Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Little Paint

Living Room, with Faux wall, before
The quickest and least expensive way to change the mood of a room is to simply paint it.

I recently painted my kitchen.

I'm not sure it's the quickest, necessarily, as it would depend on the number and experience of assistants; I had zero assistants, but plenty of experience, since I had painted every other room in this house. Nor is it necessarily the cheapest. Depending on the color scheme chosen, one might be tempted to buy new furniture or accessories.
Kitchen, before

I bought the house with my now ex-husband. We bought the house as brand new construction, so we were the first owners when we moved into this 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 1,700 sq. ft. house with all white walls in the summer of 2003. Over time we ended up painting all the rooms but for some reason never got around to the kitchen. After some INTENSE discussion we chose a cranberry color as the main color for the living room and dining room. For the trim and accent colors we chose a deep mauve and a port wine, and also used them as a faux effect on two walls. Later on, we ended up painting the deep mauve on some of the living room and dining room walls to hopefully lighten the rooms a bit because, with the sun setting earlier and further south in the winter, the cranberry, while still a beautiful color, helped add to the darkening of these rooms since they are in the northern end of the house and therefore losing natural light earlier in the daytime.

When he left in 2010, my first reaction was to paint over all the colors as we had chosen them and now the house was mine. I wanted to erase any trace of him in my house. 

A friend suggested keeping the colors if I truly liked them whether or not he helped choose them. I did, so they stayed.

But the kitchen was still white, with a grape motif stenciled on the soffit for some color. 

Living room, before. I have since added curtains to the window
For a couple of years lately, the kitchen has been calling me to paint it. So, I began entertaining colors and ideas: did I want something different in the kitchen? But it's an open floor plan. Could I find colors I liked that didn't clash with the others? Did I want the same colors I already had? Would that be too much of a good thing? What did I want as this was my house? I hemmed and hawed, tossed and turned and asked friends for advice. 
Kitchen, after

When school ended for the summer, I knew this was it, I was painting the kitchen. I decided to keep the same colors for simplicity as the dining room wall runs right into the kitchen wall. But, I added a new color, espresso to cover the two faux walls and  the soffit.

I began on a Tuesday and finished putting final touches and things back in place that Saturday and stood back to admire my new kitchen. 

I loved it. It felt warm, it felt cozy, it felt intimate.

I felt such a relief it was finally done. 

But I felt something more, though I couldn't quite put my finger on it immediately.

And later that day, it hit me.
Dining room and living room from the kitchen, after

It was a release. It was more of a release than a relief to get this done.The relief meant the project was over, the release meant I was letting go. I was taking one more step on the road to making the house mine. One more step to reclaiming me, to moving beyond, to moving forward.

Dining room and Kitchen, after
It's amazing what a little paint can do.

And not necessarily to a room.