Wednesday, September 26, 2007

the nursery

a definite plus (for renters, but maybe not for the owners) of living in the netherlands is that you can remodel a room, even if you're just renting an apartment or a house from somebody. which was GREAT because the room that we've designated as the nursery was a total mess when we moved in. moldy, peeling wallpaper, cracks in the walls, an ugly pattern... it just wasn't nice at all. but since we never used that room other than to store our bills and files and stuff in, we never bothered to change it.

until we got pregnant. we always knew that that room would eventually be the baby room, and when it was time for us to redo it, we already had a few ideas.

first of all, the wallpaper HAD to go. then we had to patch up the holes and crumbling corners with plaster. and finally we would have to paint it a very bright yellow color. the room has the nicest view in the whole house, with an entire wall that is just double-paned windows, and it faces east so it gets a lot of really lovely morning sunlight in there.

(and, even if we knew if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl, i'd still want the room to be yellow because it's a happy color. and since we don't know spruitje's gender, i guess it's even more appropriate.)

so we started by peeling off the wallpaper, thanks to the use of a wallpaper steamer that my friend, debbie, let us borrow. (debbie bought herself an old fixer-upper house in germany and so has tons of home-repair stuff at her place, and she was really nice and let us steal her steamer for a couple of weeks. it worked like a dream!) but the steamer was kind of small, and the room was kind of small, and the fumes from the melting glue were a little too much for me, so basically i left adam to do all the work. i really don't think he minded at all, though, because i'm blessed to have a partner who is completely and utterly involved with this pregnancy, and he's always looking for ways to help out. i think he thinks that because i have to grow a person and am tired and awkward because of it, he feels he should be doing the heavy lifting (literally and figuratively) around the house... getting groceries, going up and down stairs to fetch things for me, painting a nursery, etc. i think it made him feel good to be doing something helpful, that directly affects the baby. and it made me feel good to see my partner happily working away.

so, after i gave up on him, which didn't take long, he basically spent about 2 weeks to peel and paint. though, i was very helpful when i went to the hardware store to pick up plaster, paint tape, and plastic sheets to protect the carpet. i spent a couple of hours in there patching up holes (there were a lot! now i know why they just put up wallpaper instead!) and straightening out crumbling corners -- we don't want pieces of wall to crumble down onto the floor and then have the baby put them in his mouth! i also helped to put up a little bit of tape along the floorboards and laid out the plastic linings, but adam did all the up-high stuff of taping the doorframes and ceiling.

and finally, the paint goes on! we had gotten several selections of paint cards from the hardware store, with about 20 different shades of yellow on there. so one day i called adam up to the nursery and asked him to help me pick out which shade he liked best. he kept picking out these really really bright shades of yellow, which were pretty, but not for an entire room. maybe for one accent wall or something. and then he'd pick out another color, equally as obnoxious as the last one, and i kept saying no, and then finally he said, "you know, i don't know why you even asked me to come up here because you know as well as i do that we're going to get the color that you like." and we both laughed because we knew he was right. why does he put up with me sometimes? it was funny.

so "we" picked out this color that i felt was going to be really warm and buttery and sweet, but when he put it up on the wall it turned out to be more of a bright, lemon yellow. so it turns out he got his way after all. and you know what? i actually like it. it is definitely yellow, no doubt about that. it's perfect for a baby's room because it's bright and happy and cheerful. and i'm so, so proud of all the hard work he's done in there... it actually looks BIGGER now that the walls are clean and uniform and beautiful. the carpet is a dark green, and the trim is a creamy white, and it's going to look just lovely.

off of the nursery there is a really nice balcony, about 7 feet by 11 feet. right now it is only covered with tar paper or whatever it is that they put on top of roofs, so if you're out there in bare feet your feet get all black at the bottom. so i want to pick up some of that green fake grass carpet stuff like they use on outdoor patios, so that the three of us can go out there in the mornings and play. and i want to line the balcony railing with bamboo or something so that spruitje can't throw his toys over the edge, cuz that would get really old really fast i think. anyway, it's still a work in progress, but i wanted to show you what adam has been working hard on the past month or so. he's so great!


Valerie said...

It look really really pretty from the pictures :-) I love it!

teresa said...

the yellow isn`t too bright. good job adam!