Sunday, April 3, 2011

My bookshelf (and paint)

Rachel Griffith of the blog "p.s. i quilt" was hosting a giveaway and she asked, "what color would you paint YOUR living room" as she is currently painting hers a calm grey. That got me thinking about paint.
I live in an apartment and we're probably allowed to paint the walls. Actually, I believe Dan told me we were allowed to paint the walls.. but he wasn't sure on wallpaper. Not that I can afford to wallpaper anything right now. I did order some wallpaper samples from Anthropologie, mostly for fun...

But the reasons I couldn't really think of a wall paint color for this apartment are we're looking to move out in the near future, that redecorating is a superfluous task not in my budget, but most of all because they are already painted! The bathroom is white, and I think my flatmate's bedroom is yellow, but our (my boyfriend and I) have a yellow bedroom, the living room is a more saturated yellow, and the kitchen is light green! Not a pale, retiring green either. Just a green that isn't dark or medium. This apartment HAS color. And I'd keep it, because why not? The bathroom is white, but it's small, and it needs so much more work than just a coat of paint. If we were to move into another apartment though, I think I'd paint the bathroom a soft bright blue, like in my old house. I want to try a pink wall someday.. I'm not sure I'd ever feel it was quite right. And I really want to paint a bright crisp vertical stripe inside of a closet. Like the lining on a coat! :)

I still have a small can of red and a small can of white from when I was painting my bookshelf.  I used to live in an apartment building that had the trash rooms all in the same area on each floor and an elevator that could stop at each, and went out to a loading dock. People moving out would leave their furniture in the basement sometimes, but sometimes they'd just leave it right in the hall. I thought that was pretty unfair to the maintenance people who now have to haul your junk out for you. You could at least take the manageable stuff out to the loading dock. Also it sometimes blocked everyone's access to the recycling bin and trash chute. But maybe they were in a rush- a few weeks after we moved in someone left a large chest of drawers in the hallway, with no drawers. My roommate then, Matt, figured maybe they didn't have time to take stuff out of it, but just dumped all the drawers into a cart or something. It's too bad because we really would have used that piece of furniture. Anyways we did score a weird chair that I recovered the spotty, stained striped silk on- but I've yet to finish the trim that's supposed to cover the staples- and I scored this junky, old, but perfectly sized, bookcase:
As you can see, not the best stain job.
 I didn't do the best paint job on it either, but it looked so much better. I didn't really sand it. Spray paint would have been right for this job (and cheap!) but I wasn't about to get spray all over our balcony, and I wasn't sure where else to go.

So much nicer!

I laid out the cardboard boxes I had kept from IKEA delivering furniture and my mattress, and painted very carefully. It became a really great fabric shelf! I used latex paint and that's not always the best for lots of heavy books- it dries soft compared to oil.
Unfortunately I don't really have anywhere to put the bookcase in the this apartment (despite our very large bedroom) and so it remains in Matt's apartment. I don't know what it's being used for, but whenever I want it back it's mine :)
One of the main benefits of this little project was meeting some of the people who work in my (former!) town, the guy at the hardware store and the guys at the paint shop. That's how I learned about latex paint! I was going to see if they had any reject buckets of paint, but no real luck there. I chose red because I had an IKEA LACK table that was bright red, and I wanted color in my tiny bland room. It wasn't all that tiny, just really bland. The desk/sewing table was IKEA and black and white. I chose white for the inside because I didn't want the fabric to look weird next to such a strong color- I thought a red interior would cast strong shadows.

Now my fabric lives in boxes :(  But it's working okay. I can't get to my Quilt (it's my first big quilt, and it's big) anyways unless I really want to make a mess in the room, and I still managed to make a pretty good little cozy for my slow cooker this weekend out of saved scraps (mostly from the Quilt) and t-shirts. The t-shirts were major hand-me-downs destined for Goodwill, and now I'm kicking myself for not taking more pictures of the process. A brother of one of Dan's friends gave Dan a lot of clothes because he was moving. Dan didn't even want all of those clothes so the nag leftover were rejected rejects. Out of those, I've set some aside that I think I'll be refashioning into shirts for myself (or practice 'muslins' for projects) but the ones I cut up this weekend weren't even in that category. And honestly, they probably wouldn't even sell well at Goodwill! One was one of those 5K shirts with the sponsors on the back, and one was a shirt that probably got washed with something new and red and it turned into this unsightly weak pink color. Those became the liners and padding.
But pictures of that (and why I would even need to cover a slow cooker) in another post!


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