Well all right then. After a few misfires around here, 2016 is on. Thank heavens for the Lunar New Year, which gives us time to catch up.
As you know, this blog covers personal style, gardening, house decor and the meaning of life. The house discussion, however, has lagged. Whenever I notice laggards I like to sweep back through my notes with a grand Just Where Are We Exactly?
I would like to beg your indulgence and post a status on my house’s putative refurbishing. Let’s go room by room. You are doing me a great service by listening.
When last we talked, here’s what was.
The Front Door
I painted the whole exterior in the same color and, finally, my front door black. I put out a red pot with pink cyclamen. Now it’s just about time to update the planting for spring, I’m considering pink primroses. The door color, Benjamin Moore Blacktop.
No changes to be made here. Our cabinets and flooring are old, but, expensive and can wait. I love those black granite counters to pieces and I couldn’t care one whit whether they are on trend or not.
The Living & Dining Rooms (Well, Areas Really, You Can See The Kitchen To The Left)
I have loved the pouf and the glass table. I hung Lily’s painting back up, in that white space between fireplace and window. I put the flowered blue pillows away, and for now have taken some light aqua ones out of the closet. Still assuming I’ll find something new. In good time. As for my table, I’m thinking rambunctious for the 2016 holidays. Should be fun.
We have a home office I haven’t shown you. Furnishings? Office equipment and books. My husband’s domain. However, here’s my contribution to the space – two photo montages I asked my stepmother to make as my husband’s Christmas present. Gracious person that she is, they came out beautifully.
The Laundry Room
I like my laundry room and its baskets every day. Something about cleaning it up made its light cleaner too, and more suffusive. Which isn’t a word, but when does that stop us?
The Powder Room
Our little powder room has been painted. White, as opposed to greenish white. Improved. Also, “powder room” is a weird term but “little room with sink, toilet, and oval mirror” is a mouthful so euphemisms ‘r us. Sigh, the little clay pieces my kids made.
The Guest Room
Absolutely the least finished room in the house. I got the Merida rug. Next I tried aqua patterned lamp shades, thinking to go crazy, but no. Went instead with a couple of matching off-white lamp shades, then stopped dead in my tracks. Draped an old turquoise silk shawl over that dark dresser. Better, still not good.
I’ve walked past this room’s door for months and only just realized it doesn’t get enough light throughout the day to support the contrast of dark wood/off-white rug and walls, plus color. So I’m choosing color, and will replace the Pottery Barn dresser by rehabilitating an old chestnut-colored English wood piece that sits damaged in my garage.
Then I’ll go crazy. Ish.
Oh, and I tried to buy, at online auction, this table to match my grandmother’s. But I failed to get my payment method approved on time. I’m learning. Refurbishing and redecorating is infinitely less frustrating if I value the process over the outcome.
To be honest, this is a more a “storing files until my son visits also sauntering out to check my butterfly garden” room than actual work space, but I like it. Still haven’t painted the bookcase. Have come round to believing you all were right about a dark gray. Have bought paint. Let’s say that’s progress.
The Guest Bathroom
We do have a guest bathroom that I’ve never talked about. All pretty pale green tiles, and cute cabinet knobs. But when I had the interiors painted I chose the wrongest possible white for this room. Now I’m pouting. I’m thinking of sending my dilemma to Ask Maria at Maria Killam’s site. Or you guys could tell me your thoughts if you are so inclined.
The Master Bedroom
The Master Bath
Proof that I may eventually decipher color. Still love this pink fawn taupe.
A Few Niceties
Of course, I’ve got a list of what comes next.
- A tray for the top of the dresser in my bedroom to house my Murano glass, in a vignette like Emily Henderson advises. I like this, from Novica. Also needed, pendant lamp.
- Curtains for the guest room. Have to be long off-white sheers, right?
- A chaise longue for said guest room.
- Figuring out auctions so I can get my hands on a Federal-style worktable, again for said guest room.
- Paint the workroom bookcase. If I say that over and over again will it happen of its own accord?
- And, eventually, All The Fabrics, for bedroom cushions, upholstering the aforesaid but still mythical chaise longue, living room pillows. Given my track record with color to date, I think it’s wise to move slowly.
Lessons Along The Way.
- Use experts, but give them all relevant information and don’t be afraid to disagree.
- If you don’t know what to do, sit and wait. Rooms will tell you what they want eventually.
- Light is the most important thing. Like photography, and gardening, furnishings are the light in which you see them.
- Be prepared to learn about your cognitive shortcomings and laugh about your mistakes.
- And, in a specific personal lesson, I realize how How Unfussy And Very Comfortable my house is. How, in fact, I like it that way because don’t want a Too Done space. I like the light, and the empty bit as much or more than the actual furnishings. I guess in 2016 I might be a Classic Minimalist Bohemian, but in my century, I’m but a Californian High WASP in a 1953 rancher. Who likes to wear pajamas at home.
Thank you for listening. I always appreciate your thoughts and advice.
Links may generate commissions