I feared what I'd find under the wallpaper. I'd heard scary stories from neighbors, seems our builder was infamous for slapping wallpaper on unprimed walls. Our master bath is a study in what can happen to walls if you try to remove wallpaper in such situations: the previous owner of our home tried to "fix" the gouges in the drywall by applying textured paint, the kind with sand in it. J. has started a repair process in there as well, and while it will eventually be an improvement, it is not so pretty in there right now. But that's another story.
The story is, my Charlotte Perkins Gilman moments are over! I'm talking wallpaper induced dementia here, not suburban housewife depression. It could have been a lot worse in the kitchen. In fact, the dining room, which we did a couple of years ago, WAS a lot worse. Some of the unprimed drywall did disintegrate as I wet down the wallpaper, but lots of the pieces came off in big sheets, rather than fingernail size multi-layered segments.
I climbed behind the fridge over the weekend and pulled the last strips down, J. spackled and sanded, my bucket of hot water and I had some quality time together rubbing off all the last wallpaper specks.
Now we wait for the painter to fit us into his schedule, which is annoying, but not as annoying as trying to paint with two kids underfoot.
It's been such a long process that I've had the time to change my mind on paint colors a dozen times now. I've been deep in the world of paint swatches, taping up different choices all around my kitchen window.
There's an article in the most recent Consumer Reports discussing the names that accompany the actual colors on those little swatches. It's a dissatisfying article, doesn't really explain much of the process except to say that there are designers that have that job, and that they try to "tell a story" and the onest hat are best selling are successful at evoking memories. Whatever. I read Consumer Reports for the charts and graphs, not the investigative reporting. Still, they gave some intriguing color names I haven't yet come across: Marry Me (light pink); Jamaican Aqua; Amphibian (black).
I'll admit, I'm affected by the names on the strips. I know they're all about selling a state of mind, and I should just disregard them, but I can't help being swayed and dissuaded by them. I tend to be drawn to the colors that describe a mood, rather than an object or the actual color. Among the colors I've chosen for other rooms in the house:
- Pensive Sky
- Quiet Moment (chosen for the master bath weeks before we even moved in. Four years later, it's yet to go on the walls: perhaps appropriate, as I've not had a quiet moment in the bathroom in more about that length of time)
- Thoughtful Spot
- Christopher Robin's Swing
- Morning Breeze
- Winter Garden
- Cheyenne Rock
- Relaxed Khaki
- Bluberry Popover (okay, so this is an object, but it's one of my less successful choices. I was going more for a cobalty blue, it turned out what J. calls "Boo-berry. It's just the downstairs bathroom, though, and it has grown on me).
I'm having similar problems in the kitchen. This is the room I spend more waking hours in than any other, so I have to be feeling okay about the name as well as the tone.
For a time, I was all about this green called "Asparagus." And I really like asparagus. But I just wasn't sure I wanted to think about asparagus all day every day, or the fact that it makes my pee smell funny.
So then it was on to a green called "Grass Cloth" and an accent blue called "Gulf Winds." These seemed okay. Then the painter told me he uses a different brand of paint, and while he said he could match what I had, I don't really trust it will look the same. So it was back to the paint store.
The closest I could seem to find to match my "inspiration" (this is sad: a little picture of a striped pillow I ripped from the Crate and Barrel catalog and has been lying around for months. What, I can't even order the actual pillow? It isn't as if I haven't had time) were paints named "Shagreen" and "Drizzle." These seemed depressing options, when what I'm trying to gain here is a little happy. One more trip to peruse the swatches and discuss with J.
And now we've settled on "Dancing Green" and "Reflecting Pool." I don't know if I'll actually like the colors on the wall, but the names make me happy.