It's not easy going green.
No, I don't mean raising my environmental awareness. That's pretty straightforward -- some of those spiral CFL light bulbs, new weatherstripping around the door frame and some recycling bins lined up in the garage.
What I mean is this: as part of her Christmas present, our recently-turned-8-years-old daughter got to redecorate her bedroom, picking out her own sheets and bedspread, matching curtains and throw rug, the whole nine yards. She picked a minty shade of green, accented with a bubble-gum shade of pink.
I'm not a fan of green, but I've still had experience painting things green before. We let the first exchange student we hosted pick out a wall color so she could make her room her own while she stayed with us. She picked a minty green, accented with a darker shade of green. The lesson learned there -- after several coats of primer and trim paint to cover up that darker green -- is that white trim complements everything and should stay that way.
Our next exchange student chose a hue of orange so bright I thought maybe she was from Holland, instead of Switzerland, as she claimed. But we kept the trim a nice shade of white.
We also had a green bathroom until recently. I painted the bathroom that color only because that's what my wife wanted. She was pregnant with our first child the time, and you just don't argue with a pregnant woman. Better to paint now, cover it with something else later.
Which brings us back to my daughter's room. We had last painted her room a few years ago, when she and her brother moved into separate rooms. It had been a lovely shade of baby blue, but she chose a nice, deep lavender color (accented with bubble gum pink) only to discover a few months later that purple is her least favorite color. Who knew?
So, Tinkerbelle has made way for a green and pink bedspread and polka-dot flannel sheets, more appropriate to an 8-year-old's sophisticated tastes.
And the walls are green. Not just any shade of green, but a green mixed specifically to match the bedspread. Or maybe the polka-dots, I'm not sure. All I know is that the method I know of selecting a shade of paint -- going to the home store, bringing home a selection of paint chips and picking one of them -- is not how paint is selected anymore. I've been told this in no uncertain terms. Now, you bring the item you want matched to the paint counter, no matter how bulky, and have them mix a custom shade. Because none of the dozen or so shades of mint green on the cards I brought home were close enough.
Of course, part of the joy of making a room one's own is doing some of the work one's self. We still have reminders of our exchange students making that room their own, in the form of little splatters of green and orange paint around the house, some of them nowhere near that room.
And my daughter was a big help in painting her room, tracking a minimal amount of paint around the floor while rolling out the walls between a foot and 5 feet off the ground. My wife took care of prepping the walls and cleaning up the drips, and rolled out the upper part of the walls, which left me with taping the trim and cutting in along the baseboard and the ceiling.
So, in terms of area covered, they did most of the work, while I've got sore knees and a stiff back from kneeling down and reaching up to take care of the edges.
Like I said, it's not easy going green.
Will Morrow is the managing editor at the Peninsula Clarion.
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