Mixing Black, Walnut and Medium Wood Tones in an Open Floor Plan

Our home on Mossy Park was a larger home that what we have now. The dining room was separate from the kitchen and living room. The floors and kitchen cabinets were an espresso color. Naturally, I choose walnut to mix with the espresso. This combination worked beautifully in the house.

The Osprey Bend home is 400 square feet smaller than Mossy Park. The living room, dining room, and kitchen are one space. All the flooring in this space is a woodgrain ceramic tile that is lighter than walnut yet darker than oak. The official color is “nutmeg.”

When it comes to mixing wood tones, there are some rules to follow:

  1. Pick the dominant color.
  2. Match the undertones of dominant color.
  3. Decide on two- three wood colors that march the dominant color and then repeat them a couple of items throughout the space.
  4. Contrast is key.

For me, the dominant wood color is the “nutmeg” tile running throughout the main space. It is a dark brown color with a mixture of espresso, bark, and maple. My Post

Looking at the current wood tones in the space, the kitchen is primarily white with a light grey, black barstools, and walnut accents. The dining room is all walnut. The living room is white with black and walnut.

The issue I feel I have is there is too much walnut in the house.

Image result for walnut wood color

Don’t get me wrong. I love mid-century. Love warmth. Love walnut. A little bit of walnut is okay.  After all, following the rules of mixing woods, I am technically okay.

Main color: Nutmeg. Accent colors: Black, walnut and maple.

Walnut is dominating half the house. Before I purchased the new coffee table, two of the three pieces of furniture in the living room were walnut. The dining room is a walnut table and chairs. The kitchen was literally a walnut frame and a shelf. The space feels completely unbalanced.

The solution I came up with is to purchase a marble coffee table and black dining room chairs and set a white planter on the dining room table. This way, walnut and black are represented in all three areas. White, which is the balancing color between the three wood tones, would also be represented in all areas. I also plan to incorporate a little bit of maple to bring out the lighter color in the tile.

Artboard 1

Fingers crossed: the coffee table is supposed to arrive tomorrow. I can then decide on pillows, rug and dining room chairs. I also need to switch out the lamp and items on the credenza. Hopefully, by March I can have this all done.

CB2 Small Marble Coffee Table- I


During Black Friday sales, Andy and I finally agreed upon a coffee table and purchased it using cash back from our American Express Blue Card. So technically, American Express bought me this Marble Coffee Table from CB2.

The coffee table arrives next week and I am excited. In preparation, I have been working on “adjusting” the living room. Messing around with pillow options, curtains, and of course tossing and turning about switching out our credenza or the rug.

Here is a recent photo of the living room and other options I am considering. I hate the idea of spending money on a new rug but I also hate a visually awkward room. If anyone reading this has feedback, I’d love to hear it.

Living Room

Charcoal sectional with a red Persian rug.

I can either keep the credenza and the rug. Or I can make some switches. Including a new rug and a new credenza or just one or the other.

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Black Ceiling

My PostLast month, after much debate, I painted the ceiling in our entry hallway black. I am super pleased with the results.

Ceilings are just another wall. An often-neglected wall that sometimes needs serious attention. The black ceiling works because the walls are tall and the area is confined. In other words, this ceiling does not spill into another room. There is also plenty of light coming from the front door and the French doors that lead to the study.


Paint Choice

The color I used was a spur of the moment choice. We were at Home Depot gathering supplies for another project that did not work out and within 5 minutes, we decided on the paint color, Behr Broadway.

I opted for Behr Marquee because it was advertised to cover in just one coat. The paint did not disappoint considering the amount of texture on my ceiling and the base color was white.

It’s an incredibly thick paint. The instructions state you should load up your roller with it, and not spread too thin. Of course, since I was painting a ceiling, I did not want a lot of paint dripping down so I erred on the side of caution and spread it thin initially. The paint did not perform. However, when I followed the instructions, I was incredibly surprised at the amount of coverage and the little amount of splatter from rolling. I also did not have any dripping from the ceiling. It dried in about an hour and the fumes were minimal to me. I highly recommend Behr Marquee paint.


Recessed Lamp Conversion

We also switched from a recessed light to a hanging pendant using the Westinghouse Recessed Light Conversion Kit from Home Depot. The kit, for the most part, for incredibly easy to use except for when it came to using the self -screwing screws. For them to work, you will need an impact driver. You will need to make some sort of pilot whole or use a 1/4″ hexagon driver or else you will battle the kit to sink the screws into the can.



