It's funny how the human mind works. See, earlier this week, something happened to me at home that reminded me of one of the most impressive paint-related stories I've ever heard--and what's really cool is that I was actually a part of it--kind of on the sidelines . . . watching from a front-row seat.
Now, what caused me to remember this event is not important: suffice to say, it involved children, some yelling, lots of spilling and some ketchup. But that's another story for another day. What's important now is that somehow . . . all that chaos, for some reason, reminded me of something: a life-changing painting event.
Here's what happened. About a year ago, I was working at our Lakewood Blvd. location and a couple came in with a bag full of samples: hardwood flooring, kitchen cupboards, countertops, carpet scraps, paint chips--everything. They dumped them on the counter and then the lady explained--in a very depressed way--that they had just remodelled their kitchen.
They'd put in all the materials they were showing me samples of. And they hated it--hated all of it. The floors looked terrible against the walls and the kitchen backsplash looked pink. That made the cabinets look green and on and on and on. She was really down--I could sense that immediately--and then I learned why: they had spent nearly $10,000 on the remodel and they hated it. They hated it so much that they were right then looking for new tile and considering new floors. They were thinking about tearing out what was new and starting over. From scratch. Seriously.
It was depressing. Painful. Emotionally draining. I can only imagine what was going through their heads. See, if I buy a videogame that stinks, I spend 3 weeks bemoaning the fact. Ask my wife. I drop $50 and don't get the edge of my seat, laugh-til-I-drool experience I was expecting from that game, and I mope dejectedly around the house until I buy something else that I hate. Then I focus on that....
Anyway, I do that over $50. Let me drop $10,000 and hate the result and you're going to have to institutionalize me.
That's what these folks were dealing with: depression and frustration. They were looking at new materials, more time spent with their house ripped apart, more debt, more work, more inconvenience . . . all just to accomplish what they thought they were accomplishing in their first go-round. Depressing.
But I said this was an amazing story--not a depressing one. And it is. See, I handed these poor people off to one of our decorators at RepcoLite and after about 1/2 hour of talking, we made up a quart of a new paint color for their kitchen walls. The next day they were back for a couple gallons of that color--and they were excited.
See, the problem with their whole project wasn't that they chose the wrong tile and the wrong floors and the wrong cabinets. The problem--believe it or not--was that they chose the wrong paint color. The color on the walls made everything else seem disjointed. When a new color was put down--a color that complimented all the different materials--the whole room changed.
The couple came back a week or so later and to tell us the good news. Rather than having wasted $10,000 and all that time, all they needed to do was change the wall color.
Now, I bring that up for a number of reasons. First off, I write all that to let you know just how much difference the right color can make on a wall or a room or a home. It's difficult to imagine, but it's true: a new color in the same old living room, filled with the same old furniture and carpet, can make the room seem completely new. It really can--if a new paint color can make floors, cabinets and backsplashes that seem to be terrible together look great and coordinated, then think what it could do in your home.
The second reason I bring that story up is this: things are never as bad as they seem. When you're home project doesn't turn out looking as great as you thought, don't panic. Don't let yourself immediately spiral into depression. Take a step back. Take a deep breath. And then consult some experts. Chances are, everything will turn out fine in the end.