Thursday, 14 August 2014

PINK!

About five weeks ago, in the week approaching the school holidays, I was awakened one fine morning to find both my children standing next to my bed. "How many nights do we have to sleep before we get six weeks off?" son S asked. I lay there blinking, surprised by the ambush, and before I had the chance to answer he continued, "Because I'm really looking forward to going to the beach and doing other fun stuff." By now I was awake enough to share the joyful anticipation of the holidays, but then daughter N cut in. "No-ho, silly - mama's not going to the beach this summer, she's painting my room pink!"  



This rude awakening reminded me of the Big Promise I had made a while back: to redecorate N's room during the summer holidays, a promise I had made after listening to her shout "I'm tired of sleeping in a room that isn't PINK!" on more than one occasion. And heck, M and I reckoned, there was so much other DIY on the agenda, adding one more room to the mix wouldn't matter.

All I can say at the moment is: thank goodness the ground floor of this house is DIY-free. In fact, if you walked in the front (or back) door, you would never suspect the mayhem upstairs. N's bed is in S's room, along with her wardrobe and all her other 'important' stuff: dolls, stuffed toys, as well as a load of other paraphernalia, whilst all her other furnishings are upstairs stuffed into the spare room. Speaking of which.... the spare room has been painted green, but isn't finished by a long shot: the windowsill needs another coat of paint, and the floor won't be delivered until the 2nd of September (yes - in the very busy week we start school). To give you an impression of the work we've had to do, I should perhaps first tell you something about the history of this house.





The owners before the previous owners were two doctors who worked at the local hospital. One, I believe, was an oncologist. In their limited free time they kept pretty much to themselves, devoting it to one another and their two young children, happily forsaking the rest of the world. They particularly enjoyed being at home. And because they worked in a hospital, they refused to be confronted by the colour white in that home. Perhaps by now you can sense what is coming.  As you know I love a colourful house, but our two doctors took making a house colourful to the next level. They not only painted every single wall and every single radiator a blinding purple, they even painted the ceilings. Yes, the ceilings. All of them. A very bright yellow. Some with purple stars glued on for good measure.

Let me give you a moment to digest.

The folks who were brave enough to buy the house from the doctors did their best to paint some of the ceilings a respectable white, but somewhere along the way they must have collapsed from DIY exhaustion because some rooms were left untouched. Two of those rooms - you guessed it - were N's bedroom and the spare room. On top of dealing with purple walls, yellow ceilings, and correcting extremely poor finishings, we have had to remove a slapdash kitchen of sorts from the spare room (don't ask me why it was there - I wouldn't have a clue), as well as hideous orange wallpaper, well, all over the place.

I must say, though.... I am very pleased with the result that is beginning to unfold, gradually but surely. It's a bit like slowly unwrapping a present. Walls have been stripped and coloured. Ceilings and window frames have been sanded down and painted a pristine white. Lots of necessary repairs have been done. We still have work to do, but in order for it not to overwhelm me, I think of the meditation Buddhists use when carrying out necessary tasks: chop wood, carry water - do what needs to be done without letting thoughts take you over. Or I think of the bigger picture, the vision M and I have for our house. And when even that is difficult I can at least revel in the fact that N, when she saw me open The Glorious Pot of Pink, did a happy little dance, threw her arms around my neck and squealed in pure delight.



29 comments:

  1. Oh. My. God. Purple walls and yellow ceilings. And they were doctors ? Didn't they realize such a combo is a huge health hazard ? I think I would have a splitting headache after an hour...
    Don't get me wrong. I love colour. But "trop is teveel", like we say in Belgium...
    How did you stay so calm ? I think you must be best friends with Buddha ;-)))
    And is N's room finished ? I can imagine she's over the moon with joy (as every little girl would be with a pink room !)

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    1. Haha!
      Nope, N's room isn't finished yet - we hope to finish everything next week. Then we can move her back into her own room and things will (hopefully!) go back to normal around here.

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  2. my sister painted her bedroom ceiling yellow, with black footprints. she's much older than me and when she left home I was desperate to move into her room as it was bigger than mine. but not till the yellow was gone gone gone. oh and the red window sill and the lime green radiator. I have been very fond of white ever since x

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    1. Yikes, yellow ceiling with black footprints sounds frightening! xxx

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  3. I hope you got the house for a bargain price! It does sound quite bizarre, colours and kitchen upstairs? Best not to know details :) We have an orange room. Orange was always Sam's favourite colour and his former bedroom was painted a warm orange, unimaginably bright (white ceilings and woodwork) It is no longer his room but the walls are still orange, partly because we are bit lazy. The pink for your daughters room is a beautiful shade. I miss my daughters pink room, she recently had it painted white. Growing up I guess. Happy painting. x

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    1. Yes, the upstairs kitchen is a bit of a puzzle. We have a lovely one downstairs, though; the last owners put that one in and I'm very grateful they did. Thankfully they also painted the downstairs ceilings white so we didn't need to do those!

