It’s Starting to Come Together: Cleaning, Painting and Feeling Better

My daughter’s room, like life, is starting to go from bleak to a little more inviting. I worked on the new house non-stop for the past four days: painting, scrubbing, repairing and touching up. It’s starting to look a lot less like a rental house and a lot more like a home. (photos below)

Now the living room is painted and fresh looking, as is the master bedroom, the back hall, the entry foyer, the stairs leading to the second floor and the sun room. My father-in-law was a god-send helping me with much of the work. My mother-in-law pitched in too! Everything is a neutral creme color, fresh and clean and the house is now ready to accept the role as our new home.

The kids are thrilled. They came up this weekend and worked beside me without complaint and without stopping — literally for hours. I have great kids. Truly.

Byron is still working on his room, but Alex’s room is almost complete. We will be adding a bit more “flair” in the form of some painted flowers and a few hand-touches. My sister (the artist of the family) is going to take a paintbrush to the room later this week to create a habitat of butterflies, flowers, caterpillars, etc.

But for now, I’m just happy with the dramatic difference we were able to achieve in a single afternoon of painting. Amy made the curtains for Alex a couple days earlier and we shopped for the sheets, paint, pillow covers, and other touches together.

The kitchen and Wayne’s study are still “as found” — but I’m sure we will get to that soon. Why, exactly, would anyone paint a kitchen the color of dried yellow mustard?!?! (I have a lovely shade of white with just a touch of sherbet green which will fix that problem, but it’s really disgusting at the moment.)

I guess the same people who would paint a master bedroom shiny brown-black and a living room battleship gray (also shiny) and would “close in” the walls of a stairwell by painting it flat deepest, darkest forest green would paint the kitchen yellow-brown.

I know, I’m boring, but I prefer lighter colors for my walls. Byron is going dark on sections and is using BRIGHT lime green on a center section. Sounds horrid, but it’s coming together beautifully. Very modern… sort of a modern Asian fusion concept with deep red, granny-smith apple green, and touches of black and silver.

Alex has a purple flair (as you can see below), but the rest of the house is going to be pretty vanilla in color. I’d rather decorate with textures and textiles, personally.

The decorating does make me feel better. Deep cleaning, painting rooms with tall ceilings, cleaning windows and all the physical exertion of the work and the running up and down two flights of stairs has been good for me. It’s helped me to work off some stress, I think.

And, best of all, it’s getting the things done that need to be done. It’s getting the kids involved in the process and it’s making my life a little less dreary. After all, it’s pretty hard to decorate a purple room fit for a princess and maintain a negative demeanor.


These photos show the room when I’d only painted the side walls, but hadn’t touched the fireplace wall — and then after the purple was added. Quite a punch, eh?

Alex's Room Before We Painted
Alex's Room After We Painted

I’ll post another photo or two when the rest of the work is complete… but things are looking a bit brighter!