Tuesday, March 20, 2012

slow transition - a living room story, pt. 1

Anyone who works full-time and endeavors to do nearly all home repairs and updates themselves knows that even the smallest, simplest of projects can move agonizingly slow. Add a house with a history novice, DIY homeowners having their hand at said updates, and now a current owner who is busy lawyer, and who, in a former life, was a wildly talented, but anal retentive, perfectionist house painter (talking about Evan here - I have no such talents) - and you quickly come to appreciate just how agonizingly slow it can be.

Living room furniture shoved like a Tetris game into the dining room. Do you spot the two boston terriers? They will not be deterred from napping in their favorite chairs.

But in the end, its always worth the wait both financially and aesthetically. Evan really does do great work. 

The current project underway is the living room - Hallelujah! New visitors to the house always compliment us on its charm - the loads of windows, beveled glass and built-ins galore, which I gladly accept ... 

dust everywhere from Evan sanding off the faux popcorn finish on the ceiling 
- yes, there is such a miserable thing.

... But then comes the obligatory polite compliment on the wall color. The wall color which I have come to absolutely loathe over the past two years, which was chosen two owners / at least 8 years ago. I usually try to preempt this by interjecting defensively, "All of the paint colors you see downstairs are not us - we just haven't been able to repaint them yet!" 

Thankfully those days are numbered!

sun room sealed off

Walls patched, waiting for primer. A nice view of the dark red, cream and black 
color scheme... did I mention I loathe it? 

And then, VOILA! Red walls no more! Its kind of pathetic how giddy just a coat or two of primer on the walls has left me. Evan could walk away from this whole project right now, and never touch a paint brush again and it would be a vast improvement in my book. Despite all the windows in this room, it felt like the red walls just sucked every ounce of natural light out, which was especially hard to cope with through the long dreary winter. (A friend of mine recently called this shade of red "yuppie crack den." Wonder if Benjamin Moore still carries it.)

And no, I dont karate chop my cushions. My dogs just happen to love sleeping in the middle of the back cushion (see first photo, above), leaving this unfortunate indent.

My only job in this whole process is to pick out the paint colors. Sounds like a fun, simple task, right? Hah! Leave it to me to turn even the most superficial, non-urgent, far from life-threatening decision into an ordeal to lose sleep and hours of productivity over. I want a very light neutral, that will still have enough contrast with white trim to show off the built ins. I thought this would be fairly simple to choose. 

Of all these options, I narrowed it to four, all Benjamin Moore colors: Ashwood, Overcast, French Canvas and Halo. Evan painted swatches on three different walls, and while I thought they were all lovely, I found them all too dark. 

So the search continues ... as will this saga. 

I know you'll be on the edge of your seat, waiting for more.

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