Many years ago, in a bid to carve out a place for myself at 100 Prince Street, and to lay down some of my own aesthetic tracks, I painted one of our three bedrooms orange.
Or red. Or red-orange. Or orange-red.
Whatever the colour’s name, it was bright and brash and kind of disturbing. For a while the room was dubbed “the hell room” for the feeling it inspired.
Here’s what the Hell Room looked like a few days ago:
After painting the room I acquired a smart IKEA lounger and a reading lamp. The plan was that I would retire to this peaceful oasis of calm and finally do all that reading I never seemed to be able to find time or space for.
That didn’t work out.
Orange-red-orange-hellscape turned out to not be a colour palette conducive to calm reflection. The IKEA chair was uncomfortable, and hit my reading-elbows in an uncomfortable way. The reading lamp, for reasons unknown, maintained a temperature of 500 degrees, and was most unappealing to be near.
And while all those things were true, ultimately the problem I was trying to solve—doing something to make myself feel more at home in this house—was a larger project needing broader solutions, not all of them related to paint and furniture.
This became moot a few years later when the room evolved to become a storage closet for our mountains of stuff, and then, a few years after that, when Catherine moved into the room during her cancer treatment. The red-orange-red that was supposed to calm me became a conversation starter and aesthetic irritant to all who encountered it.
Here’s what the room looks like this morning:
Don and Derek from Colonial Painters were in this week for a second round of painting—they painted the lower floor and the upstairs hallway this summer—and the result is a room transformed.
Paint is powerful.