Decorating Your Home

Decorating our option room a few weeks back denoted its graduation from its designated status of ‘tool shed’ (who has a tool shed with a floor area of over 100 square metres?) to a very useful heated room of its own. We decided against ‘doing it ourselves’ and had a decorating company in to do the painting for us.

As is normal for us, we always start by working out our own estimate for the works (partly to see we have the funds and partly to see we don’t get ripped off). We reckoned that around EUR1200 would be a reasonable offer so we were not happy when the first price (our main contractor) came in at about EUR2000 although he was mysteriously able to reduce it to EUR1200 after the first few prices from actual decorating companies arrived. For various reasons, we decided to go with a specialist decorating company.

As always with decorating, the first thing to do is to get on with the difficult job of deciding which colours to choose. In our case, we had to take into consideration the floor and wall tiles, our huge white leather divan and multitude of oil and acrylic paintings – all of which we have found need strong colours to set them off. The decorator gave us his swatch of colours and left us to it.

Because we live in Italy, one of the main things we needed to decide upon was what characteristics of paint we wanted – either washable (lavabile) or non-washable. With a large indoor swimming pool in the room, condensation is a major consideration so we went for lavabile paint more or less throughout even though it is several times as expensive as the non-washable alternative. The ceiling is non-lavabile.

The final paint choice was for a deep pink in the main room with a dark yellow in the bathroom – a strange choice it may sound but it works well given the white double glazing, off-white tiles and white floors. The ceiling was to be white. Our workers, always quick to voice an opinion, favourable or otherwise, have given the decorating a ‘thumbs-up’ so far. Our contractor, perhaps unsurprisingly, has not chosen to comment so far.

The painter collected the swatch and our colour choices off of us at the end of the week and arrived to start the decorating first thing on the Monday morning with two younger workers. They quickly covered and taped over all the other surfaces and got on with the painting. By the end of the day they had applied two coats of paint to all the walls and the ceiling. The most remarkable thing was the speed which they were obviously managing to work but without appearing to do so. There were a few splashes of paint but really very little and nothing which cannot be easily removed.

We settled the bill – EUR800 (much better than the original EUR2000) and agreed to contact the decorator again when we wanted to paint the dining room and the outside of the house – our next two areas of expenditure. Their quote for decorating the outside seems reasonable especially considering our house has a second story which is not easy to access from the outside.

That was our last experience of home decorating.