Stingray in the Heart

Before I recap our entire Christmas experience (you know…for posterity sake and because goshdarnit my kids are cute), I wanted to show you our latest accomplishment.  I wish I could say that Santa brought this to us on the night of the 25th but the truth is…it took us almost two weeks to finish.  Yes.  Two weeks to paint what amounts to one room.  I’m not complaining.  This one little space has literally changed my life.  No exaggeration.

Let me explain.  This spot is what I call the mudroom.  It’s the door from the garage to the house…connecting the laundry room, office, guest bathroom and kitchen.   It’s the first thing I see most days and where I spend a lot of time (hello potty time and laundry is my life these days).  I didn’t think this makeover would affect my feelings about our house like it has.  It’s sort of huge for me.  I think it’s because it’s the first thing I see most of the time when I enter the house.  It’s the first place I look.  It’s like the eyes of our house.  And we all know the eyes are the nipples of the face (name that movie)….therefore making this room the nipples of my house.

So way back in the day, I took this space and started adding a few things to the walls here and there.  I put up a dresser and a mirror and a little tiny pig rack.   Then I redid the dresser (blogged about that here) and actually took a bit of paint (leftover from our exterior paint testing) and put that on the walls.  But it wasn’t ever enough.  It was failing in the function category and in the ‘finished’ category.  The trim was still tan-ish, the painted walls only were one coat and half way up the adjoining hall.  Even my three little piggies were commonly overloaded with bags, coats, etc.  In fact…that pig rack was what started it all.

Jeremy would come in the door almost every day yelling about the pig rack and how it was too small and not properly secured to the wall.  In my defense, it was being held in place with TWO 100lb hooks…but apparently he thought that even 200lbs was sometimes hanging on the three little pegs.  And that dresser?  Total dumping ground.

My issue was that the little mud room area was painted but the hall was not.  So we had a warm tan trim going on with our cool greenish walls and then some brownish tan painted walls.  It was weird.

And to give you a little perspective…this is how it compares to white trim…which is what is in the still unfinished laundry room.

Totes cray cray.

So over our holiday break, Jeremy wiped down all the trim with deglosser, I sanded out some damaged areas and we did one coat of primer on all the trim and three coats of paint, we painted the ceiling three times and did two coats on the walls.

Here is how that white trim stands out against the previous cream color (the garage door stayed untouched because I think I am gonna do it in a fun color).

I get the question a lot – HOW DO YOU PICK OUT PAINT COLORS?

And here is my current answer…I go through a bazillion swatches and then pick out two.  Then I google pictures of them.  The internet is a wonderful place.  This time around, I went with my old standby which I used in our old house…Olympic’s Dusty Trail and a new pick…Benjamin Moore’s Stingray.

In the end, I liked the Stingray more with the kitchen color.

I also decided to tackle the problem of the pig rack by just picking up some new heavy-duty metal racks when we were in Chattanooga.  I told y’all that we did a little last minute shopping, remember?  While we were at one of my favorite stores in Chatty, Southeastern Salvage, I grabbed two of these metal coat racks.  They were $15 each – which I felt was really fair considering that each hook could cost me about $3 a piece in the hardware store (totally fair considering that Ballard Designs has a spot-on twin for $69).  Plus, Jer loves the industrial (ahem sturdy!) vibe.

We installed them one evening and let me tell you…I don’t know how I lived without ten hooks before.

I also threw up some picture frames (still needing some cute photos!!! get on that Katie!) but just check out the difference…

Obviously there is still some touching up to be done…

  • patch and repaint the walls where old holes were
  • touch up the picture frames
  • paint the heads of the screws that we used to hang the racks (Jer insisted on certain anchors that used specific screws)


And now cue the dramatic music…we have befores and afters…


And just check out that difference to the laundry room…see how the trim looks so much cleaner and really influences it into a totally different space?


That little space right next to the laundry room is where I want to put a door with sliding barn hardware.  Hopefully that way it won’t creep into my laundry space and still be a great way to hide the mess when the dirty clothes get out of control.

So that is officially is our first makeover of the 2014.  Not too shabby…you know, for a life-changing kinda change.



  1. ashley says

    No we didn’t forget about the Amy Winehouse title, or the one about Death Coming to us All on Veterans Day. These “whoopsies” happen quite frequently and I’m sure its just to get a rise out of your readers. Although you will still have the gang of Katie groupies who think you can do no wrong. I’ll probably get attacked for saying so. You win.

    • Sara says

      I completely agree about wanting to get a rise out of her readers. I mean she probably loves spending her whole day bundled up in negativity thrown at her by trolls with nothing better to do but get upset about underhanded comments regarding their BFF celebrities. It makes so much sense. This blog runs off views so if you don’t like her blog titles, stop reading it.

