Tuesday, January 30, 2007

we are family
We walk hand in hand with four paws trotting at our ankles; the pupster wakes us up wagging his tail and licking our faces. He’s not a child, of course, but he almost may as well be. The dynamic between us has changed: we are three now. I love it, although having a furry morning bedfellow has its downsides – I heard TA say to Skye yesterday, “where are you going? Don’t eat that! It’s not a sausage!”

colour me beautiful
Other things have changed too; yes, the hall is no longer a safe, dull, dingy cream with sludge carpet. No sir-ree. It is a violent shade of “lemongrass” green. I took some persuading (as I always do when TA suggests dark red or some other bold choice), but in the end I thought to myself as I stood in B&Q internally quaking at our colour audacity: we’ve got the next 30 years to mellow into magnolia; if we don’t like it we can paint over it; it’s our home we can do what we like; TA is an artist, I should trust his eye; oh, for goodness sake it’s only colour; it can’t look worse than it does now. The tin said Tarragon Glory 4, I think. Although, the web version looks a lot yellower and yuckier than the vibrant green we have. Almost all the woodwork in the flat is now a lovely unifying white (I’ll do the bits that were missed last time round in the living room soon and then it will all be finished - hurrah), just as well given the colourpalooza explosion going on in our tiny apartment Meanwhile, the floor is being laid today (my weekend schedule forgot to take into account the 48-hour acclimatising period for the boards).
There were several moments of panic along the way. The moment where we thought our choice of wood “style” (root oak, or some such nonsense) had been a terrible mistake as it looked oddly red against the chipboard, but I think it’ll be okay. The moment we realised that neither of us had actually checked to see if the leftover underlay was going to be enough to cover the hall; it was, just. The moment TA dropped the paint lid, splattering the pupster with Tarragon Glory (sorry, no pictures).
We finished the first coat on Saturday and surveyed our handiwork.
Me: Well, it’s certainly not dingy anymore.
TA: Did I ever tell you about my first house in Melbourne? It had a nook in the kitchen that was covered in green paper this colour it had big white daisies on it. We could never use it because it hurt our eyes. It reminded me of a mental asylum.
Later…
Me: I think I like it. Although, every time we paint a room I think we knock several grand off the asking price of the flat. Our friends will think we’re insane.
TA: It’s the kind of colour you’d look at and think “that’s the first thing I’ll paint over when I move in.”
Me, Sunday morning, emerging bleary-eyed to feed the pupster: Thank Christ, I don’t have a hangover!
All of which suggests that it looks dire, it doesn’t it looks strong and just a little bit Scandinavian, I think. I tried to find an example of what I’m thinking of – bright colour and fresh white paint, but failed. There will be some finishing touches to complete over the next few months (I’d like a mirror – perhaps like this – and a runner)…yes, in all likelihood another trip to IKEA is in our future.
Finally, we backed away from painting the kitchen Tarragon explosion and rethought. I quite like the idea of Wedgwood blue, I said. Like the Chinese plates, TA asked. No, Wedgwood blue. TA said he wanted a light greyish plum. I expressed not doubt, exactly, but trepidation. Victorian red living room, wet sand yellow bedroom, white bathroom, acid green hall and mauve kitchen…are you sure? Apparently he was.
We haven’t started the kitchen yet – TA talked me round to the idea of finishing the hall and getting the rest of the flat back to normality before deconstructing yet another room, but there are a few test patches around the kitchen just to see it against the green and next to the “slate” floor and kitchen units and, well, I think it’s going to be okay. After all, we’ve got the next 30 years to mellow into magnolia; if we don’t like it we can paint over it; it’s our home we can do what we like; TA is an artist, I should trust his eye; oh, for goodness sake it’s only colour; it can’t look worse than it does now.

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