Monday, July 26, 2010

Design major?


I am not a decorator. I loved art classes through high school and when I meet up with people who only knew me in high school, they typically speaking put me with the art crowd… not the science crowd. I started out college as a double major – biology and art. I dropped the art major deciding that I could do art anytime I wanted, what was more important was that I had a good paying job (and art wasn’t it). Soon after I switched from bio to chem.

Given that I liked art so much you might think that my home looks like a designer magazine.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

I suffer in the design department. Badly.

On houses in general…
When AB and I house shopped for both houses we toyed with the notion of “fixer uppers”. I envy people who can do that. Who can come up with neat layouts and see options in houses that need an upgrade. Who don’t mind flipping through tile after tile and carpet books and can make decisions on granite versus… well versus whatever the countertop of the minute is. We have dreamed about renovating a house and then we laugh. Our weekends are almost always full so doing it ourselves is out of the question and neither of us likes dealing with contractors. Flipping houses? Not for us.

On knick knacks…
Does it surprise you if I say that I am not into knick knacks? I don’t like things that collect dust. I don’t mind clutter and you will find clutter in my house. But something that is purposefully left out to collect dust? Doesn’t work for me. I don’t have shelves with things on them save for my china cabinet and hutch. When I do have a shelf, I am never quite sure what to put on it. I have a cute corner shelf in my entryway… no idea what I am supposed to put on it. Seriously. The cat likes to sleep on the bottom shelf and so it is half filled with a framed photograph, a wooden carved bird my dad sent me and a candle, then the bottom two shelves serve as a cat bed.

My hutch I love. My mom bought it for me one Christmas and I walked past it at Ennis a few times before AB pointed it out. I sat there and looked at it, not so sure about it. It wasn’t what I was envisioning. (Wasn’t even sure what I was envisioning.) But I liked the two tone black and wood. And functionality was there. It could hold my very few pieces of crystal and serving ware. Once it was in my home, it was perfect and now holds more china and crystal than I ever expected it would.

Speaking of those crystal pieces… during the trek to Colorado, and then Wyoming, in July I returned with luggage and to wait for about 8 boxes I shipped to myself. In the stacks of stuff are a few pieces of crystal from my grandmother’s house and some knick knack type things from my mom’s house. For as neat and tidy as my mom’s house was, they have a number of knick knacks. A few of those things spoke to me and I returned with things that I would deem to be knick knacks. Thus, I have been completely perplexed what to do with them. The crystal, notsomuch. It goes in my hutch. My mom’s five little pie birds? Well they belong out somewhere, not in a cupboard. Where… I haven’t quite figured out.

Knick knack type things perplex me.

On painting…
If you know me, then you also know that I love painting walls. This is my idea of decorating. I wasn’t always this way. My mom enjoyed painting when they bought a home after I graduated from high school. I didn’t always care for my mom’s color selection and techniques. So when we bought our first home I shy’d away from color. Then one boring weekend BC (before children) I painted a bathroom green. Before I knew it I was hooked and had an orange kitchen. Not everyone liked my orange kitchen… which is fine.

AB and I have taken a bit more conservative approach with painting in the new house. One problem we had in the other house was a lack of cohesiveness with color. We want to avoid that this time around and have taken loads more time to decide on colors than we ever did before. I had to have a colored wall to put my black and white photos on and so that was one of the first things we did. A deep green… that now doesn’t sit nearly as well with me as it did a year ago. Then we jumped to the kids’ rooms and I let my mom’s painting influence take over. The kids rooms include colors like black and pepto bismol pink.

Now I am faced with the dining room.

Amazingly AB and I are on the same page in the dining room. We don’t really argue over decorating much (because we don’t decorate much). But we don’t always see eye to eye on what should be done and IMO, my husband likes to be too involved somedays. Though fickle me… I want to make all the decisions, but don’t want to do all the work.

The July goal is nearly done, we have selected the color for the dining room – a slate grey blue color. Actually we have a few selections in this color scheme, but haven’t honed in on a color as the light is so bad in the dining room that we fear making a decision before changing out the chandelier. Taking things one step at a time… the August goal is looking like it will be a new chandelier followed by paint.

On art…

This is where I get really, really picky. I have an interior designer friend who really enjoys finding art to fit a space, but her husband drives her nuts. He believes that a piece of art on the wall should mean something, i.e., come from a vacation or have a story with it.

I agree with her husband.

We have a few prints by one of AB’s closest friends’ dad. They are in our favored contemporary style, are by someone we know and even better are personalized. We love our paintings.

And I like photographs that I (or someone else) has taken of subjects that I know. Namely, my kids. I have photos of my kids all over the house. For a long time they were professional photos that I paid an arm and a leg for after sitting in a studio with whiney kids. More lately, they have become photos that I have taken of the kids and then have processed professionally. I emulate my sister in law a lot. Even lately with family photos? The best ones are proving to be ones that our friends or family take and thus no whiney children in studios.

At the Colorado Renaissance Festival AB found a piece of art he loved and thought would work fabulously in our newly decorated dining room, but failed to get me back to see. This has created an unfortunate circumstance whereby he really, really wants the piece he found, but has no way to get it and furthermore, cannot find anything similar.

The challenges ahead…

Melding the treasures I found at my grandmother’s house, the items I took from my mother’s house and my design / d├ęcor together. We are talking three very different styles here – my grandmother’s antiques, my mother’s traditional styling and my contemporary stylings. Melding these three together is proving to be an interesting challenge.

Chandelier, oh chandelier, why must you be so ugly? Yes, replacing the chandelier in the formal dining room is a must. Soon. AB and I like this:
Once the chandelier goes then so does the matching window treatments and non-matching hardware. Window treatments. Yeah, I haven’t even gone there yet. Window treatments I will tackle AFTER the new chandelier and paint.

I wish I could say goodbye to the grey carpet that has seen better days, but that will still be awhile.

And my neverending battle with clutter.

1 comment:

RAB said...

Love the new blog layout! I'm jealous - I can barely get a picture in the header. Can you show me how you get the background image?

I agree with your meaning of pictures/art. Each one has a story for us when Eric and I put it up on the wall, whether it's from a family member, or a place we've visited, or a picture we've taken.

Like the chandelier! Good luck with painting!