Friday, January 16, 2015

pink to blue


I said it was all about the paint here.  Right?

While the paster and sealant dries in our bedroom, the painters moved on to the next room to be painted and repaired.  Julia's bedroom.  She has been asking to have her room painted since we moved here.  It was a rather dingy and dirty yellow.  And children before our time here had written messages in the built in shelves and desk.  She had waited while I told her that we needed to get a few things done first.  Repairing her windows.  Addressing ceiling water stains.  Getting the heat working in there.

I often laugh when I listen to our kids wax nostalgic about things our previous house had, a reproduction colonial built in 2008, that were sparkling and new but that to me seemed empty and too perfect and storyless.  What I see as historic and antique and beautiful is sometimes seen by them as worn and broken.  One night Nicholas told me he missed his doorknobs.  When I grow up, I want doors with door knobs, he told me one night.  Ones that don't pinch me and that aren't sharp.  But I listen to the kids talk about windows that glided open when pushed with one finger.  With screens.  And cozy warm floors covered with soft light colored carpeting.  And doors that closed, walls that were square. They loved these things.


Me? Something there is that loves a paneled wall.  Panelling milled on this river from trees harvested on our home's property.  Planks wide enough that they obviously broke the King's rule that all trees of a certain diameter were the property of his majesty's ships for masts.  The King's Pines.  Paneling that is quirky and so unsquare that you get vertigo if you look at it for too long.

And the doors.  I love our doors.  Perfectly creaky and planed to rhombuses to fit in unsquare frames that have settled during the 250 years of this house's life.  And in Julia's room, there are three doors and only one actually closes anymore, the other two in need of adjustments to fit into diagonal door frames.  


And have I mentioned the door knobs?  Oh, I love our door knobs.  If you can call them that.  Because the thumb latches (yes, I googled it) are painted over many times and are missing parts.  I think it is probably totally appropriate that my almost eleven year old daughter, flanked on both sides by brothers' rooms and in years by the brothers themselves, would like doors that close sometimes and latches that hold them thusly.

Many years ago, back when I chose paint colors for the kids' rooms, preverbal were they, I painted Julia's room a rather crazy raspberry pink.  I loved it.  Until one day when I did not.  And its overwhelming hue began to rattle my brain each time I walked into her room.  Then a job change and resulting move saved me from that color.

At our next house, I wallpapered her room.  I loved that wallpaper.  Until I had spent weeks cutting and pasting and fitting it onto her walls.  But still.  I loved it again after I saw her pleased reaction to it.  And now we are here.  And Julia, just a week away from her 11th birthday, is getting her long-promised room redo.

And she, a toddler who would only leave the house if covered in at least three articles of differently bold patterned clothing, now does not like anything fussy, fastened, or frilly, is making the old and the new blend so beautifully.

Our workers are geniuses.  It's like art in there.  And they are magical as well, because they are making Julia love the old, see the beauty in the wood and its texture and uniqueness and irregularity.






We are all so happy with how it is changing in there, the blue selected by a growing changing Julia herself, a historic color that works with her clean and simple style.  She is accessorizing with greys and silvers and clean modern lines from her old room's things and with a few things that are new.

And I am ordering her some new old thumb latches, faithful replicas of what was once here, but which may actually work.


It's a perfect blend. And so perfectly who Julia is right now.  11.  Two straight lines with a creative unique and storied room and mind.  In which to keep on growing, changing, and creating.

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