Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Well, today marks another birthday for me, I decided to make another list on this birthday like I did for the last and for the year before. Again, not focused on to-do's, goals, or things that I want, this is a positive list!  But, you know I realized this whole birthday list thing is only going to get harder considering that number is only going to continue to go up, LOL!  So...

I know everyday in this life isn't perfect and I know I don't have everything figured out... but this is a list of the 29 things I am happy about and thankful for in my life as it is right now- on this birthday.

At Twenty-Nine Years Old...

1. I grew an appreciation for gray days, instead of them seeming gloomy I find comfort in them.  Gray days are a reason to relax and take some time for yourself.

2. I found my hidden roadshow talent- well maybe not a roadshow, but it was a hoot entertaining coworkers by folding up into a large basket... the photo cracks me up, I look like a cartoon rabbit being pulled out of a hat, haha!

3. I took time this year to learn more about myself and things that are tough emotionally for me. Being more open is helping me to accept some of those faults and change them.

4. We thought our house would be a "5 year" house. We are at four and a half now and I can't imagine leaving this home or our neighbors yet. Who knows what life will bring us next, all I know now is that our little nook in Homewood truly is a special place. I understand why I have neighbors that have spent the last 40 years here, I'm thankful for them and other neighbors that have been here 2, 5, or 29 years. We've all shaped the special character of Homewood.

5. I know we've said it before, but our neighbors are very cool and I'm very thankful for that!  I'm especially happy that we've grown a special friendship with our next door neighbors.  Movies, Twins games, country concerts, Christmas holidays, backyard BBQ's, beer-fueled 4th of Julys, and many "group hugs" later I'm still happy that real estate fate brought us together :) Lisa and Chris, very thankful for you!

6. My sister and I have reconnected with our step sister. I guess I should say former, but even though an ended marriage changed the title of our relationship, she is always going to feel like a sister.  I wish and will always wish the best for you Samantha. I'm proud of you and excited for you to start college and experience dorm life this fall!   

7. Each year I learn more and more about marriage.  Marriage is work like everyone says it is.  I know Alex better than anyone, I can predict what he is going to say, know how he reacts, what he wants with his food, etc.  He knows I love him and I know he loves me... but I've learned married life is sweeter when we keep trying to earn that love instead of expecting it.  Never take love for granted.

8. We're heading out on vacation again next week for Europe part II the Sequel!  Oops, I haven't mentioned that yet at all, super behind on blog stuff (perhaps because of the trip prep?) but yes, no joke we are going to Prague, Dubrovnik, Milan and Rome!  How can that not make my list?!!?

9. Related to #8,  I am so, so, so thankful to have a partner to explore the world with and I look forward to every adventure ahead in life because I will be experiencing them with you.

10. I became a farmer gardener this year!  I'm very impressed by our mad gardening skillz.

11. Although I love blogging, I am thankful I've been letting myself break my post-per-week rules a little bit this summer so I can take time to really enjoy it!  Ahhh summer!

12. Additional awesome skill learned this year- the crazy Cups things Anna Kendrick does in Pitch Perfect.  Now if only I can get the singing thing down?  I'll save that for 30 perhaps.

13. I don't really like to talk about appearance or weight, but I am very thankful that I've been able to keep off the 10 lbs I gained after we got married.  Being the right, healthy version of me feels so much better!

14. I will have another nephew very soon! Watching my sister and sister-in-law as mothers brings me a lot of happiness.  I can see all the love and joy in their hearts when they are with their little ones, and I am so thankful for that. 

15. Related to #14, I will have a new nephew to meet soon and that means Henri is going to be a big brother!  I really look forward to seeing his imagination at play with a sibling :)

16. I know I had to add this to the list (again) because I know someone will wonder given numbers #14 and #15 above- I am thankful that Alex and I are still a two-some with two pups and yes, I know I am only getting old here but this feels right for us and who knows when or if that will change.  After 7 years together and 4 years of it married, we're happy kickin' it with each other and I still want Alex all to myself :)

17. I experienced the most challenging and rewarding year of my career over the past year.  Through all the long projects, stress, and risks I ended up learning more about what I am passionate about doing.  I'm thankful for all the new challenges ahead knowing that I will continue to grow.

