Thursday, September 14, 2006

Week 7: Seeking Sanctuary from Decorating

Exhausted by finishing the bathroom (and still without towels), Brian collapses on the bed while Marva enthuses about turning the bedroom into sacred space.

The original plan defined "sacred space" as involving lavender carpet, a lavender accent wall, and purple linens. But now, the rest of the apartment is such a riot of color (infused heavily with kiwi green) that keeping the bedroom white is looking very peaceful. That means going shopping for white carpet and white linens, as well as possibly some pale green pillows to help bring the unifying green into this room, too.

Marva's friend in the fabric business is on a buying trip in Paris for the rest of the month, and Marva has suddenly found herself teaching two sections of Introduction to Political Economy, while her dissertation advisor has announced that he's going on sabbatical in January and needs to see more chapters ASAP.

So we have (sigh) yet more delays. Eight weeks is turning into eight months.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Week 6.5: The Aftermath of the Bath

Inspired by heroic effort, Marva leaned on the contractors to get the glass tile in the bath installed. The project was complicated by the discovery that the new tile was considerably more irridescent than the sample, leading to the decision only to tile part of the wall.

The tile mural of Rome rising from the washer and dryer is a reminder of a happy vacation in the Italian sun, before the babies arrived.

Marva is so exalted by being finished that she's ready to run off to Target and buy towels (not to mention lights to go around the mirror). While the bathroom is still missing many comforts of home, note that there is indeed a candle on the white rack.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Where's the Cure?

Marva and Brian's progress has been held up, as their bathroom contractor got involved in another job, and the project became more complicated than was originally expected.

More news ASAP.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Week 6: Stark Raving White Bathroom

Brian is backed into a corner with horror at another week of home improvement.

At least some themes are becoming clear. Now that kiwi green has appeared as an accent color in the first four rooms, it's a good bet that it will be pulled through to the last two. There has already been some discussion of a glass-tile look in green, with pink and blue accents.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Week 5.75: The Long & Winding Ceiling Border

In a frenzy of cleaning out, up, back, and sideways, Marva found the pink decals for the plain nursery set. Within minutes of reading the instructions, she'd decided that decals were too much trouble, and she should redo the furniture with wallpaper samples instead.

She used the resulting spare time to construct an alphabet ceiling border on a mod paper that color coordinates with the elephants. The results were so loud that the elephant panels absolutely had to be color-segregated, blue on one side, pink on the other.

In many ways, the nursery is the most pleasant room in the townhouse, though it doesn't exude high style. (And note how the rocker has the same lime cushion as every other seat in the place, making it usable in another room for extra seating as needed.)

Repainting the high chairs is still a source of despair, as the color from the upper kitchen walls looks unspeakably grim on furniture.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Week 5.45: Nursery Grudges

Even when the baby babies have already arrived, creating a nursery turns out to be stressful. Here, Marva collapses in her rocker after yet another argument about how to arrange the colored elephant panels.

Brian thinks it's asking for trouble to put all the blue ones on little Ethan Jacob's side and all the pink ones on tiny Olivia Madison's side. (He's not so much concerned about gender stereotyping as about what Marva's friends will say.)

"The elephants are in opposite colors," Marva points out, in the petulant tones of someone who can't find the pink stencils for the white crib, no matter where she looks.


"It's not like half the room is G.I. Joe camouflage and the other half is all My Little Pony. Elephants are non-gendered."

"Then how do they breed?"

Marva shoots Brian the contemptuous look deserved by someone who mistakenly painted the walls green and then needed five coats of white paint to get all the green covered.

The dreadful truth is that everyone's feeling the pressure of compromise. Brian feels his kitchen has been invaded by giant highchairs from outer space -- so much so that he hides the paint brush whenever Marva wants to work on them.

Marva resents having the extra kitchen chairs replace the white wicker in her foyer/office.

She has to admit it looks better -- and she likes having a rocker in the nursery -- and the kitchen chair is more comfortable at her new desk anyway. But it's still the kind of sacrifice that has her peering suspiciously at the walls to see if Brian missed a spot, just so she has something solid to gripe about.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Week 5.25: Second Thoughts

Repainting the high chairs to work in the kitchen is going well, though it hurt to make the first brush-stroke across the stenciled one.

Painting the nursery is not going so well. First, Brian got the idea that if a green floor was good, a green floor and green walls would be even better. (Okay, he got sloppy with the paint.)

More green was not better. Three coats of white later, the green still shows through.

A coat of off-white later, the green still shows through. So does the white.

Meanwhile, Marva's friends have been asking why she's using pastels when child development experts say that bold black-and-white contrast provides better stimulation for baby. She was humming loudly until she picked up this morning's Chronicle and learned that pastel nurseries are out-out-out.

Her planned pink and blue scheme is really out-out-out... one of her grad school friends even made a crack about how, if the boy twin's going to have everything blue-blue-blue, he'll probably grow up gay-gay-gay. "I thought your pals were feminists who'd evolved beyond stereotypes and liked gays," Brian remarked after the woman had left. Marva was too busy heating bottles to answer.

In her heart, she just wants a soft pink and blue nursery, even though she knows she shouldn't. She's wanted it from the moment the blue-stenciled furniture set caught her eye, back when they thought (take that, grad school friend!) they were adopting just one girl.