On choosing a colour

I suck at choosing paint colour.

BK (before kids), in our previous house, we decided to paint the outside of the house and I wanted a really soft yellow. I also worked very long hours, which meant I was hardly ever at home when it was light. The painter very kindly painted a sample on the wall for us and me, looking at it in the dark, thought it looked fine. What it actually ended up looking like was a sick lemon that had vomited all over the house. Since then I’ve been almost too cautious with choosing colours.

When we moved into our current house I once again picked what I thought was a light colour, but was actually a pinky mushroomy colour. I was pregnant at the time, so let’s just say it was pregnancy hormones..

With this renovation* it hasn’t gone too badly, except that I wanted grey, “not too dark, not too dead, must be just right”, I must be a paint salesperson’s nightmare. It looks cool, just maybe a little light, but I’m too scared to mess with it.

Which brings me to my latest project: painting over the slate surrounding our fireplace and in in our kitchen. The slate fireplace is lovely, if you’re stuck in 1975, so I wanted to incorporate some duck-egg blue. Jaaa, not so much, it’s more baby blue, but whatever.

The kitchen, once again done during my first pregnancy, circa the big pink mushroom paint debacle, has slate tiles on the wall and has dated really badly. And that kitchen is going to have to stay the same for the next few years in our current state of renovation fatigue, so painting slate it is. I had visions of a light turquoise, almost like that beautiful glass splashback you can install at a gazillion bucks a square centimeter. Instead, I have vomit hospital green. Do you think they will laugh down at the paint shop if I pitch up with my Le Creuset Caribbean Blue kettle and demand to have *that* colour? Ok, they probably will, but hopefully they won’t do it to my face.

Then, I want a red front door (which took some convincing of The Husband. I still don’t think he’s 100% on board, but I also think he’s just given up). In preparation of the red front door I, initially with the help of 3 sets of messy hands and after what looked like a blood bath, painted an outside bench Postbox Red and it doesn’t look too bad. Mostly.

And no, I’m not taking pictures of the kitchen, it’s too bad. I’m also considering outsourcing the actual painting, I’d rather stick to crochet and baking to be honest.

Stay tuned, this could get ugly.

*which is still not done, but we are almost there. Except for a leaking roof in the original part of our bedroom this past weekend – I’m talking water coming down through the light fittings. There was a LOT of bitching and moaning from my side as the builder had “fixed” a much smaller leak earlier in the week and we ended up with Niagara Falls. Not. Impressed.

To renovate or not to renovate

When we bought our forever-house almost 7 years ago (when I was pregnant with Daniel) from a lovely couple that had lived there for 27 years and raised 3 boys, we did some cosmetic renovations. We ripped out all the old carpets, knocked out a couple of walls, repainted the whole house, changed all the light fittings and ripped out the old, orange kitchen.

Then, when I was pregnant with the girls, we did a whole lot of additional work like building a bigass wall, renovating bathrooms, knocking out more walls and building domestic quarters.  That renovation started when I was 7 months pregnant.

With twins.

It was epic.  I think those builders ran screaming from the scene at the end of it, I know I certainly ran screaming to the hospital with threats of bodily harm should things not be to my liking when I came home with 2 additional babies.  The words “angle” and “grinder” still fill me with fear and dread.

Now, almost 5 years later, we are getting ready for the next phase (NO, I’m not pregnant, just mad), hopefully with the ever-so-reluctant blessing of our bank. Always the eager little beaver I have arranged for the original architect is come tonight so we can chat about our requirements that are a little (read: a LOT) different than the previous set of plans, so I might have a surprise or 2 in store for him.  This is mostly because there was no Pinterest 5 years ago.  I also appreciate that it will take ages for the plans to be drawn up, approved and then for us to get money from the bank.  If we are lucky we might be able to take a dip in our pool before next winter.

I try not to get sucked in to the whole “My life could never be as awesome as those people appear on Pinterest” thing, but it was with great envy I was looking at some swimming pools last night, even though we would probably be lucky if we could afford a jacuzzi.

And have you tried searching for “braai room” on Pinterest? What is the American version of that?

I guess not.

My Our idea is to do things as naturally as possible (maybe I we have also watched one too many episodes of Grand Designs), but experience has taught us that “natural” inevitably equals “ridiculously expensive”.

Have you renovated or built recently?  Any words of advice?