So I’m going to do some painting in the house. One of the reasons I wanted to buy a house in the first place was so that I could decorate it to my liking. I’ve lived in mostly new apartments, and therefore, I’ve lived in apartments with an overabundance of white. White carpet, white walls, white doors, white counters, white cabinets – white everything. While this is appealing to the side of me that likes the pristine new feeling of white, it sometimes gets old living in a world of WHITE.
When I bought my condo, it was a new build, and so I got to pick out all of my cupboards and flooring and countertops and carpet. NONE of it is white. Cherry cabinets, various shades of cream and beige and cherry to offset the cabinets and to contrast with the – you guessed it – white walls and white doors. Again, I love the white, but when you have vaulted ceilings and a lot of open space – and a white couch – well, you see where I’m going. Luckily, the white couch went out the door soon after I moved and was replaced by a dark navy sectional, which is a color I never thought I’d pick for a couch, but that I absolutely love. Anyway.
One day last fall, my mom and I were at our condo in Winter Park and we had spent most of the day either watching the Home & Garden channel or the “Trading Spaces” marathon that was on. We got to talking about how I needed to paint the guest bedroom in my house and since it’s not a room that’s used much, I could do something BOLD and DARK. And then we talked bookshelves and curtains and eventually got so into the whole plan that we decided to leave RIGHT THEN to go home (it was 10 at night), so that we could start on the room the next morning. And we did. I painted one wall in the room a lovely Merlot color and got matching curtains. I set up three white bookshelves and added crown molding at the top so that they didn’t look like plain old shelves. And when I got my New! Pretty! Bed! in January, I put my old bed in there and it is all black and white.
My house is predominantly decorated in prints by my all-time favorite photographer, Harold Feinstein. He does fabulous pictures of flowers and so my living room is all roses and my bedroom is mostly tulips with some orchids, iris and magnolia thrown in. And I get no end of shit from my guy friends about it. Dan always teases me about the flowers and the other night, Not Boyfriend is like “I think I’m going to get a new tattoo. Of flowers – so I match this room.” Ok fine, boys. I get it. Too many flowers. That, coupled with the pink bedspread and my penchant for eyelet lace has rendered my house a frilly, girly wasteland.
I’ve gotta man it up. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suddenly going to go completely neutral with varying shades of brown and olive green and start decorating the house with lovely hunting prints featuring dogs and ducks and whatnot. I’m just going to change it up a tad. And not because the boys think I should – but because I’m getting tired of the flowers and the frilly and the WHITE WALLS. And if I’m doing color? I refuse to paint my bedroom pink, even though I love pink and wear it a lot. NO PINK.
I’m not very good at branching out and changing my style. My OCD tendencies require a lot of symmetry and a lot of matching. And so I called the one person who I think has the greatest sense of house decorating style EVER. Sally. Her house is so awesome. Besides the yard and the cute pets, the inside of the house is beautiful. She does really cool things with color and prints and it all ends up looking like a professional decorator did it. I would happily live in her guest bathroom, if it were only a little bigger. So I called her over for a color consultation. We talked about what I was envisioning and she vetoed it. Which was totally fine with me because the whole reason I wanted her help is because if left to my own devices? The house would remain girly and pastel. Or everything would be a really dark, bold color. Apparently there’s no decorating middle ground for me.
So we went to her house and got out the box of those paint color things that you get at the paint store and we ate thai food and discussed color schemes. And I am now looking at everything thinking “Hmmm – would THAT be a good color for my room/living room/kitchen?” I’m thinking blue for the bedroom, or a nice sagey green – something sort of “Cape Cod.” And a nice warm cocoa color for the living room – but once I go to the paint store and get the samples pieces and tape them to my wall? I might change my mind.
At any rate, I’m happy to be adding some color to my life. Stepping outside the color comfort zone and into something new. It’s sort of like a metaphor for my life right now, if you want to get philosophical about it. I’m trying to do things a little differently than I ALWAYS HAVE – because I’m not a risk taker and I feel like it’s time. But for now? We’ll just start with the paint and see how it goes from there. Baby steps and all that.