Monday, June 29, 2009

The Blue Period

We are beginning to emerge from our blue period.

I'm talking paint, of course. My husband and I bought our house nine years ago, and began painting walls eight and a half years ago. We weren't fixing the previous owner's mistakes-our house was brand new.

Brand new translates to "coated in a single, thin, coat of the cheapest flat off-white paint that the builder could find". I think it took only a few months for one of the walls in the kitchen to bet marked up-by my usband's roller hockey gear-and for us to try to clean it. Big mistake. Builders' grade paint is not scrubbable.

The first room in our house we painted was our kitchen/breakfast room/living room (open floor plans means a lack of stopping points). We had spent five years living in apartments with beige walls and beige carpeting, and we were itching for color.

I first went to the hardware store and chose a lovely soft peach. I came home, painted a splotch on the wall to see how I liked it (following the advice of the many home improvement shows that I was addicted to watching at the time), and was horrified. In the abundant natural light, my light soft peach looked like dayglow pink. We now have a lovely pink laundry room.

Paint color #2 was a pale blue that matched some of the tones in our laminate countertops. It gave us that much-needed color without being overpowering, and without looking neon in daylight. And it was lovely against our beige carpeting, white roman shades, and taupe-and-maroon slip-covered couches. We went on to paint our 4th bedroom/home office a denim blue, one long wall of our finished basement a deep navy blue, and Trystan's bedroom in a cloud-like glazed light blue. We were in the blue period.

Fast forward eight years. We upgraded our living room furniture several years back to a set that includes more olive and khaki tones, added purple drapes (that looks much nicer than it sounds in print), and have recently swapped our pale beige carpet and light-colored kitchen vinyl
for dark walnut laminate floors. We still haven't re-installed the baseboards from our floor project (we did buy them...they're sitting in our garage), and the same kitchen wall that once bore a long black hockey-bag mark now has a long red mark from some kid-sized chairs. We have new trimwork around the new French door to paint, and multiple holes in the wall to patch from removing the old sliding-door drapes. And that lovely cool blue no longer compliments
our furnishings.

Its time to paint again. This is the first time we will have re-painted a wall in our house. This time, we (well, I, with a slightly dubious assent from my husband) chose two colors. Most of the two rooms will be a khaki-like color labeled "warm buff", with an accent wall of a beigy-brown-with-barely-reddish-undertones called "wool coat" in the kitchen. After the kids went to bed last night, we painted part of the accent "wall" (really, it's two walls and the very short hall to the
garage door). Dry, and with the full power of the morning sunlight on it, it looks lovely. I am confident that the warm buff will also look nice (though the khaki test spots do look disturbingly orange on the blue shades next to blue is bound to look too bright).

So, now, we're out of our blue period and on to the beige/tan/khaki/taupe/neutral one. The living room/kitchen joins the basement (the walls that aren't navy blue), the master bedroom, and the kids' bathroom in being colored dark beige/khaki. And soon, possibly, the master bathroom. Now I'm wondering if I should start re-using color swatches so we don't collect ten different half-cans of khaki paint. After all, there is one more bathroom and the upstairs hallway that are still builders-grade-white...

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