Fridays at Home: Let’s Play Pretend II

18th May 2012

Last week for Fridays at Home: Let’s Play Pretend I told you guys a friend had hired me to help him pick out paint colors and carpet for his condo as well as paint it. It was quite the undertaking, even for someone as paint crazy as me. As for being a house painter for the weekend…it was some rough physical labor, and for about two days after, my entire body hurt. BUT – I painted for 9 or so hours each day, and that’s a lot, especially when you’re up and down a ladder and scooting across a hard wood floor. Normally, I’d paint one room at my house in a day or two, so to do three rooms (and one of them is a combo dining/living space) in two days was pretty quick.

The condo was laid out about like this:

Via Autodesk Homestyler

The biggest problem is that the only windows are on one wall in the living room. The living room/dining room and kitchen have an open floor plan, so they have a lot of light, but the bedroom and bathroom have no natural light. Plus, the bedroom has a ceiling mount light fixture, which only adds to the darkness. I’ve recommended he change this out as soon as possible. The living/dining area was plain ivory, which was fine but really boring. Nothing stood out, and the space has some great architectural details. The bedroom was purple (forgot to take a pic), and the bathroom was a truly horrific mauve pink.

The other problem was that all the walls were not at right angles. Instead, they were curved. This is very popular in construction at the moment, but the problem is, it can be difficult to determine where to end color. If there are a lot of architectural features in the space (such as this condo), you have to really be careful you know exactly where to start and stop the color. For example, a column that separated the living/dining area from the kitchen actually curved and continued into the kitchen ceiling. I certainly didn’t want to paint the lower ceiling and certainly not a dark color.

Here are some pics, but keep in mind they are with my cell phone, so they aren’t the best:

Very blah. Built-in shelves don't stand out at all.

Rounded corners on ever surface. Problematic.

80s/90s mauve pink bathroom. Ugh.

The plan was to a. update the space, b. bring in color, and c. still keep it masculine. Here are the color choices (we did try samples first). Carpet is only installed in the bedroom.

Living Room Color: Relaxed Navy

Bathroom Color: Valspar Rugged Suede

Bedroom Color: Valspar Cathedral Stone

Mohawk Santa Cantarina Foggy Mist

And here are a few snaps of the progress and the completed spaces:


Cutting in around the curved windows...I'm a pro ๐Ÿ™‚

Example of the curvature

Defining the built-in cabinets

Architectural detail separating living/dining area

Bedroom pre-carpet

Bedroom post-carpet

Slightly truer color through the French doors into the bedroom

I love this color in the bathroom against the tile - notice the purply/pink still on the column to the right.

And against the shower tile (though color not completely dry)

All in all, it took me about 18 hours to paint these three spaces by myself, and I kind of feel like a hoss. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Of course, I still want to get back in there to help him pick out light fixtures, area rugs, a coffee table, and some new bedding, but it was super fun to get to make decisions about someone else’s space and have them foot the bill for it. Of course, designing for a single man was probably a good first job because he wasn’t very picky. Or at least he said he wasn’t. Any time the color swatches veered toward green, he was very vocal, but that’s excellent. In the end, he was pleased, and I was proud.

So. Got any painting questions? I’m thinking about doing a video on cutting in (painting where walls meet or where walls meet the ceiling) without tape. If you’re interested, let me know. I can honestly say that tape (which I haven’t used in years) is a huge waste of time. But that’s a whole other post…and I might even show you my painting clothes (yes, an outfit dedicated to painting).

Hit me up. What do you want to know?

  • Jacobdenniswills

    You’re revealing the painting clothes? Do you think the world is ready for that?

    • It is a risky move. But notice I said “might.”

  • heidenkind

    I HATE painting. Seriously, it’s my least-favorite task, and I used to work in a museum where I had to do it A LOT. So I feel for you and I hope he paid you a lot and took you out for drinks besides. ๐Ÿ™‚

    On another note, I’d personally hate having no natural light in my bedroom. I’d never wake up! Why not just sleep in a closet? ๐Ÿ˜› I do like how you highlighted the built-in bookshelves. Shame he won’t let you pick out lighting fixtures, that’s my favorite part of decorating.

