This is a strange time isn’t it? First the speeches by the RNC, then the DNC. I find myself longing for anything that will make me LMAO (Laugh My Ass Off), or at least smile. Between the finger pointing and the tongue wagging and headlines that could inspire anything from sighing deeply to curling up into the fetal position and questioning the humanity of humans, I can’t help thinking of that bumper sticker: “If you aren’t pissed off, you aren’t paying attention!”
And sometimes that makes me question what I do for a living. I mean who cares what color is being painted on the walls when there is tundra melting in Siberia and releasing anthrax, when the Zika virus has made its way to Florida, and we found out Bernie never stood a chance. I mean, really.
Before: A few days after we moved in. Note the beige walls, beige carpet (that is, for some reason, reading pink in this photo) and strange pole attaching the pony wall to the ceiling.
Suddenly it hit me that I have based my career upon designing, ordering, placing, adjusting, and “Let’s try moving it once more. Okay, perfect!” THINGS. That my job as an interior designer revolves around MATERIAL OBJECTS!
Through the seasons, I would decorate the table to keep all eyes distracted from that beige carpet and those beige walls. I thought the chandelier was neat in its own way, but all the hanging crystal and faux candles were not working with the modern direction we were taking our house, and that table, from JB’s bachelor life, while a decent Pottery Barn specimen, wasn’t quite hitting the mark, either.
I felt as shallow as an ice cube tray.
This table setting says: “Notice me and not the carpet. Thank you.”
Progress is made! Carpet comes up, the concrete subfloor is exposed and that weird pole atop the pony wall is still hanging out and doing whatever it is it thought it was supposed to be doing (turns out not much; spoiler alert: we remove it!).
I probably spend 80% of my waking hours thinking and talking about design–even when I’m supposed to be thinking about and discussing other things like how JB’s day at work went.
Hardwood floors go in. The modern painting that has been in my family since I was a baby goes up, but that table and those rush seats and Parsons chairs are still not giving the modern vibe we’re going for.
Which seems really ludicrous once you know the tundra in Siberia is melting.
The pole from the pony wall is removed–hurray! For a brief moment, we thought we’d hold off on installing the hardwood floors in the kitchen until we redo the kitchen, then we realized that would mean we’d be seeing that scratched and stained kitchen vinyl for a verrrry long time; hence you’ll see hardwood goes into the kitchen in the next photo. JB created the temporary wood counter on the left with leftover wood flooring to add some much-needed counter space. Note the dome light which we remove the dome of by the next shot.
So I thought and thought and might have even dragged JB into a drawn-out discussion about the meaning of life and why watching the RNC made me feel dispirited whereas watching the DNC unearthed some deeply buried patriotism and that when Michelle Obama said “When they go low, we go high” it resonated so deeply I said, “Yes, yes, yes! Let’s all do that!” to both the TV screen and Baby Kai who looked at me with great bewilderment and I landed on this: so I might not be able to fix the tundra issue, I don’t know how to stop the spread of Zika and I’ve already let Bernie down by declaring, “I’m with Her”, but good design matters, too.
As you can see, much still needs to be done in the kitchen (like a full gut-job and remodel), but, until that day arrives, at least the dining room chandelier is replaced by RH globe pendants (aka: progress!).
Because I know how a poorly designed and/or decorated space can make a mood plummet. 🙁
Here she is: the After featuring a pony-wall-turned-bar which we created by simply removing the existing narrow wood cap on the pony wall and replacing it with two pieces of joined (via construction adhesive and biscuit joints) wood, the new modern dining table that JB designed and built and new RH dining chairs.
And how a beautiful one just seems to lift the spirits of everyone who enters it…
And it gave me permission to remember how important it is to be good and create good.
That it’s okay for pretty things to lift our spirits
The modern bench that JB built from very rustic Redwood!
in these times when we need it most.
We removed the existing sliding door and replaced it with an accordion-folding La Cantina Door that makes the indoor space now flow into the outdoor space.
In our house that meant redoing the dining room with new hardwood flooring, adding pendant lighting and chairs from Restoration Hardware and…a new dining table and bench that JB built out of the roughest, cheapest Redwood Home Depot has to offer and turned it into a thing of modern beauty. He’s good like that.
What centerpiece would be complete without some quirky Ostrich eggs, eh?
Stay tuned for the How-To post!
Happy decorating! 🙂