- Color: This is the first house we've ever owned and after years of living in rentals with all-white walls, we went a little crazy with the color. Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, I always feel a little depressed when I see real estate listings that advertise a house with "neutral decor" like it's a selling point. We were scolded when we painted our house with lots of color, but I am not interested in decorating my space with the approval of whoever will buy it next in mind. That said, at age thirty, our tastes were different than they are now. Back then, for reasons I have forgotten, we chose an intense terracotta color for the walls. It's a bit overwhelming, and it clashes with the stained glass in the front door.
- Damage: fourteen years of four sets of sticky little hands touching the wall have left their mark, literally and figuratively. When I was homeschooling, I taped a timeline of world history in the stairwell because it is the longest unbroken stretch of wall in the house. I tried to draw it to scale, so the period from the Sumerians to the Egyptians took up much of the space and then I had to cram the rest of world history into the area around the landing. The timeline was there for years and when we finally took it down some of the drywall came away with it.
- Trim: At some point, old owners of our house painted the trim mustard. We think they must have been trying for a colonial look. Technically, our house is a "colonial," although that word seems to be arbitrarily applied to any house that is more or less rectangular and doesn't have obvious features of any other architectural style. Then the owners who had the house before us painted it white, only they used latex paint and the mustard paint is oil based. Latex will not adhere to oil, so it is peeling off like a bad sunburn. It's stable as long as you don't pick at it and for years, I exercised exemplary self-control. Then, due to some situation related to Seamus' bedtime story, I found myself spending a lot of time standing around in the upstairs hall.
So this happened.
I think this must be the look the old owners were aiming for.
Here are a few before pictures. We will probably be referring to these a lot as the project progresses.
The color is splotchy and uneven because we were enamored with colorwashing, a technique I discovered in an unfortunate British decorating book from the early '90s.