Paint Colors to Call Home
I’ve waited 17 years to paint my house, not for lack of wanting, but more for having an understanding of what I needed to do by myself and with limited funds. I drafted an outline of priorities for house upgrades and gentle restoration, and I pretty much stuck to it. Placing no timelines on any project’s completion, I got the job done when I got the job done, just chipping away as free time and affordability allowed. I was happy to live under this roof no matter what the state of repair.
First Things First
As any homeowner will attest, to-do lists are roadmaps drawn with detours, delays, and unforeseen exits. I learned from restoring my house in Seattle that one should not pursue the pretty in a project before focusing on functionality and repair. It’s nice to apply wainscoting, but not if the plumbing and electrical systems behind it are suffering from old age and neglect. So beginning in 2004, I targeted the big stuff first : foundation issues, water-in-the-basement woes, anemic heat sources, aging roof shingles, curious chimney configurations, and feeble porch boards. Yep, I took on the hole in the foundation before lining up paint chips and light fixtures. And may I add my dear homestead has been the most charming of subjects throughout: patient and forgiving. So here it is 2021, and the paint is finally on the brush! My painter Wade is up to the challenge, and I eagerly cheer him on daily (minus the pompoms and cartwheels). He’s so good, I’ve started calling him Leonardo.
Pondering Paint Colors
I’ve never been afraid of color. I relish how color can conjure up a feeling of enthusiasm, warmth, delight and comfort within me. Months went by before the actual painting started, and after I had tested enough sample colors to coat my house two times over, I chose the colors — colors infused in the harvests of late summer, early autumn: peaches, peppers, plums and pears, with side a order of marigold and nasturtium.
When it comes to color, I live out loud, but sometimes I succumbed to self-doubt and friends with good intentions but strong opinions. As a result, I began to stray from my original plan of summer-sweet colors into a new territory of tone-on-tone tastefulness. I started to doubt myself, thinking I should really go all classic white. When I told my friend Lynnanne that I had changed my mind tabling bright colors for a more pallid palette, she responded with disappointment, “Oh, I really love your original paint choices.” So did I, really. Perhaps I was under the spell of an HGTV episode or the quiet beauty of understatement. Hmmm, I needed to rethink this. There’s no doubt a quieter color scheme would be lovely, but was that me?
A Little Help From My Friend
Within a half-hour of Lynanne's visit, I received this text from her: "Hope this doesn’t sound too hokey but when I envision your house and you in it I see a bright, cheerful white or cream body with trim accents of color like sunshine, morning glories, pumpkins, grapes... When I drive up your driveway and I see your lovely old gal perched on the hill it will say Tom lives here…no doubt about it ! Everyone has their opinion…no doubt about that! Me as well, but I did love your first choice of colors. Hard to decide, but whatever you do will pay homage to a grand old farmhouse with years of history and stories to tell. ❤️ My dear friend was right (she's an artist after all), and thanks to her generous and heartfelt note, I snapped out of it and how! Back to Plan A: Bring on the joyful colors!
Colors Inspired by Nature
I didn’t pick my trim colors; the orchard, garden and kitchen did. The wonderful color combinations of red-oranges, golden glows and sunny yellows already lived here. Why not celebrate such vibrance daily, with each walk up the lane, with each view from the orchard, with each swing in the hammock. Here are some of the show-stopping hues Mother Nature let me borrow.
Nature’s Colors Trim the House
Here’s a sampling of the paint job in progress… I’ll post more detailed photos when the house is all painted and gussied up! (This will likely be a couple more weeks.)