When the GT Comes to Visit, Part Two:

AP, From Neice Kate, Worcester MA. "Four days in May"  When GT came to visit we had a living room that was a cold and grayish cave, which was the result of dingy white paint next to lots of dark wood and not lots of direct sun....

You cannot imagine the amount of taping!

gorgeous wood trim everywhere that just looked dead and dirty next to the horrible white. The added bookcases just do not look right but we need them!
THEN after rolls of blue tape, hand wringing and two coats of paint the living room turned into a warm, comforting, cozy living space with a beautiful golden sunflower color...
all the various upholstered pieces look terrific against the yellow including this deep red

The wood trim, baseboards, mantle and moldings came to life and "glow" against the yellow
The dark wood bookcases were painted the same yellow so as to blend into the walls.
The dining room was a bizarre silver-box, and had a wildly inappropriate 50's chrome light fixture (as many a homeowner has asked of the former owners, "WHY?  for the love of all that's holy, WHY?").......
yes, that is silver paint on the walls
But it turned into a greenhouse-y gathering place. 
the yellow reupholstered chairs (done on a previous visit) pop against the green

the wood takes on a new life and the copper painted molding shimmers
a slight wash gives the walls depth and age
But the very best parts of Aunt Cathy's visit were:
1) Her ability to forge ahead when the yellow we picked out for living room, which looked great in various one-foot squares around the room, made a whole wall look like a McDonald's mustard station.  While we stood around wringing our hands and I thought to myself, "More green?  go tan?  what other colors are there?!," Cathy said "I am sick of this wall fooling us! We are looking at the color next to the brightest light source, the big window, which is constricting our pupils and we can't see the color.  We're moving on!"  She went into the basement, dug around for every single half-used can of white paint that was lingering down there, cackled at her own lunacy in adding white ceiling paint into the mix, and created a warm cozy gold that looks wonderful in the bright light and dark corners of our crazy living room.....

2) Her ideas about putting a wash of glaze on the dining room's green walls, and putting a line of copper around the top of the room, both of which picked up on my vague tossing about of the term "verdigris" but were rooted in the time-honored concepts of Do-ability and Afford-ability. 


3) Her patience when I told her during the planning process that I thought stenciling would look too cluttered and then a week after she left when I emailed her with the idea that stencils (via stencil library) might break up the vast expanse of the dining room walls. She only made a little bit of fun of me....

4) Her drinking her end-of-the-day-white-wine with a straw.  There is a picture of this, but I am prohibited to post or show it to anyone.
5) Best of all, her ability to EMPOWER!  I am so ready to paint my whole house now, whereas before her visit, I was overwhelmed just by the thought of having to figure out painters tape.  As my husband said, she's a great boss, because she describes what you need to do, then backs off and lets you do it, and gives you lots of support and feedback on what you've managed to do....

getting ready to just do it!
did it !
In fact, she empowered not just me, but the 3.5-year-old Boo.  We put down the drop-cloth, whipped out the brushes, dug out some old pink paint, pried off the lid, stuck in the stirrer, and together we painted this:

                      To infinity, and beyond!

From GT: This is my beloved niece's first house! An adorable arts and crafts bungalow that needs some brightening up. This was the most marvelous experience. Teaching once again was a treat and the joy of seeing paint change lives is so gratifying. This could not have been completed in 4 days without the fine help of Mark, Ann and David. And believe me, Kate worked her ass off and cooked dinner. Do this for a friend, a relative, an elderly person, an office or volunteer organization. I can't wait to go back but the girl may have the whole place redone by then!


  1. Wow, what a huge improvement, it looks so much brighter and happier, great job!

  2. This was an incredible change. The living room used to be so dark and cave-y feeling, as soon as I came downstairs I would hurry and turn on all the lights to brighten it up. The first day I came down after the new paint color, I realized I was messing around in the living room for 15 minutes and hadn't turned the lights on yet! I'm looking forward to the cold cold winter of Worcester just because I think the living room will feel so cozy with this warm color.

    I used to sit in the dining room and just pretend it wasn't silver. This green color is almost hard to notice because it looks exactly like the room SHOULD have looked all along.

    And again, thanks to Aunt Cathy's amazing coaching, I am really excited to try stenciling or paint the bathroom or take an hour and put another layer of wash on the dining room walls. Being in the middle of her "JUST DO IT" energy makes me realize how very do-able and awesome it all is!

    Of course now, it's all gardengardengarden.

  3. Can I borrow your Aunt Cathy? I'm getting ready to paint all the interiors of our new house, which is actually an old one (built in 1867). Not sure where to even begin in choosing paint colors!!