December 3, 2007

Four Walled World

Here's an odd, quite possibly pathetic fact - aside from leaving for work this morning, since Thursday afternoon I left the house exactly once. And that was only for 20 minutes to swing by a local Chinese place to pick up some takeout. I'm not sure that counts.

Why? Bright and early on Thursday morning, painters arrived to rid us of the boring, cheap white paint the previous owner of this house slapped on before putting it on the market (and apparently, said owner hired mildly retarded blind chimpanzees to do so - it was an awful job). The basement was the only area we didn't elect to have painted. Hence it was my domain to cower in while Mia and Beth tried to keep themselves occupied in the real world, you know, the place with sun and no paint fumes.

Luckily for us, the painters told that because of the size of the team they'd bring the job would only take two days.

I pictured a horde of white overall-clad, paint hat-wearing guys waving rollers and brushes disgorged from vans very much like Normandy on D-Day. What we got was something less than a horde. And the war against the white walls was more of a series of minor yet ultimately successful skirmishes. Because of this, the whole war took a day longer to fight. The Battle of the Dining Room turned out to be slightly more complex that originally predicted. The Playroom Offensive was made more difficult by cabinets bolted to the walls. Both the master bathroom and the baseboards throughout the house staved off a few separate and furious attacks before eventually surrendering peacefully.

We're now left with a house that's decidedly, wonderfully not white and an aversion to spending more than 20 minutes at a stretch in our basement. Here's what we did. Or rather, here's what we paid people to do.


On Saturday night, while on hour 548 of solitary basement confinement, I got a really nice email that made my weekend. From Marshall Karp. Yeah, the guy whose book - The Rabbit Factory - I reviewed on Friday. We traded a couple of emails throughout the weekend and I've just gotta say it again - check out his book. Not only is it a great read but the author's a good guy. And Marshall, if you're out there reading, thanks for stopping by.

That was my weekend. How was yours?

Posted by Chris at December 3, 2007 6:14 AM

Love the paint colors - it's tough to tell, but I think the color I (finally) chose for my home office is pretty close to the color you guys painted your master bedroom & bathroom. Might even be the same color exactly.

Re: not leaving the house for days - that isn't so weird to me, b/c for the past several months I have worked from home pretty much 5 days a week. I would go days without leaving the house. It was great. Of course, I wasn't hanging out in the basement trying not to inhale paint fumes. Anyway, it all ends today, as I now have to commute into NYC 3 days each week. It could be worse, but I am not exactly thrilled with this development - although I am marginally less irked than I was when the alarm went off at 5. Oh I was spoiled before!

Posted by: erin at December 3, 2007 6:37 AM

Hm. We're currently fighting a battle of the dining room walls as well - trying to go a deep cranberry red. What is it with those dining room walls? Why are they so uncooperative.

The colours you've chosen look great.

Posted by: suze at December 3, 2007 6:51 AM

Love the colours, my weekend was a bit odd but i enjoyed reading about yours

Posted by: Grilled Pizza at December 3, 2007 6:55 AM

Cool colors. We cannot stand white walls. We built a new house and quickly painted the walls within 2 weeks of moving in.

The weekend was a crazy one. We were locked in our house trying to potty train our 2yr old boy. There was a lot of crying and peeing on the floor.

Posted by: Josh at December 3, 2007 8:18 AM

RBC Unite.

Posted by: william at December 3, 2007 9:18 AM

Wow, you guys did great with colors, and I'm sure you feel like you're living in a brand new place more than ever. Nicely done (or... nicely requisitioned). Painters are not cheap, but painting a whole house by yourself and doing a good job would quite literally take years.

Posted by: Brad at December 3, 2007 9:58 AM

Great colors. I'm especially digging the dining room. There's just something about those dark warm colors that makes me happy.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at December 3, 2007 10:20 AM

Long and treacherous... Seriously. That is the first time in a long time I have said that. Matthew has a slight head cold or else he has truly turned into an evil two year toddler... He pushed every button that BOTH Kevin & I had. It was an adventure. I was tired and had a massive headache which did not help matters AND I had a pile of chores to do which did not get done... SIGH. Hopefully this cold runs its course and goes away SOON.

