When things look dirty and old, when it’s hard to see what the generations of owners before you were thinking, you just need to close your eyes and start. Starting is the important thing. We are not always inspired right out of the gate. There are seemingly endless roadblocks to getting started. Fear – of making the wrong decision, of the associated cost of those wrong decisions, of having to start over, and what of the next wrong decision, and on and on until your frozen, immobile. Unacceptable.
Making a decision is part of the renovation game. Making a lot of them is just part and parcel of the same. There are certainly going to be a number of wrong ones thrown into the mix. This is how you get smarter, how you build your design and construction chops. So you see, hesitating will do you no good. It’s time to make a decision.
While I wait for the HVAC Contractor to give me my quote and the painter and carpenter to do the same, I should be reaching out to an electrician and a plumber. I’ll need both, and I want to make sure that I have the electrical capacity to support the new HVAC system that will be installed. But it’s Christmas and no one is doing anything remotely resembling work, that includes scheduling it for a later date. Hum. That leaves me in a bit of a pickle, but mustard on I must.
Instead of pickling a pickled pepper for a party later on, I’ll start to pick the paint. One thing about small places is their lack of definition from one space to the next. The living room flows into the kitchen, the stair flows from living room down to bedroom, making it difficult to stop one paint color and begin another. The same will be true of the floors, and I desperately want those floors to be treated differently – like they were special. Instead I think I will have to pick a single stain for all the hard wood. That makes it easy, even if it doesn’t comply with my design desires. The fact that it’s oak and the boards are thin make the decision, for me, even easier. It’s Dark Walnut or Espresso. Why these tones? The darker the stain, the more contiguous the wood looks. I prefer wide planks of hickory, but I am not going to be ripping up these floors. Oak has it’s advantages. It’s sits above the median on the Janka Hardness Scale which measures the hardness of the wood varietals. At 1360, it’s pretty tough, which means it can take the wear and tear of the city finding its way in from the outdoors. That’s a big plus. Additionally, I hate to rip out anything that was well constructed, just because I don’t like it. So the floor stays, but that closet, the mechanical equipment, the built-in cabinetry – that’s a no holds bar – going, going, gone. It’s so bad, I’d even do it myself.
I’m going with another shade of gray to sooth my sensibilities over the other things I cannot change. While I love Ben Moore’s Mineral Ice, I am leaning toward Stone White, Tundra or Sidewalk Gray. All these hues can be a little more blue than gray, but that is my preference. It’s happy and sophisticated all at the same time, and the place deserves a little happy. Gray looks beautiful next to a dark stained floor.
For the kitchen I’m leaning toward a darker green than I had in No. 4. Waterbury Green or Dragonfly. They are rich colors and though the kitchen is an alley kitchen, I feel as if it will be cozy. The powder room would look pretty in a dusty pink like this Batik. That leaves the bedroom and the master bath. All for another day.