And then there was paint

home-nexusI have a new phone and it has the new Android operating system which just out of nowhere tells you how long it takes to get home, without asking if you needed that information. I have the Baltimore address set as home since I never need GPS to get to my apartment in New York. The subway stop is pretty easy to navigate to. Hopstop is more useful. But this just popped up while I was on the BoltBus, which was really fun! The card underneath was for the weather.

This weekend I did something I have literally never done in my life: rake leaves! I did grow up in the suburbs but we had a gardening service so jumping in big piles of leaves up and down the street was as close as I got. The raking part was super easy. It was the “bundling” into the giant paper bags, because in Charm City you cannot just leave them in the street, that was ridiculous. North was helping me and we got about six bags in before my neighbor, who had been sitting on his porch smoking quietly, finally said, “you know, you can just dump the leaves in the park. That’s where most of them came from, anyway.” Duh. So we did that. But they still had to be put in the bags to be carried across the street to the park. There must be a better way. Little red wagon? Leaf blower? Pay someone? I don’t know. There will be more leaves next week, probably.

In the meantime, the house is painted! Completely! I can’t tell you what a relief this is. Particularly since the painters and I could never quite seem to communicate. Once, they locked themselves out and my poor niece had to drive out from Fells Point and open the door. Such are the perils of long distance home improvement. But this would have been awful to do while I was home. I never could have been at the house. The one day I was there I had to go sit in Panera for two hours.

Anyway, here’s how it went. In the success column are two of the three bedrooms and the dining room. The second bedroom, in particular, is exactly what I imagined.

It is a color called Vapor Trails from Benjamin Moore. When I say that, I sing it to the tune of “Happy Trails.” Because in my head, everything is a song.

My bedroom, for which I worked so hard to find the right color, was also a real win. There is no picture because I simply cannot find the right bedding. I am on the third try and it’s not returnable. Luckily, it was cheap. But it’s so… blah. When I get it right, or at least acceptable, there will be a photo.

The dining room (also no photo, as the painters left the table covered with stuff from my kitchen and I didn’t have time to put it back) was a color I fell in love with and just wanted to use somewhere. And it looks AWESOME. North and I found gorgeous pillow covers at Ikea that I hope some day to sew into chair covers. This may take until summer, especially because I don’t yet have a sewing machine.

In the meh column are the kitchen and the color I used for the living room, stairway, and upstairs hallway. It’s called Titanium from Benjamin Moore and it was the final decision I made. I still wasn’t sure. What I am sure of, is that it doesn’t look the same on the wall as it did on the poster board I painted. I even told the painters this, as I saw a swatch they had painted on the day I was there. I made them stop using the Sherwin-Williams match of it and go get the actual Benjamin Moore. I paid extra for that. And yet it still doesn’t look like what I chose. I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either and it covers a large portion of the house. It looks different in different spaces and in different lights. But none of them like the sample. Oh well. I’m not doing it over and not just because I have no Plan B for a color. It’ll have to do.

I wish it would look like this all the time: a grayed down green. But it looks like a pale, soft, pastel-ish green much of the day. Alas.
PS, pay no attention to my remote on the sofa. You didn’t notice it till I said that, did you? Shoot.

The bathroom is disappointing but OK. I used a very pale gray and it ended up looking like an ultra-light blue. It’s the light and the small space. But it works fine, it’s just not what I was going for. And I had to return some of the towels I had purchased as they are now the exact color of the walls. Oops. The tile they added looks perfect, though, so that’s great. I forgot to take a picture of it. Next time.

The kitchen is more of a disappointment. I like the colors but they don’t work with the trim and the elements already in the kitchen. But I also don’t hate them enough to redo. I think I will get used to them. The back wall color is Benjamin Moore Smoke (inauspicious for a kitchen, I know) and I do love it, just not with the countertop and cabinets, which is what I wish I could change, but it’s not in the cards right now. The other color is BM Cloud White which is lovely but looks wrong with the glossy white trim that you can’t see. It’s OK, though.

That part behind the oven that makes it look like it’s not painted in a straight line is an optical illusion. In person, it is actually a straight edge.

In the complete fail, must be done over column is the third bedroom, aka, the red room. The gray looks totally purple! You could not tell that at all from the sample I painted. It’s just the whole room with the red. Maybe even without the red. I either have to repaint it myself or have painters come back. It just looks…. bad. This is the absolute best light to see it in, and it still looks wrong in this shot. The light at night is kind of horrifying, really. (Pay no attention to where the rug is placed; it needs to be re-centered).

Yeah, that has got to go.

So there you have it. Some great, some OK, some meh, some terrifying. But the palette does achieve what I wanted: a light, airy, ethereal, dreamy feel. That’s what I wanted in my getaway/dream house. I am really pleased with it in toto.

Next stop: curtains and rugs!

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