18. How can I forget my little Rocco and Sadie.  Honestly, they feel like a major pain in the buns sometimes, but I love them like crazy.  There's no feeling like coming home to two happy, furry, adorable kiddos that think you are their whole world and love you just that way.

19. I love this blog and thankfully I now love the way the blog looks.  Hammers and High Heels is a part of my life and I'm still very thankful to Kayd for creating a look for it that I can feel proud of and happy every time I get to share it.

20. I had my first food truck lunch experience! Not sure why I waited so long, fish tacos from a truck are real darn good even though it sounds strange.

21.  July 31st is extra special not just for my birthday but because it marks the day that my sister got to bring my niece Brynn home from the hospital.  Brynn came 6 weeks early and I know it was incredibly hard for Holly to not get to bring her home.  I will never forget when I heard one year ago that she finally got to bring her baby girl home :)

22. Homes all around us that were vacant or in poor shape are now occupied and renovated or are in process of renovation.  It's refreshing that more and more people seem to be taking a second look at North Minneapolis (NoMi) and Homewood.

23. It scares me that this is my last 20's birthday, but I know my 30's will be thoughtfully shaped by all the things I've learned and the experiences I had in my 20's.  I am ready to embrace the older wiser Carla.

24. My hubby is taking on his first half Ironman race on Sunday- 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run.  He has trained for this race for 9 months and I admire his commitment to be able to achieve his goals for this race.  Most of all though, I am so proud to be his wife and cheer him on throughout the long race.  You amaze me Alex.

25. Looking back at my 20's with only one year left until 30, I'm happy thinking of where I started and where I am now.  The memories still feel like just a year or two ago, but the 20 year old me feels worlds away from me now.

26. I thankfully kicked off my birthday today with Peanut Butter and Jelly cupcakes and the Golden Girls 1st season on DVD!  Thank you for being a friend Dean :)

27. So I'm going to admit that this birthday kinda sucks- at 9:59pm I am doing laundry and bathing the dogs all in prep for our BIG vacation.  So, despite this crap-tacular birthday I am so flipping THANKFUL that suffering through this in order to be in Prague on Tuesday, followed by Milan, Dubrovnik, and Rome.  Perhaps I'll blow out some candles somewhere then.... ahhh!

28. Well, as I finish this post up so late, Bravo reminds me that I'm thankful for Watch What Happens Live and Andy Cohen.  You create all great guilty pleasure shows that I love Andy, and your shows are often playing during all my projects and the posts I write. I'll sport a side pony any day or number of days if it means I can be a clubhouse bartender... yep, birthday wish, there ya go!

29. I know my 20's aren't over just yet, but as I gear up for 30 I only hope I discover more about my purpose, or what my life will be defined by.  It sort of scares me that I don't know but even though I'm nearing 30 (which sounds old but now that I am close it's not really anymore) I have a lot of life left to live, and many more years to define me and my life- and I am very thankful and hopeful for that!

Here's to starting 29 from where I am at right now!  Cheers!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Veggies Growing & Our New Hydrenga is Blooming!

Can you believe how fast summer is flying by?  That really slow start to spring sure didn't help- speaking of that, did anyone else wonder how that would affect their plants/landscaping?  Maybe I am a weirdo because I did, but maybe it's because I didn't see our Tulips and Peonies earlier and instead they sort of came up with everything else.  I should have known though that nature would figure itself out and it did.  Everything around here seems to be growing like crazy- including the veggies in our DIY planter boxes! 

Some of them are even ready to eat!  I'm kind of shocked Alex and I grew something edible, you know like a farmer, LOL!  I'm pretty amused by it, and I've enjoyed calling Alex "Farmer Ted" (Sixteen Candles anyone?) every time he goes out to water the garden.  Naturally I had to make a visual... 
Alex didn't get the reference and that seemed to make it more fun for me :)  I know it's weird, but it still makes me giggle!
Aside from the new garden greens & farmer Ted thing in the backyard, I'm happy to share pretty pics of our new hydrangea shrubs in the front yard!  I had wanted hydrangea shrubs since the first summer in our house and this being our fifth summer I thought it was finally time!  I have to tell you though they had a rough start and long story short, a week after planting they looked pretty dry and another week later almost dead even though I watered them five days a week. Thankfully, I was able to revive them!
I learned is that they needed TONS of water! Hydrangeas are thirsty- especially when they are newly planted!  I watered them everyday, about 2 or 3 gallons (while reviving) and then went down to 1 gallon when they started improving.  It's a crap ton of watering compared to other plants but it's been worth it to me.  Hydrangeas just seem so charming, fluffy and happy! I'm loving this pretty addition in our front yard!

