We didn’t get to the foyer (or living room) baseboards this weekend – quite the opposite, actually – but we did cross off a pretty important to-do: the studio! Working from home every day, I’ve learned to put my blinders on; if I didn’t stare at the walls too long, I wouldn’t see the smudges (and the cracks and the filthy outlets and the yellowed ceilings). But now – finally! – I’m surrounded by the softest, most delicate pink glow:
Leading up to the weekend, Scott and I spent a couple of weeknights pulling up more baseboards and door trim (everything but the outside walls to keep out a cold draft), patching the walls (there were some hefty cracks as a result of raising the first floor ceiling) and sanding everything smooth. The second floor – which, you might remember, was the walk-up apartment before we purchased this house – was (and still is) in worse shape than the first floor. While we consider ourselves incredibly lucky that hardwood floors were installed prior to our move-in, it’s still frustrating to know that the baseboards throughout the entire home were installed before the floors. As a result, the contractor packs of discount trim are barely 2″ above the floors themselves, so we’ll be going room-by-room (and as money allows) to remedy this.
Below, this door off of the studio leads to the second floor guest room, which is – hands down – the most in need of help. Ultimately, we’ll likely need to replace the entire door frame, as it doesn’t close properly, is pocked and chipped and doesn’t align with its current frame. (Same goes with the second floor bathroom, which is runner-up for title of Scariest Room in the House.)
While it’s easy to get caught up in all the trim and door issues (yes, really), we couldn’t allow that to hold us back from the larger picture – getting this room painted! My family came in from Pittsburgh over the weekend to lend a helping hand (including my little sister and brother), and between the six of us, we knocked it out of the park!
The ceiling – you guys! – the ceiling. Never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of white paint on an old, dingy ceiling. We actually had our doubts that paint could help the sad shape it’s been in for the last 6+ months, but almost immediately, the space felt brighter than it has since our move in day.
Another big task that we’ve been checking off in small doses are all of our light switches and outlets. Not a one of our switches was protected with a plate cover (what?!), and many of them were crooked and/or sunken into the wall. As we paint each room, we’ve been updating each and every electrical need as well, which – at times – has proven to be a bit more complicated than we’d like. (See exhibit A, below. This required access from the other side of the wall, then properly boxing it out with a 2×4.)
All that aside and one afternoon of painting later, we have clean pink walls! My brother and sister not only got their first taste of painting walls, but it turns out they’re little budding electricians, expert brush cleaners and drywall smooth-ers, too. We used Pale Bud by Behr, and it’s so so soft; it’s perfect. (Perfect as it is, it’s also ridiculously hard to photograph; the ceiling, while white, is picking up on the pink walls.)
Also, hell-o, you studly coffee table, you! We’ve actually had this table in storage for months, and we’ve been itching to get it out of hiding and into the light of the studio – and we love it. The table was gifted to us by Hayneedle (a result of a lucky break and a local launch party for Clementine Daily), and while the style is a bit out of our normal comfort zone, we’re pretty sure that’s exactly why we fell so hard. (A new house, a new start and new ideas!) Ultimately, this half of the studio will be used as a cozy conversational area – our couch will make its way up (once we can decide on something more size appropriate for the living room), and we’ll layer everything together with our velvet chair (or perhaps the green chair?) and an area rug.
Now that we have our clean slate, I feel I can actually start hanging art, brainstorming for storage and turning the place where I spend most of my time into a space I love. My former studio still has my heart, but my hope is that this room will not only prove to be more functional (and, obviously, more spacious!) but even more inspiring.
It’s amazing what paint can do for the soul, isn’t it?