The colors are lovely. I LOVE the baby's room color the most. That is gorgeous!

Posted by: Christina at December 3, 2007 10:21 AM

I like the new colors.

I didn't leave the house all weekend. It was great. I wasn't confined to a single room though. I baked most of the weekend.

Posted by: Maria at December 3, 2007 10:50 AM

What lovely color choices!
Lucky you... hiring painters. We had painters do our new house (just because) except for the "spare" room above the garage which is for storage and my crafts (craps, according to Hubs). That was enough. I had painted the whole interior of the old house waaay too many times to count. It's hard! (Hear me whine?)

I already put that book on my "to read" list. Thanks!

Posted by: sue at December 3, 2007 11:05 AM

My weekend was obviously much more boring compared to the war you had brewing in your house. All I did was vanquish a few in-laws and eat good food to celebrate. Brave.

Love the colors!

Posted by: Sarah R at December 3, 2007 11:21 AM

Lovely selection :) You guys have such great taste....which is likely how you ended up with one another :P

Posted by: Heather at December 3, 2007 12:10 PM

Pretty!!! How'd you decide and you PAID for that, that's pretty expensive, isn't it?

We were going to have our bathroom and living room painted when we built and they were going to charge us $4,000.00, we said, thanks, but no thanks!

Posted by: been there, done that at December 3, 2007 12:36 PM

Very cool colours.

The only thing worth noting that I did on the weekend was help my friend make 11 tourtières for their annual Christmas party. Four regular (beef and pork), and 7 venison. I love the stuff, but as I'm the only one who'll eat it here at my house, it's not worth the work to make up a bunch. I go over every year and trade labour (I like to roll out the pastry and flute the edges of the crust) for a pie to take home myself. I took a venison one this year. Mmmmm, that's good eating.

Posted by: alison at December 3, 2007 1:11 PM

I'm so jealous. Our whole house is the color of your kitchen because it was cheaper to buy a billion gallons of the same thing. I long for a nice subtle blue...

Posted by: Jenny at December 3, 2007 2:32 PM

Wow they got done pretty fast.

But thumbnails? WTF? I want to see the whole thing.

Posted by: statia at December 3, 2007 3:32 PM

Colors looks great. And colors are my thing.

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at December 3, 2007 3:40 PM

I love the colors, especially the dining room.

Posted by: Amy at December 3, 2007 4:01 PM

Very nice colors. Is it all done now?

Posted by: Maribeth at December 3, 2007 4:02 PM

Love me a non-white house. Pick up some extra Chinese for me, will ya? I like my lo mien with pork...the other white meat.

Posted by: liebowitz at December 3, 2007 4:26 PM

love, love freakin LOVE the color pallette!

Posted by: kalisah at December 3, 2007 8:02 PM

Good colors. Someday when my home is bigger than a matchbox I may go down the road of more colorfulness. Right now we have living room dining room nice taupe color. Light yellow kitchen and mud room and white beds and bath. More color may overwhelm my senses!!

Posted by: Amy at December 4, 2007 12:14 AM

Chris- Yes, I am out there reading (some might call it lurking). Thank you for all the kind words you said about The Rabbit Factory. It's one thing to have an email relationship, but the fact that you went public with your review borders on pimping. Thanks. I dug into your site, and even when you're not writing about me, you're a joy to read. In fact, I'd like to encourage you to write a book. I didn't start my first novel until I was mmmmph years old, and if I can do it, so can you. If any of your fans out there agree, please chime in. Maybe we can get a Grass Roots for Cactus Movement going. All the best, Marshall

Posted by: Marshall Karp at December 4, 2007 3:12 PM

Those wall colors are fantastic.

Posted by: She Likes Purple at December 5, 2007 12:29 AM

I mustn't stay away from you for longer than 4 days. Upon return after such a leave of absence, there is ENTIRELY too much to catch up on.

I wanted to click to make the pictures bigger. I was disappointed that I couldn't.

Posted by: Emily at December 6, 2007 2:07 PM