  2. Ruth says

    You go girl. Just wanted to put up one more positive comment to brighten your day. Your posts always make me laugh. “Nipples of the house” teeehehehe.

  3. says

    I totally understand what you mean about what first see when you walk in the door.

    We used to have our trashcan right next to our door in from the garage. And it just bugged me! Get home, take shoes off, look at ugly trashcan…

    And when we finally painted the kitchen and moved the trashcan it was like a breath of fresh air! So much better looking at a bright painted wall than the trashcan.


  4. Kate W. says

    Please Katie….ignore all the haters! They shouldn’t be reading something they have an objection to!

    Love the updates but
    I want to know what happened to the dresser? What was stored in there and where did it all end up? I always need bins for hats, gloves and scarves nearby for my family of four!!

    • says

      The dresser got moved into the foyer where the little half-moon table was (that got moved into the dining room for now). And we actually have a hall closet so that is where the hats, gloves, scarves and all the boys coats and snow-clothing lives.
      xo – kb

  5. Danielle says

    I love this! I don’t suppose you have a few more of those coat racks that I could purchase…I have been on the outlook for, well, forever…I can’t believe what a great deal you got. It looks gorgeous.

  6. Effie says

    Looks awesome!

    And listen, I totally get your twisted sense of humor and I never in a million years even THOUGHT the title had anything to do with Steve Erwin. People are silly, and remember that you can’t please everyone! Sheesh!

    I hope these negative comments didn’t ruin your day!

  7. HeidiG. says

    Lots of assumptions about the title going on…anyway, moving on to more important things like, wow, the hall way looks sooooo much better. Clutter free, light, airy. Nice work Katie!

  8. Kim says

    Katie, would you please refrain from using “bullet” points and the words “knife-edged” pleats in your posts? I’m sure there’s a celebrity somewhere who was shot or stabbed. Thank you.

  9. Nicola says

    Oh dear, there people go again with the nasty comments. I never even made the connection. I’m sure some people feel the need to comment about Steve Irwin just to show that they made a connection which to them must seem clever.

    And I’m kit a crazy fang I’ll, but I do love this blog. Even if that pun was intended I have a very dry sense of humour and I wouldn’t have been offended anyway. If that’s not your humour, and you think it is Katie’s which I don’t, then go and read elsewhere.

    Some people who are nasty just for being nasty need to go and give their heads a wobble!

  10. Kim says

    Haters go’n hate.
    Love the little update. Less is totally more! And it’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do.

    PS… who knew you had so many mindreaders trolling your blog… so many people who swear they KNOW you knew you were intentionally making a crass joke… it’s simply amazing to me. You may want to call up TLC – I see a show about all this in their future.

  11. Jena says


    You are awesome. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have complete strangers accuse me of things I had no intention of doing. It would be so easy to get depressed — but please know that I, and by the looks of it, hundreds of others, believe in you. We stand with you, and will defend you as an honest woman of God, because that is exactly who you are.

    Love your blog; just shake off the haters and keep being an awesome mother, wife, and decorator.

    God bless you,


  12. Suze says

    That looks so great! I love how sleek and clean it looks now. Would be awesome with a storage bench under the hooks too. Very nice!

  13. Sheila F says

    Ok so House Bunny is the movie. And I thought “Stingray to the heart” was because you loved the color Stingray……. So anyway………. I found your blog from YHL. I watched you and Sherry on the Goodwill Trip video. Very funny! I very much like the new/old hooks. (although the Pig rack is pretty cute!) Do you plan to put another mirror up? (I always have a mirror by the door for a last minute check.) I have enjoyed looking at your blog and I look forward to seeing more. Please try to ignore the nasty people. I never understand why they must look for something to be offended by. They must have very unhappy lives.

  14. wilma says

    looks great! if you’re thinking of paint colours for the door…what about the same green as the mirror frame? or black?

    • says

      I thought about that green. I love that color. I also thought about orange, red, and turquoise (like the color of the office) and then I considered the blue that was in the laundry room. I guess we will have to wait and see how I work through my color-menu paralysis.
      xo – kb

  15. Sara says

    The hallway looks incredible! I never knew the arch was there, so muh character! One question: did you use some kind of light to shoot the after pics or does it get that much daylight from the kitchen?

  16. Carrie M. says

    Oh for crap’s sake, all these entitled ADULTS bullying a PREGNANT WOMAN over wording they don’t agree with in a BLOG POST on her own blog…no wonder there’s so much bullying from children these days. It’s learned from the adults who feel that their own opinion matters so much that they are entitled to absolutely berate someone they don’t even know over all-important things, like Really?? I suppose each and every person going nuts about this did absolutely nothing that could offend anyone today, right? At the end of the day, if the title of this post is the most terrible thing you have to deal with in your life, I’d say you’re pretty darn blessed.

