Category Archives: color

A New Baby

I have an announcement to make!

Um, no. Not that kind of announcement.

THIS kind of announcement:

FrannyandFranky Etsy shop!


I’ve opened my own shop!

Because I don’t have enough to do in my spare time. You know, taking care of an 8-month-old boy, working full time, writing a book, and trying to spend time with my husband just leaves SO MUCH empty time for me to run a graphic design shop.

But I’m having the best time.

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. Back at my last job, when I was going through the darkest, “I hate this place” times, I talked to a friend of a friend about taking action and creating my own destiny. She asked me what, if time and money and everything else was not a factor, I would want to do. I toyed around with graphic design and started taking some online tutorials, but then ultimately decided on interior design.

You know, because looking at pretty blog pictures and rearranging my living room meant I should run my own interior design business.

So I went to night school, part time, while working at a horrible job. And after a year, I got a different job (my current job, which I’m totally not leaving anytime soon) and I took a semester off and I realized, hey, I don’t want to be an interior designer, I just don’t want to do what I was doing at my last job anymore.

The good thing about that year in school, though, despite the additional student loan debt that it racked up, was that it got me through the worst times at my previous job.

The other good thing is it showed me that I have more talents. More passions. And that if I want to do something, I should do it.

I’ve always wanted to write a book. I’ve always wanted to get into graphic design. And you’d think having a baby would totally tank all those dreams. But instead, it’s somehow motivated me. Maybe I want to be a good example for my son. Maybe I need an identity aside from “mother.” Maybe he’s just inspiring me to create. Whatever it is, it’s a blast.

SO. What am I doing in this little shop of mine?

State heart maps

State map heart prints…

City map heart prints

City map heart prints…

State typography, slogan, and motto art prints

State typography art prints…

Wedding guest book alternative heart map from Franny & Franky Designs on Etsy

Custom wedding date and wedding guest book alternative art prints…

Typography art print from Franny & Franky Designs on Etsy

Typography prints.

Plus, I’m doing custom orders for specific cities, color combinations, and special holiday orders.

A few special deals:

  • If you like Franny & Franky Designs on Facebook and click on “My Etsy Shop” below the cover photo, you can purchase any of our prints from that portal and receive a 10% discount.
  • We also have several “print package” deals on our custom orders page — 2 prints for $25, 3 prints for $40, or 4 prints for $50.

So… what have you been up to?


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Friday Five: Randoms on a Hot October Day

Seriously, does it seem like it should ever be 83 degrees on October 12? Florida makes me want to stab my eyes out and make ice cubes out of them.

But onto more inspiring things.

1. This list of the 100 books every English-speaking child should know

Termed the “kindergarten canon,” this list by Michael Petrelli, executive VP of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, created a list of books that must be known to every English-speaking child. Without it, they would miss myriad cultural references. I have to admit, I haven’t even heard of many of these! I must really be missing out. But since it’s important for Mister Mister and I to build up Bean’s library, since we’re both avid readers and have been since we were wee ones, this is a very good list to keep in mind.

2. This wallpaper

From Mr. Perswall’s “Expressions” collection of wallpaper, this drippy abstract print would be so stunning on an accent wall in a library, dining room, studio, bathroom… OK, really any room.

Image via Apartment Therapy

3. This sexy navy blue dining room

This is dead sexy. I may have a bit of an overdone crush on navy blue right now — seeing as how our master bedroom and reading room both boast dark blue walls and our nursery is using navy and white for an entire color scheme — but this is just so sophisticated, and the nailhead trim on the chairs and the wall is just… ugh. Love.

Image from Nuevo Estilo via Eclechic

4. These Restoration Hardware mirrors

Shut up. Just, shut up right now. These trompe l’oeil birdcage mirrors are a whopping $199 (for the small one) or $219 (for the bigger one), but are just amazing. They’re featured in Restoration Hardware’s Baby & Child collection, but I could see them anywhere, not just in a nursery or kid’s room.

5. This floor-to-ceiling gallery wall

Just a stunning a personal way to dress up those odd strips of vertical wall space in your house that typically house nothing but an odd arrangement of thermostat, light switch, and outlets. I love how they used different frames in all the same color and a consistent palette for best results. I would love to try something like this in our house, but I fear we might have too many gallery walls as it is. Is there such a thing?

