Tuesday, July 10, 2007

But The Good News Is

We revamped our apartment.

Last year we moved into our place only a day after the old tenants moved out. This left sprucing up things to us. Husband and I have threatened to paint since we moved in, and last week we finally did it. We picked colors by the seat of our pants without too much agonizing over swatches -- there was some agonizing, but way less than expected -- and we plunged in our brushes and were off. Mid-roll during our first day of painting, Husband said, "Hey, today is our year anniversary living here." This place has been our dream apartment and the paint job was a good anniversary gift to her, to us.

A few months ago, my oven died. Our building's handyman Uras yanked out the avocado-green, two-tiered stove circa 1976 with a crow bar and a lot of ol' eastern block muscle. He left us this:
We call Uras The Great Starter because finishing a job holds far less importance to him. Six weeks after he roughly pried the old stove from our wall, he returned to lay tile behind the new stove. He brought basic white tiles and six tiles with brightly-colored fish painted on them. I said, "What are you doing with the fish tiles?" He said, "I put them behind stove." I said, "Oh no you're not." I told him I'd get tile for him and I bought hand-painted talavera tiles instead, which delayed the project another two weeks. When they arrived in the mail, I held a putty knife to Uras until he finally finished grouted them to the wall, poorly. I love them. (Look, there's one of my new stainless-steel pots showing off on the stove.)
I painted the kitchen a deep coral. The color is called Pepperberry and I breathe in deeply every time I look at it. I consider the kitchen all mine and I didn't consult anyone about the color; just did it when Husband went to work.
I picked up a few new tinned mirrors on Olvera Street and hung them sweetly. The Italian utensil holder I bought a few years ago and it's my secret pride of the kitchen. I'm embarrassed about how much I paid for it, but lord I love it so.
On Olvera St. I also found this tin of St. Francis de Assisi. It's small and tremendously precious. Having the saint to animals hang in my kitchen seems perfect.
Here's a before picture of our little staircase. The previous color was a Uras Special; he had custom mixed the color and had made only enough to paint the walls leaving us unable to match the exact color again for touch ups. We called the color Uras Pasty Celery.
Here's the after in a deep french blue called Bleached Denim.
Here's another before picture -- Oh, by the way, I have a leather couch. (I'm just guilt-blurting.) We bought it many years ago before I was vegan. I've thought about replacing it many times, but I've decided to keep it until it breaks down. Philosophically I obviously would prefer not to have a leather couch now, but I also don't want to replace and discard things that work well. I contributed to cruelty before I knew better, but I really don't want to double up and contribute to wastefulness too. I can't afford it either.

Before, in the hall which was an institutional yellow. It wasn't terrible.
But the light moss color called Scotland Road beats it with a stick. Note the molding at the base and around the door that Husband did. Ooo his handiness is sexy. All our neighbors have now confessed to Molding Envy. The framed painting is a sumi piece my mother did for me. It means my children are my treasure. I won't go into the ironies of this. I'll just love it for what it is.
Here's the dining room wall in the Scotland Road color. I love paint names.
That's it for now. We plan to take on the bedrooms and bathrooms soon too. The girls' room is next; it's in total disarray, shit every where coming out of everything as only a kid room knows how to do. Until I tackle that, I'll enjoy the dreaminess of what we've done so far.


Marigoldie said...

Loooove these! Really, that kitchen (which most men in my life would call "red") color is the best. I am so glad it moves you when you see it. My "red" wall does things to me too. So, so important.

Also, I'm behind you on keeping that leather couch. I believe that's the right thing.

Can't wait to see what happens in the girls' room.

Jenn said...

OH, this is wonderful, wonderful! I love all the different colors - they make me happy, and I'm sure they do the same to you and yours!

tina said...

That is one sweet flat.

Deezee said...

I love, love, love the color transformations! You really show what paint can achieve. Excellent!

jennifer said...

love the colors! and i'm digging the little tin mirrors in the kitchen too. putting color on the walls is always fun. when i got the paint mixed for our kitchen it looked like a gallon of nacho cheese but i went with it and it turned out beautiful.

lizi said...

great colors, but i have to admit i am so jealous of the tara whitney photos hanging on your wall the most! love her!

Laume said...

I'm also in the midst of painting rooms but clearly you two have far more energy and organizational skills than I. Me? Than I do? Anyhoooo, I've been at it for... I'm so embarrassed - MONTHS. But in my defense, mine is more than just painting - it's also decluttering, reorganizing, and bringing in new pieces while figuring out what to do with old pieces.

I love your kitchen color - it's perfect. And your little St. Francis is great too. I'm not usually a fan of blue walls - somehow people always end up with a "kid" blue - but your choice looks good.

nicole said...

beautiful colors madness... and i adore the names too. i do wish i could paint at my flat, colors on the wall color the spirit.

julie hasson said...

I love the colors you chose! You have now inspired me to finally put some colored paint on our walls, instead of just talking about it.

Do you make house calls?

madness rivera said...

Thanks everybody! And no house calls! We barely got through this.

Emilie said...

what a difference color makes! seriously lovely. I'm bizarrely and deeply into your St. Francis de Assisi tin. never would have guessed it, but hey, sometimes little things speak to you. hope you are still feeling the glow of your newly decorated space!

bettyboop said...

nice going cuz! and bravo to husband for the molding-very nice. can't wait to see it!

Hannita said...

Those tiles and mirrors are wonderful.

Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose) said...

i have a tin heart hanging in my bedroom that is very similar but mine has a picture of frida kahlo on it.

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

wow, it all looks great! especially the kitchen. i love your style. :)