Design Inspiration From A Church In Costa Rica

We just came back from an amazing vacation in Costa Rica. I will write more about it next week, but today I want to share some pictures of a small treasure we found along the way.

One day we were driving from Carrillo beach to Punta Islitas beach in the Pacific Ocean when we got lost. We took a wrong turn and, luckily, stumbled into a gorgeous church in the middle of nowhere.

The purple and white exterior spoke to me right away, so we stopped to take some photos,. Little did I know that the real surprise was going to be inside. It was a small, rural, humble building with yellow, white and teal floors, and white walls with purple accents. It also had the most gorgeous wooden ceiling you have ever seen.

The building was full of light, which I loved, and it had almost no decorations… it was so simple and beautiful. One of those unknown gems that you find while staying outside of the tourist path. Here are some pictures: Look at the messy floor pattern and amazing about this gorgeous wooden ceiling I mentioned earlier. I want it in my house, don’t you? as the final cherry on top, those teal

I loved this church so much, that I went back to take more pictures another day. Simplicity is beautiful, and I was reminded of that on this vacation.

Have a wonderful day!

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House Exterior: Choosing The Right Color

Four years ago, we bought our first house. It was for foreclosure and we were lucky enough to snatch it. When we got it, it was a piece of trash and, in many ways, still is. We would like to completely remodel it, but we don’t have the money to do that right now.

Before we moved in, we did minimal changes that made it livable, and, since then, we have been doing small fixes here and there. I love the location of our house, it is within walking distance of shops and restaurants; I love how big the lot is: 7,500 sq feet (HUGE for LA!); what  I don’t love is how ugly the house is.

One of the things that has been bugging me since day one is the exterior of the building. The color is (was) hideous, a horrible “chick” yellow; and the stucco was in terrible shape. See pictures below.

Can you spot the different shades of  yellow? And the nasty cracks? Just be thankful I am not showing you the big holes on the back wall of the house.

Thinking that we were going to fix the house some time soon, we decided to wait and repair the exterior when doing the whole remodeling. Well, four years later I ran out of patience. The remodeling was not happening and I got sick of having to wait for the exterior to be presentable. I found a cheap painter that also did stucco repairs. He came by to give us a quote on a Monday. The quote was very reasonable so I asked him to get started. He said he was traveling during the Holidays and that he could start mid-January… ugh!!! bummer…I did NOT want to wait that long. Then he gave me another option, if we chose the color fast,  he could start on Wednesday. SCORE.

My husband tried to persuade me against such a fast timeline. He was worried about finding the right color, but I was afraid about delaying the job and having to stare at those “chick” color walls for another year.  I went for Wednesday. I had 36 hours to choose a color. The clock started ticking. I was naive.

I knew I wanted to use gray paint for the walls and a bright color for the door. The problem is that our roof is brown, and it doesn’t look good next to a lot of gray colors. That same day I went to get color samples. It took me 2 hours and I came back with these three:

This picture was taken 20 minutes before the sun left the sky. Not the best time to make color decisions.

Painting a swatch on the wall really helped, but I knew the colors would change once we painted the whole wall. I found it difficult to visualize the final result. The whole task was a learning crash course about the infinite possibilities of color. Colors that might seem so similar in small quantities, might look completely different once you apply them on larger walls.

None of the three colors above were what I wanted because I didn’t like their darkness against the brown roof. In an ideal world, I would have a gray roof and a dark gray house, but the bad quality of my stucco and color of the roof didn’t allow for that. From the three colors above, the one on the left was my favorite. Friends and family agreed. 24 hours to go.

The next day, I went to buy that color on the left but in lighter shades. I know people are not into Behr paint, but I found an application they have at our local Home Depot that helped me visualize how different colors would look when the whole house was painted. I was using that application/screen for 2 hours trying different grey colors. Finally, I kept coming back to the same one: Silver Bullet. for house-exterior-30

I bought a sample of the original silver bullet color and another one with 25% less saturation. I did not know that you can ask for different color saturations that can give you a color that you like in a darker or lighter shade. How amazing is that? and, how ignorant am I?

12 hours to go. Here is a picture of the colors I brought home:

Finally, we decided to go with the one on the left. The original color without desaturation. Our painter took the sample and had it matched by the Dunn-Edwards local dealer. The color is very similar to the half moon crest of the Benjamin Moore exterior line, in case you want to spend $50 for a gallon of paint.

Initially. I wanted an orange or yellow color for the door, but I didn’t think those colors would look good next to the brown roof, so we decided to paint the door a bright red called Hot Jazz. I like how it looks, but I don’t like how unoriginal the choice is. Here is the result: for house exterior-15Much better, don’t you think? But then again, anything would be better than that “chick” color.

