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Monday, June 30, 2008

A Can of Paint, A Brush and Wow!

I have a gallon of a luscious yellow paint sitting in the back of the truck as I type this. It is waiting for me to remove its lid, stir it gently and breath new life into the ChiChi Baby! room. We're making some changes, you see, and we think the final result - though it will not be an overnight transformation - will be something special. Its not that we didn't like that room. It was playful and cute and full of sweet little things. We just don't have a great number of people coming into the House looking for charming childish things of the past. We also have big plans for the SheShe room and, as it is the biggest public room of the House, need the space to incorporate larger pieces of furniture.

As I mulled over the selection of tantalizing colors at the paint store I felt a tiny bit sad that I would be covering the turquoise I custom mixed until it was just right. And then I found the perfect color.

There is something about embarking on a redecorating project which gives me a tremendous buzz. It starts with an itch. Whether its boredom from looking at the same four walls for too long or something that just hasn't felt 'right' about a room from the very begining, that little tingle grows in intensity until it positively *has* to be scratched.

But where to begin?

For me, purpose usually plays a factor in what becomes the starting point of any redecorating project. The 'purpose' may be to incorporate a new piece of furniture (as is the case in my home right now) or to change the function of a room altogether (as is the case with our Baby! room). The purpose may be to freshen a room or to create a different atmosphere. Once I've established my 'purpose' the real fun begins.

In the case of our House the purpose is to entirely change the function of the room. Our redecorating project begins with the paint. Doesn't it always begin with the paint? Nope. Following purpose is inspiration. It may be one thing, or several things, but inspiration comes from something you love. Sometimes it can begin with a vase. Or a piece of fabric. Or a light fixture. Or, as in my living room project, a piece of furniture.

From inspiration comes color selection. Is the inspiration to be the main color of the room? Will it enhance the room on the trim or is it to be used to pop in the room as an accent color? Once this is decided, selecting the remaining colors for the room is (relatively) easy.

The inspiration for our project is, essentially, a rainbow. As we will be featuring any number of colors, from deep hues to pastels, in the objects which come and go from that room our inpiration was to ensure that the color we chose would be complementary. That made the color selection a bit more difficult than many other projects I've tackled. The paint I've selected for the former Baby! room is a bright yet warm yellow. Every color placed next to the paint chit positively pops, from apple green to lilac. There isn't a color that won't work with it.

The next step is to actually paint the room. This is something many people dread though I look forward to it. It is the end result which motivates me. That's not to say I don't get bored at some point in the painting process or that I actually enjoy the prep work. Prepping your surfaces and taping off edges is essential to a clean finish. It can be tedious and it is most certainly boring but skipping steps here will most likely result in a sloppy finish you won't be happy with. Carefully cutting the corners with paint creates a frame to work within and the closer one gets to completing the frame the easier they know the work is going to get. A roller is embraced with much adoration by the time the cutting process is finished.

After that final stroke of paint is laid in place the real fun of redecorating begins. There, before you, lay a blank canvass. Once furniture is set in position your room is ready to show personality. I'd personally recommend leaving artwork leaning against the wall under the places you think you'd like to see it hanging. Live with it like that for a week or so until you are certain it belongs in that spot on the wall. From personal experiece, creating a hole in the wall, no matter how small, only to determine later that a particular piece would look better across the room is akin to getting that first ding on your new car. Especially after all of that tedious prep work.

When I finish painting the Baby! room today my greatest disappointment will be that it will not reflect my full vision. For that we have to finish sourcing and acquire the new products we wish to introduce. In the meanwhile, we will refurbish the room with an eclectic and stylish mix of modern and vintage as we currently have in House. And then I will step back and admire the end result. *That* is the final soothing scratch of the itch.

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