A Year of Renewal
2018: destined to be a year of creativity, renovation and simplification
Column by Lara Protheroe
Creativity has always been a key outlet for me, and as the recently two-year-old Luther has become ever more engaged in drawing (anywhere), sculpting (anything) and mess-making (with unparalleled glee), I find myself newly inspired to interact with and impact the space around me.
We have been in our home for a few years now and not done a huge amount to it. It has been perfectly livable and other projects have taken priority. Project Nursery, however, was a huge success and got me to thinking what other transformation might be effected with a few licks of quality paint and some choice accessories.
So this year we are planning to give our home a complete overhaul. The nursery started out with a feature wall of Little Greene’s luscious deep blue Smalt, but it contrasted so beautifully with the wooden bed and white feature pieces that I went all out and it now adorns all the walls, achieving simultaneously a beautiful cosiness and sense of adventure. The room had a blank wall and this has now been filled with the Ikea toy kitchen that I customised for Luther’s Christmas gift and we’ve installed two large white display bookcases to house his burgeoning literary collection. Thus far he has failed to notice their scope as a built-in climbing frame, but that will come with time… The wall has also been decorated with some funky artwork from Milk and Poop with bright yellow pops of colour.
The nursery feels bigger and better for the fully dark paint job and that got me to thinking that our pallid blue hallway could be more welcoming in a deep purple blue. Instinct might suggest that an inky dark hallway could end up somewhat oppressive, but in reality the almost ethereal quality of the paint has lent a sense of grandeur and infinity to the space.
The next few months will involve some art curation for the hallway (the working theme being twisted classics) and the continuation of the renovation project. Our bedroom is partway through a dark green paint job, facilitated in no small part by the labours of my miniature apprentice. Luther and I take turns with the paintbrush; he works with admirable focus and miraculously has not (yet) dropped a single drop on the carpet. I don’t believe in putting down dust sheets – I have to get my thrills where I can these days.
We plan to rip out the bathroom. After two years of parenthood I have now accepted that no call of nature is to be a private affair, so have no qualms in knocking through from a too-small loo room into a poorly-planned tub room to create a single space for evacuations, ablutions and water fights. The bathroom is one room that is really calling out for a makeover, and I can’t wait to get on with transforming it.
So the year ahead looms with the smell of plaster and paint thick in our nostrils. We’ve decided to embrace the decluttered life in the process and have committed to getting rid of 2018 things in 2018. The Papa Gorilla has embraced the challenge with frankly unexpected alacrity, busily shipping out boxes of books and clothes and manhandling items of furniture out the door to open up the sitting room (just in case I needed another painting job).