My first experience with the power of paint came when I was still very young. Growing up we were given the opportunity to decorate our bedroom anyway we saw fit. When my time came to do my bedroom over I chose a burnt orange color for the walls and a wild orange, yellow, green psychedelic patterned fabric for the curtains and bedspread (It was the late 60's after all). I will never forget how cool that room seemed to me and I never forgot that transformation.
Many years later, when I was in high school, I selected a much more sophisticated color scheme. The walls were a khaki green with a cream trim, and the curtains and bedspread were deeper cream open weave fabric - with just a coat of paint I immediately felt all grown up.
The next 25 years were spent living in white boxes while I moved from apartment to apartment. Since these were rentals I never wanted to invest in painting as I never really knew how long I would be living in one spot. It was not until we moved into our house in Southport did I give full vent to painting - It was here that I really understood how powerful a coat of paint is.
We purchased the house from my Mom in 1999. The interior of the house had not been touched since the early 80's. Understandably, it felt like an older person had lived there, it was perfectly fine, but not right for two guys in their 30's.
Like anyone buying their first house knows, ambitions and budgets are often at odds. We did some structural things, opening up some walls and bumping out a window - but the real transformation came from a simple coat of paint.
The front hall, stairway and upstairs halls were painted a bright red with white trim and doors. The dining room walls were a soft gray brown with wainscotting that went halfway up the walls with high gloss white, and the living room was yellow. Yellow can be tricky - it can be one of the hardest colors to get right (other than light blue) but we were very lucky and it was the perfect shade of yellow. The room was bright and clear during the day when daylight shone in, and soft and mellow at night when lit with table lamps and candles. Other than bathrooms and a bedroom all the other rooms waited for a transformation. We were moving from a 750 square foot Manhattan apartment with little need for the rest of the house. Now, 20 years later we are bursting at the seams. How that happened, I am unsure!
Painting those rooms made the house ours, it looked like us and the house felt like it was ready for its next chapter - and all it took was a coat of paint.
Four years ago, when we opened Lattice House, we moved into a space that had been a real estate office in a nondescript brick building. The architecture of the building itself was very pretty but it blended into the background. Opening a new store in an invisible building was not a bright prospect - I knew something needed to be done to wake up the building and have people notice it. I approached our landlord and explained that the building needed a facelift. I suggested that we paint the brick white and all the trim black, to my utter shock my landlord said "Yes, that sounds great. Let's do it."
The transformation of the building was incredible - people would come into the store and say "I never noticed this building before!" Ah, the power of paint!
Inside the store we needed to transform a workday office space into a retail environment. The space had a drop ceiling and fluorescent lights - great for a business office but terrible for a store like Lattice House. To make the ceiling "disappear" we painted the walls and ceiling all the same color with Farrow & Ball's Charleston Grey and the trim in London Clay. In just a few days the office was transformed into a beautiful retail space - just with a coat of paint.
Over the course of those four we felt that the walls were becoming tired (or maybe I was tired of looking at them) and thought it was time for a quick facelift. Because these are such uncertain times and we all have been through so much, we wanted the store to feel bright and optimistic. This time around we have decided to paint the store White Dove. Lattice House will be lighter and fresher and all of the wonderful things we have curated will really stand out!
Lattice House will be ready for its next chapter on Friday with its new coat of paint. Please swing by and say hello!