Wednesday, February 3, 2010


"Finally" you say? Not so fast...I'm talking about design commitments here.

By nature I am a little flamboyant, given to risk-taking and grand gestures. As a kid, I hand-drew a giant paisley pattern all over the walls around my bed. I wore black velvet toreador pants to Biology class, complete with red lipstick and hair pulled back into a chignon. I slept in a filmy, seafoam green 1960s Mrs. Robinson negligee from the thrift store. In ninth grade, I carried around a tattered copy of Somerset Maugham's "The Razor's Edge" and requested a severe flapper-style haircut at Supercuts (dear stylist Brenda, you were a bit off in your interpretation).

But, as an adult living in a legitimate and respectable house, the propensity for grand gestures that require guts and commitment has been tempered by the (aaargh!) practical considerations of family life, longevity, and timelessness. Let me translate: we're too broke to do experimental things that the kids will ruin or that I will detest two days after they're done. Because let's be honest here-the flapper haircut was fun for, like, two days. After that I was deep into a "Room With a View" phase that required copious amounts of wavy chestnut hair for the Tuscan breeze to blow through. The experimental nature is NOT a static one, by any means.

So I lived with the idea of wallpapering our entry/stairwell in a yellow Osborne & Little print for months. Was it a passing phase? Only time could tell. I bookmarked every project I could find on the web that used the same paper. I stood forever in the hallway without moving, looking like a savant, trying to imagine the paper covering the walls. I envisioned! I considered the consequences! I counted the cost! It's a bit of a loss in some ways, but I have learned to look before I leap. But leap, I did. The thing about grand gestures is that they are either spectacular flops or spectacular. A Los Angeles designer (hi David!) came by to pick up his vintage Warren Platner purchase and declared my entry "genius". I believe he also said, "Girl, there is something going ON over here!" I held a babyshower and most of the stylish young women spent the evening visiting the hallway and mentally re-working their interior design plans to include wallpaper. Suck on that, practicality!

I am happy to see it every morning. It says, "I'm still here, and I'm still faaaabulous!" It has the voice of David, the gay designer. See? It can pay to commit. But it's not really practical. I had to send to London for it, and we're not the kind of people who do that sort of stuff. We're more likely to have to drive to Mexico for something (organ transplants, street tacos, saltillo tiles... the usual). I found my son's thirteen year-old friend climbing up the walls in the two-story part IN HIS DIRTY SKATE SHOES. I threatened to choke him if I every caught him doing it again. No loss-he still comes over. Although he's kinda Eddie Haskell-ing me now. "You sure do look nice today, Mrs. M" "These fish sticks sure are good, Mrs. M"

So, what have you committed to in your home? Let's hear your wild and crazy stories.

Meanwhile, here's the only picture I have. It wasn't planned or staged...just something I shot on my way up the stairs one day with the camera around my neck.


Do you have something to say? I'd love to hear it...


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