Design & Decor

Glass Closet Door.

Labor Day weekend wouldn’t be complete without a little project to work on.  And the most recent project here put Mr. Heatherland and I through a relationship-test called:  “How long does it take to install a closet door?”


Where do I begin?  Well, our spare bedroom has been without a closet door for the last year or so.  I have consistently forgotten to buy a closet door for it because I never remember we need one until someone stays over- and even then it’s only for a hot minute before I forget again.


About two weeks ago I finally decided to rectify this.  Since our spare bedroom is tiny, and we all know that light reflection is a small space’s BFF, I opted for frosted glass closet doors.   If our room was bigger, I would have copied this idea, which I love, those sliding closet doors:

photo credit: unknown

photo credit: unknown

Instead, I found a simple, smaller version, which I ordered under-budget and it came in ahead of schedule, but then…


DIY Went Wrong

action shots of slow progress

action shots of slow progress

  1. The doors were about 1″ too long, so Mr. Heatherland cut them to size.  But the circular saw was not cooperating, and when he switched to the jigsaw the first door ended up less than perfect.
  2. Even though I ordered White, but the color was more like Almond.  So I had to paint them.
  3. When I started painting them, the paint beaded up because they were coated with a paper that was moisture resistant (and un-sandable), so I had to prime them with two coats of KILZ, then with two coats of our trim color.
  4. I didn’t carefully read the instructions and attached the top rollers incorrectly and had to switch them after a failed installation attempt.
  5. I overtightened three (3!) screws and snapped the tops off them, forcing me to undo everything and re-screw much more gently.
  6. The existing closet frame was so horribly out of level that even though the rollers were adjustable for out of square frames, we were still 1/2″ off and had to pull down the track and shim it to level-ish.
  7. We made an executive decision to make a large wood trim piece to cover the track and the cut marks from shortening the door- and that also needed to be primed and painted.


After my patience had been tested to the limit, we were done (almost).  So much for my “Quick 30 Minute Project”, this took all day and I am so happy we have a frosted glass closet door- Finally!

almost done.

almost done.

Teamwork makes the dream work!  The next and final step is installing long, chrome bar pulls that coordinate with the other design elements in our house.  But that should be easy, peasy, right?


Shades of Gray.

One of the most time consuming choices you make when decorating is choosing your wall color.  I have never met a neutral I didn’t like, so during our renovation I jumped into this searching specifically for cool grays.  Here’s what I learned.


Seek Samples

some gray samples in the living room.

some gray samples in the living room.


Grays are a tough color to pick out. There is a fine line between “modern” and “warehouse”.  The only way to know for sure is to bring home samples and paint them on the wall so you can really get a feel for the undertone.  I used 14 samples to find the winning colors,  each wall got brushed with samples so I could stare at them and see them properly in different light.  The funny thing was, it was almost always the color I least expected to like that was the one I ended up loving.


Mind the Temperature


The temperature of a particular shade refers to its coolness or warmth, and this case that temperature was most prominently shown as the undertone of the gray.  And picking the right temperature can evoke very different feelings and have an enormous impact on a room.  It is just as important to choose the right depth of gray to adjust the overall feeling: Light gray walls feel crisp and airy, while darker tones create a sultry, sexy, cozy mood.  Go into the search knowing what kind of mood you’re trying to create.


Keep it Flat


This is not the time to go with eggshell or any type of sheen other than flat, otherwise your walls will look like a dumpster.  Historically, flat white wall paint is often avoided because it shows smudges and fingerprints, but flat grays actually hides flaws.  We used Sherwin Williams paint for the whole house (which I loved) and they make a Matte sheen that absolutely perfect for our grays.


What we Picked

Master Bedroom: Essential Gray 6002

Master Bedroom: Essential Gray 6002


Bathroom: Snowfall 6000

Bathroom: Snowfall 6000


Dining Room: Summit Gray 7669

Dining Room: Summit Gray 7669


Everywhere Else:  Eider White 7014

Everywhere Else: Eider White 7014


What I Learned About Sherwin Williams


This was my first time using Sherwin Williams paint and I learned two things:

  1. Their Matte paint dries horrifyingly streaky at first- it made me very, very nervous.  But after it has fully dried and cured for 24 hours it is spot on to the sample and has perfect wall coverage.
  2. They always have a 30% coupon floating around online, so look for that.  And also, if you’re doing a big job, they can put a note on your file to just give you 30% off every time you go in (you just have to ask nicely).

It has been a year since we painted, and I am still obsessed with our wall colors.  Every room has the feeling I wanted to capture, so our gray journey was a success!

Faux Real.

The subject of Faux Taxidermy still seems to be alive and well in the world of home decor.  It’s been 2 years since we welcomed The Duke into our lives, and honestly I still love him as much as I did when I was first searching for him.

The Duke

The Duke

This white resin animal head has actually become our un-official mascot for moving out of the city and into the country.  He’s even our cover model for the coffee table book I made about our renovation:

our coffee table book

our coffee table book

The Duke and I got off to a rough start when I dropped him down a flight of stairs, but we have recovered (almost) unscathed.  The one thing that really surprises me is I am still not over the Faux White Taxidermy trend yet.  I think it keeps re-inventing itself.  In fact, on our most recent excursion to Maine, I was in an antique shop carrying around some antlers for the better part of an hour before I had to set them down and give myself a little mental-pep-talk about the amount of animal accessories I can bring into our house.


The great thing about this kind of wall decor is it is a 3 dimensional object to help add interest to your room.  Whether this is your thing or not, it is great to find those types of additions that can add texture and a dynamic appeal to your space.  If I had to do it all over again (or had a bigger home), I might be tempted to move in a different direction of the Animal Head Wall Decor family.

The Steer

dot and bo, steer clear skull

dot and bo Steed Clear Skull ($55)

The Ram

west elm, ram head ($50)

west elm Ram Head ($50)

The Wire Stag

Matilda Bengtsson, Wire Sculpture

Matilda Bengtsson Wire Sculpture

If I only had more space.  But we won’t be replacing The Duke anytime soon, he as really become a member of our family.


How about you, any DIY Faux Taxidermy hanging on your walls at home?



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