Home is where the art is

Welcome to this week's Reno News & Review.

Guess what's happening this week? Spring break!

I don't think I've ever needed a break more. Truly. I'm very happy with the path I've walked over the last three years, but two full-time jobs and two master's are a bit much. Fortunately, I'll graduate from the journalism master's this semester. Maybe I'll be able to reincorporate gym time. But in the meantime, I'm off to Central America next week, and I expect to come back with mosquito bites.

People who've been following this column for a while know I've always got a home improvement project going this time of year. This year, it's kind of weird. It's also a paid project because I neither know how to hang wallpaper or paint “faux” surfaces.

OK, so picture this. My TV room downstairs has a stained concrete floor, sort of an ochre color, with stone baseboards I cut out of natural tile. The walls are an electric turquoise. (It's hard to describe, I combined several turquoises to make the one on the walls.) The room has kind of a beachy, retro look.

There's this deeply textured wallpaper called anaglypta that seems to have fallen out of fashion (like most wallpapers). For my room downstairs, I had a tile-styled anaglypta pasted to the ceiling. Picture those stamped tin ceilings like you'd see in Virginia City. The wallpaper is white, and honestly, just to add interest to a ceiling, it looks great. A coat of white to hide the seams would be plenty. But I'm going to have it painted copper (still debating whether to use the copper reactive paint or just copper-colored paint), then a verdigris treatment applied to make it look old.

I know, I know. It sounds weird, but you'll just have to trust me when I say it's going to be cool. This project has also reminded me that any time you choose to pay someone else to work, you have to get several estimates, not just for the price, but for the different ideas that contractors have for how to do projects. As far as price, though, the first estimate was three-and-a-half times as much as the third estimate.