Monday, February 1, 2010

Decorating My Space

Decorating my home is telling a story about who I am and where I've been. I usually don't do theme rooms. I prefer to think of my style as Shipwrecked, as in, I was washed up on a South Seas island, and my belongings are all the things I've rescued from the waves. I guess you could call it eclectic, and I find a lot of joy in decorating with my finds.

My former daughter-in-law paid big bucks for decorators to decorate for her. Her home was impressive and beautiful, but I never thought it said anything about her, except that she had the money to buy whatever was in style.

Anyway, cabin fever finally got the better of me last week, and I decided my bedroom and master bath walls had to be painted! They were a deep taupe and a great color to sell in a house. Buyers like neutral walls, but I decided they were depressing, and I was craving color and light! I had spent some time thinking about color, and then I happened to find 4 blue and yellow, cloth-covered boxes at Tuesday Morning, and the colors in those boxes were exactly what I wanted for my walls. If I'd pressed the issue, Jim probably would have agreed to find a painter to do the work, but I wanted it done yesterday, so I came home from Home Depot, paint buckets and paint rollers in hand, and told him I would do all the work, knowing full well that he'd help some. I also said I wouldn't be in a hurry, might even take a month to do it, but once I got things dismantled and strewn about, I was in a rush to get it finished; it took 3 very full days.

Our rooms have some interesting angles and insets, and I wanted to accent them, so I decided to paint most of the walls Behr Ultra Moonlit Yellow, which is pale, soft, and lemony. For a couple of insets in both rooms I picked Behr Ultra Spring Bluebell, a soft shade that looks lavender in some lights and blue in others. They're happy colors.

I spent half the time masking off woodwork with that wretched blue tape, about 70 miles of it I think. I was on the ladder more than I was on the floor, and my body kept urging me to go look at my drivers license to prove that a gal my age doesn't belong on top of a ladder! As predicted, Jim couldn't stand to see me doing it all, and he took time away from helping the shop builder and did some of the edging for me. Do I know my guy or what?

The blue covered flawlessly, in one coat; the yellow was another story. It took 3 coats, and in some places twice that many. It's not a perfect paint job, but as I painted, I saw errors in the original paint; after it's up, people only see the whole picture.

Painting walls is a gamble; you can't be sure you'll like a whole room of what you see in a paint chip, but I'm so pleased with it! It's like a new blank canvas, and I'll have fun finding treasures that drift onto my shores to finish the decorating. I want to do a couple of stencils but haven't found any yet that deserve to be on my pretty new walls. I'll let you know if I find them. Oh, and don't tell Jim, but the living room is looking sort of depressing, too; it could get a color-lift any day now; he didn't suspect a thing when I bought a 48" canvas at Michael's yesterday for the new painting I have in mind that will hang over the sofa once the walls are finished.......Hope you're having a colorful day.


  1. Another delightful story, Cat! I love your description of how you decorate. It's like painting, only with objects in hand rather than a paint brush. Our home is filled with still lifes -- little vignettes of shapes and colors textures of things that made me say Ah! when I found them. I like the idea of 'ship-wrecked' -- takes the pressure off shopping, doesn't it? If I can't hold it close to my heart or spirit, I don't bring it home.

    About the paint -- I could have told you to buy lots of yellow, and not much blue. In all the walls and stage decorations and props I've painted, this is the case: blue covers. (At least the Behr blues do.) And yellow (yellow-green, yellow-orange) is transparent. It takes a ton of it to cover. Three coats if it's primed!

    Love your walls. Love the niches too -- what fun.

    Oh, another response I had reading this was the 'beige is good if you're selling' comment.

    It's a good rule to follow unless you're not selling!

    My husband always said this to me -- be it carpet or wall colors or kitchen cabinets (never to be painted!). So I wait until he's gone to paint a room. And he loves it when he comes home -- and all the fun-findings are back in place. Oh yes, he'll help willingly if I ask, but he'll NOT like the color until it's all done! :)

    As always, Cat, I enjoyed this. :)

    1. I do the same thing! Hubby is terrified that we will never, ever sell the house unless every single surface is beige. Last time he went out of town, I went straight to Home Depot for paint after I dropped him off at the airport and painted like a mad woman the whole time he was gone. He liked it once he saw it. He always does.

  2. Hi Cat, your story about decorating is so you and I love it. In our other house we had lots and lots of yellow with red in there to. I agree Tuesday Morning is a fun place to go to. Painting always just cheers up a room, but beware, when you do one you have to do all. Seems to work that way or seems to. Thanks for this cheery post.