So what's growing and blooming in your yard?  Any happy hydrangeas? 
Are you enjoying home grown veggies too?

I'd love to know if anyone has fun recipes that they love to use for garden veggies, let us know!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Head Over Heels DIY Friday: Brynn's 1st Birthday Ensemble!

Today's DIY is tu-tu much fun and it requires no sewing, woo-hoo!  About a month ago, my sister Holly asked if I would be able to help make a cute 1st birthday outfit for my niece that included a tutu and "1" onesie- Well duh, of course I would! I would have helped to make anything for my little niece's birthday but I was pretty pumped to make a tutu! 

Not gonna lie, I kind of want a tutu for myself for no particular reason, LOL!  But I certainly wouldn't make a tutu look as stinkin' cute as Brynn did on her 1st birthday, just look at this happy little cutie pie...
 My sister picked up the supplies, here is what you need to make the birthday onesie and tutu: - 3 yards of tulle (amount will vary depending on the size and poofy-ness of tutu)
- Elastic
- Plain onesie
- Patterned fabric (small scrap amount)
- Heat n' Bond Iron-on Adhesive
- Scissors
- Number stencil or print out to trace onto fabric

Let's start with the tutu!
Begin by cutting the tulle into 4" wide strip that measure double the length you want the tutu skirt to be.  I measured Brynn's length to be 7.0", so I cut strips that were 4.0" wide and 14.0" in length (this is because you will fold it over the elastic waist).  As you can see in the below photos, I had 6 layers of tulle stacked up so I could get all the pieces cut faster- individually would take waayyy too long for my attention span :)
I also cut the ends at an angle so the tulle skirt would have a little dimension and not be a flat-edged tutu.

Once you have all the strips cut, grab your elastic and cut it to size and just tie the ends together (you can sew if you want to, but I did a no-sew version).  Then, all you do from there is fold it in half over the elastic and tie it on!  It's so stinkin' easy!
Just know if you want a good amount of poofy-ness on the tutu you will be tying a lot of tulle onto the elastic waist- but it is totally worth it! Who doesn't need a poofy tutu?!?

Onto the "1" onesie!
Here all you do is take your patterned fabric, trace what you want to add on the onesie (for me it was "1"), cut out what you traced, and then use the Heat n' Bond iron-on adhesive to add onto the onesie.  Again, super easy and no sewing required!

My little niece looked so dang adorable in her birthday outfit!  I was bummed I couldn't be in Michigan for the party but thankfully I will be able to see her and my nephew Henri one week from today (and possibly meet my new nephew, my sister-in-law is nearing her due date)I can't wait!

Well, I'm Head Over Heels for this tutorial- How could I not be?!? 

What do you think?  Do you love Brynn's first birthday look?
Do you secretly want a tutu too?  Or am I crazy?!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Refreshed Look for the Sunroom

As promised, here is an updated look at our Sunroom now that I've added my newly refinished chairs!  Naturally, with any updated look I always have to take a look back at where we really started (peach paint, ivory carpet, and all that blah)...
... in order to see where we ended up, and I'm loving this rich, crisp, colorful new look!

It's been a long road in this space going from peach walls to gray/blue, carpet to wood floors, radiator to covered bench seat (DIY tutorial here), and then decorating with some simple/vintage muted decor.

 Perhaps my colorful chair redo shows that we are shifting with our style a bit? 
 I know the look is bolder but I'm really digging it!  Although it's crazy to me, I know we've been in our house almost five years now and I think it is starting to get an eclectic look that reflects us, who we were, and who we are now as a couple.... 
Our rooms are filled with a more unique personalized touch instead of all the Ikea product we had when we got into our home and first apartment (no offense to Ikea, we LOVE Ikea, just happy that not every chair, photo, frame, and pillow are from there anymore!).

