After all the hard work in our apartment two weekends ago, I was feeling super-motivated to make our rented abode feel more like a home. Back in the spring, when we moved into the apartment, I had dreams of painting the walls all sorts of colors. However, a little voice in the back of my mind kept saying, “This is an apartment… We’re just going to have to paint it back… It’s not worth the money…”. (I think that was B’s voice, actually.)
In July, I squashed that voice briefly and tackled our bathroom, taking it from white and bland to green and grand.
Recently, though, a slightly stronger voice had arisen in my head. It was the one that said I really needed some more color in my life. A few weeks ago, I decided it was going to happen.
One obstacle that had stood in my paintbrush’s way in the past, was our tall vaulted ceiling. I knew I wanted to do an accent wall in our living room, and I felt like because of the fireplace and the high ceiling, it had to be this wall:
Tall Ceiling = Tall Wall
The issue of getting a ladder tall enough into our apartment to paint all the way up there JUST to turn around and repaint it in a couple of years when we move out didn’t seem worth it. HOWEVER, after watching some Nate Berkus over Winter Break, I decided maybe it didn’t have to be that wall. Maybe it could be this wall instead:
I’ve never been a great color coordinator. I lack the ability to picture color in my mind. Looking through a magazine or a home-decorating blog, I can tell you what I like and don’t like; but in order to achieve a similar look, I’d need to refer to that picture and recreate it. So, last weekend, I enlisted the help of my BFF, Mollie. She was lucky enough to inherit her mom’s incredible eye for color and decor. With her help, I decided to paint not only that wall, but these TWO walls (please excuse the horrible lighting–this was at night and is not photoshopped!):
Being as we’re in a teeny-tiny apartment, I flattened myself against the door to try to get this picture, but the two walls we’re talking about are the one behind the couch, and the closet one to the camera. Just off to the right is the entrance to our kitchen and our dining area/office/storage area. (Yup, we squeeze an awful lot of furniture into one tiny area.)
So, after two trips to Home Depot, and a few rounds of paint chips taped to our walls, we took the plunge. Last Saturday, we tackled the job. The first step was moving furniture and taking down pictures, etc. B did most of that.
What our living room looked like while the project was going on...
Then we started the taping process. It went pretty quickly.
We decided to paint only above the molding on this wall.
Then, I started trimming. On the recommendation of a friend who had bought a house and done a lot of painting recently, we invested in one of these trim thingys (that’s the clinical terminology). It was AWESOME! This is me being really excited about how quickly the trimming went. I’m talking, like, 15 minutes. Tops.
Yay, new trimming tool!
After three coats of the dark, and two coats of the light blue, we had two painted accent walls:
Bright blue wall
With furniture & decor in place
Finished kitchen wall
Sideways view from kitchen into living room
Finished small wall
Two complementary walls
We are exceedingly pleased with the finished product. We were especially pleased to finish all the dirty work within 24 hours of starting, and with only about three hours of actual work time.
And, with all the moving of heavy items, we tried some different furniture arrangements… Only to realize that in a small apartment like ours, you really only have so many options. But we did make one change, moving our blue armchair to the front wall of the room, and adding a lamp to the end table next to it. Not a big change, but one I’m excited about, as it’s a much cozier spot, now, to curl up and read (or blog… or play Sims 3… or lesson plan). AND the chair faces in such a way that I can thoroughly enjoy our pretty blue walls.
My new favorite spot in the apartment
If you’ve been observant in these pictures, you’ll notice through our open bedroom door that there was some work being done in there as well. We don’t have everything put back yet, and there’s a large heap of laundry on our bed, so I don’t have “after” pictures of that project yet. But I’ll leave you with this teaser:
Preview of the bedroom color