Sometimes math provides clarity. When I am surrounded by chaos, I find myself enjoying paying the bills. Something about the order of it all and how numbers always make sense. They are low maintenance and low drama. I love numbers.
I have a strange ability to recite numbers in order, forwards or backwards. This was only discovered when I was poor and willing to do just about anything for money while in college. With electrodes strapped to my head, the NIH researchers studying my brain said, “Wow! You are not normal.” This was meant, I think, as a compliment. Talk about skills you have no idea what to do with.
You may be wondering what this has to do with design, but I promise you, it does. I find I have to use math frequently. For example: when tiling a floor or backsplash, painting stripes on a wall, judging the scale of furniture or accessories to place in a room, or when painting a checkerboard floor, geometry abounds.
This is a lesson in geometry. If only my high school math teacher had used design to teach, I would have been a star student! With a few simple tools, some floor paint, and at least one crisis you are trying to avoid in your life, you too can do it. You will get into a math zone, I think similar to the runner’s high I know nothing about, and everything will come into focus.
First, prime and prep the floor. Make sure it is smooth and ready to receive paint. Use a good quality floor paint (I prefer Benjamin Moore). Then paint the entire floor, with a roller, the base color. I painted the floor green first.
Now for the math: find and mark the center of the room. In my case the room was not square, so I divided it into two imaginary rooms and marked the center of each section, which was about 8 x 8. This made it so the checkers were square and not elongated like the shape of my room. Then draw a line, with a yardstick as a straight edge, from one corner to the other, going through the center mark and creating an X. Moving from the center towards the edge of the room, draw parallel lines to the center line. You will get a checkerboard all the way to the edges.
Using frog tape, tape off the squares along the outside of the pencil mark so you don’t have to erase any marks. With a tapered PURDY brush (please do not attempt to use any other type of brush to paint) fill in the opposite squares with your contrasting color. Now comes the zone part: continue to paint until your knees hurt. Or you can use one of those garden pads.
A part of me would like to add a disclaimer here that says, “Don’t try this at home.” But where is the fun in that? I say instead, “Go for it; it’s only paint.”
© copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio