Choosing the colors for my walls was for me the most difficult step so far (sans the grand de-cluttering I am now famous for). It also stalled me for the longest. So, let me just say, I hope that my process gives courage to others like me out there. The trick for me was to hire a painter. Once I picked someone and set a date, everything started rolling.
I chose a color, I moved another massive load of clothes into my outbox (stay tuned for that story!), and put up the magnetic paint (link to old post?). That way Vinny could just do the walls, the trim, and the ceiling, and he wouldn't have to sit around waiting for three coats of magnetic paint to dry. And as reluctant as I am to hire someone to do anything I could do myself (I'm a total miser in that regard!) - I have to say, there is NO WAY I ever would have finished, unless I had done so! I just simply don't have time to paint my own room. I'm too busy. It never would have happened. Plus, Vinny was great - he told me exactly where to go for the paint, how much I would need, I felt totally comfortable letting him paint without being there, and he found a way to solve a problem that came up because of the magnetic paint I'd bought at Ace Hardware. On top of all that, he even came back a week later to finish up some details that I hadn't noticed when he left, and followed up to make sure I was happy with the job. (Here's the link to Vinny if you want it).
But first things first! Colors!
So once I got into the store, it was remarkably easy. Well, I should say, once I set the date with Vinny and got into the store, it was easy. I'd been in the store before, perusing little paint buckets, holding up the pictures from my style tray. But this time, I knew I had to come down on something - and once I knew that, it was easier than I thought. Like I knew what I really wanted all along.
The day I went into the Janovic Paint Center (on 6th Ave. and Spring Street), I had just returned from Africa, and wanted to add some of my experiences from that recent trip into my style tray. I brought two objects - a dark ebony carved mask I had purchased there, and an antique-cream colored shrug (NOT ALL my inspiration came from the destination - I also fell in love with the antique walls in "Becoming Jane", which I saw on the plane ride over!). One of the things I loved about the use of color in the homes and offices I visited in Tanzania were the pale pastel walls (mostly blue) contrasted against dark ebony carvings. Although I decided against the blue (see above photograph), what I did like was a pale green I found
called "Nantucket Gray." I flipped through the 2 by 2 squares of paint color samples (on big squares of paper) and pulled several that I liked, purchasing three to bring home and put on my walls to see how they look in my room. The Nantucket Gray, and also a darker version ("Wethersfield Moss") and, just for kicks, "Moroccan Red". For trim, I bought "Elephant Tusk," the closest match I could find to my shrug (and yes, I liked the name!).
Once I held up these samples at home, I decided that "Wethersfield Moss" was too dark, and "Moroccan Red" contrasted too strongly with the rest of the things I had going (also, I wanted to avoid looking too Christmasy). After talking with Vinny, I decided to purchase my paint at a local store a little closer to home, where he said it would be cheaper, and where I could take advantage of his "frequent painter" discount: Pintchik Paint Center in Brooklyn (478 Bergen Street). I called ahead with my paint numbers, and they were able to mix them and prepare them so that when I came by, it was fast and easy to pick them up. (I borrowed my roommate's car - second time driving in Brooklyn!!).
With that out of the way, I brought all of my things into the hall, my bed into my friend Elly's room, and the remaining furniture into the middle of my room, covered by a plastic sheet. I had fun rolling on the magnetic paint, but I'm glad that Vinny was in charge of making sure that all the details came together (and he did a great job!). I had some minor panic when I came back after his first day of painting with second thoughts about my trim color, but decided to stick with my original choice to see how it would look, and I'm glad I did! My room looks a hundred times more open, and the black and white photographs that I am learning to develop myself look great stuck to my magnetic wall. I have to admit that I do miss something about the red, but maybe I can bring that back in with some other choices - art, something on my bed - without sacrificing the light and openness I've found and that I love. My roommates love it, except for one, who "doesn't like the color green." (But when you live with 9 people, if one doesn't like the color of your room, it doesn't matter so much.) Sometimes my new room reminds me of an old Iowa farmhouse. Something about the new color and the molding around the windows. Then, just as soon as I'm lulled into tranquil reminiscence about my childhood in the great plains of the Midwest - a nice series of car alarms brings me right back to the present, and my new neighborhood, which I love just as much, just for different reasons.
The best part, though, is that now my room is my own. I made it. I chose it. It makes me want to be there all the time. Unexpectedly, during the transition time, while I was sharing a room with Elly, I discovered a) that I loved having her as a roommate, and b) the delicious clarity that having a work space separate from your sleeping space brings. At some point, we might rearrange things so that our desks are in my room (designated as a creative work space) and our beds are in hers. But first, I'm going to spend a little time basking in my new room, just me.
Best, Rebecca "the winsome clutterer" Bea
Check back weekly for updates on Rebecca's Progress...
>> Go To - Week 15 - Magnetic Paint
>> Go To - Week Ten - The Final Stretch
>> Go To - Rebecca's Cure: Week Seven - Clean Windows & a Day Off
>> Go To - Rebecca's Cure: Week Six - Momentum Drop?
>> Go To - Rebecca's Cure: Week Four - Color?
>> Go To - Rebecca's Cure: Week Three
>> Go To - Week Two - Weekend
>> Go To - Week Two
>> Go To - Week One
>> Shameless Book Plug: Apartment Therapy - The Eight Step Home Cure