Home improvement

Beloved and I had a plan. Since he would be home all summer, and since I’d be off as usual every Wednesday, we were going to make Wednesdays into “project days.” Each Wednesday, one of us would wrangle the kids while the other one dedicated most of the day to ticking things off the rather frightening and horrifically long to-do list. Everything from painting to rehanging the closet doors in the front hallway to pulling out the out-of-control lilac shrub at the side of the house to reclaiming the gardens to cleaning out the eavestroughs to reorganizing the garage. There was no shortage of things to do, and with both of us kicking around the house, no excuse not to get at least a few of them out of the way.

By the end of last week, seven Wednesdays had passed — not to mention three full weeks of vacation for me — and we had accomplished: none of it. Life just gets in the way sometimes, yanno?

Annoyed Terrified at the idea of living with it all for another year, we went on a home fix-it binge in the dwindling days of my vacation. I went off to Home Depot and bought new closet doors, crammed them into the new Mazda (dang that thing has an impressive amount of space in it!) and hauled them home all by myself. Hauled them out of the car and noted that I still had about 90 minutes of nap time left. More importantly, I had lots of energy and enthusiasm for the project. And then I realized that the doors were too short by 12 inches. Sigh. Back in the car, back to Home Depot, and I had to custom order new doors. They should come in in the next month or so. Anybody want to bet they come in and go directly to the garage, where they’ll take up space for the foreseeable future until we get around to installing them?

So the next day, with a little less time left and a little more desperation, we went back to Home Depot and bought some paint. We’ve been meaning to paint the master bedroom since we moved in. Six years ago. Beloved even tore down *most* of the ugly flowered wallpaper border a couple of *coughfourcough* years ago, leaving ugly bits of sticky brown paper around the edges of the room. It was, to say the least, overdue for some attention.

I picked a lovely soft buttery yellow colour called Chesapeake Sunset. Doesn’t the name just make your heart slow and your breathing easier? And Beloved, a former College Pro painter, spent the better part of the next two days slapping on three coats of it, along with a gleaming coat of white on all the trim. For the record? In a room with four windows and three doors, there is a *lot* of trim.

I have to say, the colour is not quite the calm, soothing sunset hue I expected. In fact, it’s not yellow so much as YELLOW! It’s the most aggressive, in-your-face yellow I’ve ever seen. As I said to Beloved after waking up in it the first morning, it’s like the sun barfed in our bedroom.

Not quite this yellow, but close!
Not quite this yellow, but close!

We still have a rather intimidating number of items on our to-do list, and no real prospects for getting them done any time soon. (See previous post re: chaos and life with three kids.) I do like my fancy new yellow bedroom, though. I even decluttered the place, so for at least the next couple of weeks until it starts building up again I have a peaceful haven from the constant reminders in every corner of the things that haven’t yet been done.

And one of these days, my eyes might even adjust to the brightness.

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

10 thoughts on “Home improvement”

  1. When I moved into a tiny little third floor apartment once, I went and chose some new paint I picked a lovely orangey-yellow for the front living room called cantaloupe that made me feel happy and energised. The second colour was a lovely rick blue for the accents in my bedroom.

    My apartment had sloping walls, the kind in rooms made out of attics. And, the rooms were small. Perfect for a single gal in her 20’s. But, with cantaloupe colouring the walls, well, the effect was a little oppressive, especially, I soon discovered, at around 4pm when the westerly setting sun shone straight into the windows the covered most of the front wall of that room. It was like the freaking centre of the sun in there!

    By contrast, my bedroom, with its white walls and rich blue trim, was cool and calm.

    Walking between the two rooms I realised something rather quickly: I’d just painted my apartment to resemble a box of Kraft Dinner! (Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for the US readers).


  2. hmmm … I have few room color mishaps in my history too … first sounds a lot like yours — the guy at the paint store i went to after my first own attempt of purchase and paint at home depot looked at it and said, oh, yes, that’s ‘wake up and scream’ yellow … I likened it to street paint yellow. nonetheless, in a small room, it had to go.
    I have since tried and failed once again with what i thought was a nice, soft, deep, soothing burgandy for a bedroom … turned out to be a bright glowing pink that too was replaced with ‘sand’ … much safer. and the burnt orange I choose for our powder room looked more like the circus than the sophisticated yet fun I had hoped for … paint is hard. next time paint a few patches to see how it dries and live with it a few days. also, the color might be great in some rooms but this also allows you to see it at all hours of the day …. sometimes same color at 50% saturation works better …. but, at least you got one thing off your list!!!

  3. You just need to embrace the yellow. People are so afraid of yellow, and they start talking about school buses and Kraft Dinner, but the thing is, school buses and Kraft Dinner are really GOOD, happy things. Much better than barf-green, let’s say.

  4. Yellow is difficult, I find. Jade’s baby bedroom also turned into a screaming yellow. I *did* want something bright, but I didn’t intend for it to be quite so loud. My second attempt in her new room with a paler shade turned out perfectly, though! You apparently just have to pick the “right” shade. Then go a couple of shades lighter. 🙂

  5. I actually have this chip, amazingly (I don’t have very many Ralph Lauren paint chips) and I LOVE it – though more in a kitchen way than a bedroom way, maybe. I think the trick is to work with it rather than trying to tone it down. Try a few orange accents on the walls and/or bedding. The contrast will suck the oranginess out of the yellow walls, plus the colour looks amazing with orange. You could probably get away with some beigey burlap colour in the fabrics as well, to provide the eye with a bit of a rest (maybe curtains or bedspread?).

  6. I demolished one of our bathrooms in February 2008. We installed a new shower in June or July 2008. We couldn’t use it though because everything was rough drywall until about a month ago. I finally put a new toilet in about a month ago too. It’s still a work in progress but at least it’s all working now.

    All this to say – don’t fret about your to do list. There’s always someone worse off than you.

  7. So many reasons to love you guys — not least of which, I will never be able to look at our yellow walls and eventually-to-be-replaced blue carpet and *not* think I’m living in a giant KD box!!! *grin*

    Bea, you have that exact chip? Too funny! Still on the home decorating kick, I see? It’s a lovely colour on the sample, and in fact is lovely on the walls — I’ve quite grown to like it. It just isn’t the colour I thought I picked. It’s definitely happy — maybe homicidally so!

  8. Those people who love to change their home decoration is might as well bored or even want a newer look to be settle with. Preparing to a home improvement must be planned in a right way,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *