06 October 2013

Where is my tool belt?

Mr. Sweetie and I moved into our place four years ago come November. It was a buy-and-flip and the previous owners completely gutted the place, renovated the kitchen and bathrooms, finished the basement, painted the walls, and added crown molding to every single room - including the bathrooms and the basement (the crown molding sold me on the house - the kitchen sold Mr. Sweetie on the house). It was ready-to-live-in when we moved in, no renovations necessary. This turned out to be a very good thing - because over the course of 3.75 years of home ownership, we've realized that we were not born very handy. In fact, we're quite the opposite.

Living room with crown molding. What every girl wants.
Examples? When our front door handle and lock fell apart, we installed a new, nicer looking one ourselves. It looks good and the lock stays in place (so it serves its purpose) but often when we lock it, the little handle you turn to latch the lock falls off the door - there have been many a morning that I've turned the key and then heard the clatter of metal-on-wood as it tumbled to the floor. Fortunately Miles doesn't eat things he finds on the floor, so there's that.
Other examples? That time I painted all three of our bathrooms, ignorant of the fact that you need a specific kind of paint that can stand up to humidity and moisture. Or that other time we had to caulk the bathtub at least 5 times before we got it right.

I also don't have a great eye for design, color, and decoration. There are some people, like my aunt Vicki, who can use bold, bright colors on her walls and make it work. Bright red and then yellow and then darker green and how about some blue - no problem! Her house always looks great. She's also really good at decorating her house so it looks classic - hanging just enough photo frames to be interesting but not overwhelming; pretty furniture that isn't matchy-matchy yet still looks like it belongs together; fun knicknacks but not too many of them (and while not classy, I always snickered when I would turn on the lightswitch that had the Statue of David photo strategically placed over it). All I can say is thank my lucky stars this house already came in nice paint colors and Mr. Sweetie convinced me it wasn't necessary to PAINT ALL THE ROOMS. As we were moving in, I jibber-jabbered about how I was going to use bold colors and paint the rooms bright and different colors, just like Vicki's house. Mr. Sweetie had enough foresight to know that while Vicki's house turns out great, ours would look like the inside of a Crayola Crayon box fit for a five-year old. After the bathroom debacle (debacle not just because I chose the wrong kind of paint - I also chose terrible colors: one is dark red, one is dark blue, the other is dark green - like pea soup green - I warned you) I'm very glad we stuck with the neutral colors in the rest of the house.

The bedspread. Another poor life decision. It has since been gifted to Miles' crate.
Let's talk about my lack of decoration as well, specifically pictures. We've been married awhile and have AMAZING photos from Lara at Studio Nouveau in Boston - but do any grace our walls? No. Because I can't decide which ones I want to print and frame. I can't decide what color frames - white or black? Or brown? I can't decide how I want to arrange them on the wall so I just haven't printed or hung up anything on our giant, bare walls in our hallways and stairwells. OH MY GOSH FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. Maybe it's a lack of confidence (and looking at those damn Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel magazine advertisements do NOT help) but I just haven't been able to bite the bullet, make a decision, and TAKE ACTION.

But it's time. I've been researching various ideas for awhile (NOT on Pinterest, I just cannot sign up for that can of worms). I'm thinking of a gallery wall at the top of our stairs with a mix of frames that are the same color but different and styles and sizes. And then three of our favorite wedding photos printed and nicely framed to go on the wall on the other side of the hallway. So that's a start and I'm hoping to begin the project this month.
We're also going to repaint the bathrooms to more reasonable, less Crayola Crayon-type colors. We bought some samples today that we'll be trying out. I'd also like to put some pictures up in the bathrooms that aren't generic artwork. The one thing I do think we've done well is that many of the pictures we do have up in our house all have meaning, whether it's the painting from Morocco that we bought on our honeymoon, or the painting of the Three Sisters at sunset from Ireland when we went for our five year wedding anniversary, or the framed photos above our china cabinet that we took on our vacation in 2010.

View of the Reading Room
I'm excited to give this a go. It's not really any DIY (thank goodness because I'm terrible with that stuff as well) and painting is not that hard, I just need to actually follow through with the plans. Be a do-et and not a say-er. That's the motto for the month.


LoveOfShoes said...

It's so funny bc I love the colors of your downstairs and guest bathrooms! I'm trying to go more bold and think of your colors vs. the neutral ones I have been picking!! So funny.

Becca said...

So, if you need help with color choices, I've been known to help out a time or two. It's sort of in my job description (Interior Designer), though I work in the Commercial world and only offer help to a select few in the residential arena :)

Caroline said...

Sarah! I love the colors YOU are painting YOUR place! Maybe we should swap. And maybe I would like my colors better if I actually bought the right type of paint that stood up to humidity, womp womp.

Becca! I seriously, seriously might ask your opinion on color combos - I do not trust myself to pick the right stuff. That is so awesome you do interior design, I wish I had the eye for such stuff!!!