When we moved into our new house in June, we knew that transforming it into OUR home, rather than just a place we lived, would be a process. This would mean a lot of painting; those of you who visited our old house are probably aware of Laura’s love for earth tones and apparent antipathy toward primary colors.
A big part of the process of making the house our home, then, involved choosing and applying paint colors. Typically, to start a painting project, we select approximately 300 swatches from a paint store, use painters tape to tape them to the wall, and then undergo the awesome process of eliminating 290 of the swatches. To aid outsiders in understanding this process, I have provided the following key to Laura’s paint swatch comments:
- “Ooo, this is a nice, warm color.” – Key: It’s brown.
- “I’m not sure if this color will go with our couches/wall art.” – Key: It’s not brown.
- “This may be a little too gold.” – Key: It needs to be more brown.
- “I’ve been seeing a lot of nice ‘greige‘ shades. I think I’ll go with one of those.” – Key: I have temporarily gone insane but will soon recover and remember that I only like brown.
So ironically, the first room we painted was not brown but completely purple, which is only because we promised McKenna she could pick the color of her room.
This room, which had been the previous owner’s office, was on it’s way to becoming the girliest bedroom imaginable.
Since we had given McKenna the largest room upstairs, we planned on having her use the room as a playroom, too, which meant that we would be turning the former playroom into an office.
This would be another non-brown room, and you know what that means…
You might be able to tell from these two rooms that we made a few changes to the lighting, transforming the garage into ground zero for dismantled lights and fans.
And replacing the lights meant that the family photo stream looked like this…
Miraculously, while replacing all of those lights, I only shocked myself twice working with electricity, and one of those times was when McKenna tried to kill me by obliviously throwing the light switch.
With the office and McKenna’s bedroom down, the next step was the kitchen, the room where the biggest changes would occur. We needed to do two things in the kitchen. The first was to increase the amount of storage so that we would have room for the many, many, MANY serving platters and napkin rings that we possess, which comes to roughly one platter for every family in Highberry Woods. The second was to open up the area between the kitchen and the living room so that the house would have a little less of that typical colonial feel.
The changes in the kitchen would involve a lot of drywall work, but we were prepared.
Kitchen renovation, phase one – remove the door to the dinning room to build a closet there.
We got a new fridge before the construction began so that we could make sure that we knew how big the closet should be. The new fridge was a bit too tall for the space, so I took out the cabinets that had been above the old refrigerator. I’M HANDY.
The cabinet that had been above the refrigerator would go on this wall:
Next up – the wall. We had several contractors come out to discuss how to open up the wall below.
Of course, the wall turned out to be a load-bearing wall. And one of the contractors who came out to take a look found out that the pipes from upstairs ran through the wall. But a half wall still seemed to be doable.
It was at about this point in the process that McKenna came downstairs to inform the contractors that she did not like loud noise, using her, “You should be ashamed” voice. The contractors promptly apologized.
The contractors followed the secret code of all contractors, finishing in a month and a half what they had promised to finish in a week and a half.
Time to change the lighting.
At long last, we could begin on the loungy library. Since there are only three people in our small family, we don’t really need a formal dining room, so that room was being transformed into a library.
Once we moved all of the junk out and, more importantly, once the contractors were finally finished, we could paint the library. Thankfully, this was probably the easiest room to paint because it is small, square, and only has two windows.
Laura likes to talk on the phone while she paints. When she does that, I try to remember to have my headphones handy; otherwise, I get to listen to conversations like the thirty minute conversation, and this is no exaggeration, that Laura had with Diane about pillows. They discussed the best pillow sizes, pillow positioning, and degree to which a pillow should give. About fifteen minutes of the conversation related to the virtues of a pillow placed between the legs. I was about to drown myself in my paint tray when they mercifully changed topics.
Only the foyer, which is too tall for me to paint without killing myself (or so I have been told many, many times), the master bedroom, and the spare bedroom are left to paint. Good news – we still have several shades of brown that we can use.