When it came to this room, who knew that refinishing some crappy old chairs, adding cowhide, a rich colored pillow or throw, and framed photos of happy memories of us and our family members would be the perfect mix of what we needed in our old (and sometimes also *crappy old*) house to make it feel perfect... or just perfectly like us :)

Anyone else know what I mean about a home starting to reflect you and the life you've been living?  How has your home and home decor shaped up?
What do you think of our Sunroom space look since adding the new chairs?
Do you like the color or do you like it more muted?

Lots of change and summer fun updates from us coming soon! Hope you'll be back to hear!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My "Stupid" Chairs are finally done! Time for Fun Redecorating!

I can hardly believe it myself- My "Stupid" chairs are finally done!  Those icky old $20 yard sale chairs now have some style and that only took about two months (barf!).  After all the failed fabric choices, painting, repainting, and some DIY seat cushion tufting, I now have some chairs that are not only easier on the eyes but heck- I can sit my bum on them at last too! 
Navy Blue velvet cushion cover: Ikea $7.00  |  Navy blue throw: Ikea (no longer available)  | Fur Hide: SR Harris locations $15.00/lb
I finished up tufting the second seat cushion yesterday and then the fun began- I had a new set of accent chairs to play with!  I dressed them up a bit with some pretty decorative pillows, a throw blanket, and cowhide fur (new find from SR Harris, kind of strange but I liked the look, totally different than the cowhide you see at Ikea).  
I rearranged some furniture and added my newly finished chairs into the sunroom by the back entry... and that (as you might imagine) lead to another side project.  Yes, the new color, pattern, and texture got me all jazzed up to revamp the look in our sunroom

The updated chairs are just the start! I can't wait to show you how different this room is looking with some new color and decor! 

What do you think of the chairs?  Do you like the color and tufting?
What else would you do or add in a room with the chairs?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Head Over Heels DIY Friday: Staple Gun Seat Tufting

I attacked a DIY that I've never done before- tufting!  I had always been afraid to try it myself but it turned out to be easier than I thought it would be and I'm very thankful for that considering it has been the only thing that went as planned when it came to my "Stupid" Chair redo project

So, after all the failed fabric choices, painting, and repainting I made the decision to go with a dark burgundy fabric to compliment the midnight navy blue chair color.  But to give the solid color surface some interest and dimension, I knew it was time to figure out how to add some tufting.  Dun-dun- dunnnn....
When it came to DIY tufting, I had only seen folks do it by drilling a hole, sewing on a button through that hole, and a bunch of other random steps along the way which made it seem to complicated.  I wondered if it was possible to get the look just using a staple gun because let's face it, a staple gun is much more user friendly than a power drill (and requires no over-the-shoulder supervision from Alex, LOL). 

I started by marking the placement for each button/tuft that would be on the seat cushion.  In order to make sure the fabric would spread and tuck evenly outward, I marked the first tuft in the center of the cushion and measured out 6.5" from there for the other four tufts. 
Then, I used scissors to sort of carve out the foam in the marked spots.  This allows a clear path for the staple gun to staple directly into the wood surface beneath the foam. 

I added my first staple in that center position so that I could work the fabric evenly outward from there. After I got the first staple in place, I pressed my finger into the spot where the next staple would go to test out how the fabric would lay and fold out.  I did this to make sure I wasn't stapling the fabric too loose or tight.
It takes a bit of folding, pulling, adjusting, and readjusting to get the look of the fabric just right as it folds out from each tuft.  It is a bit tricky but you'll get a feel for it after you do a couple.

Once I had all the tufts in place, I pulled the fabric taut and began to staple it in place on the underside of the seat cushion (stapling into the wood).  This part also called for some more pulling and folding to keep the wrapped edge and center tufts looking clean and crisp.
After you finish stapling, you have a tufted cushion!

The last step is to then add buttons to cover the stapled tufts- and this part is the only unique challenge with the staple gun tufting method (but honestly not as bad as that whole drilling and sewing through drilled holes thing).  Since I didn't have buttons that matched the color and fabric I had chosen, I dug some out from my button bin to cover with the fabric.  I simply cut a small circle of fabric and tied the wrapped fabric to the bottom loop of the button.... 
After I had the matching buttons ready I threaded my sewing needle, pushed the foam around the stapled tuft down, and stitched the button into place.  I learned that it would have been easier to do with an upholstery needle instead of the straight needle shown in my photos because that foam will fight back when you move your needle!

