aka: What Shade of Pink is That?

First impressions matter. Front doors, books, trees, people: We’re all judged by our covers. At least at first blush. Ultimately, “the truth will out,” as Shakespeare would say. The tree will be judged by the quality of its fruit. But in the meantime…

As I jump head first into the preliminary work of restoring a vintage trailer, one HUGE looming question shadows my every move.

I ponder it as I unscrew hinges, latches, knobs and drawer pulls. It hangs over me as I pull up tiles from the floor. It follows me throughout the day and into the night. The elusive answer to this question consumes my thoughts and has me combing through rows and columns of chips at Miller Paints, and gluing me to Pinterest into the wee hours of the morning.

The answer to this question is the single most important decision I will EVER reach regarding Petunia. And here it is:

What colors will she be?

At this moment, her interior boasts two pink sinks, a pink toilet, pink & brown backsplash tiles, a brown stove/oven and a (different shade of) brown refrigerator.

A collage of pink and (3 different shades of) brown

I considered pulling out everything in sight that was pink and starting with a blank canvas. For example: I could go the route of “Pendleton Woolen Mills,” with their vibrant iconic strips. Or…I could choose a yellow theme to match the exterior of my house (seeing as how Petunia may be sitting in my backyard as an Air BnB). Or…the color of “pistachio” is always nice this time of year.

Look at all the cool stuff you can get from Pendleton Woolen Mills! (Too bad the colors don’t match the “Petunia Pink.”)

Yes. I finally surrendered to the pink. It’s vintage, it’s kinda cool and it’s totally Petunia.

Next color issue: The stove and the refrigerator are two different colors of brown. Meaning, the stove is one shade of brown and the fridge is another. I had to question the merits of pink and brown together, because the shade of pink in Petunia is a dull sort of peachy-tannish-pink. And, counting the backsplash, I now have three shades of brown to deal with.

So, yeaaah, no.

But! Did you know you can paint your appliances? Okay, I settled my mind on an antique white/eggshell color for the fridge and stove. I just can’t leave them in differing shades of brown and I can’t bring myself to paint them pink. (Can I?) I’ve gone as far down that road as I can.

The next defining color in the trailer is copper. Oh boy.

All the fittings for the drawers and cabinets–hinges, pulls and knobs–are copper. But look! They shine up pretty. And they’re true to Petunia’s roots.

Copper Drawer Pull Before (top)
Some Brasso and elbow grease (bottom)

So pink and copper create the “border” colors. I have to paint within those lines. Now I need a third color. This will be the BIG color, the color of the cabinets, drawers, trim & accessories, and a full third of the exterior design.

So this is HUGE.

On the short list: yellow, turquoise, pistachio or some shade of green. My final decision (after a fair amount of angst) offers a vintage palette with a fresh vibe [insert drum roll here]:

“Freshly Cut Flowers” from the Magnolia Home collection (aka Joanna Gaines, HGTV’s “Fixer Upper”, the big name in all things “design.”) See the swatch in the upper right corner of the image below. You like?

Voila! Petunia’s Color Palette
The third color and arguably the most important (see upper right) is “Freshly Cut Stems”
(68.63% red, 73.73% green and 68.63% blue, just fyi)

The good folks at Miller Paints are my new BFFs. Armed with primer, scrapers, rollers, wide blue masking tape, lid key, stir sticks, sand paper, wood filler, putty knives, grubby clothes–oh–and green semi-gloss paint by the gallon…

…I’m ready to DO THIS.

One of the things I love about restoring things––like the time I ripped up all the carpet in my cottage and refinished the hardwood floors, or the time I pulled all the moss out of the back lawn and completely re-seeded it, or the time I yanked apart my life and moved far away from home (like, four times)––is The Cinderella Effect:

Tangible visible, measurable results from the vision, the angst and the effort.

There’s much more to Petunia, of course, than her color palette. I’m not just putting lipstick on a pig here, right? But I’ve got to start somewhere, while weightier issues–heating, plumbing and dry rot, for example–percolate below the surface. 

Stay tuned for processes and pics of green “Cinderella” doors and drawers with freshly polished copper pulls, latches and knobs: Floors, Drawers and Doors, Oh My!

Then we’ll move on to “Walls, aka “Is That Black Mold?”

This is FUN.