    The paint color looks amazing. Definite transformation, can’t wait to see your sliding barn door!

  17. Laura M says

    I am blown away that people can be so cruel. These folks must have some pretty bad lives to have so much anger for a total stranger. Grow up people. Life is too short to be offended and bothered. Move on, don’t read anymore, and for your own sake, get some professional help. I’ll sell you some big girl panties.

  18. Audra says

    The paint job is nice and bright. The industrial-meets-cottage charm-style of the coat rack is lovely. I don’t have a mud room, just a foyer and a teeny tiny closet. I’ve considered hanging hooks, but since it’s the first thing you’d see upon entering my home I’d have to find something spectacular. Or cute. Maybe shiny.
    I spy sock monkey in the before…very sweet.
    Very inspiring post.

    • Audra says

      2 questions:
      Did you paint over outlet covers or replace them? Just wondering cause I’m slowly replacing mine.
      In the before pic, what is the long thingy hanging next to the door frame on the right? Are photos attached to it?

      • says

        I paint over them if they are in an obvious spot that white will look weird. Otherwise, I replace. And yes, in the before pic, there is a Christmas card holder next to the bathroom door.
        xo – kb

  19. Cheryl says

    Wow, your hallway looks beautiful!!!! Even though your house is a stunner as-is, your taste is so impeccable when you upgrade it. Love it!!!

    I know the title of this post has turned into a big deal for no reason, and you are probably totally sick of it, but I wanted to also give my support to you. I have felt so badly for you all day having to deal with this. I am a fan, even if someone else tries to belittle me by calling me your “groupie.” Proud to be a Bower groupie!!! It’s a shame how little those people actually know about maturity, respect and doing the “Christian” thing.


  20. dani says


    I just wanted to say I love your blog, your jokes, your home, your improvements….. and hell, I think I love you! Ignore the haters and keep doing what you’re doing!


  21. says

    Hi Katie,

    It looks great! We also have off-white trim that we need to paint but gosh that is such a big task that we just aren’t mentally or emotionally ready to deal with, ha! ;)

    Have you thought about putting a bench with some cubbies underneath the hangers that can serve as storage? Also, where did you get your frames. They are super cute!


    • says

      Yes! I want to build something custom once we get the door painted, a new light fixture and the door hung in place. I think that’s when I will be planning on a bench with storage.
      xo – kb

  22. Brandi Lang says

    Hmmm… I am totally a product of the 80’s so I connected to Bon Jovi – Shot through the Heart. I <3 the color and I think I'm definitely going to get a sample to check out as I'm painting my entire house this spring!

    Furthermore, for me there was no connection whatsoever to Steve Irwin until I started to read the comments. People, if this kind of thing upsets you then don't read it, you have the power to control what you consume on every level so do it. Just because you don't agree with things that others say/post/sing/do doesn't mean that you have the right to call them out publicly and berate them. Glass houses…

  23. ERIKA says

    Love the simplicity of the coat rack minus all the other “real life with toddlers” stuff in this staged photo. But you did show the real life part of that space with shoes all thrown in a basket and other misc. items. Without a shoe spot in place does everyone just leave their shoes in plain sight there scattered all over the floor? Why not add a bench with deep baskets underneath or add a second hooks board so littles can learn to hang up their own jackets and backpacks.

    • says

      We just moved the shoe basket into the closet…so that’s why it looks staged…and Will already has to hang up his jacket and put away his shoes (he has a little stool in the bathroom that he moves over to hang up the coat). Most of the time Jer and I don’t take off our shoes…we don’t have time for that kinda thing :)
      xo – kb

  24. Nicole says

    Hi Katie! Very refreshing and happy space you’ve created! Love it! Had me reorganizing and decluttering our front entryway :)

    Question- I was admiring the paint color “Stony Creek” in your first house’s living room and am thinking of using it in ours. I’m looking for something cozy and enveloping. The room has a ton of natural light and a medium toned beige/brown sectional. In your posts you mentioned really loving the color and getting a lot of compliments on it. However I noticed you haven’t used it in your new abode (I realized this after you mentioning the Dusty Trail color in this particular post, which you also utilized in your first home ) so all that is ask- does Stony Creek still get the KB nod? Would you recommend it? I worry that it will read really green (you noted some green undertones). Hoping that in person it is as cozy and crisp as in your photos.

    Sorry for the long post! Thanks so much for all of the inspiration!