With all the fabric secured underneath, my cushion was complete!  One cushion down, one to go, but here's a sneak peek of the chair color and fabric cushion combo...

I'm already Head Over Heels!  Can't wait to have two of them!

What do you think of the fabric and color choice?  Are you liking the tufting? 

Hope to work on the next cushion tonight and have some after pics of the set along with decorative pillows tomorrow!  I'm excited for this heat wave to break tomorrow, hooray!  Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pinning, Painting, & Manly-Pinning

Okay, I have some "Stupid Chairs" progress but that is only because of all the nice comments and suggestions everyone offered!  I was in a total rut and feel so thankful to all of you who reached out, so special thank you to Amber, Genevieve, C.E.R., Pine Tree Home, Charlotte, Mdegraeve,   Vanessa, Dyana, Bev, and a couple anonymous others- I really appreciated hearing your thoughts :) I think it helped turn a daunting, poopy, negative feeling project back into the fun, creative project it was intended to be!

With that, it seemed like the consensus was that I should stick with a nice solid fabric for the seat and save the cute patterned fabric idea for a decorative pillow- made total sense, why didn't I realize that?! Because honestly, it's a lot more likely that I will get tired of a pattern in a couple months and want to change it, and that is a lot easier to do on a pillow than on a seat cover.

From there I hopped on Pinterest and started pinning chair styles that I liked.  Here's a little glimpse of the favorites from my board...

Sure, they all look kind of plain but that is exactly what I needed- they all look plain!  They all look something- plain! 

I narrowed in on the look I need, the style I'm most drawn to, and that made the decision to paint the chairs (again) easy... even though I didn't want to.  Yes, I loved the color I had painted them (Rustoleum's Night Tide) but it just wasn't working.  After my Pinterest research, I felt 100% confident in my choice to paint them Rustoleum's Midnight Navy Blue.  Funny enough, the Night Tide to Midnight Navy Blue ombre I witnessed during painting was kind of strangely beautiful....
Right?  The in-between stage looked summery and pretty I guess?  Anyway, from there it went to here...

... and with the sundown, artificial light on, I am all the more happy with my color decision!  It's the right hint of dark blue color in the sun and looks pretty much black/brown when it's gone!  LOL, the rhyme makes it right!
 So, I'm feeling good about where things are at now and it's ready for fabric and finishing!  Woot! 

Lastly, kind of related/un-related but funny either way.  My hubby discovered Pinterest on Sunday and reacted like most people that start tinkering on it do- scrolling, clicking, searching- and dun, dun, dun- pinning! 

Yep, Alex asked how to "save" something and I shared how "pinning" works (create an account, name, boards, etc.).  Despite my it's so easy tutorial, Alex gave me the - it sounds too complicated, I'm zoning out- type of look and opted for his own version of "save" on Pinterest.  So what you see below is Alex's board my Pinterest page, description listed as "I'm not about to start my own page or whatever you call it.  I like a lot of cool stuff though and this is a good place to share."
So, for anyone following Hammers and High Heels on Pinterest, that's the story of how Alex's board came to be (and why that weirdness exists in my pretty board world).  I only hope nothing too strange or offensive shows up on his boards, because yes boys are just weird and gross sometimes (right? it's just a known fact kind of thing I think?).  So Alex knows I will promptly delete and let him begin his own Pinterest union if necessary.  Manly pinning- oh dear!

Until next time- Chair is To-Be-Continued awaiting my fabric application, stay tuned!

But I have to know, anyone else have a spouse/partner/friend/ family member squatting or hijacking their Pinterest page too?!?  Are you letting them keep it or make their own?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Head Over Heels DIY Friday: Window Screen Repair & Replacement

Does anyone else have a not-so-perfect looking window screen at home that is in need of repair or replacement?  I know we do but what I didn't know until yesterday was how easy it is to fix DIY style thanks to my friend/carpooler extraordinaire Dean! 

You might remember Dean from my antiquing/speeding ticket post but we've been co-workers, friends, neighbors, and uber fans of The Golden Girls and the movie Overboard for quiet sometime now.  Anyway, when I heard that he was going to replace some screens after work I said, "Tell me more Dean!" and politely begged asked if I could come over and see how it's done.  Thankfully Dean said okay and I have the DIY steps to share with you today (thanks Dean)!

