Making a Change: What A Difference Paint Makes

What did you do over your holiday? I painted my living room. As part of my personal resolutions for this year, I've vowed to do more of my home changes myself. First up, learning to paint, a task I've previously left to professionals or generous friends to accomplish for me. The 24 x 14 foot space was a challenge but I got it done by painting one wall a day. It's amazing what a difference a couple of gallons of color can make in a room and how great it feels to successfully tackle a big hurdle. Using a combination of rollers and paintbrushes (a large roller, a smaller roller for tricky and small spots, a short handled sharply angled brush to cut in the edges and a tapered brush to cover the molding neatly), I painted the bottom half of each wall, then, standing on a ladder, attacked the top half. The short handle brush was precise enough that I was able to paint without taping and the paint, Benjamin Moore's Aura line, covered the yellow in two coats.

Suddenly, the space, in contrast to its previous vaguely retro vibe, feels modern and alive. Certainly it's bright! Because I get only a smattering of western light, I decided to go with the brightest white I could find and used the eggshell base as is (I didn't add any color to it but used it straight off the shelf). It definitely feels stark and the already large space feels even more cavernous, which was exactly what I was going for! I wanted it to feel like a loft. The change in color prompted me to make some changes to my decor too: the poster has been moved to my office, the rest of the art has been shifted to other parts of the apartment, the plants have been corraled in one corner, my filing cubes have been recruited from my office to act as a temporary coffee table, a fuzzy pillow softens the Eames-style lounger while a soft throw performs the same duty for the armchair.

Still to do: paint the lamp base, hang the TV and possibly replace the black credenza with a white fauxdenza. But first I'll have to tackle my next resolution: learning how to use a drill and building a piece of furniture.

(Images: Abigail Stone)

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