07 May 2010

White Walled Woes.

I am so sad.

Okay, maybe that was a touch dramatic. Let me start from the beginning, which is a very good place to start. (Is that line from Winnie the Pooh or something... and what, exactly, is a Pooh?)

Amos and I live in a wonderful, old apartment. It has lots of character, oodles of charm, a plethora of personality, and a fridge on our counter-top.

In case you don't believe me, evidence of the photographic variety:

As in most old places, we have our fair share of quirks (scalding hot water, windows without screens, don't even try to look for anything level) but those quirks offset by leaded glass windows, a big farmhouse kitchen sink, arched doorways and gorgeous wood floors.

But there is something that has been bothering me the 2 1/2 years I've been living here. Bothering me lots and lots.

The white walls.

Now, mind you, I know a good white wall when I see one. I'm not blind. And while I gravitate towards loud and warm colors or seek out soothing hues, I have very much come to appreciate a good white wall. They can be a perfect canvas, a warm, yet blank slate.


But my walls are not that white. They are dingy white. A white that my landlord told me 'could use an update' the day I was moving in. After visiting my sister last weekend and getting a high off painting her basement (both literally and figuratively, folks. Lesson learned: crack a friggin' window) I began to have fantasies about painting the apartment.

I knew I would have to keep it white. Our landlord pops in quite a bit to tighten leaky faucets, etc. so there was no sneaking-behind-and-painting-to-repaint-before-I-moved-out. Darn. But I could do white. I found several shades that were beautiful. I rather liked Benjamin Moore (who I affectionately call BM) White Dove (below):

Oohh, but BM's Decorator's White is nice too!

Thus, I emailed Bob the Landlord. Hi Bob, I wrote. Would you mind if I painted our place? I'll paint, your reimburse, and it'll be grand.

(I'm paraphrasing here...)

He wrote back. It would be grand. I have white paint in the basement, and I'll order more for you.

Ba....What? His white paint? The white paint that is on my walls. Flat paint. Lifeless. Less-dingy-than-now-but-far-from-spectacular.

A photographic reminder, shall we?

Okay, they look dingier/duller in real life - my photographic skillz are, apparently, amazing.


Friends, I am so upset. I know it's ridiculous and many a reader is shaking her respective head, saying "Sar, white is white is white." But, please understand,I had my heart on White and now I must paint white. While it will make my place look better (it is mega-dingy now), it ceases to be what it could have been.

Sigh. Maybe I'll distract myself looking at expensive Seattle real-estate for awhile. Then I'll appreciate my dingy-but-affordable-and-charming-white-not-White-apartment.

I know: I could use a dose of perspective. Shut your face.


  1. Anonymous07 May, 2010

    Ohmygod, your comment on my blog had me in stitches! I don't know how many times I'm talking to my boyfriend and my conversation starts out like, "So, my blogging friend Katie told me that such and such..." and he looks at me like I just turned into a mogoloid or something.

    And hooo! Do I see SOCCER scarves on that wall of yours? I think you may be my favorite blogging friend now. I am a diehard.

    Well, I find it unfortunate about the White. If I were you, I'd tell your landlord 'nevermind' then bite the bullet and just buy all the paint yourself. Because if you're anything like me (and it seems like you are), you're going to regret not painting it White Dove (my choice!) until you're 52 years old. It may be pricey, but adding wrinkles to your face over White is worse :)

  2. Oh my god NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I was so anxious up until the landlord's email back to you. I like Melina's suggestion- either get it all yourself or TELL HIM HIS PAINT SUCKS aka "wasn't what I had in mind Bob."

    Also, I have no idea what you two are talking about above and hate to butt in but that happens to me all the time with my S when I talk about blog friends! Good to know I'm not crazy!

  3. Dog gone him!!! Do not paint it with his stupid white paint! The pain in the butt of painting is only worth it if you are going to be happy with the result and I don't think you will be happy if you use his paint.

    Either tell him you changed your mind and buy your own paint, or if you are afraid he would be mad if you do it behind his back tell him that you are still painting and it will still be white but you are going to buy your own shade of white. If I know anything about landlords he won't care as long as he doesn't have to pay for it.

    And don't worry this would bug me a ton too, you are not alone! Good luck!!

    ps. My husband and I just had a whole in-depth conversation about what in the world is a Pooh Bear anyway. Fueled by a couple of martinis, but still.

  4. I agree. Just do your own white. I had same problem at my old place. I desperately wanted to paint our walls a warmer white and I knew our landlord would never get around to repainting so I did it myself and then tried to submit the receipts. Didn't work but at least I had walls I could stand looking at. And I would imagine you could still do color and repaint when you move even if he sees it. Unless it's in your lease that you can't. It's your place--do what makes you happy:)

  5. Lame. Lame lame lame. I understand your hatred for that dingy white all too well. My old Capitol Hill apartment was full of dingy white walls. Luckily I was able to paint them whatever color I wanted (which I joyfully did)!

    Is there any way to convince your landlord that your idea is better?

  6. Don't don't it! I agree with everyone else--go for the white you want, otherwise it's not worth the pain and time. If he's going to order someone anyway, maybe he'd order the white you want? Otherwise I'd just get the prettier white and enjoy!

  7. i know what you mean with purposefully white walls and the white that was like 'oops, we forgot to paint the walls' white.

    but the kitchen floors are awesome- i am liking the checkerboard!

  8. I understand. My rental apartment walls might be the worst shade of white possible. I refer to them as puke.

  9. i hear you on the dingy white, though i've gotta say - your apartment looks amazing


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