It is Sunday morning, blissfully early. The home I have known for the past ten years is quiet. The kind of quiet I savor on mornings like this. I sit here with a mug of pumpkin spice coffee, wrapped in my plush purple robe, and take in my relatively new surroundings. Up until a few months ago, my living room/dining room space was awash in bland neutrals, boring pictures, and blasé furnishings.
When I bought my home ten years ago, I “designed” the space with Earth tones in mind: browns, greens, tans, a splash of dark red here and there. These colors were not among my favorites, you see; rather, they were easy.
“They were safe and easy to match” I told Jessica recently. “Do I love them? No. But I felt I could pair them with other hues somewhat effortlessly.”
It was not until taking a critical eye to this dual-purpose space that I realized my choices were only easy for one simple reason: they were all pretty awful. And what’s easier than matching awful with even more awful? (Although I am laying on the sarcasm thick like the Nutella on my whole wheat toast, there is some truth here.)
After landing a new job last year that yielded a nice bump in pay but also involved the responsibility of staying in a hotel out of town two nights every week, my space at home left me feeling trapped. The brown walls, the mass-produced “artwork,” the vague topiaries, the floral throw pillows, and dusty candles I never lit started to smother the creative side of my brain and my personality.
For years I have prided myself on adopting a personal style that was a little bit vintage, a little bit colorful, and a whole lot unexpected. After several talks with Jessica – typically over chilled mimosas and a creamy wedge of brie – I realized, with her keen observation and astute designer’s eye, that my living quarters never truly matched who I was; and, even more accurately, who I was continually becoming.
As a woman at 33 who will be married in less than three weeks, this space I shared with my future husband (another creative personality who has met my wit if ever anyone did) was no longer relevant, no longer reflective of who I was. This space demanded redecoration of the highest order. The heinously designed hotels where I laid my head two nights a week left me craving a space that was beautiful and welcoming the moment I arrived home on Thursdays.
So with some trepidation, a bit of excitement, and a general idea of my budget, I asked Jessica for her help. Let me tell you, it is a very scary thing to welcome a stranger – let alone a good friend – into your home and willingly listen to an honest critique of your taste. After Jessica first arrived and took in my surroundings, my butterflies slowly dissolved.