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From the Desk of Rachel Melat-Robnett , Catchlight Foreman:

Rachel Melat-Robnett, Catchlight Foreman

Our homes are our sanctuaries: We carefully arrange our wedding photos among candle holders, miniatures and remembrances. We angle photographs of children, friends, and family just so on mantels and side tables. We fold hand-knitted afghan blankets over the backs of sofas, only to pull them over ourselves while reading, drinking tea, or watching a movie. We lean against our kitchen counters while sipping coffee, casting our sleepy gaze through laboriously chosen window dressings, across a collection of teapots or sugar bowls, or over a carefully labeled spice rack. These are the small things that make our homes ours; our havens, our refuges.

The consideration of sanctuary is one of my constant meditations while working in someone’s home. Painting, especially interior painting, can feel invasive, even more so than other trades. Painters regularly must move those beloved photographs, temporarily pack up those special collections, and protect those cherished effects. I feel it is our duty as painters to consider and respect even the smallest article. What on the surface may appear minuscule or inconsequential could be a reminder of something very dear: an antique key atop a door frame, a bracelet dangled from a window lock.

When wrapping up a project, I have often found myself pouring over a grainy photograph taken on my cell phone of a book shelf or a sofa table, trying to recreate the arrangement of these articles exactly as they were. Of course, nothing can be perfect; a homeowner will undoubtedly turn a picture frame a little more to the right or the left, or push a vase further back into a corner, but it is important that the painter was thoughtful.

I would hope all painters consider this level of thoughtfulness while working on a project in someone’s home. We may patch every hole, caulk every seam, sand every nub, and even paint a flawless finish, but nothing is more delightful or comforting for a client than to walk into a freshly painted room which feels clean, beautiful, and new, yet still their own.  Attention to detail and this level of respect for another’s sanctuary elevate us from just residential house painters to true professionals in our trade.

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