When we lived in an apartment, my wife decorated it with things. Generally we weren’t allowed to paint or change trim, or anything like that, so our individuality came out in the stuff we put inside the apartment.
When we got a house, she was really excited about things like paint, carpet, etc. This didn’t suprise me at all, I was pretty interested too, and I kind of thought it was a woman thing to want to make the house “hers”.
We’ve done quite a bit of stuff to it since then. New flooring in the living room, and lots of paint. We painted every room when we moved in, and I thought that would be it. But since then, we’ve painted every room several times more, and some rooms have been painted more than a dozen times in the 3 years we’ve lived there.
At first, this confused me. I not only have a good solid baptist upbringing, but I’m an old stick-in-the-mud as well, so I never change anything. I’m beginning to understand it more now, more on that later.
Along with new paint comes new decor and arrangements. We don’t buy all new stuff or anything, but things get re-arranged, furniture from other parts of the house will come into the newly painted room, and the old stuff will get sent away. Sure, sometimes we buy new stuff. A pillow here, a candle holder there, etc. But nothing extravagant. We’ve made a few big trips to IKEA and friends who like IKEA often want to look at everything in our house to see what IKEA stuff is like. Occasionally we get rid of stuff. Alan and Junko got a table from us, which now lives at Joel’s house.
Arranging a newly painted room is not something done quickly or lightly. MUCH thought is put into it, things carefully placed, colors compared, sizes measured, lighting examined. I would tend to paint once, put all my stuff in the room, and buy a lamp.
So what I’ve come to realize is that home decorating is my wife’s art, and our house is her canvas. And like any good artist, or author, or whatever, she can’t NOT do this. It’s in her blood. She feels discontent when not expressing her artistic vision.
The thing I like most about this is that she’s good at it. I know this because when people come to visit, they don’t just smile politely while we show them around, they usually exclaim upon entrance, and ask lots of questions. Cate’s friends call her and ask her advice about paint color and quality. They ask advice about what to get at IKEA, how things work, and stuff about mood and lighting.
She knows about fabric paint, so you can repaint a chair or couch. We know about snap-lock flooring, and linoleum. She’s read TONS of stuff about theory of home decorating.
I like having people over to show off our house. I like watching people enjoy our house, and I enjoy watching her enjoy it as well.
I’d love to see her expand her canvas beyond our house. Not because I want her to stop with our house by any means, but I think it would be cool to see her work “out there” as well. So if you’re interested in re-doing a room, let me know. She doesn’t have much experience doing other people’s homes, so she’s kind of shy about it, and she may decline. But I think it’ll happen someday.