Is the above a) art worthy of the Tate Modern or b) the denuded walls of our new apartment? It’s a no brainer, right?
Last week I came over all literary and whimsical about my new flat – and my new room in particular. This week, I’m not quite as airy fairy. The problem with doing stuff up lies in all the decision making. Questions such as: what colour should we paint the walls? turn into a choice freakier than opting to invest your life savings in bricks and mortar.
Cue mistake number one. We employ a painter. Lovely guy, really good at his job. He says the colour of our walls at the moment is Dulux Timeless. It’s a little dull, but it’ll do. And anyway, our art and what-nots will liven the place up eventually, right? Yes. OK.
Off we trot to Homebase. And, guess what! They’re having a 25% of Dulux paint one-day-only sale! It’s a sign. We take the painter’s words as gospel (a big hindsight DUH) and eschew colour swatches in favour of placing our order and smugly getting away from the crowd of vacillating Saturday shoppers arguing over different shades of beigey-creamy-taupey neutrals.
The painter starts. He fills in gaps, rubs away scratches and sands stuff that needs sanding. The first coat goes on. A chill passes through the flat. What was once a warm and welcoming space would now happily house a family of polar bears.
There’s tension between me and the spouse. We come back at different times of the day to see how the shade changes. In the afternoon, with the sun streaming in, I don’t dare take off my sunglasses for fear of permanent retinal damage and grudgingly agree with the MrMr that something must be done.
It’s back to Homebase – and guess what! The sale’s still on! Quelle surprise. Duh 2.0. At least our credit cards wheeze a small sigh of relief as we head to the swatches and mini tester pots. We tentatively choose seven shades that might work and I post this picture on Instagram.
‘But they’re all white’ a friendly friend comments. Oh, how I wish. This is what they actually look like (next to Timeless – we may as well use it for our skirting boards and door and window frames, right?).
Now we can choose with, you know, a tad more education. This is a much better option – and definitely something we should’ve done before getting all trigger happy. We’ve gone for Natural Calico (third from the left and remarkably similar to what’s there already) for the hall, bedrooms and living room and Natural Hessian (because it goes better with the cabinets) for the kitchen. It’s going on today. I’ll let you know how we get on.
And no, the fun doesn’t end there. In addition to purging, recycling, eBaying and packing, we’ve also got to decide on the floors. Solid wood? Engineered Oak? Bamboo? Laminate? Carpet? Reclaimed? And who the flip is going to lay it for us? HELP!
Have you decorated your home? What advice can you give? I’m open to all suggestions.
And here are my inspirations this week. A girl can dream, right?
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Top images © Kate McAuley.