Sunday, July 16, 2006

Fear of commitment

First of all, thanks to everyone who has commented or e-mailed me in the past week. I'm doing okay...hooha problems are well on the way to being solved, Joey is still alive despite the fact that I'm being forced to interact with his parents next weekend, and my family is doing pretty well considering my mom has lost two sisters and a niece in the span of three weeks. She's pretty stoic by nature, but I'm planning to head down there next Friday and check on things before the Forced In-Law Interaction takes place. I figure if I have to suffer, then Joey has to suffer a little bit too, right?

Anyhow, thanks for all the hugs. Here's hoping next week will be a little better! And now, back to your regularly scheduled dose of boredom.


I wouldn’t call myself a daredevil in any sense of the word, but I’m not exactly mousy when it comes to commitment. I know what I want, when I want it, and I want it NOW.

Not so much when it comes to my house. I’m not sure if it’s age or what but I have become a complete coward when it comes to doing anything to the inside of my house.

Our first house was this adorable brick rancher that had been owned by the same sweet couple for over 20 years. I had no problems ripping down the old lady wallpaper and painting the walls, sewing up curtains, or accessorizing. Maybe it was the fact that the house was a manageable size so that if I did something and hated it, at most it was a weekend wasted and could be easily redone. I also learned that I would never, EVER buy another house with wallpaper already on the walls because 1.) most people don’t know how to properly prepare the walls before wallpapering, therefore making it a total nightmare to take off; 2.) if you buy an older home with wallpaper, chances are that the wallpaper is hiding structural problems like wall cracks, and 3.) paint is just so much easier to change.

Our second house was a bit more of a challenge. It started off with a bang when I painted the walls in our kitchen a beautiful sage green and sewed curtains that had little cherries with sage-colored stems. That was my absolute favorite room in the entire house, because you could sit at the kitchen table and look down our backyard into this little bucolic stream that ran through it. The next room we tackled was the family room, and only because the room was just so…blech…that I really wanted a touch of color in it. The rest of the house remained untouched for about the next few years until Monkey Man was about to be born and nesting kicked in. We have a friend Rick who owns a painting company who offered to trade some computer consulting work for free paint, so we jumped on it and ended up with painted master bedroom, bathroom, foyer and upstairs hallway. Joey and I painted Monkey Man’s room ourselves and my mom and sister and I joined efforts to sew custom bedding and curtains for the room (well, they ended up doing most of it because my sewing abilities are enough to get by and I ended up way over my head!).

The funny thing about that house is that other than buying some miniblinds for a few rooms, we didn’t put any curtains on the windows except in the kitchen and Monkey Man’s room. Very few pictures on the walls. Not many little knick-knacks. To me, the place never felt like our home. We ended up buying the place when our dream house sold the day before we put an offer in and after that my heart was a little bruised. We already had a contract on the cute little rancher and knew that if we didn’t jump at the chance to get a buyer, our chances of getting such a great price on down the road were pretty slim. So we looked for about a week and ended up finding the Creek house, but I always felt like it wasn’t really our choice but a decision we were forced into. And therefore I was completely uninspired once I finished the kitchen up and could not make a decision about anything for that house whatsoever. It just didn’t seem like I wanted to spend one moment caring about that house whatsoever.

We’ve been in this house a year. Builder-grade beige paint with white trim is through the entire house, along with beige berber carpeting. And once again, I find myself unable to make any decisions. Part of me is because I want it to be perfect – but the other part of me is just so indecisive about the look I’m going after. Modern? Traditional? Early modern refrigerator box? I have no freaking idea. After we had a get-together for my work friends at our house last fall, Cat Door M teased me mercilessly because I didn’t have a single picture hanging on the wall (he and his wife are huge art fans so if you go in their house it is like an explosion of color)…so after this little intervention I actually hung a few pictures in the house which was a good start but it’s not quite enough. I keep looking around and thinking how we’ve been in this house over a year and it feels like home – but it just needs something to bring it to life a little more.

So I’ve decided to start with the downstairs and attack the kitchen. I bought some fabric back in the fall – it’s a really pretty stripe with gold, salmon, and burgundy in it, and I want to make roman shades out of it. I was thinking about balloon shades at first but have rethought how all the dust gets in there, and having it right over the kitchen sink…blech! And don’t tell Joey, but I think I’m going to repaint the walls too. Most of the traffic coming in and out of our house is right through the kitchen, and the walls are getting pretty dinged up and dingy looking – not to mention the cooking splatters look so lovely on the wall above the stove. But the dilemma…picking out a color…ARGH. Between trying to make that decision and finally revealing my plans to Joey to repaint the walls, it will be a race to see whose head explodes first.

Last year when we moved into our house, we purchased this sofa and loveseat in black leather. We went back on Saturday and ordered this chair and ottoman. So the seating is complete, we have end tables and a coffee table, but no lamps (other than one I rogued from our room) and no artwork except framed family photos on the tables. Bo-ring. And, surprise surprise, no curtains. So, my mission for this summer is – 1.) buy some artwork to hang; 2.) buy some curtains and actually get the bitches hung up; 3.) get some decent lamps; and 4.) repaint the wall from the ugly lizard incident. There is no way in hell I’m changing the wall color in there yet, because it’s a two-story ceiling and we’ll have to win the lottery to afford hiring Rick to do it. I figure with some throw pillows, artwork, and curtains that will be a nice touch of color without majorly breaking the bank.

Two rooms. That should be manageable enough to get finished by say September, right? Although with this commitment issue I’m having, I’ll be lucky to get lamps by December.


Gretchen said...

Let me know... I'll come help!

Jonathan Stephens said...

Fresh paint on walls does something magical to a room though. Something throwpillows can never do. Best of luck with the redesigning.