Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wish Me Luck

Well, I'm on my way to buy paint.

I've had a bee in my bonnet, a fire in my belly, too much grass growing under my feet, and moss gathering on my non-rolling stone. It's time to do something different with our living space after twenty years.

By some standards (i.e., my family's hillbilly standards), I believe we probably have another twenty years before we need to re-decorate, but there are some of you wondering how I managed to live with our decorating scheme for even five years.

My theory up till now has been that the house is the canvas for the people who live in it. Meaning, people and their stuff are the focal point, and the walls and windows are to be a non-entity, to stay in the background and make a nice, unnoticeable foundation for the "real" life that was happening. And with a small house full of six people who have lots of creative hobbies, we have plenty of stuff to focus on.

Plus, I was scared to death that I'd get tired of anything less inconspicuous, and heaven knows it's expensive and a lot of work to paint and decorate, and why would I want to do it more than once? Therefore, our walls are painted cream, our curtains are cream, our light fixtures are cream....

We have a little relief in that we have a large brick fireplace and hearth, and we have medium dark hardwood floors. However, it's time.

And lately I've had a change of philosophy. I've been in some homes that were actually "decorated," not just thrown together with sale items from Walmart, and I was impressed. Not with the expensive-ness (well, that too), but with the atmosphere that had been created. I didn't realize how paint, and furniture, and useless decorative items lend a certain air to a room and communicate a message. That message can be "I'm rich," and "Don't touch," or "This is a place to relax," and "You're home now." Mostly I was only familiar with the "Don't Touch" variety of "Home Decorating" but now I've seen the "Relax, be comfortable, be at home" variety, and I want that for my house.

In addition, I have also been in some homes lately that were renter beige. Somehow, it just left me cold. And then I came home and looked at my house, and saw it with new eyes. Aack! It's not "cream," it's renter beige!


I've spent several weeks thinking, imagining, and picturing, and I think I've got a plan. Last week I picked out tentative paint colors. Yesterday LovelyDaughter and I went shopping and bought curtains. I figured I'd better find curtains now, and match the paint to them, instead of trying to do it the other way around. Paint is easy to adjust, but finding window coverings I like, in colors I like and that match, and that fit my budget-- that's a job.

Our house is very small, and the main living area one big L-shaped room, with the "living room" as one leg, and "kitchen" and "dining room" as the other. So the avocado refrigerator is a major decorating item, and must be kept in mind. Fortunately, our couch is also vintage avocado green, so that sort of ties together.

Here's the plan. I want to capitalize on the green, which is pretty close to today's "sage" green. With sage, and brick red (from the fireplace) as my foundation, I think a sunny light golden yellow (perhaps sponge painted with several shades) on the walls will brighten everything up and make our living space feel cozy. I hope.

Dark wood floors, yellow walls, creamy white ceilings, sage green and brick red for accents. What have I forgotten? Oh-- the windows.

We have two picture windows, one by the couch and one by the dining table. The living room window will get a scarf-y fabric that has a faint golden bronze print. Just something to cover the window at night to eliminate the large black square we have now when it's dark out. The dining room window gets heavy curtains-- the fabric feels like a light blanket or throw-- in place of the off-white drapes it has now. I'm experimenting with panels of different colors-- one red, one sage, one gold, one cream. If that's a little overwhelming, maybe I can just do two colors, to pick up on the sponge painting theme. I have 90 days to exchange or return them, so I hope I should have my mind made up before then!

My goal is to have it done for Christmas. Why? I'm not sure. It's a way to prepare ourselves for the season of Christmas, and of being cooped up in the house during the dark and dreary cold and cloudy days of winter.

I hope it turns out well. I can't rid myself of the nasty feeling that I've just spent all the kids' Christmas money on the house! Oh well. Uh, Merry Christmas, kids!


carrie said...

Sounds awesome!! My mom and dad just picked out a light shade of sage green and a darker one ~ the light for the ceiling the dark for the walls and some wood flooring and we started it yesterday and will hopefully get it finished tomorrow. WOOT! Time for redecorating!

Marsha said...

Good for you, how exciting. We recently moved into our first home. Previously we rented, as luck would have it the previous owners painted all the walls wonderful colors.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I love the curtains before paint idea, so smart. Good luck with the sponge painting (it is back breaking and mind numbing work that just left me in tears and repainting). Your colors sound lovely and now you have me looking at our Renter White walls wishing I wasn't a renter (sniff sniff). But I could put up some curtains....

This Eclectic Life said...

Sounds like a great scheme! You are much more energetic than I am. lol. I hope that it works well for you, and makes you feel more comfy in your space. I know that changes around the house can really lift your spirits sometimes. When you get done, I've got some walls here that you could work on...

The Rock Chick said...

You're gonna love it! Color make such a difference in a home and it just brings out the other colors of everything else you have!!!

No white walls!! Color is the way to go!! Once you start painting, you'll want to paint everything.....just wait.


Open Grove Claudia said...

I think that's wonderful! Nothing is better than really loving the space you live in. Good for you for making the effort for something that's important to you.