Help Settle the Painting Feud, or How Trading Spaces Warped My Mind

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My mom was obsessed with Trading Spaces.

Surely you remember the uber-famous, turn-of-the-century, decorating show on TLC? Two families would trade their homes for a week-end, each family given $1,000 and a decorator to help them re-do one room. Sprightly Paige Davis would pounce back and forth between houses, her bright smile encouraging homeowners as they glued feathers to the wall or hung a chair upside-down from the ceiling.

I imagine the homeowners prayed long in advance that they would not be given Hildi as a designer. This was one of her infamous room makeovers, where she stapled silk flowers on the bathroom wall.

Inspired, our house underwent several transformations during those early 2000s years. Our more-formal living room was the most Spaces-esque: eggplant-colored walls, a giant gilted mirror above the piano, a new couch with a dark green and purple floral pattern.

Our family room became beach-themed eventually, thanks to the large number of cruises my parents have taken.

My bedroom – at some point – was painted a golden yellow, including the ceiling, with Asian themed bedding and a Chinese lantern hanging in the corner.

It’s probably because of this history of redecoration that I cannot seem to understand my husband’s aversion to painting. It’s a simple thing, isn’t it? You move in somewhere, you paint it a color you like. When we moved into our first apartment, I insisted on painting our living room a trendy cranberry color. To this day, I still claim it’s the closest we’ve ever come to divorcing.

Mr. V seems to think my desire to paint is insane.

I think I’m normal.

I’d like to hear your two cents.

18 thoughts on “Help Settle the Painting Feud, or How Trading Spaces Warped My Mind

  1. I still get nightmares from that awful flower bathroom!

    We are big painters. My husband detests beige walls so our walls are nice and colorful (but tasteful). I love it.

  2. Love the outcome but hate the actual painting part! There is a place for white walls but color tells of your personality. Sounds like time to paint to me.

  3. That Hildi makeover was the worst…ever…horrible. I remember it so well. Painting is an inexpensive way to get a whole new vibe. I say if you don’t mind the work, go for it. I haven’t had the desire with three little ones running around, but if you can make it happen, more power to ya.

    • I actually like painting … although I hate taping, because I have a hard time with straight lines. But finding the time to do it where little hands are not in the paint is dang near impossible, it’s true.

  4. The act of having to paint is no fun, so I understand the lack of desire to do it.
    But a coat of paint is one of the very cheapest ways to make the most difference in a room, and to really make it your own.
    I’m totally in favor of painting!

  5. We went through a phase, also courtesy of Trading Spaces, I do believe, when we had lots of very vivid walls. Our bedroom was painted a deep berry color called “Duxberry” and it was intense. The room was actually beautiful, but it was some serious color. I find myself now in a place where I love color, but in a more subtle, soothing way. Gorgeous blues, soft greens, muted golds… these colors work for us now! I think my husband would be willing to do more vibrant shades still… but I’ve mellowed. 😉

      • The designer at Thomasville furniture where my husband and I bought our furniture said her “go to” color was called Latte by Sherwin Williams we went home and painted our living room that color. Its beautiful! My girlfriend and I have a little painting and decorating business and we now use Latte as our “go to”. Not too dark or too light and goes with about everything.

        • We just picked out colors for our new apartment. I definitely looked at Latte, but because our rooms have very little light I went with Rainwashed in the bedroom and Vanillin in the main area. Looking forward to seeing them on the walls!

          • Im sure they will look nice. Deeper colors are nice in bedrooms. I think anything is acceptable as long as you like it and it makes you happy. 🙂

  6. ::shudder::: I remember watching that bathroom makeover, thinking Hildi should be stapled to the walls.

    I love painting – Every five or six years, it’s time to shake things up. In the twenty years I was in my flat, the living/dining room and bedroom walls have been:
    Deep coral
    Palest peach
    A flamingo pink/coral rag rolled over with a lighter tone (the end result was much lighter – very Italian villa-ish)
    Adobe (different kind of white in the bedroom)
    Sage green
    Deep purple

    Who needs beige?

    • My issue with our current apartment is that, courtesy of its former residents, almost every wall is butter yellow. But my husband is of the opinion that if you’re only going to be someplace for 2-3 years it’s not worth it to paint. I disagree. I like butter yellow, but being surrounded by it, 10-feet on every wall, is getting old.

  7. I don’t remember the flower bathroom, but a farm-style living room with HAY glued to the wall stands out in my mind. The homeowner literally cried and got mad at her neighbor.

    I really want to paint several rooms in our house right now, but can’t splurge to pay professionals right now, don’t have time to do it myself, and won’t burden my in-laws, who have generously painted four rooms for us over the last six years. So sweet!

  8. If it helps, we’re getting ready to paint the office, which is turning into the new baby’s room. Then we’re planning to put the house on the market in June or July. So with luck, we’re painting a room in a house we’ll only be in for another 4-5 months. We also just put down hardwood floors in our living room in January. Tell your hubby you’ll at least be around longer than that.

  9. To this day, my husband and I remember (and refer to) the episode where Hildi glued hay on a couple’s living room walls…. and they had toddlers!! Horrible! Can you imagine the allergies?
    Love freshly painted walls… amazing how a new wall color can actually change your mood. I think you have spring paint fever, ha. Go for it. Surprise him… while he is away choose the color, paint, and clean up the mess. I bet he would agree.

    • Ugh, yes. I remember the hay walls as well. WHO on earth would want to live with hay on their walls?

      That’s definitely going to be my method for painting if I do it! Right now, we’re unsure whether we are moving this summer, so I do plan on holding off until we know!


  10. My mom, long before Trading Spaces (although we all loved that show) was huge into decorating and redecorating, especially the simple act of just rearranging furniture. My dad would go to work with the living room looking one way and come home to it looking totally different. Once, he went one a 2 day business trip. When he came home, the kitchen was dayglow orange. This was in the ’60s, before the Brady Bunch had made it popular. We grew up knowing it’s only paint, and paint isn’t expensive and can be changed quickly and painlessly. So I say, paint to your heart’s content. 🙂

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