When I was but a little lady, I dreamed, as I suppose most girls do, of living in a lovely home with lots of girlie things. As teenagers my sister and I got a fresh coat of lavender purple on our bedroom walls and I swear it felt like the room glowed in a way that only fairy tale rooms do. Everything seemed to change. Everything I did in that room (until our messiness eventually got in the way) seemed more elegant, more….important. Reading in bed felt even better.
I had been heavy into interior decorating around that time and was thinking of pursuing it as a career. My dad quickly shot that notion clear out of the sky. But when our room was painted, it was my first actual experience with the power that color can have to create or transform a room. Before that it had always been in magazines. In other people’s homes. We didn’t have a lot growing up so something like this was a special treat. We didn’t get new matching sheets or furniture. It was just paint, and we loved it.
Later, not much later, I got married and moved into the ugliest white-walled condo you could imagine. It was a man cave. Not the cool kind you see on HGTV. It was desktop computer is on the floor because who needs a desk and elephant base coffee table from some Rooms To Go back room kind of man cave. There were times when I’d sit on the couch with my lip curled in disgust as my eyes sweep around the endless void of nothingness. It took about two years to convince that man to paint the walls. No new furniture, just put some paint up on these damn walls. One day I got home to find what can only be described as a creamy orange color covering every wall in the living room. The bedroom, a milkier version of the living room, was being wrapped up.
So first of all, who paints an entire home without consulting the woman (the home decorating loving woman)? A man who wants to do it as a surprise…. call me crazy, but that’s crazy. Anyhow, you could see this color glowing through the windows, but not in the negative way you’re probably thinking. To my amazed surprise, I actually liked the color. Lucky for him. Thank goodness for me.
Still, I had never decorated a place of my own. I didn’t mention that I wasn’t allowed to put anything up on the walls lest we have to patch holes when we decide to sell… yeah. I know.
The next place had beautifully painted walls that everyone felt would be a crime to change. I grew tired of it as I grow tired of a great many things. But still, I put up my artwork and ripped off wallpaper. Eventually went furniture shopping. My greatest joy, however, was driving around early on a Saturday morning and picking up bulk trash to refurbish. I’d spend hours reupholstering and painting, cruising Home Depot, and turn something old into something fresh and young. I decorated that house beautifully for the price of a gallon of milk. But still, I heard things like, “Are you really going to put up another painting” and “I like the faux marble finish on these walls.” You know what I like? I like change. I need change. One can only rearrange furniture so many times…
When I was finally out on my own in the great big world, I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted an unabashedly feminine home. My brother had a bulky black leather couch with two recliners and an upholstered sea foam colored one. Everyone gasped when I chose the sea foam but I loved that baby from the start and now it was mine! I brought her home and built my whole decor around it. Everything I purchased said Woman on it. When you walked through my doors the instant idea was, Woman lives here. No man to stop her. Pastels and paintings; greys and pinks and sea foam. Think Degas’ bathers with a modern minimal slant.
I’ve got to say, it’s nice to have a moment in life when you can let your full-blown lady self burst forth like blooming flowers– but like, a tight three color scheme tops. Unless your lady lives in a jungle, then go wild.
It’s one of those perks we spoke about in The Monster or Lack Thereof