in a somewhat-but-not-altogether surprising turn of events, my DM (dear mother) has basically given me carte blanche when it comes to painting their new house…! she brought one of the toss pillows from their formal LR suite when they came over for a bit this afternoon, so we looked at paint chips and whatnot, and I made a few other suggestions based on what I know about them, their lifestyle, and what I think they would find both attractive and functional while being a comfortable expression of their style…

first things to go are the tube fluorescent light fixtures in the kitchen and the basement FR — let’s face it, everyone pretty much looks like a corpse under fluorescent light, and it does precious little to enhance the appearance of food, too… even the little spiral fluorescent bulbs don’t cast the same “night of the living dead” pallor over a room, so I told Mum that if she wants to use those, that’s fine, but whatever kind of bulb she picks, she needs to look for “cool white” or “daylight” bulbs — they don’t have that yellowy tinge to them that makes everyone look like they’ve got jaundice or scurvy or something, and colours appear truer in cool light than in traditional yellow incandescent light…

next thing we want to try to get done before she gets out here (around the first day of Spring) is painting, particularly the two front rooms on the main floor (the formal LR and what I call “the long salon” — it used to be two BRs that got knocked together, and the previous owner has been using it as a casual sitting room): both of these rooms face west, so they really need to be done in cool colours to counteract the afternoon sun/heat — warm colours psychologically intensify the warmth of the rooms, so while that may not be a problem in the dead of winter, in the middle of August it’ll be nigh unto unbearable… currently the formal LR is painted a pale yellow (which is pretty but still needs to be cooled off a bit), while the long salon is an icky blush colour (it’s WAY too foofy — it makes me feel like I’ve been sucked into a box of cotton candy)… there are chair rails around the walls of both rooms, which is attractive and makes designer options pretty easy… 🙂 we’ve chosen a cool medium green, slightly muted, for the lower part of the wall in the formal LR; the pale yellow above might get to stay, but I’ll have to see the yellow in there w/our green before I make my final decision… I think we need to go w/a pale muted blue or even maybe a dove grey on the walls (upper AND lower) in the long salon, but the paint chips Mum brought didn’t have quite the right colour, so I’ll have to take her toss pillow and go look at more paint chips… she’s also sending Daddy back w/a fabric swatch from her DR suite upholstery so I can add a nice punch of colour to her kitchen (I’ll just need to make sure it doesn’t clash w/the countertop)… she’d picked out kind of a periwinkle blue for the main floor guest bathroom; I reminded her that the vanity in there is kind of peachy, so she seemed to go off the periwinkle, but I think we could still make it work if we bring in a third colour, maybe some soft greens… one wall of the downstairs bathroom and the interior “window” wall in the basement FR will get pretty yellow paint, bright but pale, to help the rooms feel more open and sunny (I can easily see a daisy motif in that bathroom — Mum loves gerberas); my DF even conceded that the office could have a focal wall in something like a medium periwinkle for contrast against all of the brown from the desks…

the third project that we want to get done before Mum comes back out to stay (it’ll probably fall in the middle of painting b/c it needs to be done before we paint the basement FR “window” wall) is turning the “window” into designer shelves, probably w/an open section in the middle and two sections w/adjustable shelves on either side — it’ll still allow light from the office exterior window into the FR, but it won’t have that “weird and slightly pointless” feel that an interior window between rooms has, plus it’ll give them a pretty place to showcase some of their collectibles, like Daddy’s statuary and Mum’s vintage tea cups…

y’know, it’s funny how helping my parents remodel and decorate their house (and even helping my sister w/ideas for theirs) is helping me cope better w/NOT being able to do much of anything w/ours (we’re renting for a while)…

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