Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 28, 2013

It’s time for a change at home

Cathie Shaffer
The Independent

ASHLAND — The recent cold weather apparently awakened a long-dormant nesting instinct in me. As the temperature hovered in the teens, I took a good, long look at my surroundings. And I wasn’t happy.

Living in the same place for a long time, one tends to overlook the blights and flaws of the old home place. I’m used to the drooping ceiling tiles in the living room, the result of a bathtub leak fix, and the half-scraped wallpaper in the spare bedroom. The stack of stuff on the table by my favorite chair has become the norm and I don’t even think anymore about the missing handrail on the basement steps.

My new realization of my stagnant living space has led me into discussions of how to spruce it up on my limited — very limited — budget. While I’d like to call in a remodeler and just write a check when it’s done, that’s an impossibility.

However, I do have a carpenter on call who will trade his services for things I can provide. Him being my granddaughter’s boyfriend makes the process easy; right now we’re in an agreement that he’d redo my bathroom ceiling and tub inclusion for his half of the girlie’s Christmas present, which I financed.

We took a trip to the home-improvement place and picked out materials. As soon as I actually get it bought, that project will only take a day or so.

My bathroom is the one room in the house my entire family dislikes, so he’s gaining brownie points with the whole bunch of us. And since said grandgirl has volunteered to paint the remaining, untouched surfaces, I think I’ve scored the deal of the century.

My house dates back to the 1930s and over the years, various “improvements” have been made in accordance with the style of the decade. One big move was to panel the entire living room  with what was, I imagine, some quality paneling back in 1960.

A number of years ago, my dear departed Hubby and I painted those wood walls a nice cream that coordinated with the wallpaper I put on the wall adjacent to the open staircase leading to the second floor. Alas, over time, that paint has become tired.

Sunday afternoon, my son and I sat in said living room and discussed colors. Me, I was thinking of just finding paint that went with the wallpaper, which is still pretty good.

Sonny Boy ventured an opinion that the room needs color, something to take advantage of the light pouring in the big windows. And since he’s watched home improvement and home decorating shows with me for years — including an all-day marathon of “Trading Spaces” — I value his input.

After much discussion, we agreed that a pale melon color would be nice. Actually he said “orange-ish” and I said “No. Absolutely no.”

Melon, though, is okay. And while we have the brushes and ladders out, I think the dining room walls will become a pale yellow. Since Grandgirl wants to paint the kitchen red and white, and since the dining room’s between the kitchen and living room, those colors should flow into one another.

Like a village raising a child, it’s going to take a team to get this painting done, especially since a should problem makes it hard for me to do that kind of work for long. But that’s okay. I’m all about some bartering.

So I believe I’ll assemble this team by promising a bit of home cooking. Homemade veggie soup and hot beef sandwiches, anyone?