I took a much needed 'girls day out' a few weeks ago with some friends.
I've had such a busy season that I jumped at the chance when Linda suggested we take the train south to Solana Beach for some fun.  That's Southern California coast to those of you who dwell in other parts!

It had been ages since I'd been on the train.  Not since my son was a pre-schooler and we decided it would be fun to take Amtrak down to San Diego and go to the zoo.  Which, by the way, was fun.

Back then it was the old silver and red single level train.  It is no longer red and has graduated to a double decker.   Now you can sit on the upper story and have ocean views all the way.

The train was very pleasant!  The hour long ride 'flew' by.

I didn't realize the town of Solana Beach was so small.  In fact I'm pretty sure I had it confused with Carlsbad... but we did find a little shopping area on Cedros Street and found an adorable store there called Ta Dah!.

They were kind enough to let me take some photos to share with you - be sure to visit them whenever you are in the area.  They have lots of lovely treasures - like the corbel wall lamps below - so cool, right?

So many cute things! And fun, creative displays.  Kristy has found something, too!

I loved the eclectic mix of old and new
 I brought home a starfish topped bottle for my collection and the most amazing smelling candle....

After shopping, we had lunch at Claire's on Cedros.  Honestly, the food was so good - another must if you are in the area!

So, I'm apologizing again for being too busy to get to reader questions in a timely fashion.  I'm really, really behind. I've been busy!  Not complaining, mind you.

So today is catch up day and I'm devoting this entire post (another thing I haven't been keeping up on) to answering questions from my valued readers!!

First - a question from Lynn:

Hello to you! I have been reading some of your posts and thought I would ask your suggestion for a paint color. I am wanting to update our small bathroom and am undecided on which approach I am needing. While I am wanting an updated color choice, I am also looking to create a spacious appearance. The major holdback for me is the fixed element in the room, being ceramic wall tile. Since it would be cost prohibitive to remove it, I have opted for the alternative for the time being. The border outline trim of the tile is probably a muted warm brown (think of cinnamon w/o the orange cast).

The field tile is a light creamy "butter" color, with specks of the brown color throughout. It is not a full fledged yellow, but more of a soft buttery cream color. I will be painting the wall surface above the tile,
as well as the vanity in the room. There is only one very small window for the room, and it lends very 
minimal light to the room, faces northwest direction.  Would I need a darker color, or should I be 
focusing on a basic light color choice? Will the vanity need to be painted the same color as the new 
color going on the wall or a color of its own ? I've been tempted to try something in the brown-grey 
category as you describe in your post about How to Pick the Perfect Wall Color. The only things that 
will be painted are the vanity and walls..possibly the two doors...and for now the floor will remain. I plan
on using a rug to camouflage it for now. The light bar will be replaced, and the window valance has 
already been removed. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated...many thanks! Lynn

Ah...the outdated bathroom dilemma.  Lucky you!  Lol!
Two possibilities come to mind.  A gray, or greige, as you mentioned - however, with the warm tone of 
the tile, you may need to go more gray.  A cooler contrast will probably look better.  In fact the second possiblity was a gray with a blue-ish undertone - I think that will play nicely against the cinnamon.
Have a look at these color combinations and see if you like that look.
 Sherwin Williams PEACOCK PLUME may be a little dark...so try something softer, like RAINWASHED or SEA SALT.
 Try Behr PRELUDE for this look.
Benjamin Moore SMOKE or PALE SMOKE

These are a couple of suggestions - but again - you will have to be the best judge as you see the 
samples of the colors in the actual room.   Good Luck!

Hi. I was online looking for help with paint colors last night and ran into some of your work. We had a room addition put on our house and I don't know where to begin. .. we have honey oak hard wood in our existing kitchen so we will continue it through out our new room with a large area rug.  Our furniture is dark brown leather sectional with oak trim around the windows. We will be ready to paint in two weeks,  there is also a small living room on the other side of the kitchen!  Excuse the mess. Thanks so much, frances 

Hi Frances..... Will you be applying a backsplash in the kitchen, or are you painting this area? I'm looking at colors that are neutral to combine the two rooms and that will not darken this space further.  Here are two colors that go very well with grays (counter top), and the pine and oak woods you have in the home.

Sherwin Williams:  ACCESSIBLE BEIGE 

Elite Staging and Redesign

Sherwin Williams:  WORLDLY GRAY


Worldly Gray is one of my favorite, calm soothing colors - easy on the eye and has a warm beige undertone.  Accessible Beige is a cool beige color that goes with everything.  Both are neutral wall colors, so you can bring in any color in cushions, fabrics, and accessories that you desire and it will look great.  In addition, I would paint the oak trim white.  It needs to be a background, not a feature and oak has a way of jumping into the forefront.

Good luck!
(I did hear back from Frances that she was going to use a subway tile backsplash in her kitchen... sounds great!)SaveSave

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