The hallway is long but narrow. It’s around 10’x4’. So, a fixture of 14” in width was ideal. We decided on the Quorum International 15″ Meridian Globe Pendant in Aged Brass. The instructions that come with the lamp are complete garbage, but I figured it out and installed it on the conversion kit. It’s not overpowering and the shortest rod was the perfect length.

Product Links


Rug (vintage)

Recessed Conversion Kit

Tassel (similar diy project)

Easy Way to Hide TV Wires

Looking for a quick and easy way to hide TV wires for your wall mounted flat screen? Look no further than this amazing product offered at Home Depot: the Commercial Electric Flat Panel TV Cable Organizer Kit.

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It’s against electrical codes to run a TV power cord (or any electronic power cord) through the wall. The Commercial Electric product offers a solution that is quick and easy for people who want to mount their TV, but does not have the electrical components installed in the right area. i.e. where the TV would be mounted. All you need to clean up your TV cords are:
Commercial Electric Flat Panel TV Cable Organizer Kit
a drywall saw
stud finder
-tape measure
-painters tape

Prep work

-Mark the studs on your wall using your stud finder. Also, verify there is no plumbing running behind the drywall in the area as well. (We learned the hard way.)

-Double check and make sure your HDMI cords have enough length to attach to the TV, run through the wall, and to the corresponding device. You might need longer cords.

-The Commercial Electric kit comes with a template for the pass-through plates. Use your scissors and cut this template out.

-Use blue painters tape to make a loop to attach to the back of the template to place on the wall.

-For consistency, use a tape measure to determine the distance from the floor to the bottom of other electrical plates. You will also want to make sure the extension cord on the bottom pass-through plate will be able to plug into an electrical outlet.


Once you have determined studs, plumbing, and the correct placement for the two pass-through plates, it’s as simple as tracing the template with a pencil and cutting with the drywall saw. Just follow the instructions that come with the kit. They are easy to understand and will help you navigate plate placement as well as feeding your cords through the wall.

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I’d like to mention that the two plates are relatively large compared to regular wall plates. The top plate cut-out ended up being a 4″x6″ hole, the bottom plate 4″x4″.

After you have installed the plates according to the instructions, hang up your TV, plug in your devices, and enjoy a wireless viewing experience.

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So there you have it. A quick, easy, and UL approved way to hide TV wires in your home.

Thoughts & tips

The project is easier with two people for cording feeding purposes and hoisting the TV back on the wall. However, one person should be able to complete the installation of the Commercial Electric system.

Double measure and double check to make sure your top pass-through plate will be covered by the TV and that there is not a stud or plumbing in the way.

Have a vacuum nearby, cutting the drywall makes a ton of drywall dust.

Most HDMI cables that come with your equipment are 6′ long. We needed a 10′ cord to run from our TV, through the wall, to the Apple TV. So, measure for that.


Backyard Plans

Due to the tight constraints of our HOA, any time you want to do something to the exterior of your house, you must submit a form and documents to the design committee. So, last week I began working on rendering what I have planned for our backyard.

Daytime Render
Night time Render
Plans include:

-Adding a horizontal cedar privacy screen at the corner of the patio. Not only to give us some much-needed privacy (everyone has scalloped fences) but to also block out the evening sun.
-Moving 6 plants from my front garden to a new bed in front of the cedar screen. This will help deter the dogs from peeing on the screen.
-Using Blackstar gravel and rectangle pavers to make a pathway from the patio to the fence gate.
-Adding a bed of native plants between the pathway and the house.
-Landscape lighting along the path.
-A pathway using Blackstar gravel and rectangle pavers from another side of the patio to the other gate.
-Creating a bed of native grasses, salvia, and sages between the second path and house.
-And panting the backdoor the same color as the garage door. Eventually, we hope to paint the horizontal trim and gutters this color too. On thing at a time.

I hope to begin working on this project this month or next- pending approval from the design committee. The privacy screen will be first. The hardscaping, yard work, and lighting will have to wait until the Fall or maybe even spring- it just depends on the plants.

The Plants

I’ve chosen a couple of really great native plants to go in the new beds. They all love Texas clay soil and tolerate shade. I already purchased the seeds and now I just need to start my seedlings.

Native Grass- Inland Sea Oaks



Perennials- Scarlet Sage and Lyreleaf Sage1571020768_f830551d58_bSalvia_lyrata_-_Lyreleaf_Sage_2

Ground Cover/ Border- Winecups (hopefully there is space.)