Saturday, May 13, 2017

On the Homefront: Taking a Chance & Living to Tell

About a week ago the main living area in our house was relatively clean. It was presentable. I mean, there was a blanket or two out, and a few toys that belong to our youngest kid were on the floor.
As of this writing, her toys have overtaken the room. But I have a legitimate excuse. I do. Honestly.
I was painting.

When my wife and two older kids left for Cleveland last Sunday afternoon, I immediately went to work. I taped off the half bathroom and gave it two coats of paint, the second coat going on by Monday morning. By Monday night, the first coat went on in the entry hallway and by Tuesday evening I was peeling the tape off the non-painted parts of the hallway.

The hallway had been a plain white finish that was impossible to clean. I'm pretty sure it was a flat finish. There were two "accent walls" at either end of the hall that featured the same color that adorned the bathroom. It was some sort of peach I think and it, too, was a pretty dull looking finish.

The color in the bathroom is now "sheer apricot" and the hallway is "louvre." Or for those of us color-challenged, the hallway is similar to an oak color and the bathroom - complete with newer brighter lightbulb - is kinda sunny. Both finishes are semi-gloss, which several years ago became my favorite finish of paint. (For the record, I chose the oak color (louvre) because there is a large skylight in the main open area of our house, and the new trim that accented the siding we got last summer is the same color. So the choice was made to create "flow." I think that's the best word.)
Oh, I should add I did all this without checking with anyone. I wanted to get it done because it was time. The walls were dirty needed to be freshened up. The bathroom was dark and needed to be brightened. Now both areas are the same, yet completely different.
When three-fifths of my family showed up at home Wednesday afternoon, I was in the midst of scrubbing the hall floor (also long overdue). I took a walk outside to welcome everyone home, and then took a deep breath as my wife walked inside. As most people would tell you, decisions like paint color and furniture can lead to big arguments. Thankfully, I'm batting a thousand.
In 2015, for our anniversary, I purchased some bedroom furniture as a surprise. Nothing crazy, nothing overly expensive, and nothing too ostentatious, but necessary items that we had gone without for too long. To enhance the surprise, it was delivered almost a month before our actual anniversary. By taking the big decision out of her hands, it removed a ton of stress. It was a win-win. New furniture and no stress.
Now, 18 months later, I managed to pull off a decent combination Mothers Day/birthday surprise by sprucing up another area of the house. As my wife walked in this past Wednesday I held my breath, hoping I'd chosen acceptable colors.
She looked around and noticed something was different. "This looks good," she said. Phew! Phase one is good. I felt daring and encouraged her to check out the bathroom also. "Where'd the puzzle come from?" (I explained it had been my grandmother's and she didn't want it anymore.) "OK, it looks good."
Victory! Phase two is good!
We moved in here November of 2014. Since then the laundry room/office/my room has been painted, our son's room has been painted, and our oldest daughter's room has been painted. A few months ago I painted the master bathroom. And now a big hurdle was jumped as I painted a very public area of the house that was in desperate need of it.
Now the desperate need is in the room I call the den. It's where we spend the most time together as a family, and our youngest has taken out as many toys as possible. I just spent some time writing this, telling myself I would get to that room soon. I've said "soon" many times the past few days.
Soon has arrived. I suppose I should go clean that room now. Til next time!

Howie Balaban doesn't mind painting. However, if you would like to help him paint his family's outdoor wooden deck in the coming weeks, he would welcome the assistance.