      Oh, I do hope N will want to keep her room pink for a while - I've done enough DIY to last me a few years!

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  4. Some people certainly have weird taste don't they - I don't know how you have managed to live with it all this time. Hope it all gets finished soon and you can get back to normal - but first, back to the pink!

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    1. I sometimes wonder that myself - the state some of those rooms were in! But downstairs was fine, so we kept putting off doing up the rest because we were too exhausted all the time, what with work and small children. This is the first time we've reall had the energy to do it - and once we're done, I will post the result!

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  5. Every girl should have a pink bedroom phase. I did. But it didn't last very long. Just sayin'..
    I love your analogy of slowly unwrapping a present. I will remember that!

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    1. A lot of those pink phases don't last long - but I hope N's does, because I'm not picking up another paint brush for a long time after this is done!

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  6. And they were doctors?? Hmm, kind of scary somehow that they chose such chaotic colours! Sounds like you are doing a fabulous job slowly breathing life and love into your house. Good luck with it all and I am already looking forward to seeing the results X

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    1. Well put, Penny: we are indeed slowly breathing life and love into this house. And I will definitely share the results! xxx

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  7. I will never know the joy of a little girls' pink bedroom, so I am hoping for lots of pictures!! I requested my room be painted white when I was a teen. My parents liked bold wallpaper. It was an antidote to it. I am still distrustful of coloured walls!
    Leanne xx

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    1. Haha, isn't it funny how we rebel against things past: I grew up in a white-walled house and now only want coloured ones (but not bright purple please)! xxx

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  8. Look forward to seeing some pictures Isabelle! I'd love to see the stars…!

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    1. I'm afraid the stars have gone already - I was quite pleased to see them removed. Pity, I should have taken a photo first! xxx

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  9. A lovely colour! And I really like that green. We lived with horrid wallpaper and borders in our house for years before we got round to removing it.

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    1. Yes, sometimes you just don't get round to doing up a house right away for all sorts of reasons: young children, busy jobs etc. and then the years fly by. We've lived here five years, and although we did up the ground floor, the rest has had to wait...until now! xxx

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  10. I love a bit of colour too but yellow and purple sounds a bit much. The walls in my bedroom are yellow, but the ceiling is a pale yellow and the radiator a terracotta colour. My daughter wasn't bothered about the colour of her walls so we chose the colour for her! A sort of orangey pink colour. Hope you get all your painting done before you have to go back to work :)

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    1. That's definitely what we're aiming for - it would be nice to get everything done before the new school year starts for all four of us!

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  11. I REALLY want Mr H to paint our loo and laundry. It's a bit of a patchwork at the moment. I think I may have to prep it to get him going. Painting is not my favourite job to do.........I am a blue girl. Always have been. xo

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    1. What I dislike about painting is all the prep work, and the cleaning up afterwards! A patchwork is a good description of this house too - that's why we really wanted to (finally) get stuck into things this summer. Good luck motivating Mr H!

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  12. How funny, we had a kitchen of sorts in our spare bedroom too when we moved in!! It was all there, bar the oven! Very strange indeed. Also everywhere there had been a piece of furniture in the house the skirting board had been removed.... So I can sympathise with your DIY overload, it gets a bit much sometimes doesn't it. How brilliant though that your daughter is thrilled with her paint colour, you must have been very happy about it!! xx

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    1. Yes, what is that business with kitchens in spare bedrooms I wonder?!
      I can't wait to see the look on N's face when her bedroom is all done, I'm really looking forward to it :-)

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  13. Oh my goodness, that sounds like a job. We had a similar situation here, not with paint colors, but with a really ostentatious fireplace design. It was a giant plaster seashell which went from floor to ceiling, with fountains and lights installed in it! Horrible! I'm sure your daughter will love her new bedroom colors.

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    1. Oh my goodness, that fireplace sounds absolutely hideous, if you don't mind my saying so. How can something like that be anybody's taste!? You had it removed, I gather...? xxx

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  14. Such a lot of DIY work! I think I would definitely be overwhelmed. It will be fantastic when it's finished.

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    1. I hope so! It's a lot of work indeed, and I will be glad when it's all done; I'm already enjoying the progress we're making.

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  15. Our daughter is still accepting of her pink room, but she moved into a purple (Rapunzel) phase which is about to be superseded by the blue (Elsa -frozen) phase. Her walls won't (magically) change colour but we'll introduce the new choices bit by bit....

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