When we first moved into our new home back in late May, Robyn had probably already been thinking of what color to paint the interior walls for months. For me, living in an unpainted house didn’t really register as being a thing that needed any attention. I’ve lived most of my life in rented apartments; she grew up in the same house her parents still own today. We have different experiences and different expectations.
Needless to say, I was anxious about painting. It’s hard for me to not jump to the negative consequences immediately. The expense, the effort, the mess. Keeping the walls a default white was the path of lease resistance and the stark monochromatic facade held by our new home was fine by me. Also, the place is big and I had no idea where to start. Well, you start any journey with a single step, and the guest bathroom on the main floor was that step. One weekend we both decided to bite the bullet and try out hand at transforming one room. Later that day, it was the hazy, gray-blue-purple it is now. The job is amateur, but I have to admit that it gives some character to the room. It was hot and stuffy in that room with two people, and the bathroom has lots of areas that are difficult to paint, so the actual painting was about as uncomfortable as I expected. Being in a confined space while sweating and working is not my idea of fun. But when all was said and done, it looked nice and I was glad we did it.
Since then, we’ve painted the kitchen area a bold green, the downstairs bathroom a pale smokey blue, the 3rd floor study/future nursery a soft yellow, and the guest bedroom next door a pale, mossy gray-green. Painting bigger rooms solves some of the uncomfortableness of having two people slaving away, and being able to open a window helps further still. We’ve probably gotten a bit better at painting in the process, and know what we need beforehand so that last-minute trips to the hardware store aren’t as necessary. The rooms looks good and they now have a bit more individuality than just “Bedroom #2”. My anxiety and reticence, something I can’t really help experiencing, slowed down our progress in the beginning, but we’re on a roll now. Our bedroom is next, followed by a proposed patchwork job on the main living space. We were going to hire people to do it at one point, but with more progress and confidence comes more…well, confidence and proposed progress. Perhaps we’ll get ambitious enough to just bust it all out over the holidays. We’re gonna need a ladder and/or a pole because the main living room’s ceilings are 18″ tall (and even higher from the main entranceway). It’s a tall order, indeed.
I’ve never felt the need to do much customization of my living space. I’ve really only needed a relative amount of order and cleanliness. But, as with a lot of things Robyn has shown me that I’ve never really considered, there is value I can’t always see. She shows me it, and it is good, and I understand.
Here’s to making our stock house into a real home. L’chaim!