Tag Archives: Home improvement

Mad Makeover; or Where Did You Put the —?

When we moved 11 years ago, we agreed, “These room colors are temporary.” With straight faces, even.

Temporary threatened to stretch into forever. For years, I dreamed of painting our living space. Paint chip displays tempted me as if made of chocolate.

Finally, we lined up a painter. This time, when we visited the paint chip display, my dreams would come true!

The paint names reinforced my fantasies, especially pink hues. Noble Blush, for example, sounded like the color of a drawing room in a Jane Austen novel. Peach Indulgence matched its luscious, ice-creamy name. I will not discuss Romantic Smoke because this is a family-friendly blog.

Still, after 11 years, I was having the time of my life.

“Quit sticking those things in your purse.” My husband tugged on me. “They’ll arrest you for shoplifting.”

“It’s impossible to shoplift paint chips. They’re free,” I said.

What was his problem? I left some for other customers.

Five.

At home, I held up paint chips to walls. Appliances. Toothbrushes.

“What do you think of this?” I asked Hubby for the 3,973rd time.

He clammed up, so I asked the guys who collected our trash. Both were all about Noble Blush.

“Brings a distinctively neutral, yet warm ambiance to a room,” they agreed.

As our makeover date approached, Hubby and I wondered if we would survive the actual painting.

“This wasn’t my idea, remember?” he said.

Give my husband credit. With my writing deadline looming, he removed all our earthly possessions from six rooms, finding space elsewhere. Unfortunately, Hubby’s digging through cabinets and closets uncovered numerous artifacts, including macaroni the same age as the pyramids.

Also, while we expected upheaval, we didn’t anticipate scavenger hunts for each and every possession.

When I griped, Hubby said, “This wasn’t my idea, remember?”

Well, if he’d kept me away from the paint chips …

Halfway through the painting process, I tried to concoct a vaguely nutritious meal. “Where’d you put the bananas?” I called to Hubby.

“In the Ford’s front seat, of course.”

“Of course,” I muttered.

“Or maybe by the second row of boots in my shower.”

Maybe all this was getting to him.

Our pleasant painters worked efficiently and well. Yet, the process seemed endless. Finally, though, my dreams came true.

We thanked the painters who had blessed us with their expertise. I handed out fresh bouquets of gratitude to my helpful husband. “We never could have accomplished this if you hadn’t stepped in.”

He smiled. He preened.

I gave him a big hug. “Okay, start moving everything out again. The carpet guys are coming tomorrow.”

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How did you survive your last home makeover?

Painting Procrastinator

With a rare gap in my writing schedule, home improvement projects I nobly postponed in the name of literary accomplishment circle like grinning dragons.

Take, for example, my living room upgrade. Unless I wanted to endure yet another year of the red print chair jousting with peeling, green, flowery wallpaper, I had to don my HGTV armor and sally forth.

New wallpaper? No, the last time Hubby and I attempted that option, we required a Middle East negotiator. Paint presented a simpler alternative.

Right.

Before the Information Age, I limited color research to two minutes in the hardware store, three kids dangling from me as I grabbed fistfuls of paint chips. Then came scrutinizing them against walls for three-second intervals between sibling wars, hamster chases and Sunday shoes flushed down the toilet.

Not a perfect decision-making process, but an oddly efficient one.

However, modern technology blew my system. Viewing 5.43 gazillion websites, I could postpone painting until an archaeologist found the red chair in the flowery green living room 6,000 years hence.

Besides, Hubby delayed progress. Perhaps it is the physician in him who prefers boring, neutral walls, like a hospital’s. Eventually, though, he uttered my favorite words: “Fine. Do what you want.”

Renewing my Internet color search, I discovered Dog’s Ear Pink. Perhaps this presented a bedroom hue with which a pink-loving woman could placate her macho husband? I objected to the delicate pink called Baby’s Bottom. Fresh from caring for my newborn grandson, I knew the person who conceived that name had never changed a diaper in his life. …

But why was I looking at pink? Abandoning the Internet’s “efficiency,” I returned to the hardware store. I would hold real paint chips in my hand, chips I would force my husband at gunpoint to hold up to the wall until I made my decision.

But paint namers struck again. Our living room’s ambience had to feel stylish, yet cozy, the backdrop for family to gather around the piano and the Christmas tree. I didn’t think a shade called Totally Scientific would accomplish that. I liked Blue Dust, but already found sufficient dust in my living room, thank you very much. Water Fountain was the nice pale blue I desired, but the name resurrected grade school images of yellow-stained porcelain and anonymous bubble gum with tooth marks.

Somewhere, a paint namer exists with a simple, yet profound gift for calling the colors as he — and I — see them. Maybe even Light Blue.

But then, I would have to quit procrastinating … and paint.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Does the prospect of home improvement projects exhaust or excite you?