Since Connor and I began painting and decorating our house, we have experience a lot. Some things we planned worked out great, some things were okay, and some things went horribly wrong!
The Good: I would have to say that my favorite part of setting up “home” has definitely been in the details. Finding special items to set on the side tables, putting plants in pretty pots, picking bedding and furniture for our room, hanging art, and finding those little decorative pieces that are more than perfect and make such a difference. I don’t see myself as good at decorating, which always surprises me because of the common misconception of what an interior designer is. I am not good at arranging furniture or decorating spaces. That’s not what I do at work, but I am learning to have fun with it as a hobby. I am constantly tweaking displays and furniture in our home, trying to find the right places for things, and adding or changing ideas for the spaces yet to come. When I get something just right, I get so excited and it literally brings joy to my heart every time I see it or walk past it.
The Bad: Our house needed to be completely re-painted because, well, I wasn’t a fan of baby blue or chocolate brown, or purple, green… the list of colors goes on. We chose a neutral color scheme to simplify things — white and dark grey. We have a lot of colorful art so we thought it would look really nice! Story goes: We went to the store and bought a 5-gallon bucket of bright white paint. I was so excited. When we got back home and started painting, it was definitely the wrong choice. It was cold and stark, like the white of copy paper. Too white. The worst part was it was whiter than the trim, making it and the doors look yellow and dingy. I sure wasn’t planning on printing all of that, too. I couldn’t figure out what to do, or how we could fix our plans for the house. How do all of those gorgeous pictures on Pinterest make white walls work? I felt frustrated, discouraged, and felt like I was failing at my own career as a designer. After a good night’s sleep, I figured it out. I was looking at all the pictures of white spaces online, and the trick I learned from it was this: as long as the white paint is darker or has a different tint from the trim, it works! We took the paint back to the store and got it changed to a different shade of white; something a bit creamier and soft, yet your eyes still read it as white. I always knew white was a hard color to pick, but with this tip, I feel much more confident. We began painting, and it looked great. It was such a relief that no, I wasn’t a failure at my own job, but I was just learning details that I didn’t learn in school.
Connor and I have had a lot of fun mixing our styles and mixing our personal possessions into a style that works for both of us. It has truly been my favorite thing to see it come together so well and to reflect who we are both as individuals and a couple. I really don’t think there has been a time that one of us didn’t like what the other person had. There hasn’t been fights over someone thinking something is ugly or distasteful. We both have quirky or special items that the other has come to love just as much and many antiques passed down from our families. Those objects are the things I look at the most with pride.
In our home, you will find romance novels next to science-fiction. You will find modern art next to framed antique textiles and a skateboard with clay wheels hanging on the wall.. You will find childhood quilts spread across new contemporary bedroom furniture. You will find a blend of the old with the new, his with hers, and two style personalities that blend together and represent us. I love the stories a home can tell. Our home is by no means perfect or complete, but it’s a work in progress, just like us, and I am pretty happy with the progression it has made thus far.