Saturday, June 12, 2010

Some randomness and I'd like your input into a little decorating dilemma


In case you hadn't heard :D

Argentina beat Nigeria 1-0 in their first game of the World Cup. A goal by Gabriel Heinze just six minutes into the game gave them the lead that Nigeria was never able to break.
(photo from
I made homemade granola bars for our game-watching get-together today at Centro Esperanza. We also had homemade pizza, as well as hotdogs and potato chips. I was trying to catch up on laundry so kept running back and forth between our house (just a few blocks away) and it was downright weird how EERILY QUIET the streets were from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. while the game was on. Seriously, I've never seen the costanera so deserted on a weekend. In my trips home to switch laundry I only saw a total of five people -- and they were all women! LOL  Once the game was over, people headed outside to celebrate by waving the flag and congratulating one another on having such a fine national team :D

Next up: the game against South Korea on Thursday.

I didn't get any of the granola bars and have been craving a little chocolate so decided to make brownies tonight. Now I've been trying a lot of brownie recipes lately since, although you can occasionally find brownie mixes here, they're not as common (or as good, in my opinion, as what we can buy in the U.S.). Anyway, I found a recipe I really, REALLY like and, of course, I have to share it with you. Because bloggy friends share the important things, especially when it comes to food :D

Dark Chocolate Brownies
3/4 c. Dutch processed dark cocoa powder*
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 c. melted butter, divided
1/2 c. boiling water
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/3 c. flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 c. nuts
2 c. dark chocolate chips
Combine cocoa and baking soda. 
Add 1/3 c. melted butter and boiling water and mix well. 
Add sugar, eggs, vanilla and other 1/3 c. butter and blend. 
Add flour and salt and mix well. 
Fold in nuts and chocolate chips. 
Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes.

* Yes, you can use any old cocoa but unless you use the Dutch processed dark cocoa powder it won't be as rich and chocolatey. I like this recipe because it's not so sweet but it is VERY chocolatey. YUM!

Okay, I have a decorating dilemma. I don't have to make a decision right away because we have to wait until the roof is fixed before tackling the project BUT I've been thinking about this for a while and keep going around and around and around... Finally I decided to just throw it out there and see what y'all think. Sometimes I get so caught up in the details I "can't see the forest for the trees" so I'm appealing to your inner design diva for help!

So anyway...the project in question is the laundry room at Sta. Rosa. Poor old laundry room has become a catch-all for everything from empty water bottles to a collection of buckets and a cheap plastic table and chairs that get hauled inside or outside as needed. As well as the stationary sink, and the ironing board, brooms and mops, and old washer we bought used from our neighbor (it IS a laundry room, after all).

I'd never really thought about doing much with the laundry room until I started seeing all these laundry room make-overs on different blogs. But it makes a lot of sense, considering how much time the average woman spends doing laundry!

So here's my dilemma: I have to work with a very *ahem* DISTINCTIVE floor tile.
A lot of camel, with bits of beige and cream and touches of black thrown in. This tile is in both the laundry room and the adjacent study (which has since become a small bedroom). The tiles are 10" square I think (the photo is of four so you can see the design that's created by the way the tiles were laid).

Now I absolutely love the color aqua (or turquoise) and have to get my daily fix by checking out House of Turquoise to see what loveliness Erin has posted. Recently she had a post about some of the favorite shades by different paint companies (Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, etc.) and I really, REALLY liked "Rainwashed" by Sherwin Williams, a shade so light it's almost a white with just a hint of color. Ever since seeing that post, I've been itching to paint a room -- any room! -- that color. And I've seen some absolutely STUNNING laundry rooms done in aqua.

But can you see aqua working with that tile?

I'm also very fond of the color green, as I've mentioned a time or thirteen, and have thought a nice, soft green would be a happy color to put on the walls.

Or I could play it safe and just paint them white. Ugh.

