March 26, 2014

Past lives

 I've been running around sprucing up our house.  Little things here and there, new curtains, re-purposed furniture, a new kitchen light fixture...and who knew what a couch cover would do for the whole room??  It has taken me years to get used to decorating what (in my head) is someone else's house.  OK.  Let's be straight about it-- it's taken me years to get used to decorating a house without it ending in some kind of fight. My daughter asked me while I was hanging Spring curtains why I didn't become an interior decorator....that was a tough one to tell a child of divorced parents.  How does a mom tell her only child that her creativity was stifled at every turn after the shiny wore off?

The pot hanger light that I've wanted for years.

This week, Honey and I wandered off to Lowe's in search of a light fixture I'd been lusting after and potential bathroom upgrades.  We left the office with an some point in the 4 miles between our office and the store, I began to panic because he changed his mind and asked if I wanted to look at other things at a different store.  Each time he changes his mind I lose mine.  Why? you ask...well.  In my former life (as I'm referring to it now) any decoration ideas I had were questioned, at times ridiculed, or I was simply told they weren't going to work.  As we grew up together our tastes evolved and changed.  We went from hanging what art we both owned to buying furniture and putting rooms together.  There were knock down drag out fights over how to hang a series of pictures or what color patterns to use.  The opposites began to show in big ways.  In my head now...a change of mind/heart equates Liz gets her butt chewed.  Honey, having gone through this for a couple of years now, just quietens down and lets the storm pass.  He reassures me over and over that everything is fine, he's just throwing out options.  There is no attack and will not be a sniping session later.

He mentioned to me when I'd first moved in that he was accustomed to coming home to a woman's whim regardless of how he felt about it or the cost.  On his part, he's had to get acquainted with a woman who pinches pennies and watches how much she spends on milk, much less curtains.  I will find the nicest things I can find for the least amount of money without sacrificing too much in terms of texture or quality.  The couch cover was a nice idea because as much as I'd love to have new's just not in the cards.  Until it is, I have an alternative that didn't cost a complete arm and leg to breathe some life into a very red room.  So far everything I've chosen has pleased him, or at least that's what he tells me.  There have been no fights, no freakishly expensive throw pillows, and no distrust of a design majors taste.  I don't know much.  I do know fabrics, colors, balance, and engine parts.  And thankfully, he knows...that I know all that.

Velvet antique, champagne brocade, white lights,
and a Princess

When you put two people together that have been stifled, walked on, told their ideas aren't worth the time of day..they blossom together.  They build each other up and try to erase all the bad things left over from bad times.  The first meltdown was in my flower garden out front of the house.  I wanted to plant some roses and put down mulch.  I didn't expect him to want to have a hand in the matter and took it as a corrective action.  I had my little moment, he panicked, I cried, he stood there staring at me not knowing what to do or say.  Those moments have been fewer and further between thankfully, but during that time he's figured out that it's an involuntary response.  Just as his expectation and fear is when I text him and tell him I've got a surprise waiting at home.

A suede couch cover.  So far I love it.

 Someone likened it all to PTSD.  In a small way it is.  We allow ourselves to be conditioned by those who stronger than we (or perhaps we just believe they are).  Be it parents, significant others, friends, whomever.  We allow what others say to creep in and do work, even when we aren't aware of it.  The last house I had with Ex was my house.  I'd begged him to buy a home instead of renting again like we always did.  I craved a yard and walls I could paint, so that's what we did.  He hated what I did with it.  He hated the stained glass paint I put on the back door and pushed for a chocolate brown wall in the living room.  The wall color didn't bother me much, it was his insistence on it that killed me.  The number of times in 11 years that I stressed that I was the design major, I knew what I was doing, is insane.  I don't have to do that anymore....and it's weird.  I know I know.  That's stupid.  But it's true.  It's weird to not defend every decision I make on little things.

I'm learning to love my new life.  I don't look around the room and cringe.  I don't get caught up in fights over asymmetry vs symmetry and how they work together.  I did have to convince Honey to trust me when it came to sunny yellow coupled with the burgundy/brick colors in our home...I see color, I've always been that way.  I've happily made use of his mirrors, candles, and love of wood grain and wrought iron.  Coincidentally....we have a lot of things in common in that area.  Baby steps.  Baby steps with antique gold, champagne, and burgundy.  Mardi gras beads, wrought iron candle sticks, and lanterns.  Brocade, velvet, and subtle Moroccan hints.  Did I mention the tiny disco ball hanging from the ceiling fan?


  1. I think its all beautiful, and i always feel at home there. Can't wait to uncork the next bottle in your home!

  2. thanks! it's taken a little work but it's all totally worth it! xxoo



Well, the end of an era is officially here, this fall we will be empty nesters.  Getting The Girl graduated was a hard job.  She was so focu...