Getting Hung Up.

I am so sick of talking about the guest room, and if you are remotely updated on this blog, you’re likely sick of hearing about it.  I want to show it to you, I do.  I also want to have a dust ruffle (or SOMETHING) covering my narsty box springs, and to have the mirror attached to the vanity, and a myriad of other miniscule details that only matter to me.   Suffice it to say– its done enough that my dear friend Virginia could sleep in there on her recent visit to K-town.  Its not the swank digs that I want it to be just yet, but we’re close.  I’m not going to mention it again until its done and ready for the big reveal, and hopefully that will be soon.

The thing is, I can’t just stop what I’m doing and wait on that one room to get done, life goes on, and I want a house that looks like people live in it.  It hasn’t really been feeling that way.  I mean, yeah, it looks lived-in, but more in a “Um, this is where I sleep and keep my stuff” sort of way and not, “Wow, I wonder who lives *here*?” kind of way.  Right now, its a fright– it looks mussed and like we’re unpacking (which we still are, even though we’ve lived here 7 months) with the occasional ‘nice’ area, and those are too few and far between for me to be happy about it.

Have you ever had a first-time visitor to your city come and stay with you, and the whole time you’re showing them around town, suddenly you see every pothole, every craggy tree, every dilapidated building and busted, rusted-out car?  Your normally cute and quaint hometown suddenly becomes the crappiest place on earth?  When dear Virginia arrived I was almost embarrassed– I say “almost” because she is a sweet, smart gal who gets that I’d had surgery only days before and was completely dependent on the maintenance of my males, so I’m sure she was forgiving.  The way this place looks normally matters to me!  But there were other, longer-term issues that were not the fault of the surgery or the family that we’d had in town the week before.  No, those were all on me. I walked through my own home feeling disgusted by its slap-dashness.  There were tiny little things that could be done *before* the walls were painted and the perfect rugs were picked, and I had NO REASON to be holding out and not doing them!

So, this week I’ve been tackling some of that stuff.  Lots of little things, but some of them have made a vast improvement.  Its amazing how sweating some of this small stuff has made a BIG difference!

The Bed In the Master Bedroom

The Bed In the Master Bedroom

Take, for instance, the master bedroom, above.  In my head, this room is sooo unfinished.  Yes, the walls have been painted their delish shade of Crocus Petal Purple (love this color, it is so bold and moody!), and yes, the blue headboard has been mounted to its spot.  But no–

  • I have not made the bedspread I have been hoarding fabric for (in fact, I am so not sure how that old, yellow-adorned chenille spread got on there);
  • there are no custom window coverings, just grotty blinds:
  • my mid-century chest of drawers is unpainted and in limbo down in the garage, leaving my clean folded clothing in laundry baskets in the closet floor;
  • I intend to abolish the pinks, meaning those pillowcases can’t stay;
  • I need a vanity of some sort, and a mirror; and
  • I don’t even want to talk about what’s happening with that carpet.  Let’s just say it’s bad and it will have to change.  (I’m hoping I’ll be willing to talk about it when I finally, officially get to this room.)

This room is NOT done.

**Holy guacamole amigos, (pardon my Spanish– why do people always say “French?”  Is it because French just sounds dirty with its rolled “Rs” and spitted “Ps”?) but holy shit, listing that out made me feel like I went to confession.  What kind of religion would that be, with a decor confession?  (A really colorful, gay-loving one, that’s for sure.  Church of the Rainbow!)  I’m not Catholic, but I can sure see how that would be cathartic.  A little weight has been lifted somehow, just telling you that….**

Anyway, back to the master bedroom.  I had handful of projects that I had stashed in near-ready form all over the house, and I knocked some of them out.  That feels good, doesn’t it, finishing up projects that have been looking at you, waiting for a last few details?  I finally stuffed and stitched closed that faaaabulous Laurie Wisbrun throw pillow from the panels that I’d gotten from her etsy shop– you know, back a million years before she was super-cool, when she had an etsy shop she operated.  (Remember that name ya’ll, she’s going to be like Jonathan Adler or Cath Kidson.)  Its the gorgeous one with the orange chair and the nests… yeah, love nest, why wouldn’t I be into that?!

