(Hello. Hello there, you. Doing well? Hope so.)
I won't show you the "before" of the Front Room yet. Maybe ever. I don't know. There's something about the picture that troubles me in a way I can't put my finger on. Most of the time, the glory of home renovation is showing the pathetic "before" and dramatically unveiling the "after". I think, instead, I will show you a Then and a Now. How's that for a beginning?
So here we are. The Then. This is standing in the Dining Room and looking into the Front Room. Notice, if you will, the original oak parquet floors. The built in hutch in the corner of the Dining Room. The massive, multi-paned windows that leak in sunlight and, at night, a hazy glow from the old gas-turned-electric street lamp out front. Notice, too, the definitive 10 foot, 5 inch ceilings and the tall baseboards with bottom trim removed. And I suppose you can't help but notice the GE Artistry stove still in its box awaiting its turn to be part of the kitchen renovation.
Much more on that later.
Now, here we are in the Front Room, looking north toward the old fireplace and the 6-foot tall, thick-as-winter-lake-ice mirror:
The whole place has had to be coated with a thick glossing of Kilz. As in, we're 12 gallons in so far. The previous owners smoked. By smoked, I don't mean they lit one after dinner and walked the house, trailing ash. I mean, they didn't have jobs and did nothing but sit inside and light up, pack after pack. (This is via the neighbor, Miss Nelle. I have to introduce you to her soon.) The first week, all I did was wash: walls, floors, windows, bathrooms. I mixed vinegar and Dawn and watched the nicotine come down in heavy brown streaks. The gunk coated every knob, every floor board, every ceiling fan pull, every window. We haven't moved in hardly any furniture yet, and what we have moved in is mostly boxed or shrouded in plastic.
But anyway. The Front Room. Here's a closer-up of the the woodwork, the built-ins with the two shelves that refused to budge, and the mirror, all taped up and ready to paint:
And let's talk a moment about paint. Oh yes. Let's.
You know how one usually picks paint? You see a color you like (maybe on Pinterest or in a magazine or on a movie or a friend's house), you find a paint swatch or the paint's name, and you go to the store and have it mixed and come home and paint your walls and enjoy it for years.
Ha. Yes. No.
This house HATES paint. It tries to turn everything putty gray. Or purple. Must be the light?
Here are the paint colors I tried:
Revere Pewter (too dark)
Eider White (too pink?)
Glacier White (too stark)
Big Chill (too chilly)
Accessible Beige (really? too blah)
and finally, Incredible White, which I bought 5 gallons of, left with the guys who were painting, and went to the landfill to single-handedly unload a truck load full of disgusting-ness left in the home when we got the key, only to return 3 hours later to find the walls painted VIOLET.
Incredible White? Incredible lavender, more like it. I ran back to Sherwin Williams and grabbed Neutral Ground and ran it back to the painters and swore that even if it came out electric pink, it was staying on the walls because I coudn't spend a single dollar more on paint for the house to reject.
Next on the list is the floors. We're going to refinish them in the front three rooms this weekend. They are coated with a film of nicotine, and they were heavily scratched when the folks moved out. (Josh was livid.) More on floor refinishing this week!
So there's a quick run around the front two spaces. Please forgive my mood. I just opened a can of Tea Chest paint to paint the study, and guess what? The house HATES it.
As soon as I put on my shoes, I'm headed back to Sherwin Williams. They seriously know me there now.
Comments? Suggestions? I'm all ears! -Brin