So we have a date of inspection set up, and we’ve successfully applied for a mortgage, so now it’s time to do the most important part — picking the paint colors.
Our real estate agent gave us a crash course in judging houses hardcore, so we were actually kind of worried that she wouldn’t like the house we picked out (we looked at the house and put in an offer the week she was on vacation). She did like the house though. We walked all throughout the house and she commented on things we’ll have to ask the sellers about — the sealing on two of the windows, the home security system, the pesticide systems, the HVAC hook-ups.
We stood and looked down the stairs, catching our breath from being in the hot, dusty attic. I commented that part of the reason I liked this house was the foyer. You could see so many different angles just by walking in the door. I was hoping to paint the walls in a way to emphasize this.
“So there’s the character you were looking for,” said our agent, smiling.
The grown-up things I did today was actually talking to contractors to find someone to refinish our hardwood floors and paint the walls. There’s nothing wrong with the floors, they look pretty new actually. But they’re reddish, and glossy, and I want my hardwoods to be brown and matte. But I also signed up to have some house painters call. I set up times to get estimates from two separate contractors. One of them, Express Yourself Painting, took time to talk with me about our project, while the other, All-Pro Painters, just put us on their calendar. So right now I’m more inclined to Express Yourself Painting.
James and I have been talking about what, exactly, we want done before we have Thanksgiving visitors. I’ve been thinking so much about painting the foyer that I hadn’t even noticed what James cared the most about, aesthetically: the half-bath. Apparently it has an oval mirror, and James hates oval mirrors. Plus, it’s just a pedestal sink and a toilet. No storage at all. So I sat with James for a while last night and showed him different ideas. He didn’t seem inclined towards any of them, but I’m thinking: new mirror, a small shelf that runs on all (some?) walls, and two-toned walls.
I’ve tried explaining, in words, what I want for the foyer, but James didn’t seem to understand. He thought I was having difficulty deciding what I wanted. So he said, “You know, for our house in New Jersey,” the house he lived in as a teenager basically, so his dream home, “Mom and Dad just picked out two colors — red and blue — and a lighter and a darker version of both, and they painted the whole house those colors.”
Setting aside that that is a very 90s way of painting walls, he may have his father’s chin and I may have my mother’s eyes but we are not our parents. We have our own style. This is our house. Not Steve and Deb’s. Not Hank and Katt’s. It’s James and Kelsey’s. We have a chance to put our own stamp on a house. Not just fill it with our furniture, but to make the house really ours. I can understand that this is difficult for James to get around, as he packs up his mother’s house for selling. And maybe that opportunity is less exciting for him, since he lived in his own apartment by himself for six years. But this is very important to me. I’m not going to design the house to look like his parent’s house.
I spent all day working on getting my idea for the foyer into pictures, rather than words.
Not these colors, not exactly, but this idea — green, red, and blue, and then otherwise having the same khaki-beige-tan-neutral color all throughout the rest of the downstairs and even into the upstairs. It’s a two-story foyer, so like, we need someone else painting that.
I showed it to James and he didn’t have a strong reaction. He didn’t hate it, but he didn’t like it, either. I even tried to explain why I wanted the colors laid out like this, but his reaction didn’t change. I picked these colors as a compromise between our styles — if it were up to me, everything would be in bright colors, but we’re getting earthy tones for James’ style.
What if I got rid of the green — one of my favorite colors, but James doesn’t like green walls — but still no strong reaction from James.
So. Whatever. If James didn’t care then I can do whatever I want with these walls, right?
He can’t stop me.