Decorating as therapy
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|Fri, 10-21-2011 - 7:25am|
I may have mentioned in a few posts that I have been totally redecorating my living room and dining room. I've been working on this almost a year. It took me many months and much help from my very savvy friend to come up with a plan then find the furniture. Then came the three-month wait for the upholstered furniture to arrive. I personally painted the LR, DR, foyer and hall including the trim. Now I'm locating all the accessories to fill it out. It's been exhilarating, but very stressful and surprisingly filled with tremendous emotion.
I hadn't done anything for 21 years. When I moved here, I had furniture from my marriage as well as furniture from before I was married. The living room never worked very well--the furniture was too big and I was never able to create a good conversation area. It was all a hodge-podge of antiques, clutter and worn-out stuff. It's literally like I've lifted up the house and shaken all of the old stuff out of it. I feel like I'm just pushing old stuff out of the doors and windows onto the lawn. Just yesterday, I took four bags of books to the used books store to sell. Many of them were the "how to meet men" and "how to date" and "how to be single" variety...kind of embarrassing there were so many, but I just didn't care. They needed to go. I learned what I wanted to know and now I've graduated with my PhD.
In the process of course, I have been looking through all of my possessions, and that's the part that has been emotional. Everything has a little charge on it, bringing back memories when I discover things in boxes I had forgotten about. I wanted to hang three B&W photos in the LR, so I had to look through all of my prints to find the ones to frame. I used to do a lot of fine art photography (hope one day I will pick it up again). I used to shoot a lot of self-portraits, so it was interesting to look at how young I was and to think about what was going on in my life at the time. But it's been cool to move stuff from other rooms and use it in a whole new way--kind of like those makeover shows where the designer comes in and moves everything around. I collected old white California pottery vases that were in the attic and am now able to display them on my mantle. I donated the 27-year old sofa and love seat to Goodwill. When I saw them out in the daylight as they carried them to their truck, I was mortified at how worn they had become and couldn't believe I had been sitting on them for so long.
I wanted to have a grown-up house. Oh, it was cozy before, but I wanted it to look like a page from the Crate & Barrel catalog. I also wanted a roomier table for entertaining. I hadn't been having people over in a long time, except my parents. But I love to entertain, and needed to make my house a place where I could really (and stylishly) do that. I'm looking forward to the holidays as there are many groups of people I will have over.