Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel…Say What?!

If I said to you, “that’s a lovely shade of Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel you’ve got there” would you really believe I was talking about a color? Well you better believe it! Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel (herein referred to as “Clay Angel” because Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel is just too much to type!) is the lovely, subtle, grayish clay color we have painted the majority of the living spaces in our new house.

As many of our devoted readers may recall, we used a paint color called “La Fonda Mirage” on the front door of House #1. There was a great story behind this paint color and the reason for all of these funky names is because these paint colors are part of Valspar’s National Trust for Historic Preservation collection of paints. Again, you can read more about that here and here.

When paint shopping for House #1, we always admired these National Trust for Historic Preservation colors, but for some reason, we just didn’t end up using any of them in the beginning. Now, we are all about these. There is something so intriguing and inspiring about using colors that are designated for such renowned landmarks. What’s funny about all of this is that if Andrew and I had our druthers (and millions of dollars) we would find old historic places and fix them up, which is exactly what the National Trust for Historic Preservation is all about; yet more proof as to why we are drawn to these colors.

Andrew and I both love to travel and we have seen much of the U.S. together. We are wholly inspired by our travels, but we are also very much inspired by our roots, which are deeply planted in the Pine Barrens of Southern (and Central!) New Jersey. Thus, using these paint colors makes us feel like we’ve got a unique, yet personal, little slice of Americana right in our own home.

So, what’s the scoop behind Clay Angel?

Valspar Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel PaintThe photo above makes the color look very clay-like and almost pink, but I’d have to say that it errs on the site of subtle gray in our living room, downstairs hall and stairway.

Before painting in the living room

Living room before paintingAfter painting with Valspar Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel…

Living room after DIY paintingThe color comes from Hotel St. Francis (obviously) which is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. According to their website, the hotel has a rich history that dates back to 1924 when the hotel first opened its doors. The hotel, at the time, was described as an “early Californian Mission Revival with a touch of European elegance”, which seemingly still rings true today based on the looks of the place.

We are also using another National Trust for Historic Preservation color in this house. This one, which just so happens to also come from the La Fonda Hotel, also in Santa Fe, also from the same exact collection as our other House #1 front door color, “La Fonda Mirage”, is called, “La Fonda Ecru.”

Valspar La Fonda Ecru PaintThis very light, buttery cream-type color is nice and cheery in the room we have dubbed “the small room.” It’s small, yet powerful! With the back door slider, this room is SO bright and lovely. We plan to use this room as a guest space/closet overflow area.

Small room with new La Fonda Ecru paintSmall room after paintingIt seems as though, for some reason, we have really gravitated toward colors with a Southwester flare. Our overall style definitely doesn’t scream, “New Mexico!” (we don’t decorate with dream catchers and crazy, vibrant Mexican blankets or coyote sculptures, the list goes on…) but borrowing these natural neutrals from this South of the Border-style color collection seems to be right up our alley.

Meet House #2

While many people in our lives are announcing baby #2, we’re pleased to introduce to you House #2! As our faithful readers know, we sold House #1 back in April and went on a sort of hiatus while we shopped for a new house. Now that we are 100% closed and back on our DIY project beat, we’re ready to start serving up some new posts for you. Without further adieu, meet House #2!

DIY and home improvement on a 1950s home

Woof, that lawn! Working on it :-)
All the Particulars
Style: Cape Cod
Age: 59 (circa 1955), completely updated in 2006/2007
Rooms: Living, Dining, Kitchen, full Basement
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 1.5
Other: 1-car Garage
With this house comes several improvements as far as we are concerned. Just to name a few, here are the major differences between House #1 and House #2.

Here’s how House #1 stacked up…

  • Window Unit A/C
  • Old, outdated cabinets
  • Older washer/dryer
  • One teeny tiny bathroom
  • 1000 square feet (excluding basement)

Here’s how House #2 takes it up a notch…

  • Central A/C
  • Updated cabinets
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Fairly new washer/dryer
  • More than 1 toilet!
  • Much larger main bath with double sink vanity
  • 1500 square feet (excluding basement)

What’s on Tap?

  • Lots of cleaning – the previous owner had several pets, so we’re removing pet hair left and right until the place is completely spotless and to our liking.
  • Painting, painting, painting (you know how much we love paint)!
  • New carpets (upstairs)
  • New refrigerator
  • New custom shade for the master bedroom
  • Leveling paver walkway
  • Minor roof repairs
  • Garage clean up
  • Lawn rehab

And that is just to name a few. We’re hoping to finish up with the new carpets, cleaning and painting within the next month. Then we will get ourselves moved in! As we continue with our initial clean up and our eventual move-in, there is no doubt new ‘projects will crop up. Until then, enjoy some of these “before” style photos of the new place.

Getting ready to paint the living room…

  Living room renovation

Already painted the master!

Painting a master bedroom

Ripping up old carpets upstairs…

Ripping up carpets

An upstairs bedroom…

Before we start DIY projects

Another upstairs bedroom…

Before DIY and home renovation begins

The backyard…

Backyard DIY

Hiatus (Don’t Hate Us)

As we recently announced, we’re selling our house! With that being said, we are going on a hiatus until we get into another house full of fun DIY and home improvement projects to blog about!

So, to wrap things up (for now) here is a look back on all the work we did on our first house! It was a wild ride for sure, but we learned so much; almost too much! We accomplished so many things we never could have imagined to be necessary or possible, but we did it! This experience has been priceless, to say the least, and has equipped us with the know-how to make great decisions when buying our second home.

A Look Back on Our First House

When we purchased the house in September 2011, it was brown and dingy. That’s the best way to describe it. Check out the original listing photos from when we bought the house:

Real estate listing photos of our new houseWe tackled gutting a floor to ceiling pink PINK PINK! bathroom.

Bathroom before and after

We 100% re-finished our entire kitchen all by ourselves and it was mega cost effective!Kitchen Before and After

Final Painted Kitchen and Tile

We replaced every single door in our house and eliminated all things brown and dirty from the home. We went from brown, dingy luan to crisp, white 6-panel doors, giving the whole house a fresh, modern look.DIY home remodeling, painting trim

We removed all carpet and refinished the original hardwood floors.

Refinished hardwood floors

Our remodeled living room

Refinished hardwood floors

We removed some crappy, goofy awnings, painted and replaced all of our shutters, freshened up the front door with a new paint color, and gave the roof a good scrubbing, completely transforming the outside appearance of our house; talk about curb appeal (if we don’t say so ourselves)!

Old shutters and front door

Spray painting shutters

Updated shutters and front door

Roof Shampoo Before After

We had a ton of much-needed plumbing work done. Less glamorous, but oh-so-important.

Correct 2 Inch PVC Washer Drain

Correct PVC Stack in Basement

We raised a barn, Amish-paradise style. Just kidding, but we did build a shed ourselves which we still feel is quite impressive…at least for us!

shed floor level ground

completed Rubbermaid resin shed

We earned our green thumbs :-)

Hosta Sprout Close Up

Front Yard in April

Planting hydrangeas gardening tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we painted

Painting acoustic ceiling tiles

And painted

Yellow Office Sunbeam

Office Painted with Wave's Crest

And painted some more…

Living room paint colors

It took us awhile to warm up to this house and to get it how we wanted it. But in the end, we will truly miss it. It’s hard to leave all of this great work behind, but we are moving on and moving up! Time for bigger and better. And we can’t wait.

Thank you to all of our super-devoted readers, the one-time readers and those who would occasionally stop by. We will always be posting on Instagram and Facebook, so you can keep in touch with us there. We look forward to connecting with everyone here on the blog again just as soon as we get into house #2. Until then!