05 February 2014

Painting II: Mad Hatter Reading Room

This post was featured at Life and Grace.  Thank you.
Life in Grace's Ode to Emotional Support

and Love

My spouse painted this room.  All. of. it.

Last weekend, my spouse painted our Mad Hatter reading room.
For me...
He painted the walls, the doors, the trim, and the bookcases grey, while
he watched the football game.

The bookcase was lightly distressed to expose the wood. (Sara's Photo)
(The before is at the bottom of this post.)

He took a photo of the bookcase and laid out the books in a grid on the sleeping porch's floor, so he could return them to the shelves in the same way.
I did not ask him to do this part.
I intended to slowly put the books back one by one or by a few,  because I had a neck procedure last month.
The walls, doors, and trim received one coat of SW Light French Gray.  That's is all it needed, because it is a subtle paint change.

This little study connects to my daughter's vintage styled "Alice" room and one has to walk through it to her room.  The clock, the chairs, accessories, and even the art make it the Mad Hatter Reading Room.
Just a few days ago he changed the color in her vintage Alice room to
her choice of SW snowbound,
but then the blue gray in this room connected to her room didn't quite work.
(Sara's Photo)

First, my spouse painted the walls in SW's Light French Gray, and I immediately loved the new wall color, but the dark wooden bookcases seemed to stand out even more.
The project became bigger than he bargained for.

The bookcases needed to be grey!

We picked up the paint at our local supplier, and the bookcases took two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: Paris Grey. The bookcase has a large surface area; there are five sides to each nook.  It took him all day; it was a much bigger job than he thought.

The monochromatic room is inviting, spacious, and cozy, yet shows off the paintings tucked into the bookshelves and the knick knacks.

Can you believe he put it all the books back with a photo and a diagram that he made in his head transferred to piles on the floor?
That's why he is Mr. Level, even though he is a chemist.

Our vintage Madhatter chairs look even better with Paris Grey; the new color enhances the
grays in the weave of the chair's navy fabric.

The toile pillow covers are from IKEA. The fabric and the prints on the wall remind me of our engagement on a trip to Paris many years ago.

Sometimes it is the unexpected things that your spouse does that shows love.
I always try to remember to say thank you,
even for the little things for example, a cup of coffee with ice.

My spouse has since been out of town,
and he has been asking if we cleaned enough to take a photo ;)
(We use this glass table all the time for projects.)
He is looking forward to seeing a photo of his work on the blog.

Here is one of the doors that he painted gray.  It adds an architectural element to the room.

The RL sheet curtains were replaced with a new pair of curtains that he hung.
This post was a way of telling a little bit of our story for Valentine's Day.
Love all you do for me and our family.

Here are the stages the reading room progressed through to become the grey
Mad Hatter Reading Room.

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  1. This looks lovely! He did a great job!

  2. You know, it looked nice in the first photo, but it looks totally put together in the final photo. I am not usually a fan of gray, but you did it very nicely.

    1. Thanks Art and Sand. It's probably hard to go wrong with French gray, Paris grey, and French country furniture. It's a tiny room, so it unified it.

  3. Oh, if one could one get one's man to paint a room while watching a game! Every household in the Western world would be at piece during sport's season :)

  4. Very pretty color! I do love those chairs and they do stand out more with this new color.

    1. Thank you, Kathy. Those chairs are in perfect condition, even the upholstery! They were made in California in the early 80s, but look like they were reupholstered in the last five or six years, because it is a chenille.

  5. Beautiful! I am looking forward to painting some furniture pieces gray this summer. I LOVE this look!

    1. Thank you, Lin. Gray is such a nice contrast with Nordic and country French styles.

  6. I LOVE LOVE everything about this cozy space!! Beautiful room!!

    1. Thank you, Martina! I love your enthusiasm! I'm really happy with the outcome. XOXO

  7. I LOVE your blog!! PS I'm hosting a $150 giveaway for PlushRugs.com that I thought you would be interested in :)


  8. Mad Hatter reading room! This is beautiful! I love love the grey walls (you'd never know with my wacky colour choices) especially when you have little dashes of colour through your collected treasures and all of the beautiful books. Your spouse did a wonderful job!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. He did. I can't believe his system to return the books, I didn't even ask him to come up with that, but he knew I couldn't lift stacks, and would of had to put them back one by one a new way.

      I love color and it is often on the paintings I've bought. There are two bright pink ones on the shelves and a black night scene with a cactus. The paintings tend to be very different, so on a neutral background they don't clash with one another. XOXO

  9. The paint job looks great! I love your chairs and the peacock too! What a cozy room!

  10. You and your husband did a great job. I like the monochromatic look - it does make a room seem larger. What a wonderful round table to use for books and whatever. This seems like a room you will all make great use of.
    Patty at Home and Lifestyle Design

  11. Fabulous! I am such a fan of your mad hatter library, it looks soooo inviting! Sara photos are great!

  12. That does look great! I also get my hubby to do the painting for me! I like the color a lot and it does make other things stand out nicely. Its' funny how some colors seem to absorb things into them and others help make things stand out!

    1. Thank you, Liz. I really like it. My porch is white with gray, so I sort of reversed it here with gray with white. XOXO

  13. You have the best husband! Tell him he did an amazing job.

  14. Looks wonderful...I think your painter is a keeper! :) :)

  15. It is so very beautiful! I normally don't care for grey, but how you use it and decorate with it, I think I have changed my mind! xoxo Jen

    1. This is an observation, Jen, not necessarily a rule. If you leave some warm wood like the wicker and the trim on the chair with the warm white chest and navy, it doesn't look cold. I like grays, but warm and weathered. I used it on the porch, but there I reversed it and went with a gray with more green with warm white. I love looking at Scandinavian and Nordic rooms, they do it so well.

      Thank you, Jen, I always enjoy your visits. I hope you have a beautiful weekend with your family. XOXO

  16. The Mad Hatters Reading room is looking even more exquisite with this new paint job! You're so right, it makes it so rich and cosy! God bless the painter.

  17. Oh, yes ... the little things are what mean the most.

    Love your bookshelf and the room. So cozy.

    Found you at Edie's place.

  18. Wonderful job! What a lucky little girl to have a DIY father and a reading room so close by.

  19. This is a fabulous room. Get the kettle on, I'm coming round to have tea!


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