This week with visitors arriving imminently our focus has switched abruptly to the spare bedroom in a somewhat frantic attempt at transforming it from cluttered to welcoming. However, following a bit of a Marram hued wobble last week there was a slight delay as I underwent what is becoming a rather familiar scenario…. the pondering of paint.
The bedroom’s intended colour, under the stern instruction of R of Reuse, was Eico ‘Carolus’…. a mid-green which lasted only a day in our lounge before it was whited out and olived over and of which we subsequently have over one and a half non-refundable tins. The snug is destined to be Marram and two smaller tins were eagerly purchased in preparation…but this week I began the brain-aching process of contemplating a switch.
Firstly, I rationalised, there’s a green ‘theme’ emerging downstairs. It might make more sense aesthetically speaking to move through the hallway accompanied by graduating hues of green – deepest olive in the lounge, paler in the snug and flashes of emerald (via tiles and factory light (s….the lone ranger will one day have company) in the kitchen. The second, far more practical reason is that in having about eight litres of green remaining and only five of the aqua …and the snug being by far the bigger room…. it would make sense to go green downstairs thus saving me the bother of yet another stressfully unproductive trip to Fired Earth. With pros beginning to stack up against the neighbouring cons swatches were painted, tacked up and contemplated until a key was heard turning in the lock. Cousin Z.
On arrival Z was quickly brought up to speed on my internal debate.
“The blue does looks lovely in the bedroom” she agreed.
I nodded pensively.
“Yes. I think ….I think…. I will go with that way round…..”
Over coffee Z caught sight of my sprayed wicker light shade.
“What’s that for?” she enquired curiously.
I explained its lengthly transformation from gold (intended for the lounge but looking too much, I thought, like a gilded birdsnest) to its current blue-tinted-grey. Its destination, along with its colour, had also recently changed with its substantial proportions now due to be hung in the snug. I figured it might add a playful touch to what was at risk of becoming an airless, light-less library… with the added bonus that the grey sphere will echo (as you peer through from the kitchen) the steel grey circular silouhette of the clock.
“It looks cool” Z said approvingly (though I’m fairly certain few others will agree)
Turning to peer into the snug and catching sight once again of the swatches we sipped at our drinks silently.
Eventually Z spoke.
“Are you sure it will go with the green?” she asked quietly, an observation which verbalised a nagging feeling I’d been trying to suppress. “It definitely works with the blue but with the green…. I’m not so sure ……”
Taking the cumbersome spiky sphere in hand we picked our way across the hazardous landscape of the snug, deftly avoiding screwdrivers, sandpaper, rollers and buckets, before positioning it awkwardly against the swatches. I shifted it. I looked again. Z took hold. I peered. I sighed.
“Hmmm. You’re right…” and with a shake of the head I returned it to the relevant safety of the dining table before adding, more to myself than anyone else, “but a lightshade shouldn’t be a deal breaker…”
As I said it I knew it was.
Despite all the logic….the progressive green palette of downstairs flowing from room to room and the avoidance of yet more paint shopping….there was something about my new decision which felt dull and unexciting. Shaking the scheme up with the injection of the brighter aqua and inclusion of my weirdly wonderful shade made me feel happy and so, for no other reason than that, I reverted quite suddenly back to the original plan and in a bid to waste no more time sounded out our new painter. He was free to start Monday.
“Shall I book him?” I texted S.
“If you want.. though I think we could do it” replied the man who does a twelve hour day and arrives home with barely enough energy to lift the remote.
I booked the painter.
Within a day the bedroom was almost complete with its walls looking comfortingly calm adorned with their recycled shade of green. The exciting aqua-ing of the snug, however, will have to be postponed. Specialists have confirmed the damp patch in the alcove of the snug is a result of the change in level between us and next door (we are on a hill) and a new damp course is needed. Plaster must now be chipped back to around two metres in height, walls injected with some kind of solution, a membrane affixed and walls replastered. Until that’s sorted the room will remain a workshop which, despite my impatience to get finished, is probably no bad thing as with that many mini-projects on the go its quite useful to have an area in which to contain the mess. However, guiltily conscious that the painter was expecting a weeks work out of us, extra jobs were found….many of which were discovered clinging resolutely onto the Procrastination List. The built in snug cupboard which admittedly I started but soon abandoned… leaving it crusted in caramel-brittle layers of once-molten-now-hardened varnish …has now been stripped back in preparation for painting. The snug’s fireplace surround…unglamorous concrete…has also been part-stripped of its many layers of paint. With more yet to do to both I’m not convinced either have been escalated to any kind of List of Priorities nor will they be tackled with anything like enthusiasm….but perhaps once the room is clear and the depressing job of undoing good plasterwork to fix a problem which in truth we suspected was lurking (we had hoped the peeling wallpaper found in the alcove was a result of previous rather than current damp)….we will feel more energised to complete their transformation. Failing that we’ll call back the painter….
Speaking of procrastination, the kitchen extractor hood which has been hanging with innards laid bare for the last fortnight, has finally been re-attired with its gleaming steel cylinder sheath. Believing it to be kaput S was struggling to find both the energy and recklessness to tackle its re-affixing to the ceiling from which it had begun drooping without knowing which fuse would shut its power down beforehand. Returning to the kitchen from the spare bedroom he was in a jubilant mood. Not caused, I must swiftly add, by the green paint (although approval was proffered ….).
“I’ve had an epiphany” he declared.
I raised an eyebrow quizzically.
“I’ve just found the extractor fuse. Its in the spare bedroom.”
I nodded slowly. I remembered. Now.
“I think I knew that….” I said slowly as recollection dawned. Its unusual placement being a result of the absence of any kind of extraction within the original plans. As the spare bedroom was being reconfigured at the time the (building control) error came to light it was easier to site the fuse upstairs than chase into new plasterwork downstairs.
“I knew too….but the thing is….it was off. K must have turned it off when he fixed the leak.”
S awaited a reaction. It wasn’t forthcoming. Obligingly he explained further.
“So it isn’t broken….”
By the end of Saturday it was back up and functioning.
Meanwhile my dressing table is shaping up well with the marks from its previous life of abuse, imparted by hair straighteners and coffee cups, having been sanded away. It awaits the drying of the final coat of oil before it is swapped for the soon-to-be linen cupboard where the upcycling process will recommence. Making a pin board for O’s room is another job jostling for time we are lacking. The frame has been dismantled and recycled cork cut (badly) so sturdily straight edged cork tiles may be needed. My two sprayed lightshades are ready for hanging but the snug is not yet at the point where a dust collecting light fitting is recommended and the lounge shade requires the expertise of S and so must wait its patient turn along with many, somewhat more pressing, jobs on his list. A collection of frames have been extracted from the loft and await their facelift (yet to be finalised….paint? Sand? Both?) which will then be arranged in the spare bedroom to display a collection of ‘pictures which make one smile’…..and the sedentary task of sifting through digital storage in search of these – a pleasant task – would be more so if only I knew how to work our new MAC. Skirting still needs to be bought and fixed along one wall in the spare bedroom, architrave attached around the door, a light fitting moved (having taken a bite of the room for the bathroom the once centred pendant is looking bizarrely abstract at present) and above mentioned pictures, mirrors and a soft voile curtain hung. Finally scatter cushions and/or artwork is needed containing some kind of contrasting and uplifting colour yet to be decided.
“Why not go room by room now?” Suggested a friend sensibly “rather than have all of these multiple projects on the go?”
But what, I ask you, is the fun in sensible?