So how hot is it where you are? Don’t even bother to respond if it’s cooler than 75 degrees.

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Post-Painters: Or How You Can Tell We Painted 2 Rooms Ourselves Before Caving and Hiring Painters

The living room wasn’t too bad, with three of us. Despite the size and amount of wall to cover, it took us about five hours and two gallons of paint to transform the room from bleh to blazaam.

Our bedroom was a different story. After witnessing Abalone paint being slopped over our not-Abalone trim and ceiling — and still not having touched it up over two months later — I unleashed my inner control freak and decided I’d paint the bedroom mySELF, thankyouverymuch.

Ten hours and much bodily stress later, it occurred to me that perhaps my pregnant self should not be sweating and contorting and breathing in paint fumes, despite how low-VOC they may be. So I swallowed my pride — and some of our savings — and hired a painter.

And then two of them painted three rooms in 6 hours, while the other painted our family room a dark, dark blue — including a huge stairway wall — in five.

I almost asked them to redo the master bedroom and living room/dining room/hallway, so that the whole house would look awesome, instead of just the parts they did.

Wanna see?

The bathroom — before

The bathroom — after

For the bathroom, we chose Benjamin Moore’s Gibraltar Cliffs, a greenish-gray that I was afraid would be too green but ended up being perfect. I wanted to keep the gray family going from the other rooms while bringing in some of the kitchen’s green — a room we decided not to repaint.

The office — before

The office — after

We used Benjamin Moore’s Eclipse in the office, a dark blue-gray that complements the furniture in the room and flows really nicely into the lighter gray hallway.

The nursery: before

The nursery: after

For the nursery, we went with BM’s Covington Gray (which is not in their online color catalog for some reason, but I swear exists). It’s a slightly darker gray than the Abalone in the hallway. And since we’re doing a baseball-themed nursery with a Yankees color theme, gray walls are perfect to represent their road uniforms and as a backdrop for the navy and white throughout.

The master bedroom: before

The master bedroom: after

OK, the paint job isn’t exactly professional, but I’m still so proud of the color in here. We decided on BM’s Marine Blue, a deeper color for a more intimate room. Plus, it echoes the anything-but-gray Gentleman’s Gray in the family room — which I’d love to show you, but since half the lights in our house are still out and that room has not much natural light, it’s a tad… dark right now.

The No.2 to-do on my house-related pre-baby list was getting the rest of the rooms painted (right behind actually getting the nursery set up) — and we’ve now managed to pull it off a full four-and-a-half months before little bebe’s arrival, thanks to some well-timed outsourcing that was well worth the money.

From Bleh to Bam: The New Living Room Paint Color

Two rollers, two paint brushes, three amateur painters, two gallons of Benjamin Moore Aura paint and 5 hours later, we have a new living room paint color: Abalone.

Did we do a perfect job? Totally not. I wanted to repaint our trim anyway (or, more likely, HAVE it repainted — I don’t know if I want to tackle that DIY-style), but there’s pretty much Abalone paint everywhere — trim, ceiling, even parts of our floor. But with some minor touch-ups, you won’t even know a total pro didn’t have at this room.

The walls still have a lot of imperfections, but that Aura paint is a DREAM. It went on great and dried quickly and covered amazingly well in just two coats. I’d read you have to be careful rolling back over areas because it will peel, but we didn’t experience that issue — probably because it was still wet enough, but still.

For comparison’s sake, here’a a “before” shot of the living room (and the color that is throughout the rest of the house, with the exception of the kitchen and master bath).

And, after.



With new paint in at least one room, that meant we could start marking up the walls and hanging some art. Once I unpacked everything, I realized that we really didn’t have enough to cover all the new wall space at our bigger house. So I took a trip to my Pinterest Art board, and noticed I’d pinned an awesome abstract painting by Florida artist Erin Ashley. The price was a little high for our budget, but when I looked through her Etsy store, erinashleyart, I found a piece I loved — in her sale section! Two short days later, I had our first-ever original painting hanging in the living room. Ladies and gentlemen, “Road Work.”

