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… when I moved into my apartment the first thing I did was repaint the living room and bedroom. Correction, before I even moved into this apartment I had repainted the living room and bedroom. That was pretty much a deal breaker for me. I loved the apartment, I couldn’t believe my luck at finding a place with a garden in the centre of Brussels, but there was no way I could live with salmon pink or baby blue walls. This is a grey country, those colors sucked any light out the air.

… so I started off my Belgian life with bright white walls – in my living room and bedroom – and tobacco stained yellow walls in the kitchen.

… I didn’t realise how bad it was at first, but even after repeat washings the walls stayed yellow, and I produced buckets and buckets of disgusting black water. The trouble was the kitchen cabinets were also stained tobacco yellow. So there was no way I could paint the walls white, the cabinets would look even more sickly. I have tried every product, concoction and recommendation I could find on the internet to try and clean those cabinets, and they continue yellow.

… grey walls seem to be a popular choice of late… that would work, as long as the grey wasn’t too dark. The kitchen doesn’t get a lot of light. A few weeks ago I went and picked up some samples and last weekend I finally put on my painting clothes and attacked the kitchen. Wow! I couldn’t believe the difference after 1 coat, now after 3 coats the room is transformed. I decided to paint the ceiling white, and the walls light grey, and that dingy room that barely gets any natural light is suddenly a bright and cheerful place!

SONY DSC… the cabinets are still yellowish, but suddenly I don’t mind nearly so much.

… I also changed out the landlord’s flat ceiling light fixture for a hanging stainless steel one I had stored from a previous apartment that gives off a lot more light.


… I still want to paint the exposed hot water pipes that run through the kitchen stainless steel grey, but I need to work out how to do that as the pipes are always hot, and I can’t switch the hot water off without leaving my whole building hot waterless!