Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Countdown to the New Old House: My Reptilian Brain Plots a Master Suite Redo

I SWEAR on the lives of my sweet children that I fully intended to leave the master bedroom "as is" upon our return to the house, with four exceptions:

1.  I have, since it became clear that all of the rooms in the house would get a new coat of paint, reserved the right to tweak the wall color a bit. It is currently a gingersnap shade.  I was, initially, thinking about going lighter, or greige-ier.

2.  Since the ginormous dog crate that formerly occupied the space behind the bedroom door did not accompany us to the apartment, the Sheltie with anxiety issues has learned a new routine (the master bathroom is now her happy place, and she is now the somewhat ambivalent owner of a "thunder shirt").  This means that the dog crate can go bye-bye, and the bookcase that used to be on the wall on my side of the bed can now be tucked into the opposite corner, which will make the room look a whole lot bigger.

3.  The painting that previously hung over the living room fireplace can occupy the space formerly utilized as bookcase space - freeing up living room space for a painting that we received for Christmas.

4.  No more carpet, so we are going to need an area rug.

Um, I guess I should restate #4 in past tense, because we no longer need an area rug for the bedroom, on account of how one kind of followed me home on Saturday.  67% markdown, and both the pattern and the color palette were absolutely perfect.  But perfect for what, exactly?  Halfway to the apartment I realized that the rug really had precious little in common with our current bed linens, but a whole lot in common with the tobacco leaf floral linen valances in our kitchen. The same valances that Spouse refuses to let me rehang in the kitchen when we return because they are, quote, "superfluous."  (OF COURSE THEY ARE SUPERFLUOUS.  GOOGLE "NON-FUNCTIONAL,  ENTIRELY DECORATIVE WINDOW TREATMENT," AND YOU WILL FIND EIGHTY TRILLION  LINKS TO VALANCE PHOTOS.)

I love those valances.  My mother sewed them for me, out of fabric that it took me an agonizingly long time to select.  She made me matching throw pillows, with our blended monograms and silk loop fringe that is the same color as the new master bedroom rug, actually.


I love my primitive reptilian brain.  It is always engaged.  And, clearly, it had a plan for the master bedroom that it waited to share with the rest of me until I was most of the way home with a new area rug.

Call to Spouse from the car:

"So, the double window in the master bedroom - are the panes the same width as the two larger kitchen windows?"

"Yeah, they're all the same.  Why?"

"So, if I put the two kitchen valances side by side, they should cover the double window in the master?"

"Yeeeeeeeeeees.  What are you plotting?"

"Well, you-know-that-I-love-those-valances-and-also-the-matching-pillows-but-I-know-that-you-don't-want-the-valances-in-the-kitchen-and-the-pillows-don't-really-look-right-in-the-living-room-since-we-repainted-anyway-but-that-print-in-the-master-bedroom-would-totally-tie-in-the-shower-curtain-that-I-bought-for-the-master-bath-and-also-would-tie-into-the-big-painting-that-we-are-moving-in-from-the-living-room.  Oh,and, coincidentally, I just realized that this rug that is swallowing the backseat of my car is not really going to look right with the linens that we have now.  But we don't have to start completely from scratch, because I have the valances and the pillows, right?  And they match the rug exactly.  So, um, win-win."

Spouse has had eighteen years to get used to the way my primitive reptilian brain works.  And, God bless him, he doesn't even try to get in the way.

"Here's the deal.  Let me pick out one thing that I like.  Or give me veto power over something.  But, otherwise, go to town."

In the end, he picked the new wall color (a brown that reads olive depending on the light - okay, technically, I picked out the same one, but let the record show that I threw a handful of paint chips onto the rug, told him to express any strong opinions that he might have, and he pointed at the one that we were going to use, anyway).  He also selected our new duvet cover and shams, out of several Pottery Barn selections that were put before him.

So, at the end of the day, THIS fabric:

Which is somewhat complimentary to this shower curtain:

Begat this rug:

(Okay, actually not this rug, but you get the general idea.  Ours is more muted, with a beige and golden-tan ground and accent colors straight out of both fabrics.  Specifically, espresso, a grayish-lilac, sage green and a medium blue.  None of the colors in these photos are particularly true, but trust me, they mesh well in person.)

The rug, in turn, begat this wall color:

It helps that, after we both selected the same paint chip based on a shared hunch that it had olive-y qualities, I Googled it to confirm that hunch, and the above image is the first thing that came up. White Craftsman woodwork?  Check.  Dark Mission-style door?  Dead-on match to our Mission bedroom furniture.  So I know that everything will BLEND.

And, finally, the bed linens ("Lola" by Pottery Barn):

Espresso on one side, sage green on the other, with a greenish tan, a pale pink and a medium blue.  At least from pictures, the colors are a direct hit with the colors in the Big Painting - and, also, the linens are actually linen, the same weight as the linen in the valances.

I love it when a plan comes together.  Even when I was not consciously aware that I was forming one.

I am now plotting to, among other things:  retire some of the folk art that was formerly displayed in the master (I can still take it out seasonally); move some art and photos from the hall into the master, freeing up space for NEW ART AND PHOTOS (REJOICE, REJOICE!); and paint the existing bookcase white, change out the molding and install it to look like a built-in. I'm thinking that I'll paint the back of the bookcase the wall color - although I could introduce an accent color.  Ooh . . . the painters are painting EVERYTHING.  That means I can have the external door in the corner of the master painted an accent color, too.  Maybe a color to play off of the furniture color.  It's not a particularly Craftsy door, although it does have a speakeasy.  OOH!  We could add trim to make it LOOK Craftsy.  But there's that louvered closet door on the same wall.  I hate louvers.  Yup, door's gotta be changed out.  And if  I change it out, why not enlarge the door frame?  OOH, OOH, OOH - double pocket doors, and the closet becomes a gift wrapping station!

Yeah, we're screwed, glued and tattooed.  Because Primitive Reptilian Brain has invited the rest of my gray matter to the party.

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