Thursday, August 16, 2012

Colors! Trying to make our old house ‘new’.

Maybe it is hard to see these colors on the pictures I posted earlier today. The 'Paper Bag’ (Ace) color that we ended up with last week really looks purple when you are in the room. Our lighting is odd, so some corners are darker than others but it is generally well-lit. Most are preferring the Kingsport Grey color. Meditation has a green cast to it that might look ok, but is not jumping out as a favorite for anyone. On these color samples Thunder does look like a shade lighter than the Kingsport Grey, but in the room it looks much more silvery grey, almost too silver to go well with our oak floors. Of course, you know how it is in an old house. Now I am looking at the floors, thinking, “it is probably about time to have them refinished so maybe if we have a darker stain on the floors, the Thunder would look great!” But, back in reality-land, that just is not happening soon. Neither is buying all new furniture, which is also on my mental list for that room (having the large sofa, while lovely for snuggling on for a movie, means that the large floor register is beginning to sag where one of the sofa’s corners is resting on it somewhat precariously). The entertainment cupboard is admittedly too large for the space and the color is a bit reddish/orangish, so I don’t think it will go well with a true grey. So now I am scoping craigslist for an actual corner entertainment unit. Something a little smaller? I’d love to make this room feel new.
Is it because we have lived here for over 6 years? The longest I’ve ever been in one place in my life? Rejuvenation is a must at this point (which reminds me, I have not been on that site in a while… hmm..)! So there is a patch of new color in the downstairs bathroom (shhhh.., Jer has not found that one yet! I’ll just paint it while he is at work, haha!). I have a new color picked out for the kitchen, and in my dreams I have the kitchen remodeled as well (seriously folks, the undulating floor with beat up linoleum and formica countertops is getting to me). Of course, that all means that I need a job. Which I have begun applying for. I applied for a few part time gigs in the Geneva schools but apparently they have about a thousand applicants for each position and I don’t have any strings to pull, so I am not hopeful. There is a maternity leave posted that would start in January - how sweet that would be. If only.
Back to the house. I’ve also gone through and counted switch plates and outlet covers (most of them cracked, all of the cheapest white plastic variety) to tally up what that would cost (you’d be surprised!). I even found a place that sells replacement registers for the old-school vents we have - at $60-70 a piece. Yow! Oh, and then there is the issue of all the broken and missing screens. I am not even sure I want to know what they run.
I’m thinking I’ll keep my focus on the downstairs for a while because if I even think about the upstairs, well there is the issue of our room being so small that we have to stack our dressers and I don’t get a ‘my side of the bed’, just a wall (Jer loves it when I stay awake longer than him to read and he still has to roll over to put my book away and turn out the light - NOT!). And the fact that with five people in our home, including an almost ten year old, having just one shower is not a joy most days.
We did successfully replace the front door handle and lock last weekend - that was a major challenge! The old lock was one of those ancient things that involves a 5”x8”x1” piece that fit INTO the door, plus about three more holes than what the new piece needed - can we say ‘patch job’? Of course, it now looks fabulous and now our old door knocker (wedding gift 13 years ago) is corroded and looks less-than-lovely next to the new door bling.
It sure does feel good to pick up a paint roller and make our space look new, even if we know the truth. So I am leaning strongly in the direction of the Kingsport Grey right now. I will wait to see what the different lighting throughout the day does to the colors before buying another $70+ worth of paint this time, though!
After all that whining, I have to say, I do love our home, I am thankful every day that we live in such a beautiful town with wonderful neighbors who make it fun. For now I don’t mind that the kids sometimes shower together to make it faster (Eli and Evie like to gargle in the shower together, it is pretty funny), or that I have to stand on the end of my bed to see into my sock and underwear drawer. Home IS where your heart is and someday I will find a teaching job that will work for our family and will make all my dreams come true for our humble home.
**Hint: if anyone is thinking of Christmas gifts, might I suggest home-store/hardware store gift cards? LOL


  1. Martha ... This column resonates so strongly with me! I love our home too, and I love all the memories we've made in it ... but if you had told me that after five years of living here, I'd still be dealing with ugly green carpet in the living room, a "country kitchen" and a tiny 1st floor bathroom that has confetti wallpaper (it's always time for a party in there!)

    But yep, it always comes down to money (and in the case of the confetti wallpaper, some elbow grease) and right now that's in the short supply around here. So in the meantime, I'll build my Pinterest board for the day when we can do some improvements and remind myself that I do indeed love being able to walk to downtown Geneva and great parks, how grateful I am for our amazing neighbors and that these solid old houses we live in will likely still be standing 100 years from now, unlike some of the McMansions in sprawling subdivisions. (You know, those houses that have eat-in kitchens, master suites and coat closets. I don't need any of those -- I don't!)

    Thanks so much for sharing! And good luck with the painting.

  2. It is very hard to make the old house as new but if you want to buy a house for sale in Calgary which is very old and you want to make it look like a new house you just take this step as the first step and then you renovating as you want it to appear.