Tuesday, April 26, 2016

It's Time For A Change

It all started when a corner of the wallpaper border in my kitchen began to peel away from the wall.

I wasn't all that surprised since it had faithfully hung there for at least a dozen years. And, to be honest, it looked every day of those dozen years. I stood back and looked around my kitchen, dinette, and family room with a critical eye and decided that the overall color scheme looked a dozen or more years old too. Back then, the tuscan colors -- deep rich hues of gold and red and green -- were  cool, but now..........were faded and chipped by years of chairs and couches and dogs and kid abuse, and were starting to look dated and old.

Lulu says she's OK with a decor update as long as we don't move her food dish. 

I decided it was time for a change. But I wanted to take my time deciding what my new color scheme would be since in all probability it would too be around for another dozen years. Where to get inspiration, I wondered......

Enter DIY Network and HGTV. And a whole new routine entered my life: I was fixated in front of my television, coffee cup in hand, as I examined all of the interior decor themes of the zillion homes that were featured on the shows. Gradually I became familiar with all of the hosts of the shows and could predict what they would say as they looked at homes that represented the "before" in the makeover scenarios.

I have to say I was a bit miffed when one of the designers walked into a kitchen that was a dead ringer for mine, wrinkled her nose in disgust and declared that the whole kitchen simply had to be gutted.

Say WHAT? Took the entire duration of the episode of the show to unruffle my feathers.

For awhile, I totally bought into the concept of each show that without fail goes something like this:
1. One must realize that one's current home is ugly. 
2. To fix the ugly, one needs to haul in a dumpster and toss in all of your appliances, furniture, cabinets, toilets, flooring, and rip out at least one wall. Preferably two. 
3. You will be required to lose the word "room" from your vocabulary. It will be replaced with "space". For example: "Once we rip out these walls, toss all the appliances, furniture, cabinets, toilets, and flooring, this will be a great space." It is acceptable to substitute the words "open concept". 
4. Immediately after dumping all of the items in your home interior into a dumpster, one must take a trip to someone else's dumpster and "reclaim" or "recycle" or "up cycle" or "repurpose" at least one item. Which must be incorporated into the new design and placed in a highly visible spot. So that one can point to the item and modestly comment about your commitment to recycling to preserve the ecosystem. Earn bonus points if the item is rusty. 
5. Hosts will find a major structural issue with one's home which inevitably results in someone shouting "But that puts us way over our budget!" with anguished facial expressions. 
6. By the end of the show, one's home is magically transformed into a palace inevitably decorated in a modern style which means hardwood flooring, neutral wall colors, a kitchen gleaming with stainless steel polished to a blinding shine, and decorated with an enormous stark wall clock, barn doors, and most importantly: absolutely nothing which reflects one's personal life with the exception of three family photos placed tastefully on a sleek stone fireplace mantel. That overstuffed, comfortably worn sofa with the hand knitted throw gifted from Aunt Martha? Gone. Replaced with something claiming to be a couch but really is a lightly upholstered slab perched on spindly stainless steel legs. And the his and hers Lazy-Boy recliners positioned directly in front of a very large television? Check that dumpster. One will find them there nestled amongst the pile of throw pillows and Aunt Martha's handiwork. 
So I thought seriously about adopting this process and design look into our house. For about three minutes. Then I came to my senses when I realized that although I wanted to change the color scheme in our kitchen and family rooms (I refuse to use the word "space"), I didn't want to adopt a decorating style that doesn't reflect John and I. We like comfy leather furniture; and our recliners will only leave after they've been completely worn out. After which they would be repaired with two other recliners. I don't want to tear down any walls in our house because we planned where all those walls would go when we built it. We may have updated some of our kitchen appliances with stainless steel versions but my uncool hanging pot rack will stay right where it is complete with my grandmother's huge coffee pot and her glass cookie jar.

It took forever to choose new colors for our walls but we finally decided on a light grey with the appropriate name of Aluminum Foil.

 Love those paint samples. 

I'm planning on using yellow accents in the same shade of my foyer paint. Just like the colors in this pillow. Which is getting a bit deflated but will remain front and center with it's mate on our leather sofa.

John looked a bit panicked with I declared my intentions to embark on this big project; but after I told him that I wanted us to take a leisurely approach with absolutely no deadlines, he was immediately on board. And of course, we figured we'd rope Greg and Terese into helping. Turns out they both think a Friday evening spent removing wallpaper is the cat's meow.

I am SO done watching renovation television programs. Except for Property Brothers.....because um....... during the show I won't be focused on home design or decor.

Just kidding, John........my hunky hubba hubba husband. (John strongly dislikes the Property Brothers.)

I'll keep y'all posted on our progress. Hey -- more opportunities for exercise!


Shara from Seattle said...

Spring cleaning. I'm hookedtoo. My microwave lost a wheel and scrapes along the interior paint off with it. I usually run so as not to become baked by microwaves. My stove doesn't work, my refrigerator is leaking water. I want a new layout. We want to gut the bathrooms, paint the walls, hang interior curtains to reduce power when the air conditioning we need is purchased sometime in the future. I blow fuses some nights, lights pop dead, electricity shoots out of outlets like tiny strikes of lightening. I swear we share some DNA. My colors are deep red, gold,green, White walls honey colored oak throughout. It still felt dark. My eyes are going and can barely see in some areas of "space". Girl child stuck up vinyl tiles in the bathroom backslash that were pretty cheap online -Wayfair-JoAnnes wanted thirty bucks a package. I threw a 6 off white sheep pelt rug on the green leather couch. I'm packing up the past with little notes for the kids when I am dead. Love you! Keep me posted.

Gill said...

Ah! The Property Brothers! Have you noticed that all the houses re devalued by $30k, the homeowners desperately need that $30k so they agree to pay the money in excess of $10k to afford their dream home. But if they need the full value and are paying Jonathan (yes he does look very pretty) all that money then they actually don't have the full price. He always looks a bit worried but hopeful as the homeowners agonise. Then of course there is the discovery of black mould, do the homeowners really not know the loo upstairs is leaking? Oh to have American walls that you just put a sledge hammer through, British walls tend to be a bit more robust (and expensive) to remove. My favourite Jonathan moment was when they were at the gay couple's house and Jonathan muttered something along the lines of 'I've scored', oh yes dear boy, and with all the rest of us. Send Jonathan and his sledge hammer to the UK, in return we'll send you George Clarke. :) Ps. Like the proposed colour scheme.

Marion said...

See now I'm all impressed that you have decided on paint colors so quickly. I've been collecting color chips and obsessing for two years and the living room still isn't repainted. Sigh.

Sue said...

It took us 6 years to decide on paint colours for the living room, kitchen, bathroom, hallway, and basement hallway. It took even longer to decide on what colour to paint the master bedroom. Now it has been 11 years and it is time to paint again. I think I am going with the same colours again. Picking colours makes me anxious.

Gertie said...

I love your summary of watching home makeover shows. It infuriates me that they talk people into spending thousands of dollars to re-do what looks just fine. Life is too short to spend that kind of money and possibly put off retirement to have a house that looks more contemporary for a few years. And then guess what....it is outdated again! Gasp! :) I love your reasonable approach. Did you contemplate knocking out a wall?