    • says

      I didn’t love LOVE it. It did have green undertones but the fact that it was so dark was hard to work with in my lighting. I have never seen it in other spaces so it is worth googling.
      xo – kb

  25. betty says

    I wish I could say I was shocked at all these negative comments, but i’m not. people seriously have nothing better to do than hound you for a title of a post? I rarely read titles and when I read this one.. I made zero connection, maybe i’m clueless! i’m sorry you have to deal with this all the time!

    I LOVEEE white trim. I just repainted all the time in my house, minus the rec room, and it makes SUCH a difference! do you like the curved ceilings in this house?? anndddd i’ll gladly take that emerald green mirror off your hands for you :)

    • says

      The curved ceilings aren’t my thing…I could take em or leave em…but I know they cost more to create and a lot of folks out there think they are awesome (my mother included) so I won’t be tearing them out or anything like that.
      xo – kb

    • Liz says

      Please……..she loooooves these negative comments! It’s why she doesn’t reply to them. She loves, I mean LOVES, the negative comments because it makes her look like a good guy. Any normal, regular person gets it. Yes, even those who leave negative comments! Who cares? She’s a joke. I like just just writing that she’s a joke.

  26. LKB says

    I’m curious: do you sand/degloss between coats when you paint the trim? I’m currently in the process of painting all the doors in my hallway bright white (semi-gloss). But I’ve never gotten a straight answer about whether I need to sand between coats or not.

    And as long as I’m writing: I have another question for you about the doors. I read your tutorial, and I’m using a roller to get the paint on, then over-brushing. But I almost always end up with at least one or two drag marks–the paint just sets up so fast. Any other tips?

    • says

      We just degloss at the very beginning. If your paint feels especially rough, here’s what I recommend…take a brown paper bag and put it over your hand and then rub it all over the trim between coats…it’s gonna smooth out any little rough spots but not remove the paint. If you have a problem with drag marks, they sell additives that you can mix in your paint call conditioners. It opens up the dry time (so it will be longer) and so if you have pets or kids, it’s kinda a pain but it does help with the stroke marks.
      xo – kb

  27. Mitsy says

    Love the update! It’s looks so clean and airy. Job well done! I am imagining the muscle and work it took to paint all that trim, not to mention the ceiling!–seriously, I have trim in my house that has remained unpainted because when I think about how much work it is, I don’t even wanna start. I was wondering what the color on the walls of the laundry room is–it looks great and compliments the stingray color well.

  28. says

    I will confess when I read the title I cringed, because I immediately thought of Steve Irwin. But then, I am an Aussie so I guess that’s why he was my instant thought.

    I would point out that to many Australians he is a much loved hero, and a bit of a ‘National Treasure’ . His death had a huge impact In this country, with his memorial service televised and people openly mourning, so in a way you have made a bit of a cultural booboo, even by accident. He’ll, I sobbed my heart out when Bindi Irwin read her obituary to her Dad, and I still get teary when I see pictures of his boy.

    However, you know what? It’s your blog. If you say it was an accident so be it. If people are so very, very distressed then they can feel free not to read anymore.

    I won’t stop reading because of it. I like ya too much! Everyone makes mistakes.

    Besides, Aussies like a bit of a larrikin….

  29. says

    I love what a difference the white trim makes! We bought a new house almost two years ago and all the walls except for one and ALL the trim AND ALL THE DOORS is builder beige! UGH. I really didn’t pay attention to it when we bought the house, but now it drives me crazy! We are in the middle of painting our nursery for our baby boy we are expecting in February and I was adamant that we paint the trim and doors in the room white. We aren’t big painters though so we tape everything. Once my hubby was done taping he said I’m crazy if I think we’ll ever paint the rest of the trim in the house! I say, “one room at a time”. I’m thinking, with you and Jer’s extensive painting expertise, you don’t have to tape when you paint trim, do you??

  30. Tracey says

    Hi Katie,
    It looks great! I was wondering where you found that awesomely cute pig rack. I’d love to find one for my daughter’s room. She loves pigs.

  31. Tracy says

    Quick question? Where were the monogramed bags from that were in the picture with the hanging hooks before you put them up?? Been looking for some cute ones are those ballard designs??
    Also, LOVE all the colors… I’m crazy about gray right now:)

  32. says

    Hi Katie,

    Can you please share what kind of anchors you used to hang the coatrack? I recently bought a heavy one for our entryway, and I remember that you’ve mentioned before that Jeremy’s really big on making sure that things are attached to the walls securely.

  33. Lindsey says

    It looks absolutely FAB! Does stingray read at all green in person? The swatch reads green to me, but my eyes don’t read swatches appropriately. I think it’s a disease.

    Any help would be so much appreciated!


    • says

      It’s definitely has green undertones. I think it all depends on the lighting…in our space it looks like a taupe with a little bit of green in it.
      xo – kb

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