The materials you need are replacement screening and vinyl retainer (size depends on your window or door) but most home improvement stores carry kits that include vinyl retainer and a handy installation tool!  Dean picked this one up for just $10.97.
In order to remove the screen frame, Dean began by taking down his storm window to access it (note, beginning steps will be different depending on the type of window or door you have the screen in).   
Once you have the framed screen out, remove the old vinyl retainer and take the old screen out.
Then lay the screen frame down with the retainer groove side faced up, place the new replacement screen over the frame with at least 1/2" of the screen extending beyond the retainer groove on all sides (Dean left more than the 1/2" recommendation and trimmed the excess with scissors afterward which also seemed to work just fine).

The next step was to add the vinyl retainer into the groove using the bevel or concave edge wheel on the installation tool.  Starting in a corner and working in one direction all the way around, Dean lightly pushed the vinyl retaining into the groove. 
He also made sure to pull the screen slightly away from the corner he was moving towards to make sure that the screen mesh would lay straight along the groove.

After the screen was installed, Dean trimmed the excess mesh around the four sides.  The, it was ready to place back into the storm window.
Not too bad right?  Maybe I am a nerd for not knowing that screen replacement would be that simple, but now that I know I want to replace the screen on our back sliding door that leads to our deck.  Sadly, Sadie seemed to forget that the screen door existed every time spring rolled around.  The first few warm days we left the sliding glass door open she would run smack into it, poor little simple Sadie! 

I'm Head Over Heels for this DIY knowing I won't have to look at that icky slider door screen anymore!  Just have to hope Sadie won't have the same trouble next spring though I guess?

How about you?
Did you know screen replacement was that easy?
Are you going to replace any window or door screens with a screen repair kit too?

PS- I've been trying to get Dean to do the Golden Girls with me for Halloween for two or three years now, wouldn't we make a killer Dorothy and Sophia?!?!  I hope this convinces him, what do you think?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Stupid Chairs

I hate getting stuck on any project, but I really hate it when I get stuck on the small ones that were supposed to be easy.  Case in point, those chairs I got a few weeks ago from a yard sale for just $20 thinking, "Oh I'll just paint them and reupholster the seats, it'll be so easy!"  Silly Carla, you were so wrong.  Yep, those stupid chairs are sitting in our sunroom, still unfinished, and I swear they are taunting me!  Its a stupid chair for poop's sake, why don't I have this done yet? All I have to do is the fabric and paint the wood, that's it! But instead of easy, this is what happened instead.....
Fabric I picked out online. FAIL.
Fabric I picked out at a Vintage Sale. Again, FAIL....
Given that the fabric search wasn't going well I thought I'd just paint the wood a color I liked and then I'd be sure to find a fabric to match the wood color!
Nope, that also turned out to be a bad idea after I spent and hour at SR Harris wrestling through their MEGA warehouse of fabric only to rush as they were closing and quickly grabbed two moderately priced patterns that might work and took them home to show Alex.  As I pulled them out of the bag, I quickly realized the mistake I had made before he had to say "That one looks like grandma print and that one looks like a bunch of sparkly pot leaves." EPIC FAIL.
What was I thinking? I mean seriously? The toile isn't terrible but yea, that leaf is bad, so so bad!  I thought it was kind of like the Palm Leaf print trend I've been seeing but NO, not at all! Now I can't decide which part is worse, the fact that I've wasted close to $70 on fabric or that I may have to sand and repaint the chairs a different color.  Money or manual labor? Hmmm, still both equally bad :(

Either way, I'm just bummed and annoyed at this point.  I wish I was sharing finished pics instead of complaining but I guess that is just the truth- not every project (big or small) goes smoothly or the way you plan sometimes and I shouldn't let it bug me so much... even though it still does, I'm trying to let it go though!

So now it's time to take one last stab and finishing these chairs up.... and if things don't pan out I'm just going to set them on fire in a fit of anger.  Whoops, did I say that out loud?!  I don't think I'd go that far, but I kind of feel like it right now, ha!  I'm thinking I might just have to give up on the colorful idea and go back to a simpler look because that is honestly more my style and I should just go with it!

I'd love any ideas/suggestions!  Really, someone just tell me what to do! 
Do I leave the paint color?  If so, what fabric color or print should I add?
Should I paint the wood a different color?  Then what color or print should I use for the cushion?