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I'm painting the dining room.

My fiance's son said he thought the color we have (a cream that looks yellow when we have lamps on and no daylight) is "the kind of color people pick when they don't know what color they want."

Wow. He's only 12 and he pretty much vomited a bunch of design-y opinions about our house for the first time and he was totally right about everything.

He also said, about the sad wallcolor, "It's kind of 'cat-person.'" So devestating (and yet so awesome. I am totally going to start saying that).

Here's the problem in a nutshell... we have a Tudor. I love our house, but I am used to old apartments with mouldings and white chalky walls that let all your good stuff pop, like a great lamp, a nice photograph, a statement-y console. What I learned from this house is that you can't decorate for what the house needs. This house kind of says, "Put a bunch of Pottery Barn in me." And I see now that I made a lot of dumb compromises. Really dumb ones. I always loved my apartments because I kind of just did whatever I wanted, and I felt like I knew what worked in them... white, white, white (although I did have one awesome chartreuse apartment in CA...), black, strong lines, interesting objects, cool photographs... a graphic mix of things that I really loved. This house, well, it's been tricky.

Anyway... two coats of white primer have now covered up Benjamin Moore's Georgian Brick (red) paint in the dining room. It's like a new day in this house. Seriously, it looks almostyoung in this place. I think my house must feel like we finally took the Privos off her feet and we're just about to slip on a stiletto.

It's going to get interesting around here. I can't wait.

Here are some random photos for the ol' inspiration file. Oh, and tomorrow is the Sand Point Antiques & Design Market. I cannot fucking wait. I've missed the last 3 because I happened to be either on vacation or traveling for work, so this is a big deal for me. Last time, I really scored. I hope to score again. Especially since I am dragging my friend JJ out of bed at 7:30am, when I am to pick her ass up and take her with me.


JJ said...

Don't forget the robin's egg kitchen you had on Capitol Hill and the hot pink office in Madrona. I am going to bed now so I can wake up tomorrow.

Leah said...

Oh my god, I *so* hear you on this.

We have a 1939 English traditional, and everything is painted warm camel, except for the dining room and master bedroom, which are deep red. It's lovely and tasteful and ... boring me to f-ing tears.

Same thing for the Crate & Barrel furniture that we thought would be a good, clean-and-simple compromise between our increasingly modern leanings and the house's trad. archictecture.

I hate it all -- including our old, safe-and-boring art. I'm ready to call Goodwill for a massive pickup and start all over.

OK, I can't just give all the furniture away -- but I am going to sell things off little by little on craigslist and replace them with bolder choices. And I'm going to paint the goddamn dining room turquoise.


franki durbin said...

Oh how fun - and how on point was that 12 year old? It's funny how a new color can give you a new lease on life. Never underestimate the power of vibrant color. That red sounds fierce!

We want after pix...but more than that I hope the hunting at the design market offers great results!

Richie Designs said...

the best line I've heard in a long time,

"it's kinda cat-person"

that my friend, is going to make a fierce art director. said...

I love that little desk.

Anonymous said...

Decorno (sigh) I made the same mistake and I am now just correcting.

We bought our house 8 years ago - traditional 2 story khacki stucco with tudor-like wood accents. So we kept the saltillo tile and laid hardwood floors elsewhere, painted the walls mostly khacki with a few blues and greens. All trim was an off-white that looked like it had been exposed to 2 decades of cigarette smoke. Furnished with Shabby Chic and Plantation (when they were british colonial). Seagrass rugs. My place was like a cashmere sweater set with pearls: safe, appropriate, pulled together, and BORING.

Don't let your exterior dictate your interior. I know we all have that mentality and it is so June Cleaver.

Just painted all my walls Benjamin Moore Chantilly lace - which is pure white with a drop of black. Gorgeous! Crisp, chic, clean, bright, but not cold. Painted the backdrop of my wall-to-wall living room bookcases black and now the white shelves look like they are floating and the books POP. Curtain rods went from coppery brown to black. Stair rail - black. Painted all my chandeliers white and ripped off Gwyneth Paltrow's Hampton Kitchenn by painting my kitchen cabinets a super dark gray. Now comes the fun part: bringing in bold pops of color through pillows and lamps and a dose of modern edge with accessories.

Lesson learned. And wow what a difference paint makes!

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