    • I actually really enjoy painting. A. I’m good at it and B. It’s such a (relatively) quick change. But I can see how doing it all the time at a museum would suuuuck.
      As for the natural light, yeah, I’d go crazy. My house has 20 windows, and it ain’t big, so I get tons of natural light. In fact, I don’t turn lights on until it’s dark outside. I made suggestions, so hopefully he’ll find something that works a bit better. And yeah, I was really pleased with how the living room area turned out.

  • You did a wonderful job and I love the colors you chose. I personally would enjoy a video of painting without tape–I don’t like using it, but I end up doing a lot of touch-ups when I’m done. Bring on the paint clothes!

    • Well look for one (hopefully) next week. It makes life so much easier.

  • Lisa A.

    Totally need to hire you to redo our hall bath. Awesomeness.

    • Oh yeah – and it’s relatively small. This bathroom had so many nooks and crannies, I was afraid I would never finish.

  • Tami

    What I want to know is, how far are you from my house and how soon can you get here? Money is no object – well, unless you ask my banker. I seriously hate painting!

    • Well, I’m in Texas….so anywhere not in Texas is far. ๐Ÿ™‚ I honestly enjoy the painting. It’s just that my body doesn’t like being pushed that way.

  • Amy

    Great job…loved the colors!

  • I can’t believe you painted all by yourself! That is some friend, and he is lucky to have you!

    The condo looks so much better after your sprucing up… I sense a career change in your future. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Well, he paid me, so we were both lucky. ๐Ÿ™‚

      And yeah – it looked so much better. Now I just can’t wait to see it furnished!

  • !!!!!!!!!! You are amazing!! I’m flabbergasted — it looks gorgeous! Your friend is very lucky — I need someone like you in my life! I’m in awe of anyone who is design-ly gifted — brava!

    • Thanks!! It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun to have that sort of job. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • You are doing an amazing job! I love what you’ve done.

    • Thanks! Looking forward to helping him get the decor in there.

  • We are hoping to buy a house this summer and I can’t wait to paint. But, actually, I can’t wait to have my rooms painted. I am intimidated by painting them myself. You did such a good job. I really like that Relaxed Navy color. Also, can you imagine (though it’d probably cut off light) if you built out the built-in bookshelf and built another to mirror it then put in a window seat between them!? Heaven. Nice job!

    • Don’t be intimidated! It will save you so much money, and it’s also very satisfying to do it yourself. And yeah – that relaxed navy is awesome. It’s actually a shade lighter than what I have in my dining/reading room. And yes, it would be fantastic to build that out, but he doesn’t really have any books so doesn’t need it. Alas. I’d do it in a heartbeat.

  • I’m nuts about that suede color. I’ve been thinking about painting my living room, but I do have a lot of the same problems, since there’s a lot of curvature here as well, and the kitchen is something I don’t want dark colored. I’m looking for more of a buttery yellow goldenrod color that I can never seem to find. I’ve had a lot of people give me estimates for the house, but they’re OUTRAGEOUS!!!! being that I have a wall of shelves in my living room and the walls are a cream color everything looks BLAH! Ugh.

    • Yeah – I know painters charge a lot more than what I did, but I’d never done it *professionally* so I was ok with it. The cutting in, I think, adds to the cost, so if you do have a ton of shelves, that may be the problem. It’s just more time consuming. But yeah – blah is not fun. You need to kick it up a notch. Buttery yellow, huh? It can definitely be hard to find the right color, but there are some great tools out there that will match a color and give you a shade. I’m not sure of the site, but I bet if you googled it, you could find it. You can upload a pic, and it’ll give you a paint color.

  • Violet

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again! You should be designing interiors for a living, because you have such a great eye for colour and detail. If you lived here I would SO hire you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you SO very much. You gave me such a confidence boost! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Andi

    You did a GREAT job! The colors are gorgeous and the place looks great.

    • Thanks, Andi!

  • Darina @afoggycitylife

    I love the step by step pictures! Great blog, look forward to reading more.