Musings on m
y life as a busy opera singer, voice teacher, photographer and mom - not necessarily in that order! I consider myself immensely fortunate to have carved out a way of doing all of these things which mean so much to me - it may sometimes get a little crazy, but it's always worth it. Welcome to the madhouse!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

'Scuse this interruption

This post has nothing to do with singing, parenting (2- or 4-foot), photography, or any other stated brief.

It's about paint.

You know, that stuff that people put on their walls because it's "cheap" and (as the magazines cheerfully say) "such an easy facelift!". I have friends who paint regularly. And by "regularly", I mean pretty much as often as the Pottery Barn catalog comes out, or a new colour-scheme suddenly takes their fancy.

In theory, I think this is a great idea. But the reality of it is that we are not "paint to change your mood" people. In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if we're even competent homeowners.

Apparently, I completely and totally SUCK at choosing paint. When we did our renovation four years ago I went through about 15 sample pots before I found one I really liked (love, in fact). This time round, our weird variable light was complicated by a need to sometimes use the living room room for photoshoots, meaning I wanted to avoid a marked colour-cast. I also wanted it to be different enough from the dining room that they didn't just blend into each other. The rich, creamy beiges that looked so fabulous on the chip turned foundation-makeup pink or sickly-sage on our walls.

Finally, however - after a lot of paintchips (four years worth, in fact. No, seriously. The living room looked so sad next to the freshly-painted walls of the renovation, that I was determined to do something about it. FOUR YEARS AGO. We have lived for four years with paintchips on the walls, much to the amusement of my family and friends) - I landed on Benjamin Moore's Muslin, aka OC-12 or 1037. No, it isn't the rich milky-chocolate I'd love to see (IF my room weren't tiny, and IF it wasn't occasionally used as a studio). Yes, it's a neutral - boring, some might even say. BUT... it is NEUTRAL. No. Colour. Cast. It goes on beige, and stays beige. Score!

Our home is small; we love it, but we live in every square inch of it (and then some). This makes painting a furnished room more like a slider puzzle than anything else, and the Rubik's Cube involved in getting AT the walls in a small space is infuriating. The armchair went on the porch, and the dog in the yard which gave us a few more square feet to move but even so, it's been a very complicated dance to get the job done. A huge bookcase and media cabinet had to be emptied before we could even start, and the heavy pieces then had to be shifted (and let's not even mention the dust behind them!) so we could get at the walls themselves . Comments like, "Ok, after I've done this little section, I can move the sofa over and then you can slide the ladder past me to get at the bit in the corner" have been a common refrain over the last two days.

It seems to have paid off, though. Boring Beige or not, I absolutely love the results (we're not quite done, but near enough that I can see what we've got). No longer the dirty white the previous owner put up when selling, it actually looks pretty darned classy.

And I noticed that when I went to pick up the second can of paint we needed to finish the job, I found myself no longer looking at beige and tan, but at blues and purples as possible options for the bathroom and then bedroom. Apparently I need paintchips somewhere in my house for it to feel like home. Maybe this time I'll manage to pick a colour in less than four years....

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