Suzi’s decorating a new one-bedroom home and has been sharing her ideas & inspirations (& many fails… ahem) throughout the process. Read her blog posts on this: Suzi’s House Project.

{*Winter was made for listening to Belle & Sebastian*}

We closed on the house last Friday! Yaay. And as soon as we got out we biked straight to the local hardware store, got two buckets of Sherwin Williams Bright White paint and set to work. Let me just say — never again. Haha. I’m kidding. But it was WAY more tiring than I expected, especially for such a small place.

Sooo anyway… the reason we’re painting the place. The color of the walls in the house was what I can only describe as a polite greige color. The trims (ie the moulding and shelves) were white. The greige was pleasant enough, but I imagine the builder chose the color, not because it suited the room in particular but because it was a mild, natural color least likely to offend and most likely to be palatable for the widest range of home buyers.

As described in some earlier posts, the ultimate plan is to turn the place into a slightly rustic, sun-filled, very white- and woodblock-colored main room. Right now it’s a nicely renovated place that actually preserves a lot of the historic detail in the building. Which is awesome! But the overall feel is contemporary and modern. (I tend to like things vintage, warm and creaky)

I had a little of a rough start as I figured out the best practices for getting a solid coat and also painting the edges with a paintbrush without leaving brush marks. But as we painted, we could see the place sort of come to life, panel by panel. Every time I stepped back to look, more of the space would be colored in, and the room felt like it was glowing and brightening up where the paint was coming in. It actually made me think of Photoshop! … how sweet would it be to just click on the Paint Fill function on these walls and be done in a matter of seconds :) But alas, this is real life. And it’s also not Sim City hehe. Below is a night-time pic of the walls being filled in.

Below you can see most of the wall behind me that was filled in with Chops’s roller. My job was to handpaint the edges near the door frames where the roller was too clunky to reach.

I got cranky and tired way sooner than Chops did. But some munchies along the way helped keep my grumbling at a minimum. We made sure to do the “painting the house” thing — to fully round out the experience, we ordered pizza delivery from Pete’s Apizza and had refreshing Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout to go with it. Yap I know, we’s pro’s at life. It made us paint straighter!

We worked til 1 or 2 in the morning, and the next day we were back for more hehe. It was a pleasant surprise to see the fruits of our labor, albeit-unfinished, in the daylight! Note the island is still greige at this point.

And now it’s not!

Astonishing how the color of the walls can give a space such a distinct feeling. The white is pretty I think, though it does have the effect of putting everything a little on edge. It feels a smidge more high-maintenance, whereas the greige was homey-er and more casual. But of course a space is the sum of its parts, and all of its parts aren’t yet done :) So I’ll sit tight on that thought.

This here is my museum shot hehe. The effect of white walls was particularly striking with these antique Japanese buckets sitting in the wall shelf. (See my Shibui Tansu Shopping post). Once the walls around the shelf were also painted white, you could clearly see how much more the detail in the old brown wood of the buckets really popped. Against the former greige color, the brown just sort of felt … dull. It sank into itself, is the only way I can describe it. Goooo paint!!

Now that most of this is said and done, if the place had been white to start with, we would have loved it just the same. But it was partly the act of making the change happen with our own grubby, unskilled paws that made it so satisfying. It’s kind of like being in awe of yourself as you physically make a vision in your head come to life in front of you. It’s like woaahh… this iS AWESOME!! I can’t believe I DID this. And it actually looks… kinda NICE! And I think therein lies the value and joy of DIY :) You will only get out of something as much as you put into it, and more often than not you’ll get triple fold for your TLC.

Written by devotchkaa

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