Monday, December 18, 2006

Decorating Demons

Let's say you lived in a house that had wallpaper that looked like this all over the upstairs and downstairs hallway:
So you take it down, only to find lathe & plaster walls that almost made the wallpaper look like it was a good idea.

You also remove the paint from the stairs and the panel below them and baseboards, but the heat gun removal technique leaves it splotchy and tons of paint in crevices of the wood.

Add a not-so-high level of experience with plaster and a year with eight weddings including our own (plus showers and other parties that go along with them), a funeral, an inability to pick a paint colour without serious second-guessing oneself and you have a recipe that calls for hiring a professional.

My parents had most of their main floor re-decorated this year and were really happy with the results so we ended up calling their decorator on the "go with what you know" plan.

In addition to having the walls and ceilings repaired (no more holes!), primed and painted, they're stripping the remaining paint and staining the stairway.

The living and dining room are now a beautiful muddy york which looked too pinkey, then too browney to start out, but has so far settled into a nice colour we're both happy with. All our furniture is still in the middle of the room because the second coat still needs to go on but we're happy with the results. This is what muddy york looks like:

We've decided on hemp seed for the downstairs and upstairs hallway because the wood on the stairway and bannister is being re-stained back to its original cherried-oak colour (yay!) but combine that with a dark colour on the walls and I was worried it would make the entrance dark and even smaller than it is. It's not yet on the walls but I think it should look good. They look 100% better already with the simple addition of primer and some patch work and sanding. Just don't tell me it's beige.

The trim and ceilings are now a crisp off white, So with much of the house in chaos, I have no pictures to show, but will post some once we have places for furniture and the like.

After Christmas we're having MDF built-in bookcases made for either side of the fireplace (including a spot for the TV), and we should be ready to order the kitchen from ikea then refinish the hardwood floors. All this will go toward making our tiny place a great deal more liveable, and for that I'm thrilled.


TB said...

Love both colors but the first is a personal fave of mine. I used a shade lighter in one of the bathrooms at my old house and it is really a perfect shade. It's totally neutral, almost like an anti-color. Fantastic.

And you must be so happy to finally have it done!

The Waghorns said...

Is it possible to have a decorating orgasm, because if so this is TOTALLY awkward ...

Heather said...

TB: You have such exquisite taste! It's an anti-colour that isn't bland, which I love.

the waghorns: glad you share my enthusiasm. :P

IzzyMom said...

Holy cow! You've been busy, haven't you? I like your paint choices, especially the hemp seed.

mamatulip said...

Wow, I LOVE the colours you chose. So calm and warming. And built-in bookcases? I'm sooo jealous. That's gonna be a *must have* for us in our next home.

Mrs. Chicky said...

I like those colors! I have no ability to pick paint colors so I'm always amazed when couples can settle on a particular color and stick to it. And not only that, they're happy with the results. It's mindboggling.

Heather said...

izzymo: Thanks! Now that we have hemp seed on the wall I'm not sure I love it (looks too beige) but I think I'll grow to love it (at least I hope I do).

mamatulip: Thanks! Our kitchen and bedroom are currently a very, very cool blue (so nice the way the kitchen and bedroom match ha ha ha) so the warm tones are a very welcome change.

Mrs Chicky: I too have zero ability, and the third party (ie decorator) picked the colour, and we rubber stamped it. We're not completely happy with the results but hope we will be soon!

Teena said...

I bet it's going to be gorgeous after all your hard work!

Heather said...

Teena: It's still coming together, but it really was someone else's hard work.