Escape from the small white room

I have been getting really tired of living in the white box that is every NYC apartment, so I was very excited to get some color on the walls of my new pad.

I have been wanting a purple accent wall for a long time. But my very favorite purple is way to dark to paint an entire apartment in—NYC apartments don't need any help feeling small! Most of the walls had to stay a light color, and it had to look good with dark purple. I used this picture that I took in the Dominican Republic for inspiration:

One thing I love about the apartment is that the ceilings are just shy of 10 and a half feet. But that adds another dimension of challenge to painting. Fortunately there is a hardware store two blocks away where, for only $10, you can rent a rickety death trap of a ladder.

Also, I would not recommend a cheap brand of painter's tape as a sidekick for your next painting project. I had a little bit of the nice blue stuff, and that worked beautifully. But I ran out, and used a knockoff for most of the room, and the sucker pulled the paint right off the walls with it. Which is not exactly what you want to see when you're exhausted and super sore from an entire weekend trapeze act on a hostile ladder.
I also discovered that when walls have been painted thousands of times (and you're not going to sand them down and prime them), that painter's tape was good for protecting areas, but the edges along all of the trim and all of the places where two colors met had to be freehanded to get a reasonably straight line.

Despite my expectations to the contrary, I was not seriously injured by the wobble-fest of a ladder, the wrath of tape-fail was fairly easily rectified, and so the purple is accomplished!

I call it "half-blind person paints a pre-war apartment with crooked, uneven, walls that have decades of paint globs on them already."



It's hard to get an idea what the colors are really like from the pictures. The dark purple is not as dark as generally it looks here; it's actually a bright royal purple (that took four coats!). The light purple, in real life, changes appearance dramatically with only subtle changes in light.

What was particularly exciting for me was to discover how color can be used to accentuate the things that are architecturally interesting about a space. When everything was whitewashed I didn't realize the apartment had the structural character it does. I am looking forward to picking out colors for my kitchen & bathroom!

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