Monday, May 12, 2014

Decisions, Decisions

Before I was a homeowner, I never realized how many decisions person could possibly make during a lifetime of homeownership. From paint colors to hardware styles to fabrics, there are so many potential choices, so many directions, so many design crossroads a homeowner must cross in an attempt to make a house feel like home.

Lately, our living room fireplace has been the subject of intense deliberation around these parts.

We recently turned a corner in our living room overhaul: we finished repainting the room (and its new crown moulding, built-in shelving and mantel) in Benjamin Moore's "White Dove". If you've ever shopped for white paint, you will understand how complicated it is to find just the right white.

Is the white warm enough? But it is too yellow? How will white pair with white fabrics in the room?
Then, what finish? Satin? Gloss? Semi-gloss?
The mind reels at the seemingly-endless possibilities.
It only took 2 swatches of white to conclude that "White Dove" was, in fact, the perfect choice. But, the ideal paint reminded us that had yet to decide how to beautify our soot-tarnished fireplace surround.

As far as I am concerned there is only one choice: refacing the brick with 3 large slabs of slate to match the existing slate hearth. No tile, no granite, no painted brick (not that there's anything wrong with any of those choices)...they just didn't feel right here. Instead, I'd like something like this:
(via Pinterest)
But the work doesn't stop with decision-making. The next stop is figuring out how to realize the vision. 

I'm still trying to track down the perfect slate slabs, which are anything but easy to find, apparently. Evidently, making a decisions is only half of the battle.

In the meantime, until I discover my ideal pieces of slate, I'll just bask in the decisions we've made so far as homeowners, like the choice to plant a bevy of black parrot tulips in our yard last fall which sit on our recently-revamped mantel. 
(via Meet Me in Philadelphia, unless otherwise noted)

So many decisions have been made with still so many more to go.


  1. I love the idea of slate, Ashley. So classic. And, I wouldn't even know where to begin to find slabs of slate?? But, with every decision it is also such a learning process and you gain experience from it. So, I am sure I'll learn from you! I also think (although I am not sure) that people who love interior design/decorating willingly take on all these decisions b/c they want to love their house. But, I don't think that is the norm and last year when we were house hunting, it always amazed me at how people just don't care about the interior of their houses. Any paint color will do, any sofa, etc. Sometimes I envy that b/c I am sure they don't have all these decisions! But,then again that is why their house looks like the way it does! And, with all these decisions you have to make, there will be a great reward in the end! Good Luck!

  2. Those tulips are insane. Beautiful!! Just like your mantel. :) Lots of decisions for sure but you are always so good to take your time that the right choice is always made. No worries, that perfect slab will appear soon.

  3. I can completely relate to finding the perfect white. I also had a tough time finding the perfect shade of gray. I didn't want a "dirty" gray and it was pretty tough to find exactly what I wanted. But so worth it!

    Chrissy of

  4. I've been enjoying seeing the progress of your home. When Steve and I first bought our house in Conshohocken, we got so much done the first year - paint, kitchen renovation, tearing up the carpets - you guys are warriors and that is awesome. I also admire your persistance in not settling and in finding the slate that you really love. I think people sometimes don't realize that there are so many more options outside of big box stores and such. In regard to your decision-making, I really love the proportions of the second photo (the BHG) photo. It looks a little heftier/beefier to me and I like that. Well keep up the search and hope you can find just what you have envisioned and are hoping for.

  5. I am in the process of painting a nursery white and could not believe how long it took me to select a shade. Who knew picking white paint could be so challenging. I love the white you decided to use, it's nice and bright.

  6. The slate idea will be great when you find the right piece. And those tulips are amazing and so graphic! As always, can't wait to see your progress. Sorry I've been MIA on commenting (and blogging) - trying to find a good technology/life balance lately. :)


  7. Those tulips!! Wow! I love what you've done so far and slate will be the perfect addition. I've just started discovering the decision process in our own home - it's tough.

  8. Ashely, I don't recall seeing that mirror before. Is it new? It is absolutely perfect above the new mantel. Love the idea of going with slate on the surround. Perfectly classic.


I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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