Revamping the Upstairs

When middle age is staring you in the face, maybe you don’t need a chalkboard wall.  Three years ago, we had two teenagers at home, and a hang out room with a wall you could write on and lots of color made total sense. Then they grew up and moved away.

Me and the MR have decided it’s time for an adult space, we’re planning on new carpet for the bedrooms and a wash of light color to brighten up the walls. Flooring requires lots of thought and commitment, but paint’s an easier problem to tackle—sort of. So last week when I was in town, I stopped by the hardware store and went a little crazy.

While downstairs is light, and bright, and airy, upstairs isn’t.  It’s just so dark. It feels cool on warm summer days; but this time of year, it’s more like a cave.  In an effort to combat that, I chose beiges and whites on the creamy side with a hint of yellow.  I like the cool gray-green of the upstairs bathroom and thought a similar color a shade brighter would be nice for the sewing room covering up Sweet Miss’ kelly green walls.

Paint Chip Pallettes

I was sure these would be wonderful. Then I took them upstairs.  Did you know new paint chips are made to peel off and stick to the walls?  That’s pretty clever.  Well anyways, I took them upstairs, stuck them on the walls, stood back, and said huh?

Paint chips

I’m not sure anything can brighten up this room; it may be a lost cause.  Along with some fresh paint, we could be in the market for some new lights.  Oh well, one step at a time.

When I was was having one of those restless nights, I brainstormed ways of getting more of the light from the stairway into the main room upstairs.  We could replace the pony wall with glass—that sounds scary.  Maybe an open gridwork would let light through and be more solid.  It all sounds like a lot of work.  For now we’ll just deal with dark and call it cozy.

Instead of buying paint and getting busy last weekend, me and the MR packed up the car and left our cares behind. We headed down to Oregon for Family/Dad’s weekend at both of the girls’ schools.  We split time between the University of Oregon and Oregon State hanging out with our favorite coeds and forgetting about paint chips and other decisions.

Do you remember back to college days and how tiny dorm rooms are?  We did not spend any amount of time here. Everyone was simply on top of each other in this space.

BGs Room

Baby Girl doesn’t have a car, so we visited some of the restaurants around town she’d been hearing good things about. The first was a fancy restaurant housed in an old electric company.  They’d talked about it in her architecture class as an example of designing for current and future uses.  Sweet Miss caught a ride to town with her Fella’.  She was joining us for the weekend and he for the evening.  It’s been a long time, but apparently college students miss eating meat.

The next morning we headed to Off the Waffle. When Baby Girl explained that everything at the restaurant was served on a waffle, I wasn’t sure whether I’d like it.  I envisioned a frozen yogurt type set up where you walk through a buffet line piling junk on a waffle.

I was totally misguided and am now a believer. My waffle topped with carmelized onions, thinly sliced pear, and brie cheese drizzled with a basalmic reduction was amazing.  Sweet Miss ordered the same and has already requested that I try a homemade version over Thanksgiving weekend.  If you’re in Eugene, Off the Waffle is a great option just be patient; the lines are long.

Me & BG

We looked for game day gear for the MR at the bookstore without luck.  He vetoed the head-to-toe yellow and green striped overalls and the beanies with a duck cartoon on them.  He prefers a more subtle look in fan wear.

It rained most of the weekend, but Sweet Miss appropriated an umbrella she found on the side of the road.  It happened to be for BG’s sorority, so even better.

Umbrella Girls

We had time for an afternoon coffee and a game of briscolla back at our Airbnb cottage.

Sweet Girls

Then it was a BBQ with BG’s sorority and off to the game.

Fam at the Game

Don’t I have the cutest family ever?

A night game in November in the northwest wound up being a little cold and a little wet, but it was a lot of fun, and the Ducks won.

The next morning Sweet Miss and the MR served up pancakes at the annual St. Jude benefit for Sweet Miss’ sorority. Then we rearranged her living room—twice—and made a run to the store for weather stripping.  A large spider had crawled under the front door while she and her roommates were watching TV. With cold weather coming, it seemed like a good idea to get rid of the draft.  Another dad had already replaced the flourescent bulb in the upstairs bath.

And then we had to say goodbye to our sweet girls.  Me and the MR are having a good time just the two of us, but we miss the noise and excitement of youth.

In less than two weeks, they’ll be home and the house will be full for Thanksgiving. I’m sure they’ll have ideas about how to paint their old hangout room and give it a new look.

How have you changed a space with paint?





6 thoughts on “Revamping the Upstairs

  1. I too enjoyed Papa Willy’s eloquent reply! For me, I have never really noticed the upstairs, hang out room, being gloomy. I like the idea of painting over the black chalkboard paint (even though we, the fabulously young couple in our 70’s, have just now painted our 5’x12′ dining room table and side board with black chalkboard paint) and the rest of the room with your theme of carrying on the colors in the bathroom that we all liked. It is a large room, and when you stop it with the low wall coming up the stairs, that does cut out a lot of light, and your idea of opening it up with glass might not be ‘up to building code’, but opening it up with grid work, or vertical slats that could be closed if/when it was too bright for daytime TV watching……which can be a problem, as we know, in the downstairs ‘great room’, would work well. Maybe start painting out the black wall, and then the wall behind that clear over to the kitchen would show you if you needed to get more light in the room with brighter ceiling lights. Loved the pictures of the family. Happy Thanksgiving, we are having a full house for dinner, and then an open house with the possibility of 40+ guests on December first. Since Papa Larry will be off Marlin fishing, we will start our Christmas decorating this week. MeeMee

    • In some ways it’s sad to transition from a kid space to a grown up space. I’m excited to see what a little paint can do. I’m also hoping for good luck for all the fishermen next weekend.

      They better at least come home with a few fish tales. 😊

      • I know, it can be rather sad to transition from years with the comfortable and loved past, to the new unknown of filling up the busy time, the past took up. We are kind of in the same situation with doing less shows and lack of deadlines and rummaging around to see how we are going to still be able to see our ‘spread out’ family.

  2. Pingback: Thankful for November | big white house on the hill

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