I love the colors and the texture — and even Mister Mister loves it.

 I also took advantage of the occasion and finally framed and hung a map we bought in St. Thomas during our honeymoon cruise.

Next, I’ll be tackling the bedroom paint color — but I’ve promised I’ll take one room per month, rather than trying to do all of them in one weekend.

Color My World… Or Maybe Just My House

Once we chose Marine Blue for our bedroom walls, the rest of the interior paint selections were easy-peasy. I’d already committed to Silver Fox for the living room/dining room/hallway, which this Aprtment Therapy article claims is the perfect gray. I love gray, but didn’t know how to choose one that would work with the predominantly brown furnishings throughout those rooms. Enter greige.


And for the reading room/family room, I wanted to take things darker, with the white bookcase and all that nice white trim. Also, when I was painting our navy-and-white dresser in this room, I noted how well that deep blue went with our new rug from IKEA. So I chose a dark blue gray navy color called Gentleman’s Gray (even though it seems kinda far from gray). I think it’ll make things all nice and moody in here and contrast well with some of the white-framed art I’m planning for the room.


Next, we have the master bath. This one was a toughie. I tried taupes, greiges, beiges, tans, browns, blues, greens, corals… I was stymied by a few things: 1. I love our shower curtain and really don’t want to ditch it, so I needed something that would help it pop and 2. The dark and light wood tones in the bathroom were making it tough to match to most of what I was picking out. I originally committed to Weimeraner after seeing a sample on the BM Personal Color Viewer, but a few days of a swatch on the wall illustrated how purple-y it is. Which is not the effect I’m going to at all.

So, I tested and tested and tried a million more colors, and I think we have a winner: Gibraltar Cliffs. It’s nice and muted so it lets the curtain pop and doesn’t compete with the wood and other browns, but it’s got more personality than the existing contractors beige.


Finally, for our office, I was thinking of pulling the master bedroom runner-up, Newburg Green, in there. But then I ran some Photoshop experiments and found that in most light, it was going to look weird with the navy dresser we made over specifically for that room. The colors just read too similarly and the dresser would sorta disappear into the walls, I feared. So I ran a few of Benjamin Moore’s favorite grays onto the wall, and came up with another winner: Eclipse.


Now, here’s why the bathroom and office were especially tough: I’m trying to stick to a consistent color palette for the house, and with greige and blues already chosen for three major rooms, I needed to stay in that family. Also, I’m leaving the kitchen/one dining room wall as is. I’m not sure of the color, but it seems like the closest match to Benjamin Moore’s Agave. With it being such a bright color (comparatively speaking), I wanted to help it shine. So we ended up with this moody, beachy, subtle thing that I’m really kinda digging. I call it “Stormy Beach.”

To make sure I liked all the colors together, I made this handy-dandy palette. I even grouped together the rooms that I knew would flow into one another, so I could see that the reading room, kitchen, and living room colors would look good stacked together, etc. Because I’m a total nerd like that.


I also like that the colors are subdued enough that we can add a lot of color in accessories without having too much compete. I feel like all of these colors will go well with oranges, greens, reds, yellows, dark browns, metals, and more, which really leaves the accessorizing wide open. To walk myself through how the palette would work with some of our existing components that I wasn’t willing to paint/trade out/get rid of, I added them to the palette.

So there you see the bedding and the color of one of the bedroom dressers (the one I’m not willing to paint over because I love the color I chose for it a couple of years ago so damn much); our living room sofa color and a swatch of that rug; the redone dresser going in the office; the shower curtain; and the new rug for the reading room. Our house gets a lot of natural light, and there’s lots of white trim and white accessories (bookcase, eventual dining room chairs, eventual bed, blinds and bedroom shades) that will keep things from looking too heavy.

So what do you think? Does this work together as well as I think it does? Too oppressive? Just right?

The Bedroom Paint Color Verdict

After narrowing down our paint color options for the bedroom, I got a bunch of samples from the hardware store and set about painting random swatches all over the place. Mister Mister complained (since there are now also swatches in the living room, family room, and bathroom), but he had to hush up. I told him it was the only way to go. I’m glad we did, because even though Benjamin Moore has a great Color Viewer online, I’ve found that its hues and saturation are less-than-precise. It is, after all, something you’re viewing on a computer screen.

