Decorating with Paint, Maybe

Since our landlady gave me free reign over what I do with the house, I must paint. I paint rooms on a regular basis. I like the change and I like the freshness that just a coat or two of paint can bring to a space. I also make my own valances, headboards, curtains, pillows, etc. All of this must be color coordinated. Some of the rooms will have to wait until I get my sewing machine in November. Until then, my new friend Kris, has one that I can borrow for a little while.

First on the decorating block is the bedroom. It’s a fairly large room with a king bed and two nightstands but little else. I had an idea of what I wanted to do before we left the states so I went to Ikea and bought a white duvet cover. My “inspiration” for our bedroom is this.

Molas are sewn by the indigenous people who live in western Panama. They are made from many layers of fabric, each cut to reveal a color beneath to create these beautiful pictures. People frame them and make them into pillows. I bought three to use in our bedroom and they will be pillows.

On a trip to David last week, I stopped at the Do It Center, Novey and a couple of paint stores to get a supply of paint chips to coordinate colors with the molas. Nothing. Nada. I left my huge wheel of paint chips back in the states never realizing how valuable they would be here in Panama. They have paint chips – sort of. There is 1 (that’s means exactly 1) of some colors, each trapped in a plastic container and attached to the wall. There is no taking a chip home, finding complementary colors, or seeing what they might look like in the light.

This way of choosing paint is going to be a challenge. The paint stores can match any color you want – as long as you have a sample. But I can’t find any samples except lavender.

living in Panama


9 thoughts on “Decorating with Paint, Maybe

  1. Hi! Well I am still following your journey and really enjoying what you are writing. Love your inspiration for your room. I see you are waiting for your sewing machine. I quilt, so one of the things I thought about was how will my machine will do in travel. You’ll have to let us know when you get yours how it did. Now mind you, we are just in the planning stages of our first visit, but of course this is a major question on my list of questions 😀.

  2. One of my machines is 25 years old, and it made the trip from the US without a problem. The other I bought here because I needed it before my old one arrived. It’s a less expensive machine with less bells and whistles but it does the job just fine. Mine shipped with a bunch of other family stuff. Everything was boxed up and then put in a crate which was nailed shut. I think things are actually safer with international travel than with a bunch of boxes in a truck that may get tossed around.
    Maureen – you will not believe how cheap the fabric is here. You are going to have so much fun!!

    • Are you serious? Cheap fabric? Are there actual fabric shops? Thanks for telling me, it was of course another question on my list of lists!

      • There are a number of fabric stores in David, one with three floors crammed full of fabrics. Many fabrics are $1-4/yard. $10/yd is rather expensive here. I think I remember upholstery fabric too, not sure since I wasn’t looking for that at the time. But, if you have any favorite tools you should bring them. The first store I went to didn’t have pins, and not much thread. The best place I found for notions was the supermarket (go figure). Oh, and they don’t seem to sell clothes patterns here either.

  3. There are fabric stores in David and a very small one in Boquete. Just as in the states, it seems that most fabric is more lightweight for clothing and blankets with not much in the way of upholstery.

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