jan says:

    Oh, I feel your pain, Hillary. I’m trying to get our house ready to sell and that’s even worse because you’re paying for things you won’t get to enjoy!

  5. Daphne says:

    It’s a good thing they named those carpet samples after yummy desserts, because “beige.” “warm beige.” “pale beige.” and “creamy beige” would just turn me off. on the other hand, these food names make you think it will be okay when you spill food on them! they are stain resistant and besides! coffee tastes GREAT with cheesecake and warm pastry!

  6. Colleen says:

    Strange..brick on the indoors…
    Dont fret Hillary, when my parents bought our house the kitchen had over 5 layers of differnt things ( wallpapers, paint,s woods and dont forget a weird inbetween layer of newpaper and bottle caps!!) I second the sophistication of white paint over brick.

  7. Melissa says:

    I’m loving your paint choices! the new Blueprint (Martha Stewart mag) featured a blue apartment, I think the paint was called “surf” and was one of Martha’s signature paint colors. I thought it looked really great–maybe an option for your blue room if you’re still looking for the right shade.

  8. Michelle says:

    We move alot (every three years or so) because of my husband’s work. I am accustomed to remodelling. We just moved in one year ago and so I have reflected on what the house was like before: 6 ft. high mural of a crouching spiderman, fire engine red rooms (made the ceiling look pink), peach plastic knobs and hooks everywhere and a kitchen that was hand painted orangey yellow and rust red cabinets and a navy blue countertop with drip marks all over the place-we put in a new kitchen-it was beyond fixable). Overall, I do dislike moving frequently, but it is so rewarding at the end when things are as you like it. Good choice with painting the brick (we had to paint many surfaces a fresh white-including oak)–it looks nice! Nice wall colours too. Best of luck! Try to keep sane. In a years time, it will be a funny memory.

  9. emily says:

    Oh my…the brick paneling!!
    I guess you learn something new every day. I know what you mean about spending tons of money in rapid fire succesion…it always makes me feel a bit numb and a bit nauseous.
    xoxo, lady.

  10. Amy says:

    Am I the only one who seems to have noticed the distinct similarity in color between your paint choices and the background color for this blog? Isn’t it funny how we gravitate toward certain colors? I’ve unwittingly ended up with a taupe sided house that includes four rooms in various shades of tan, khaki and putty.
    I love that slatey/seafoamy color! You should just get the pms number for the background of this site and take it to Benjamin Moore 🙂

  11. Sonya says:

    Forest for the trees. And anyway, live in the house for a bit, brilliant renovation ideas will hit you – like a ton of paneled bricks. Saves undoing and backtracking. Thought there will be that too, probably. Oh the joy.

  12. Kristy says:

    We get the ‘pound sign rolling eyes’ all the time when people come to price jobs too.’Let’s just stick an extra zero on they won’t mind!’!!
    I bet the panelling painted will be lovely anyway.

  13. Rebekah says:

    totally know what you mean about the money thing. When we bought our house back in November, my husband said it felt like we were shooting money out of a hose in every direction. Luckily…we’ve had little to no expenses since those first few months. It does get better!

  14. Miss Dot says:

    how about some real estate in Queensland? it is only underwater 8 hours a day? or there is a nice bridge in Sydney Australia? just kidding. Best of luck, it took us 6 months to do our kitchen and I feel your pain. 🙂

  15. Solidia says:

    I also know the feeling. When we moved in to our house, we had wall to wall shag carpet (ick!), wallpaper in every room (even the light switches were covered) and the oh so lovely wood paneling in the family room. Oh how I love neutral colors of paint and new flooring. It hurt the bank account while you are in the process of doing it all, but the feeling when it is completed is oh so SWEET!!! 🙂

  16. Anina says:

    Your posts make me want to buy a fixer-upper and renovate!
    My advice on decorating or any big structural changes is to live in the house for at least 6 months before doing any big stuff. Your ideas will grow and develop day by day.
    Most of all – have fun!

  17. Allyson Vermeulen says:

    Painting over the paneling is a brilliant choice – wish we had been as smart! We ripped down most of the ugly wood paneling in our house before we realized why it had been put up in the first place – the walls behind them were an absolute mess, with crumbling plaster and cement, and big globs of glue. You are soooo smart to just paint it, you might not want to know whats behind it!

  18. Miss Molly Cottage says:

    I am kind of late catching up but wanted to let you know that my husband owns a paint store so if you ever need some free advice on what to do and what to use, let me know!
    I have that same carpet in my den and I love it, esp. with kids that 10 year guarantee on wear and stains will be a blessing!!
    Good luck with everything!

  19. amy h says:

    My mom had that type of carpet in our old house. She got one that was a tan with a brown speckle to it, and you could never ever tell when it was dirty. Spots never showed. It was great!

  20. Oiyi says:

    I have seen brock paneling on those tv design shows. I always thought it was odd.
    I like the 2 colors you have on your walls. I still have white walls after living here for 4 years.

  21. Lotta says:

    I have no doubt you will make that white painted “brick” wall look amazing and cute! Love the paint colors too.
    The rug. The rug makes me avert my eyes. I just can’t handle textures like shag or wicker. Too. Many. Crevices.
    I’ve got to go look at some smooth surfaces now.

  22. Diane Duda says:

    Painting over the “bricks” is a good choice, I think. The texture gives a room some character. Beautiful paint colors, but then again I love all colors which makes decorating very difficult.
    Best of luck with all your choices!

  23. cat says:

    your trenches look as though they are going to be beautiful. i imagine that all of your hardwork will pay off in a nice way!!! takecare.

  24. Rebecca says:

    Welll that does look like a slightly more expensive carpet then some of the standard stuff (my dad owns a small mom and pop carpet store) Sometimes the prices do tend to get a little crazy with the nicer stuff!

  25. Sara says:

    Our kitchen has some “faux brick.” It’s not brick paneling, but it’s not a brick wall, either. But it was painted white when we got here. I still can’t decide if I want to keep it what for the clean look, or go all out and paint it all rustic for an italian kitchen look.

  26. leanneshouse says:

    Oh thankyou SO MUCH! For ten years I have been trying to decide if I should paint over the brick work (even bought the white paint 2 years ago)! Now I KNOW – yes – PAINT IT!!!!! Start this weekend!!!!!!!!

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