Swatches, top from left to right: Galapagos Turqouise, Marine Blue, Newburg Green. Bottom: Pacific Sea Teal. Paint chips, from left to right: Dragon’s Breath, Teal. 

I was almost positive we were going to go with the Newburg Green. Imagine my surprise when we ended up falling for a completely different color.

Marine Blue was the winner  by and far. At first, it went on awfully bright, but then it dried to this nice deep … well, marine blue color. Even John loved it. Most of the time we spend in that room, is in incandescent lighting, and it’s even deeper in that environment. These pictures were taken in the early morning sunlight filtered through white roman shades.

The Newburg Green was just a bit too gray, what with the other gray in the room.

Though I do think it has a future in our office. You’ll see with our color choices that I’m trying to keep the house’s palette to a blue-green-gray kinda thing.

What do you think — is Marine Blue the right choice? Or will we really regret it when it’s slathered all over our walls? Will we feel like fish in an aquarium — and not in a good way?

Kind of Blue Bedrooms

Everybody — meaning Mister Mister and my pops — thinks I’m crazy for wanting to paint the interior of our house. But my reasoning goes like so:

1. Every room is this weird decorators beige that drives me nuts

2. The remodelers did a supremely crappy job at painting and I can’t stand looking at their one-coat wonder and awful edging jobs any longer

I promised Mister Mister I would start out slow, but, pssh. Kind of impossible. But for kicks, I’ll try to at least post one room at a time.

For the bedroom, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect, exotic, deep blue green cocoon color available. It’s tough — so many are too purply, too green, too navy, too dusty, too gray, too bright. But I think I’ve landed on a handful of options. I’m partial to Benjamin Moore’s quality and color selection, but first thing’s first: Taping up the paint chips, living with them for a few days until it’s narrowed down, and painting some small swatches with sample paint. Oh — and asking Mister Mister for his opinion.

First, we have the existing parameters to work with: Gray bedding, gray area rug, white roman shades and trim, dark wood floors, a green dresser that no way am I repainting because I love her, a maple dresser that I could paint or stain, and a turquoise night stand that, while I love, I could totally repaint.

So first, in the Benjamin Moore camp, we have:

Benjamin Moore North Sea Green 2053-30 (from Adore magazine via decorpad)

I love the way this reads as the perfect combo of blue/gray/green

Benjamin Moore Marine Blue 2059-10 (via Restyling Home by Kelly)

It reads kinda navy-ish on the BM site, but here it just looks rich and supple. Only the slightest hint of green and would help the existing furniture pop.

Benjamin Moore Newburg Green HC-158 (from West Elm via Apartment Therapy)

I really think this might be The One, even without slapping it up on the wall. Almost every room I’ve saved over the past year, that I’ve really, really been drawn to, has apparently had Newburg Green on the walls. Sometimes blue, sometimes green, sometimes gray. Perfect mixes of each and it looks so good with pretty much everything.

Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor CSP-720 (Design Crisis)

This is lovely, as well — less greenish than the other options, but very rich.

There are a few Ralph Lauren colors that have also drawn me in, but I don’t know much about their paint.

Ralph Lauren Reflecting Pool RLVM271 (Russet Street Reno)

Ralph Lauren Canyon Blue RLVM281 (Fashion Personal Notes)

This is slightly duskier and more blue-gray than the other options.

Ralph Lauren Harbour RLTH229 (via Ralph Lauren)

I”ll admit that I’m not sure that Harbour is the color in the above photo, but I’m fairly certain it is. Anybody more certain than me?

And finally, a Sherwin Williams paint — just because.

Sherwin Williams Bosporus SW6503 (Design with Chon)

Growing up, I thought the single best representation of how boring adults are, was my parents repainting their bedroom. They were painting it white, and had a million samples that looked identical. The finish was important to them, too — matte? Eggshell? 

Now, I’m that adult. Every blue looks the same — BUT IT’S NOT.

My, how things change.