scenes from a mexican restaurant

About a month ago, Pete and I decided to make the house our own by rashly choosing a color and painting the porch. Now, from previous posts you may have seen, you know that the porch was a kind of neutral clay color. Kind of grayish, kind of brownish, and very light (almost an off-white). It was boring. I think I want the porch to be a kind of relaxing reading room, where we get lots of morning sun and we can read the New Yorker and drink tea like the adults that we are.

My sister gifted me a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens for Christmas and it has provided a wealth of inspiration. A couple months ago they had featured paints in robin’s egg blues: kind of bluey greeny turqoisey but mellow. I thought that would be perfect for this room! But, then I saw another picture of a bright green sunny porch, and I thought, “Now that’s where it’s at!” Bright green feels warm even though it’s a cooler color, so it’s kind of a neat balance.

Long story short, we went to Home Depot and didn’t find any colors we liked. We took a few green and yellow chips (we both like yellow, but Pete wasn’t sold on green) and decided to think on it. When my friend came over the next day and exclaimed her love of one of these yellows, Pete and I enthusiastically agreed. Of course yellow was the winner, were we idiots or something? It’s bright and cheery; it’s perfect for a happy, sunny room, right? We were so enthusiastic to have an outside party affirm our choice that we went out that night and bought the paint. It was a snap decision. We wound up with “Lemon Sorbet” by Behr. I’m usually partial to more buttery yellows, but this one almost had a goldenrod effect. It reminded me of the dining room at Monticello (look it up!). Anyway, we did it. And I hated it. I thought it looked garish.



We needed to put on three coats of paint to cover that weird putty color. The yellow turned this horrible pukey green at the first coat, so we just had to keep plugging away. And then…it was so, so, so yellow. Like, burn-your-retinas-yellow. So, again inspired by Better Homes and Gardens, I crafted some fabric panels to go up on the wall and cut the yellow a little bit. The result:



A little bit Mexican restaurant, no? It’s okay, though, because the room is growing on me. The more time I spend in there with the yellow, the happier I feel about it. It was the first thing we tried to really personalize here, and while it might not be a home run, boy did we swing for the fences. And really, in the morning when all that sun is pouring through those big windows, it’s a warm and happy place to be. The next step for this room: a gray couch, some window treatments, and reupholstering that wingback chair. I think the more stuff that we put in it, the less in-your-face-yellow it will be.

Want to make your own panels? It’s easy!

Step 1: You’ll need a long rectangular structure. I was lucky to repurpose some lattice window inserts we found in the basement here, so they were free. I bet you can find something similar at yard sales or thrift stores. Worst case scenario: you can build them for not much cost, and obviously the lattice is only an option. The one I got inspiration from was just an empty rectangle.

I spray painted them white first.

I spray painted them white first.

Step 2: Cut your desired fabric to fit. I found that 2 yards of fabric was plenty for this project. Then, use a staple gun to staple the fabric onto the back.

Cutting to fit.

Cutting to fit.

Staple that sucker! I probably should have left some overhang so I could have tucked it back and then stapled, so as to avoid frays, but you know, I think the lazy way is fine, too.

Staple that sucker! I probably should have left some overhang so I could have tucked it back and then stapled to avoid frays, but you know, I think the lazy way is fine, too.

Step 3: Figure out where you want them and enjoy! They definitely brought a new dimension to the room and added lots of character. The color scheme we’ve picked is really bright and bold, but I think it would be really pretty with soft colors (or three panels with an hombre effect going from light to dark, left to right?).

Finished product!

Finished product!

As ever, thanks for reading!


One thought on “scenes from a mexican restaurant

  1. Pingback: a project of its own | Love from the Project Room

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