My Room

I fortuitously rented an apartment in San Francisco in 2010. This was probably the best thing I ever did. It is a wonderful place.


The house is divided into 4 apartments. Ours is bottom left. My room is the one with open curtains .

There are four bedrooms, a big kitchen, bathroom, and an outside porch that houses the washing machine, the dryer and James’ workshop. From my room I look right out onto the Panhandle.

The Panhandle has the oldest trees in San Francisco, they are big and beautiful.


Panhandle just in front of the house. Jimi Hendrix once played  a free concert right here.

Anyway, the room has not had a good clean for 8 years or so and I determine to repaint it. I buy a can of paint that has eggshell written on it. The slightly off white beigey color of my imagined eggshell is the shade I am looking for.


It turns out that the paint is Artic white in hue and eggshell only in the texture of the of the final finish.

This is no good as it makes the room surgical and the wonderful white door surrounds, window surrounds and associated beading are lost.  I finish painting the whole room thinking that this will make a good undercoat for the next attempt.

I go to the paint shop on Divisadero and scrutinize the color charts minutely. I find a shade that corresponds to my dream color of muted sand and tramp home with the paint.


The paint turns out to be bright yellow.

Anyway, I paint the whole room again and it actually looks good. However I cannot sleep at night. I toss and turn and groan through nightmares of the landlady throwing us out of the apartment because I have broken the contract by painting the room, which indeed we are not strictly allowed to do. The chrome yellow would be seen immediately, no way can I keep it a secret, so it has to go.


Third repainting of the room in 2 weeks. James helps. We restore it to the original color.

This time James chooses the color at the paint shop. He is an artist, he understands pigment.


The bay window, looking out on park, still has original sash windows.

So I paint the room 3 times in 2 weeks.


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1 Response to My Room

  1. Alan says:

    Quick! Put some dust sheets or old newspapers down on that floor! Using a paint roller over a wooden floor is the fastest way I know to grief and banging heads against the wall.

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