Painting Party

For Christmas, my family sends around an email chain with our wish lists for the holiday.  It helps when you're totally blanking for one family member, but it also helps with fewer returns and a very excited Christmas morning.  One of the big things on Matt's list this year and last year involved experiences with him- going to a favorite restaurant, visits to museums, parks, etc.  And he also listed decorating his place as one of these "experience gifts".  I jumped at the chance when he wanted to build his pass-through between his kitchen and living room last year, but sadly the weekend everyone else could make it, I already had something going on.  So when he listed painting his place again this year, I claimed it and made sure we picked a weekend I was free.

Sadly Patti and Becky were working, and while Ed wanted to help, we realized him bringing along Cole and Wes around paint and cats would end up being really difficult (Parvi and Delilah were already going to be shunned in bathrooms and closets).  So me, Matt, Beth, Mom and Dad were lined up to paint for the weekend!  Then we realized the Super Bowl, in NYC, was on Sunday, haha.  So we planned to get as much done as quickly as possible and hopefully leave Saturday afternoon to head back home.

In news that will surprise no one who knows the McLaughlin family, we drove up Friday when I finished work, got there around 7:30pm and went out for grilled cheeses at Kickshaw in Astoria!
And we were home by 10pm on Saturday, after painting all day!  Yep, it's just the kind of craziness we do.

Delilah took over my bed for a hot sec.
Kitty waking up in the early morning.
Good Morning, Queens!  And Manhattan skyline!
A few before pictures for you.  Everything was still painted plain white since Matt had first moved in years ago.  He wanted color!
I suggested light gray all around.  Matt suggested dark gray.  I held firm, and he asked about accent wall possibilities.  I said none because he didn't already have one color that tied everything together.  He countered with taking the light gray if he got an accent wall.  I said he should pick some of his favorite artwork and we would pick an accent color from it.  He suggested his wall map, but with no real "accent" color, we stalled a bit here.  We decided blue was a good accent color in general, but in a small place, I didn't want to go too dark.  We settled on 4 grays and 2 denim-y blues that Friday evening, with the idea that we would wake up and look over the colors in natural light and decide the best ones.  I woke up feeling strongly against the accent wall again, haha, but Mom talked me back into it.  We luckily talked Matt into the lighter of the grays, and the lighter of the blues.  We settled on a gray two shades lighter for his entrance hall, and a gray one shade lighter still for his small hallway to the bathroom.  He mentioned he was thinking yellow or orange for the entry and while I freaked out on him for a second, I told him we could do one wall in yellow but still with the lighter gray.  We had reached a bargain!  Success!
Mom, Beth and I headed to Home Depot to buy the paints while Matt and Dad moved furniture away from walls and started cleaning.

We started by cutting all the edges of the room- made very hard by the 1931 construction and no actual edges to the walls (they were all slightly curved in the corners).  We tried to put up tape, but there was no way to do it successfully.  So we all just had to be slow and careful!
Once everything was trimmed, the rolling went so quickly!
When Matt first saw me painting this yellow, all he said was "Wow, that's definitely yellow."  I only found out later that he was terrified of this bright color I had picked, but in the end he really liked it!  (I think!)
Quick falafel (or chicken kebab) break for lunch!
We had the living room done before our late lunch, and could start moving furniture back to it's place!  And a little proud bragging- Matt saw my books arranged by color awhile ago and suggested to Beth that they do the same thing when they had got home.  So cool that he did the same thing!  This is just one of their color-arranged bookshelves, but I loved the color with the newly painted walls!
Beth updating their chair color to match their new accent wall :-)
And a view of the entry hall yellow walls, looking into the small bathroom hallway painted with the lightest gray color!
Sunset over Manhattan.
His pass-through, with the wine rack my Dad custom-made for him, looking into the newly painted living room, and newly repainted mirror frame and chairs!  We also painted gray around the pass-through on the kitchen side to match the hallway and really tie everything together!
More sunset pictures :-)
Delilah inspecting me, Matt helping Beth paint the chairs in the background.
Fans in both windows, skyline in both windows.
Mirror frame is now white, map is hung up on the gorgeous gray wall.
Everything coming together!
New look for his entry hall!  Not as much had been rehung here by the time we left NYC for the night, but you can get the idea of the new colors of everything!
Everyone did such a great job painting!  We were going nonstop from like 9am, and it was only at the very end of the day that we all crashed.  I fully intended to take my shift driving home, but instead managed to pass out in the car while Mom and Dad drove the whole way.  At least I drove a lot on the way up!?  Anyways, I was so proud that Matt trusted me enough to help him pick out colors, and mostly steer him towards my vision for his place.  We would have been lost without Mom and Dad's years of painting expertise and knowing how to tackle everything.  And Beth just didn't stop moving from the start- being one of the last people still painting when she decided to tackle the chair color change when the rest of us were fading.  Also I loved that we seemed rather in sync for what colors she saw for the place.  I hope they still like them and aren't slowly planning how best to paint over something...

The Maryland crew got home around 10pm on Saturday night.  Dad said it best in a text that evening when letting the NYC crew that we had gotten home safely, "Typical McL schedule, allow one day to paint an apartment, 200 miles away!  Great family.  Glad we did it, now some rest."

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