Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The redecoration project starts

I have been dithering – no other word for it – over colours and styles. When we had our offer accepted on the house, I was all set to go modern. The colours from nature that look so good in other people’s houses – the pale greys, the taupes, the olives, the blues and khakis ... After much dithering, I realised that I just cannot do it. Those colours are not me. I like to see them in others’ houses but they just aren’t to my taste. They look really smart, but to me they don’t look warm and inviting. I know they could look stunning with our furniture – black button-backed leather lounge suite and wooden china cabinets, balloon backed dining chairs and long oval table, but I realise I am not after stunning, I am not after a fashionable look. So an about turn, a winding. It’s back to lightness, to warmth and softness for this house. David is VERY relieved.

My sister Dee has been very helpful in this time of dithering, and conversations with her helped me clarify my discomfort, and when Wendy and Kevin were here for dinner on Monday, Wendy picked a paper that Dee and I had listed as a possible for the lounge dining room from the book, and that was the decision, as quick as that in the final analysis, but it had taken me ages to get to that point… Doh!

By contrast, the decision about the feature wall (OK, there is a modern touch) for the bedroom was made about two days after we had our offer accepted on the house – Joe and I popped in to Guthrie Bowron’s in Porirua and there it was. I fell in love with it instantly. Material for blinds was chosen on a trip to Palmerston North with Dee – and that was a quick decision too. On Monday we discussed paint or paper for the remaining walls, and settled on paint – we had found one that was the exact colour to go with the wallpaper and I’ve got stripes of it from the testpot on the wall in the kitchen. And it’s far cheaper than paper and possibly quicker – it’ll need 3 coats – a sealer over the wallpaper and then two topcoats. But I don’t have to take off the paper, and that will be a b*gger of a job* on the end wall that is having the new lovely beautiful fabulous paper. (* Note at 7pm – my prediction was right!)

And the kitchen was another room I was going to go modern in – the old benchtop is a cornflower blue. I know that that looks stunning with milky coffee/taupe/mushroomy colours. But could I bring myself to choose any of them? Not on your life. So we decided to get the kitchen rejuvenated - the guy is coming tomorrow to measure and quote for new a benchtop and replacement doors and handles. The kitchen is a good ergonomic shape and very easy to work in. It’s got lots of cupboards, a number of which have nothing in them at this point.  So no need to strip the whole thing out and start from scratch, and the rejuvenation option is cheaper. The cupboard doors I have selected are faux t&g in white (traditional look), I am tossing up between a wooden benchtop (the one on the boat is lovely, hardwearing and easy to keep) or granite (I love the look, but it could be a bit unforgiving on glasses and plates, although excellent for pastry). It may come down to cost … The paint is most likely going to be the same as we had at Cherswud, a lovely creamy yellow.

So, where to start? I decided to do the bedroom first. So on Tuesday I washed down the walls, doors (5 including 4 wardrobe ones) and windowsills and frames. 
The mattress is on the floor in the sunroom for a few days until the bedroom is finished and the paint aroma is gone.

All furniture is on the bed base apart from the treadle sewing machine. Only one strip of wallpaper has been removed.

And yesterday morning, after we moved the mattress and bedding out, I went and spent heaps buying enough ceiling paint for the rest of the house, painting equipment (cannot think where to start looking in the boxes stacked in the garage and lost the will to live in contemplating doing so). The ceiling has had two coats and needs another. David did the first one and cursed and groaned all the way through as it was so hard for him to see where he had done/not done. He managed to miss bits and I managed not to be able to identify them either. So I did the next coat, and managed to miss bits too. So I will put the third coat on this morning. When I have straightened out the kinks in my neck, I’ll score the wallpaper on the prospective feature wall and get that off. If I have any energy left, or any strength in my right arm, I may paint the skirting board, architraves, sills and doors, or part thereof.

OK, up and at’em, Atom Ant. It’s 8am and time to get started. I’ll make fruit salad for our brekkie first and then I’ll get on to the painting.

At 7pm: I did the final ceiling paint [as David was on hold for over an hour with Vodafone trying (for about the 6th time since just before we moved into the house) to sort out stuff about getting the cable installed and our desired line speed for the internet. This is a saga that has had him on hold for 20 times longer than any actual conversations he’s managed to have with the call centre people. We are trying to replicate the system and service we had at Cherswud – currently, as a stopgap, we have ADSL which was fine while all workers were on holiday, but now it’s like a 3rd world service which is slower than dialup - aaarrrggghhh!!! Vodafone’s customer service is rubbish – once a call gets through the staff are pleasant but getting through and getting the promised callbacks are both proving trying in the extreme. It’s clear there aren’t enough staff to handle the calls in a timely manner. We were TelstraClear customers, they got bought out by Vodafone some time ago, but we are still put through to the service team who handles former TC customers – there seems to be no understanding that in moving and setting up in a new home our contract is with Vodafone, not TC … Very frustrating, and far worse than any experience David had as PA B*tch in the UK. OK, rant over, for now!]

After the ceiling was done, I got started on stripping the wallpaper. It took me about 5 hours to strip just one wall. Thankfully I am painting the remaining three. It’s been so hot today that each time I’ve wet sections of the wall they have dried off in about 5 minutes. I have added my sweat to the bucket of water – today I have not perspired or gently glowed, I have sweated profusely.  I am waiting on a wallpaper steamer to be delivered up to Waikanae for doing the lounge/dining, but I don’t think it would have been much use to me today. I was hot enough just using water and vinegar – if I’d been handling a steamer I probably would have expired. So when the wallpaper was off, I stopped for the day – a shower, lots of water to drink and blobbing in front of Boston Legal episodes.

Tomorrow as well as the kitchen man, we’ve got a curtain consultant coming to measure and quote for the roman blinds in the bedroom. Things are moving along ...

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