4 years ago

I Can Visit White Walls But I Can’t Live There

I watch HGTV, I read magazines, I read blogs, follow trends and, just ask my husband, I spend way too much time on Pinterest.  I also know the color wheel and how to apply color theory.  When you are decorating your house, the steps are simple:

Step 1:  Find a/your style

Step 2:  Pick a color pallet

Step 3:  Decorate!!!

I know Joanna Gaines goes into a house, paints it white, thoughtfully accents with color, and people cry at the beauty of it all.  It is beautiful – don’t get me wrong.  She is amazing at tasteful decorating.  I spent a few Fixer Upper episodes thinking “OK, I hate white walls, but I can totally get on board with a tasteful whole house color palette and sticking with a style so that everything flows.

So, when we bought our house, I decided to do a calm coastal pallet.  Think blue and green sea glass and there you go.  I love a good crisp white molding and a lovely soft gray to round it all out.  I own a full-fledged grown up house and I should decorate it like the full-fledged grown up that I am!  I have a kitchen picked out that looks like this:

Coastal cool kitchen
*Source:  The above picture is from the Home Bunch 2015 Coastal Virginia Magazine Idea House. Go check it out when you have a chance because the house really is perfection (except for the love of all that is holy, ignore the advice of painting over switch plates and electric outlets).

But then one day, I was watching Fixer Upper reruns while folding laundry and one of my daughter’s friends walked in.  She looked at what I was doing and said “I know this show.  It is that woman who always paints everything white and then puts big clocks on the wall.  They are funny.”  It occurred to me, I am just not that woman.  That woman is awesome, but she isn’t me.

You see, I have an issue with white walls that dates back to childhood.  When I see beautiful white walls in a magazine or someone else’s home, I think “wow, how crisp and clean.  You can see all the accents so clearly this way.”  But when I am in my home and I see white walls, I associate them with the various bad times in my mostly charmed life.  Because of this association, you are only going to see a white wall in my house if I need to showcase something else in the room (i.e. my half bath with a stained glass window and birds painted all over the place).  But I still thought, I can handle a whole house color pallet.

When I did my zero dollar starter make-over of my office/guest room, I told my mom “I want to paint it something light and airy.  I need an inspiring place to work.”  I started thinking light blue-greens.  I came close to just buying a can of Sherwin Williams’ Sea Salt and calling it a day.  So, of course, this is the color I painted my office:

dark teal guest room walls
See, light and airy, just like I said . . .

The furniture is nothing like the furniture in the rest of the house (well, unless you count that it is all hand me downs).  The color is not muted.  The art doesn’t look like my other art.  And well, it certainly isn’t light (FYI – It took 3 coats of the Behr Marquee 1 coat coverage paint to achieve this look).

It occurred to me before I painted that this space is mine, all mine.  Even though I make the decorating and color decisions in the house, I make sure that the house reflects all of us.  But when it came to decorating Adeline’s room, I made sure it was 100% her.  Vivian sleeps in a teepee – obviously, her bedroom is custom done for her.  My husband has a big game room and bar downstairs.  It is all his.  I share the master bedroom with him.  While the house is my style, whatever that is, it is also done with every other member of the family in mind.

But the office, well, other people use it from time to time, but I work in here.  I write my articles, I spend my insomnia time up here, I use this as my evening den from time to time.  Other people may visit this room, but it really is my special private space.  And for some reason, the mid-century furniture kept telling me that it wanted a teal room (yes, my furniture sometimes talks to me).  And then I started thinking, “I love teal!”  Next thing I know, bam!  Crazy. Dark. Teal.

Another quick shot of my office/guest room. It is still a work in progress, but there will be a full update coming soon.

So, whether it is right or wrong, I am not going to have a unified theme, style, or colors in my house.  My mood just switches up too much for that.  I don’t have an open concept house and there are enough walls that every room does not have to match every other room.  For now, I like the idea of moving from my serene, muted, and quiet bedroom to my deep, dark, and inspiring guest room.

So while, I can completely appreciate and see the beauty in the current trends, I don’t want to live in a HGTV home.  I want crazy colors.  I want clean lined modern furniture, but I also love a mix of Victorian furniture as well as some French Country painted pieces.  I think for now, the designs may change-up as my taste change.  I am sure I will always be influenced to some extent by the current trends, but I need to remember that my house doesn’t have to follow any rules that I don’t want to follow.  I live here, not the producers of HGTV shows.

Do you like to stick with a theme or color pallet through your entire house or do you take things on a room by room basis?  Do you think it is possible to have a grown up house without a unified look?  I want to hear your thoughts on this non-important subject!

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