15 December 2014

The latest incarnation of the little desk

Mr. P calls his folks every Sunday afternoon, because he’s a good son like that. On one particular Sunday not too long ago, his mom said, “You know, a lot of women have a burst of energy right before they go into labor. If Sarah starts doing a lot of things around the house, watch out!”

When Mr. P repeated this to me, I replied, “But I’m constantly working on stuff. How will we know if it’s a burst of energy?”

“I thought the same thing,” he said.

It’s true. Aside from that first-trimester narcolepsy, I’ve been going and doing at my usual rate (what I call GSD, shorthand for either “getting stuff done” or a less polite version the same sentiment). Which I guess is why it seemed completely normal to both Mr. P and me that I should spend the week before Thanksgiving rearranging and painting furniture. I mean, the baby wasn’t actively leaving my body, why shouldn’t I spend my evening with a paintbrush in hand?!

That’s why I didn’t stop at painting those shelves that were relocated to the office. After all, there was already furniture where I’d planned to move the shelves. Remember the little gray desk?

Yes, that same little desk that started red, then went gray, then was styled with turquoise accents, then moonlighted as a sewing table, then got restyled again with neutrals. The fact is, I love this desk and how versatile it is... but it just wasn’t working in the office, with another, more functional desk literally three feet away.

And that’s why, when I last wrote a to-do list for the office, I mentioned moving it to the landing just outside our foyer. I mean, if it’s mostly just going to look pretty and occasionally hold a stray item to be dealt with later, I might as well move it to a place that gives it maximum opportunity to fulfill that function. Plus, it had the perfect dimensions to fit on our landing, so it seemed meant to be!

But once again, only one thing was in the way: a coat of paint. Yes, seriously, again. Only this time: I did not paint it white. Nor beige, nor gray but gray with different undertones! No, I went a bit bolder: I went dark.

Because I am so dang obsessed with Emily A. Clark’s favorite paint chip, I had a quart of Behr paint color-matched to the darkest shade on the chip: Urbane Bronze. I figure that since I can’t (or won’t) paint the walls outside our door, using a color from the same chip as Worldly Gray and Amazing Gray will bring a bit of our apartment out onto the landing.

Another way to keep continuity going? Paint a piece inside our apartment the same color. And since these shelves in the corner back there haven’t found a better home as predicted...

... I thought they needed the same Urbane Bronze treatment, to fit in with the rest of the dark furniture in the foyer.

And so! In my quite ill-fitting painting shirt at 37 weeks pregnant, I got to work.

In the evening, in terrible lighting, yes. Because I had a Thanksgiving deadline to make before company arrived!

Oh and PS, I didn’t intend to buy the expensive Behr Marquee paint. The paint counter guy asked if I wanted Marquee, and I said regular Behr is fine (unable to remember the name of their standard paint because who the heck calls their standard line “Premium Plus”). He gave me Marquee anyway. ??? Even worse, I noticed absolutely no difference with Marquee over regular Premium Plus except that it cost way more. Dumb. Put up a fight and go cheap! It’ll be painted in the end either way!

As I painted, I felt my faith in Emily’s paint choices waver, because it seemed pretty certain that these pieces were going to turn out dark poopy brown. But as she claimed, Urbane Bronze is really more of a charcoal – and indeed, once dry, both the shelves and desk turned out the dark, but warm, gray I’d hoped for!

It sounds weird that I noticed this, but it’s practically the same color as the antique doorknobs throughout our apartment. A perfect fit! And seriously, could that shade be any more perfect with gold accents? Love, love, love it in our neutral foyer!

And as for the desk? It looks pretty swank with the sparkly knobs (even in icky hallway lighting), all dressed up in my few Christmas decorations.

Because it needed something large to make the décor seem a bit more purposeful, I found this printable and resized it to fit my 8x10 frame. Of course, with a new baby, it’s possible I won’t remember to change the frame until long after Christmas, but it works now for the company we’ll get this season! (I’ll have more about Christmas decorations next time, promise.)

Oh, and pro tip: anytime you are painting something for a staircase landing, don’t forget to paint the underside!

I very nearly didn’t, because though I’m all about GSD, I’m also about priorities and eliminating unnecessary work. But I went ahead and threw a single coat onto the underside, and boy, am I glad I did! I didn’t even think about it until I came up the stairs and saw it – long after I’d put all my painting stuff away and decorated the top. Whew!

And with that, I think I’ve checked off all the furniture painting and rearranging that I’ve had on my list lately. Although if I come up with something new, we’ll see what I can knock out during Baby P’s naptimes!


Miranda said...

That looks so nice! I still haven't finished plowing through all the layers of wallpaper in our entry... :/

Rachel C said...

I love your foyer! I don't remember seeing a "whole" room shot of it before, or at least not from this angle. It's such a wonderful mix of fancy, neutral elegance and casual, comfy classic. LOVE! And the dark desk in the foyer is stunning.

Janice said...

That color turned out fantastic! What a perfect fit to your decor!!