In hindsight, I wish we would have taken our time to choose a better color. Having to do this in 36 hrs while working full time and taking care of two children was stressful and unrewarding. Also, I am not 100% happy with the choice, but I am 100% happy that “chick” yellow is out of my life.

Tips for the future:

  1. Give yourself time when choosing a color. Remember you will have to stare at it for a long time.
  2. Make sure you look at the color during different times of the day. Color changes dramatically depending on the location of the sun.
  3. Paint large swatches to help you visualize the final result.
  4. Breath
  5. Listen to your significant other’s advice, because he/she knows you better than you do yourself.
  6. Even if you don’t love the color, pretend you do and everybody else will like it too. Ha!
  7. Laugh


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Grey Rooms

On the topic of choosing colors to paint a room (or a house), I declare myself to have low education AND no intuition. We painted our home exterior last week and choosing the color was an intense process that showed my ignorance about colors at every turn. I knew I wanted grey, but who could imagine there are thousands of grey colors? OK, I knew there are thousands of grey colors, but I didn’t know that the look of a house, or a room, can completely change from using one grey or another that are seemingly identical.

I wonder if interior designers have endless discussions about color. They probably do. There must be whole classes devoted to choosing a color in interior design school, and, if there are not, they should be.

The biggest difficulty in choosing a grey was that it was hard to imagine how the end result would look like. Even after we painted patches as sample of the different colors on the wall, we found out that the color can completely change depending on the time of the day you are looking at it (obviously), and how big the area you are painting is.

As an example of what I am explaining, I found in the Internet a lot of grey rooms to share. You will be able to see that a slight change in grey can make a huge difference in the mood of a room. Also, you can see how some grey colors can be bluish, pinkish, reddish, etc. It was strange to see that, when choosing a grey, sometimes my husband would clearly see blue where I saw bluish grey.

So, here are some pictures that will get you inspired and will prepare you for the difficult task you will have ahead in case you are planning to paint your house. Thoughts? Huffington Post / My Unfinished Fashion Talo Ranalla / The Designer Lovely FurnitureSmile And Mark & Home Furniture – For Me, For Design SpongeSF Girl By Living Illusion – A House In The + The Visual LampSolid Homedit – Ideas To

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Let Us Be Inspired By Spanish Interior Design has great designers that we don’t get to see in the US. In my opinion, the Spanish interior design scene is one of the best scenes in the world. For example, the Architectural Digest from Spain is full of innovating, risky, colorful and edgy homes. I love it and have a subscription to it (the website is not as good as the paper magazine). Even if you don’t understand Spanish, images speak more than words in the design world and inspiration is everywhere.

The last time I was looking into Spanish blogs, I found Casa Decor and designer Beatriz Silveira. She owns the design studio Batik Interiores in Madrid. Her designs are elegant, colorful, and full of vintage finds. My favorite kind of interior design. Please, take a look at the pictures below and put attention to the details: aqua verde chairs in the dining room, accentuated by the colorful chairs at the ends of the table; brass lamps; vintage furniture; gold wall decorations; unique plant vases; and velvet, so much velvet. Beatriz has a great attention to detail and mixes old and new pieces perfectly. I love it all.

In the future, I will find other Spanish designers that are more edgy and controversial to share in this site, but, for now, I wanted to ease you into the beauty of designers that are far away and can be a wonderful source of inspiration. Let me know what do you think.

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Snooping On Etsy – Woven Wall Hangings

Woven Wall Hangings are a thing. If you don’t believe me, look at these pictures. Coco + Sponge

Bohemian Diesel

Cute, don’t you think? A little rustic, a little sophisticated, and, a lot unpretentious.

It is not easy to find the perfect piece to decorate your wall. Pictures are obviously a good start, but you need to add other kinds of decorations to spice your home up. At least, that is why I like to do. A woven or macramé wall hanging is a great place to start. They are trending, they are beautiful, they can use a lot of wall space, and, they add texture to your home, which is something so many of us forget to do.

So, in my search for beautiful things around the web, I decided to look on my best shopping friend website, Etsy, where I found a lot of shops with beautiful handmade wall hangings, as expected.

Here are my favorite shops, if you know of another one, let me know! I would love to hear. A lot of these shops will customize a wall hanging to your needs, in case you want something more specific.

Of course, if you are up for a challenge, you can do your own woven wall hanging. Here is how.

Now, to that shop list:

The Juju Just the Oak Tree and Hunter Studios

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