My new apartment is now fully painted and (nearly) fully furnished. I’m approaching everything fairly practically, so I’m only adding furniture when I have a purpose for it. The paint and decor I’ve added in the past couple of weeks really brings out the life of this place, and is really boosting the creativity I experience in my office. I have some pictures to show off (before and after) and some little tips I’ve picked up through the experience.
Update: for those interested, the burnt orange color in my office is a Sherwin Williams color: SW 6347 Chrysanthemum.
First of all, I have to thank my girlfriend and her parents (+ grandma) for helping me paint my apartment. I really hate painting, and they made the experience so much more enjoyable for me, since I only had to finish up the last few walls. Thanks, guys.
I grew up with nearly all of the walls in my home being white. So I can’t stand white walls. Every quiet wall in the apartment (anything I wasn’t excited about coloring) became a nice neutral tan color. The dining-room-turned-office (since I don’t dine) has a brilliant burnt orange color that really sets my desk off from the rest of the room. My bathroom is a bold green, and my bedroom is a soothing (and slightly feminine) baby blue.
The Painting Experience
Since everything is an experience anymore (note an implied gag reflex) I have to say that painting is one of those things that always turns out to be more anticlimactic than I would expect. I’ve only ever managed the painting of (notice again, I don’t like to paint) one other room of mine, and that was the office I established at my dad’s house a year or so ago. I believe, and Ashley can attest to this, that it took me about 15 seconds in Lowe’s to determine what paint scheme would be donning the walls. I did take a bit longer to decide what to do in my apartment, although I tend to take an only-so-serious approach to it all. I’d like to chalk it up to me being decisive, but I think it just has to do with my being exhausted by running too many different scenarios through my head.
I don’t think it’s visible in any of the pictures, but right above the bathroom door, to the left of my office, is a section of wall where the paint didn’t quite sink in. I’ve told myself “that shouldn’t be hard to touch up, just a matter of getting out the step ladder and a paint brush.” If I had to guess now, it will never happen and will just become one of the character points of my place.
One of the more exciting parts of this whole painting project was the chance to finally hang up some of the invisible shelves I’ve been sitting on for some time. You can see them in the pictures of my office wall. The books sit sideways on a small metal hook and make it appear that the books are floating on the wall. I love this simple effect as it makes decoration out of something I already love (my paperbacks) and frees up some more room on my bookshelf in my room.
The shelves I’m talking about are on Amazon, and I would suggest considering them if you’re looking for a nice accent piece for an office. It is a bit of a chore finding a book wide enough to serve as the bottom book, and hardbacks are probably best there, but anything is technically workable.
Some Tips for Minor Home Renovation
I save these here for myself as well as anyone else silly enough to read my blog. A couple of these are purely my own taste, and might not work for everyone.
- Save all paint colors. I wish I would have done a better job of documenting all of the paint samples I spent time with from the beginning, but saving the ones I ended up using is the next best option. I use Evernote (a topic worth getting into some other time) so it was quick to snap a photo with my iSight and drag them into Evernote where they were named and saved away for whenever I may need them again. A simple search for “apartment + paint” will bring up the swatches and color code, should I ever need to revisit them again.
- Get it done all at once. I discovered that leaving things in disarray led me to panic pretty quickly. Focusing on finishing all of the paint, all at once, was really the only way for me to return to sanity. I don’t like to see things drag on, so once the paint cans came out they didn’t go away until everything was done. And we were able to finish 4 rooms and five colors in 48 hours. Not too bad.
- Piecemeal furnishings. I’m convinced now more than ever that the way I purchased the stuff for my apartment was the right way. I nabbed all of the essentials the first week: couch, desk, bed, bookshelf (my essentials, not yours). After that I picked up more as needed. Just this week I found the right lamp for my desk, which also happens to accent the orange of my office well. I may not have made the right choice if I had jumped the gun 6 weeks ago. I’m still looking for the right coffee table (far from an essential, for me), end table, and a floor lamp or two to fill out the rest of the space. Moving one piece at a time has made the whole process much more organic and fulfilling.
- When painting, stash the cat. We learned the hard way last year that keeping a cat around while painting can lead to, well, white paw prints on the carpet. This time the kitty was shuttled away to a resort that we affectionately call Grandpa’s house.
Speak of the devil, here she is nesting beautifully on my desk.
It feels good to get an update out here, since I’m sure anyone visiting was tired of looking at my terrible Hulk movie review headline. I hope to return to video blogging soon, as well as another medium or two before the year is out. More on that soon. Right now I’m trying to manage my life on all fronts and slowly take steps toward adding a bit more.
Thanks for reading.