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Fade to Beige
by Lovemonkey Jolie
I begged my sister to grab her fifteen minutes of fame on decorating television. I wanted to write to the producers of "Clean Sweep" and enclose pictures of Disorderly's disorder. Her junk. Her stuff. They'd never pass up a unique chance to challenge their "organization experts" like this.
But she said no. Her mess must remain just that - hers alone.
I didn't push the issue. It was her business if she wanted to keep her life of comfortable chaos to herself. If she didn't need a little coaxing and a few tv cameras to get her to tidy up then good for her. More power to ya Sista.
When I say chaos, I don't mean to suggest that her house looks like several tons of explosives were ignited nearby. No. It looks more like a tornado ripped through the entire county, randomly sucking up the possessions of the inhabitants and touched down in Disorderly's living room, leaving the eclectic mix of styles, colors and textures (some pieces in obvious need of repair.)
Disorderly has been married several times, but most of her years on earth have been spent single. So during all these alone times she has busied herself with first, various crafts and later, house projects. Recently, with the use of theme wallpaper and an old pine cabinet she "transformed" her bathroom into a "country outhouse." Her bedroom combines unlikely dark colors such as eggplant and emerald green with a spooky grey wallpaper in which shadowy faces can be seen when the light hits it right. Yeah, unconventional. And yes, kind of scary.
So you can imagine my surprise when she called me yesterday to report that she had painted her bedroom a cream color.
"Beige? You painted your room beige?"
"Our room. And it's not beige. It's cream."
Then she promptly put me on speaker phone, told me to hold on and allowed me to "meet" her new boyfriend, Mr. Cream on the telephone while she listened to make sure I didn't say anything that might embarrass her, as if there was anything left to say.
Now. I hate being put on speakerphone and I hate meeting someone on the telephone. So I delivered my usual repertoire - cracking several jokes and promising to meet him officially someday soon.
"Can't wait to see the beige!" I might have said but I seriously hope not.
"It's cream!" she yelled in the background.
After I hung up the phone I sat for a moment with my mouth open. Then I realized it was open and I closed it and mused over how my own decorating style has coincided with my cohabitation.
First of all, let me go on the record and confess publicly that I may have been just the tiniest bit more excited about having my own apartment than about actually getting married. Yes, I may have married the first time for the first floor with the bay window and the newly delivered complete living room set. (I believe there was chrome involved, but it was the late 70's so I must be forgiven.) The apartment was in an old Victorian and we had little stuff, so it was, like my life then, spacious and minimal.
Then came kids and a mortgage. A starter home with too many plastic things in primary colors. For years I decided to let the house dictate my style and my style could be summed up with the word "distressed." The distressed style happens when wood is made to or left looking in need. You convince yourself that you love the worn look of many years of neglect. Your furniture screams of your silent acceptance of fate.
Then suddenly, years later (ok, sometimes sudden isn't so sudden) I got the urge to create romance. I turned the bedroom, once the dumping ground for other people's stuff complete with a 1950's Ozzie and Harriett bed with sliding door headboard into the set of a Harlequin Romance's Lifetime TV Movie Special, complete with four poster iron bed and peachy-pink cabbage rose wallpaper.
Turns out you can create a beautiful set for a really lousy movie.
Mr. S made a "clean sweep" of his own after the breakup. Even he wasn't spared from the whole decor as life phenomenon.
He wallpapered in cold blue stripes and moved in a black leather sofa, carefully placing one zebra print pillow on each side.
So, Disorderly is starting over. And she's decided to paint her walls beige - the color of a clean untouched palette.
I mean cream. Sorry. I meant to say cream.