Besides painting the walls, I plan to sew a skirt for the sink, curtains for the large window, and make a new ironing board cover. We'll also install a new, longer shelf above the sink and washer so there's space for all the cleaning supplies and not just the laundry detergent. We'd like to be able to hang the ironing board and iron on the wall but so far I've been unsuccessful in finding the hanging rack for that. I've searched in home improvement and department stores. Ivan might have to rig something up for me to use.

I've decided to buy the fabric for all the sewing projects BEFORE I choose a paint color. Here are some possibilities (not the exact fabrics, but more for a "feel" of the concept I'm going for).
(Amy Butler August Fields line)
Something like these would incorporate shades of beige which might help tie in the tile and allow me to go with a pretty green.

A bright, bold fabric choice works with green or aqua...
And I like the idea of adding pops of red as an accent color, which would be easy to do if I used a fabric with a little red in it. (I just LOVE this fabric! It's got the FUN VIBE I'm going for.)

This is another bold fabric, but the colors are more subdued.
(Michael Miller Water Lily)
It would create a more serene room, don't you think? I am one of those weird people who finds laundry a relaxing activity, so serene works :D

Finally, I've played with the idea of using a black and white fabric, trimmed out with green or aqua. Doing that would also allow me to do something else I've been wanting to, after seeing it on a lot of blogs -- paint a big ole' flower on the wall.  But it would have to be something simple since my drawing skills are minimal. What about this?
(Windham Neo Geo line by Jackie Shapiro)
Those flowers are pretty large, which is the look I'm going for, and simple enough for me to freehand on the wall. In all honesty, it would probably be easier to find something like this than any of the other fabric "concepts". I've spent plenty of time in fabric stores and the selection is a lot more limited here, both in terms of colors and designs.

So what are your thoughts? Anything you really like? Hate?

It's fun to think about fixing up a space, even if it's something as mundane as a laundry room.


skoots1mom said...

with that thought was to go to it's opposite on a color wheel...
and guess what? It's teal green...are you good or what?!!
With as busy as the floor is...I'd probably go with a solid teal or a pattern that was two/three tones of teal.
It's always fun planning for a change....
here's the wheel I looked at:

skoots1mom said...

with that thought was to go to it's opposite on a color wheel...
and guess what? It's teal green...are you good or what?!!
With as busy as the floor is...I'd probably go with a solid teal or a pattern that was two/three tones of teal.
It's always fun planning for a change....
here's the wheel I looked at:

Mari said...

Thanks for the recipe and congrats to Argentina!
I have a terrible time visualizing from swatches here, but my favorites are the bright fabric with the ladybugs, and the black and white. Can't wait to see how this turns out!

Rosalyn said...

Hey Aunt Kim, I have been talking about painting Rachel's room this summer. Have fun. I have some cool on the wall. I was thinking go for the teal paint and then the white and black curtains. I can't wait to see it done.

Philip has been watching the games. Rachel calls it the bumble bees because of the noise the horns make.

rita said...

I like the water lilies for the 'water' room. I think Ok combination with tiles.

The Bug said...

I was going to say the second one, but then I looked at the tile again & I really like the last one - the black & white flowers. I don't know why - but I think it would be a nice retro look.

I could eat a brownie RIGHT NOW. Sigh.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

I thought green as well, only I was thinking a darker deeper green. I did like the second photo from the top of the fabric. It was very classic in style and would go with the classic feeling of the floor tile!

Listen at me sounding all interior decorator. I am the one who has yet to hang a picture over my living room sofa and I have lived in this house for over 5 years. So I would totally disregard any advice I give you, but I thought green!


Sharon said...

just saw this, you KNOW I will have an opinion...
I love turquoise and I love green but the only way you're going to be able to incorporate those colors (and that is an awful floor!), is if you repeat some of the brown floor in the fabric.
so... how about soft turquoise walls and a fabric that has some of the brown and darker turquoise. (Or you could mix a striped brown and turquoise with a tone on tone print.)
And there you have two cents.

Betty said...

Sorry, I can´t help here. I´m really bad with decorating.

I have something for you at my blog tomorrow. Hope you have time to pop in.