Monday, October 24, 2005

Step away from the white. And the pink. And the flowers.

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.

15 comments:

Pieces of Me said...

Hey! That is so ironic...my house right now is white and I am trying to figure out colors to change things up a bit...we have a navy sectional so I am trying to incorporate that in the color scheme I am wanting to do...We painted our bedroom olive green and have used a tan and black which looks awesome...my next project is the living room and kitchen and they are connected so I am tryin to figure out something that would work well for both...I am thinking about going with maroon and black and doing like a cafe look...should be a fun task LOL!! Good luck TTYL

Kiki said...

I'm the same way with white walls. I can't freakin stand them. I'm hopefully going to paint the walls in my new apartment! Exciting stuff.

Whinger said...

LOVE to pick out paint colors. And then buy the Benjamin Moore samples so I can paint little squares.

Ahhhh... So much fun.

Hope said...

Yay for being girly! Everytime I hang something in our apartment that Jeff doesn't like I say, "I'm a designer. You're an engineer. I know what looks good. You don't." I win everytime. The last thing I put up was a nude drawing I did (not of myself) in college, at the end of our bed. Jeff hates it, but IT'S ART!

Unfortunately we have white walls, but my mom lets me pick out paint colors for her house, so I have my fun.

dasi said...

Have fun Amber - and post pics when you're done!! BTW - love the new pic!! Oh, and thanks for the advice earlier - I do tend to worry too much...!

Romeo Jensen said...

She's a Amber Girl...
In an Amber World
Blue couch wrapped in plastic
flowers are fantaaaaastic

okay... like wow... like knock me down... help me up and knock me down again wow... could you look any cuter than that new profile pic??
I am thinking... well yeah maybe but wow!
Babydoll Amber all wrapped up in 'licious!!!
k... gotta go run and droll somemore over your pic
romey

Timmortal said...

Okay, I'm not going to lie, I havent even read this post yet, I just wanted to say that I've only been gone for a little while and your out getting glamour shots? I thought we were friends. Now all of the cyber stalkers are going to leave wierd comments and I'm going to have to get all gangsta like the old days. You look really good and i LOVE the hair. Holla!

Cheryl said...

I wish I had time/energy/patience for redecorating.

beckibee said...

How about Pink & Brown? It's girly, manly, and en vogue. Dooo it.

Timmortal said...

I saw the picture of your bed and immediately thought to myself, "Hmm...so that's where all the magic happens..." Baw chica chica bow now...

Ha, man that shit up. No mas flowers. You know what you need?

The Flowbee. The Flowbee will brighten up any day and does wonders for the mood.

Holla!

allison said...

the best part about paint is that you can always cover it up and re-do it if you don't like it.

Alice said...

ahhh i have always lived in new white white white white apartments since college, and it drives me nuts! though i have absolutely zero experience painting with colors so i have a feeling i'll be too scared to make bold color choices when i finally have the opportunity...

Stephanie said...

Oh how I wish I had a home of my own to be able to decorate and do all sorts of fun interior design-y type stuff with! I demand pictures when everything is said and done! Have fun!

The Other Half said...

NO MORE FLOWERS!!! ;-)~ but i love paint...i do it just because i'm bored sometimes

Amanda said...

girl, i have totally been there! choosing color is one of the single most infuriating things about decorating but when it's right, it's right! i painted my alcove (i have a studio) twice in one year.

a few years ago, though, i had my apartment feng shui'd (a friend who was getting certified did it for free, mind you) and they recommended earth tones for me. i went again their advice initially, thinking i wanted peach or salmon in the alcove to match the bedspread but when i repainted i did a bold earthy brown color in the alcove and a lighter coffee ice cream color in the main room, and it totally suits me. they were right. interesting...

good luck! a whole house is an even bigger task. you seem to have a great sense of style and art, i bet it will look awesome!