Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Revamping Surroundings

I've always designed and decorated our own homes (and we lived in quite a few) so this isn't new to me though it's been a while (1992) since I last did it. (And it's been a long time since I had any disposable income. For years it was all about surviving and raising my sons and then traveling with my Aussie friend.)

What IS new to me is decorating for just ME. I have no one else to consider or please. It's all about ME.

And I'm loving it.

A couple of years ago I had my family room and kitchen repainted to some stronger colors and got a new carpet for the family room. This past January my younger son and my boarder repainted my living & dining rooms, plus entrance and hall. The look is entirely different than it had been in the past, pretty dramatic and warm at the same time.

I grew up in a home that wasn't 'cluttered' with much on the walls, one proper painting per wall, no photos on the walls, etc. It's actually been a very hard thing for me to break away from, that I could do it differently. (I really have to thank my best friend for providing an example of the possibilities.) I've done it a bit here and there (always expecting and receiving the disparagement of my mother for my choices) but have really and finally broken free this year.

So now I have beautifully matted and framed Ansel Adams photos sharing space with other art and mirrors I'd previously had. Now there are blown up scenic pics from my own vacations lining my hallway so every time I go down to my bedroom I pass those wonderful memories. What REALLY makes me smile is how they are placed.... they're fairly low down, right at MY eye level. I'm not here to please or impress anyone else anymore. So their placement makes me giggle. You can tell a short person lives here.

My laundry room and powder room needed new flooring (the old linoleum had completely pulled away from the walls years ago) so my older son tiled the floors and my younger son painted the walls. Totally changed the look and I'm now hunting down things to put on the powder room wall.

Next came an incredibly beautiful tapestry from Guatemala that my older son gave me and which is now hanging in my dining room. He'd watched the older women make them in a tiny village he discovered a couple of months ago when he was there. It doesn't really go with ANYthing else in style but I don't care. It's lush and gorgeous and it brings a shock of color that makes me smile and I love it's imperfection (you can really tell it wasn't made in a factory).

And my younger son just gave me a March of the Penguins poster (posters were always a big no-no) that is now placed on the wall here where I sit to work at my computer every day. That one makes me really smile.

Next I'm hiring someone to tile my kitchen floor, having already bought the tiles. Turns out I'm getting a decent tax refund so that may happen sooner rather than later.

There's more that needs doing within the next year or two, my bedroom and ensuite, some hardwood flooring in the living/dining rooms.

I've discovered a whole new world that I'm thoroughly enjoying and about which I get quite excited. My main shopping used to be at book, music and video stores. Now I haunt decorating stores to get ideas. What fun!


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