This week I have been working at a new client’s home and revisiting two old dilemmas. One is being faced with a huge house with ALL white walls. When I first entered this lovely home, I was a bit taken aback by these white walls because my client dresses very colorful, has very contemporary tastes with her furniture, rugs and accessories, and clearly has no fear of bold colors and interesting textures. She and her husband have lived in this house for six years. They are both ready for some change and very open to the idea of bringing in some color, but non-the-less, there is a lot of hand holding here during this first stage!
The first floor is large and open. As you enter the front door, you stand in a very open two story foyer. From here you can see the dining room, living room and kitchen. These are the areas I am concentrating on this week.
I started off by applying a Lusterstone finish to the fireplace wall in the Living Room. This is the largest wall in the room and very visible from the foyer and the back hall entrance, which the homeowners use, coming in from the garage. It’s a mess because of me, not because they are messy homeowners! Look at that great chandelier in the foreground. That is over a small kitchen table. There are a lot of such accents in this house, which led me to believe some color on the walls would not be too hard to sell.
Here’s a closer look at the finish. The color is Tequila Sunrise and in this shot you can see how it shimmers and has highs and lows. The finish is smooth, but appears textured and has a lot of depth. That fireplace has got to go. I will be tackling that later! I don’t know what these builders are thinking when they put up a 15′ high wall and then stick such a tiny fireplace in the middle of it. Something on a much grander scale would have been a better fit for this large room. But, it is what it is, so I will try to make it work a little better in this space.
Now, this wall, being 15′ is a bit out of my comfort zone when it comes to heights. For many of you who do this type of work, you are probably laughing, but it is no laughing matter when you are afraid of heights and have to get right up to that ceiling line with the base color, plus 3 layers of the finish. Per usual, I thought I’d be fine with this, but when it came to working around the fireplace, that’s when I called it quits. I was on an A frame ladder, for most of this wall, but then had to switch to an extension ladder to reach the wall with the hearth jutting out at the floor level. I spent a fair amount of time agonizing about it all, tried going up and down the extension ladder a few times, then got on the phone and begged Stacy to come and do this top section! Luckily, she lives nearby this job, so came over to rescue me. 🙂
With the Lusterstone wall out of the way, I moved on to the opposite and adjacent walls to do a simple one color soft rag finish. The wall opposite the fireplace also goes up to 15′ for most of it, then slopes down to a more manageable height. This wall I actually could do myself, because I did not have to straddle a fireplace hearth. Still, it was an uncomfortable height for me and you can bet I was gripping the wall for dear life all the while I was up here. One of my tricks to get the very top portion of the wall and not have to step higher than the third run from the top, is to duct tape a wooden stirrer stick to my brush handle for an extension. You may laugh, but it works!
Next week I will be featuring the Dining Room and Kitchen/Hall spaces that adjoin this room. In the photo above, you can see I have already base coated the formerly white Dining Room walls, purple. That is just a base color. A deeper tone, in Lusterstone will be applied to those walls.