This isn’t our first rodeo when it comes to renovating a home. Since I’ve known Marcus he’s renovated about four homes, only one of which we lived in as a family. Previously, we lived in Williamsburg and our house there was a foreclosure with water leaking through the ceiling, parts of the floor missing, and foundation issues out the wazoo. Granted, it wasn’t a 130 year old Victorian but it hadn’t been maintained and it showed. For three years
we Marcus worked on renovating the house with the intention of either selling it or renting it, whichever made the most sense in the long-run. So, while I wasn’t entirely thrilled about purchasing Sligo I wasn’t surprised that Marcus thought it would be a good idea; Marcus has the ability to see the potential in a home when others cannot…either that or he’s a masochist.
This all to say that we have renovated homes before but always with the mindset that whatever upgrades and changes we made would be neutral allowing for the house to be easy to sell or rent when the time came. Decisions were relatively easy to make. What color should we paint the walls? Neutral. What type of flooring should we put in the bathroom? Neutral vinyl. What color carpet? Neutral. Are there two nice, neutral options? Which one is cheaper? You get the point. I am also a fan of conformity so every room had the same light fixtures and everything matched and can I just tell you, a 130 year old home does not lend itself to an OCD conformist.
Recently we’ve had to really up our game and start making decisions for down-the-line and it’s a lot of pressure. Our very kind general contractor has gently been nudging us forward to choose kitchen cabinets, light fixtures, and…*gasp*…paint colors. Paint color decisions? Is hard. I mean, we are the couple who can rarely decide where to eat out on the rare occasion we get a date night so can you imagine how overwhelming it is to walk into the local Benjamin Moore which boasts literally 3500+ colors?! Also, and I may have mentioned this before, I hate painting so I really want the paint choices to last us for the rest of our lives. Also, also, the walls are nearly 11 feet high and I will absolutely not be painting them unless I can go all Jackson Pollock.
In a rare show of decisiveness, Marcus and I recently went over to Sligo armed with Benjamin Moore brochures and “Old House Journal” magazines for inspiration. We went room to room on the second floor, narrowing down the field of 3500+ colors to three per room. From there, we engaged our gaggle of friends at the local brewery who helped us narrow down our choices to one per room and voilà! That is how we chose the second floor room colors.
But wait! It couldn’t be that easy. It turns out children have opinions. Who knew? Innocently, I told our girls that we had chosen a shade of pink and a shade of blue for each of their bedrooms. I say “innocently” because one of our girls is a pink kind of girl and our other girl is a blue kind of girl and how could we possibly get it wrong? (That’s a redundant question.) After revealing the paint choice information both girls told me they wanted a blue room. Ookkkaaayyy…
So, I innocently (again) involved them in the decision making by offering them the three choices of blue we had originally picked. Our pink kind of girl mulled over the blue choices but ultimately she stuck with pink, choosing a slightly lighter shade but one that both Marcus and I were happy with. However, in doing so, she gave the illusion of having chosen her room color and things quickly turned ugly. Our blue kind of girl had also been perusing the paint color choices and set her sights on a Tiffany Blue deviating drastically from Marcus’s and my plan for the bedrooms to be quiet, peaceful spaces. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tiffany Blue specifically on little boxes, but an entire room of Tiffany Blue seems like a bit much. When our blue kind of girl realized she wasn’t going to get the color of her choice she more or less lost her shit (sorry, not sorry, there’s really no other way to put that) and we told her to sleep on it and we would talk about it in the morning.
Needless to say, this morning I was able to talk our blue kind of girl off of her Tiffany Blue ledge and nudge her into a more subtle, yet still quite blue, shade of blue. She’s happy and feels as if she made a decision regarding her bedroom ,the youngest is happy (which is rare) and Marcus and I feel like we moved-up a parenting level though still have far to go.