Friday, September 15, 2006

Decorating Frustration!

All of the HYPE about decorating our homes in order to “express ourselves”, so that we can “live life more fully, surrounded by beautiful things that we love” has left me mentally and physically exhausted! Moreover, I am so uncomfortable with my "less than perfectly decorated" home that I seldom seem to find the courage to invite anyone over for a visit. I’m even loath to open the door for UPS or pizza delivery, seriously!  I don’t even have my extended family come over anymore these days; it's just too taxing for me to entertain: period.

Our house --which also comes with two large dogs & 3 creative, energetic little ones-- never seems to be CLEAN enough!  Sometimes, it seems almost as if I can spend a large portion of a day just picking up, only to sit down at the end of the day and see that most of my accomplishments, in the latter respect, have been completely undone. In this state of mind: who has time to think about expressing themselves with unique paint choices, decorative accessories and new furniture pieces?

But from time to time, I do find the mental and physical energy necessary to make small changes. The problem is, like most of us, I don’t have a lot of $$money$$ to waste working on "redecorating/decorating."  Thus, I try to be creative and do a lot of stuff on my own. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time either, and I have a bad wrist that acts up, from time to time, making it hard for me to sand furniture, etc. or to even hold a paintbrush. Hence, my house remains littered with lots of unfinished projects because I can't seem to clearly focus on where or even how to begin.  How about you?

Here are a few of mine:


Photo 1: I steamed cleaned and recovered my "college couch", in a southwestern motif. I sewed new pillows and used leather straps to attach copper/bronze decorative embellishments. Current status: 1) still have 3 pillows to hand-sew the bottoms shut on; 2) The kids ripped one of the embellishments off – a 7-inch double-laced strap sewn through the entire cushion, from one side to the other. 3) A worn rope tooling to be applied across the bottom front.

Photo 2: I found two wooden pantry cabinets to place on either side of our "just married" entertainment center. I was able to stain – and almost match – one cabinet with the white-wash/antiqued finish I had applied onto the original entertainment center. The other cabinet remains to be completed.

Photo 3: I decided that I simply could not take “our everyone has one of these” country white and pine kitchen table and chairs – also from our "just married" days -- anymore and decided to paint it a southwestern red (“sienna”). The table part sanded and painted easily enough, but the chairs were impossible to sand and required 6 coats of paint in order to sustain the red color without the white underneath seeping through, even with primer? Needless to say the remaining 4 chairs are still white – CRINGE!

Photo 4: We found a sale on laminate flooring and my wonderful and talented husband replaced our 10 year-old, once-was-white-carpet with the hard wood --which I love! -- but the darker floor has necessitated changing the tops of our coffee table and two end tables. I completed the coffee table, but have yet to do the two end tables.

Photo 5: I tried adding a touch of color in my den a few years back, with a color I fell in love with on a trip to Italy, but  I was so tired and afraid of making a mistake that I did not come close to finishing this painting project for 2++ years -- feels like going to confession to get that off of my chest. And I’ve yet to finish painting around the coat closet and pantry – fortunately, I don’t see these when I collapse onto the couch at night. ; ) I like the color though: “lion’s mane” it is very warm and relaxing – especially at night when several small lamps around the room provide jump a warm glow of illumination.

Photo 6: A Black photo display frame, 18” x 24”, hung on wall. It still has photos of strange people from the store/factory. My daughter asks me all the time: “who are these people mommy?” (Q: Is there an easy way to get black and white photos? Changing color to black and white on my PC is lacking in color depth and dimension? Color photos would be tacky right?)

Well that is just my main living areas. I won’t even “show” the rest of the house to the general public, suffice it to SAY that my oldest daughter is probably ready to move beyond  “Winnie the Pooh” wallpaper, and we now have an entire (ugh!) dedicated play room for the kids and all of their toys (Dad’s former pool table/game loft) waiting for me to “decorate.” HELP! I asked my sister if I could paint it gray? She thought that bordered on child abuse ... But when I try to think of a “color scheme” all the colors and choices seem to turn to a sort of gray soup in my mind!?!

The playroom has beautiful aspen wood bookshelves – loving assembled by Dad … he is so handy and talented -- that need stain or paint or something? There is also an unfinished projects/tea party table – with no chairs yet – to be painted or stained. On the upside: the puppet theater that I made for the kids 3 years ago – a project I was actually able to finish! (yeah!) – now has a workable home.

So for the time being, I just smile and tell myself one day at time! God has a plan for me and right now it is to focus on my family. So I have my priorities straight, right? But, I do have hope for my "decorating downfall": I'll get there eventually. I have just recently started to work from home, so I am hopeful that this new working arrangement will somehow afford me a bit more time to complete some of my many projects and touch-ups required on a 10+ year-old home. I just wish, in the meantime, there wasn’t so much hype in the entertainment media and mainstream "mom/social" network to have the “perfect” home. It’s kind of lonely not ever feeling comfortable enough to invite anyone over: Can’t we all just lower our standards a little people?

Any constructive “decorating” suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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