I dug around in the garage and found frames for some of the sweet art that kiddo had made, and painted and cleaned those up.Pan's Side Of the Bed  The cool watercolor train is from his first week of kindergarten, part of it was painting, and part of it was a show of his scissor skills.  LOVE IT.  I simply backed it with scrapbook paper in a cheap frame.  Absolutely no money spent.  I also had a collage, and duo of small paintings that I had done, so I used these accumulated pieces and hung a little arrangement of stuff over the bed.  I pulled out orange-scented candles for each bedside (honestly, more for the alluded-to carpet problem than for fun sexytimes), making those end-shelves a little more balanced and adding another pop of my accent color.  (And now I’m hooked on that little waft of citrus I get when I lay down for bed.)

You can’t see them in the top pic, but somehow we’d ended up with not one, but two wooden step-stools that were unsafe– topheavy, and narrow on top– and dangerous if you weren’t just super careful.   I wanted to get rid of them, but I felt a little responsible, sending out something that I felt was so dangerous back into the world where it could harm someone small and unsuspecting….  I decided to decoupage them to sort of match the room (they’d been engraved with a woodburning tool– yeah– so I couldn’t just paint them) and made them into lower side tables.  Both sides hold a stack of books and/or magazines, along with things like boxes of tissue, phone chargers, chapstick and the occasional bottle of meds.  All pretty easy and small, it took just a few hours, but already I feel a little more invested in that room, a little more represented.  No longer embarrassed.

Lawdy, it feels so much more like home already!  All of this stuff was little tiny, but it made such an impact!  I have turned to the hallway to tackle that a bit, and hung a lot of the stray art up there.  So nice to see those dirty walls covered a bit, and not have all my cool stuff propped and on the floor.  I’m kind of mad at myself that I didn’t get some of this done sooner… and now, TO THE FRONT FOYER!


4 Responses to “Getting Hung Up.”

  1. Ok. A. I think it all looks great. Amazing. Love all the color.

    B. The windows, yea, would bother me too – but if you makes you feel better, we’re going on 4 years and only have curtains in 3 rooms.

    C. IF you get rid of those pillow cases, I NEED THEM. I scour for that pattern, plus a yellowy orangy pattern that is very similar. Yes, it’s a problem.

    • Amber

      A. THANK YOU! I know its a lot of color for most people, but I am on a mission to encourage people to not be afraid of saturation!
      B. The windows are a biggie for me, the blinds are diiiirty, and ‘dusting’ them– even with a vac– does little to make me feel better.
      C. You got ’em! Just let me get some replacements. I actually have some excess of both colors of the pattern, previously cut-up sheets, but I’ll look for you….
      D. You’re officially entered in my giveaway now! (See my last post if you have no idea what I’m talking about.) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. This is a listy- comment (a la Cindi):
    1. I made the blog! Woot!
    2. The guest room experience was amazing. And you haven’t even mentioned the super cool fairy-land niche that is hidden in there. Which I covet.
    3. It’s such a good feeling getting those little projects done- I’ve been 90% finished on a photo book for months, and haven’t completed it. I haven’t hung any pictures in the apartment, and it makes me sad. I even have them arranged where I want them.
    4. Color, color, and more color! I love that you embrace color and are encouraging others to do so, too. When I get a house here, I’m so hiring you to come and help me jazz it up. (I pay in cat fur and scrapbook paper)

    • Amber

      Virginia! Kisses, girl!
      1. OF COURSE you did, you’re awesome like that! I almost showed off that kooky giftie you brought to show me, and recounted our whole 3 Bears Coffee experience! I didn’t because I wasn’t sure how you would feel about being discussed like that…. Maybe you would be interested in doing– quite literally!– a guest post?
      2. Awww… Thank you! I can’t believe that you’re saying that considering how little sleep you actually got in there– but hey, we had 20 years to talk about! And the niche is done. I’m thinking it deserves a pre-guest room reveal post of its own! I think you’re going to like it….
      3. Isn’t it a load off? It’s amazing how those little projects pick at me, and I don’t even realize it until they go away. Once I realized what a load-lightener it was, I have been finishing up ALL KINDS of stuff! You won’t recognize the place next time you’re here.
      4. Seriously, color is nothing to be afraid of, its just paint! And I think the general public would be amazed to see how it can make you feel. Pan will admit that he lived in a vanilla world before me, and sherbet-swirl is MUCH more fun! As for your home– you just tell me when and where.
      5. Your name is in the jar now, too!

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