Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Peer Pressure at 45

You all know, of course, that peer pressure can bite you in the heiny even when you're 45, causing you to do zany things like wear a floppy crocheted hat, stand like a mod-60's swinger and wear loud outfits that have enough polyester in them to stretch over couches or truck beds.

But that's not all. It can cause you to tear up your house in one weekend.

Let me explain.

Since I've been a SAHM this month, I've grown fond of the HGTV-type home design shows, although they totally intimidate me. For instance, there is one show on A & E called "Sell This House," which parades prospective buyers through houses, taping their negative comments about the way the house is decorated or laid out to be replayed for the embarrassed, indignant current owners.

This show does not intimidate me; this show horrifies me. It's like watching the proverbial train wreck. I can't not watch, and yet, I wince. I think I can say that hearing what people are thinking about my house instead of just imagining the comments is truly one of my nightmares. It's as bad as that show where they put people in a glass booth and ask passersby, "Just how old do you think this woman is?" Just kill me now.

So one day I was swimming around in "Lake Laundry" in the fam room when "Sell This House" was on. Suddenly, buyers began guffawing and pointing at a wallpaper border.

It was the same one I have in my kitchen.


It wasn't like I didn't have a clue that my border is a little old-fashioned and country looking, because as I stated before, no matter how I start out decorating a room, it ends up looking like the Brewster sisters from "Arsenic and Old Lace" live there. I totally know this about myself.

And I had just recently begun to think, "You know, that border has been up since September 11, 2001. I know because I was listening to the radio during the aftermath while I papered this room. It's time to update it. Still, it's such a big room, and I have double-bordered it (ceiling and chair rail), so when I start, I need to be committed to the task, because it's a big one."

And then came the mocking. The ridicule. The derision. Oh, the scoffing that came from that show. I don't know what these people's names were, but we'll just call them, "The Scofflaws," because they scoff at traditional decorating tastes. Especially flowery borders.

So on Thursday "peer pressure" from afar bit me. I went at it. I even paid my 15 year-old to use the little tool that punctures the paper to prepare it to be torn down and assist me. Fifteen year-olds are clock watchers, by the way. If they work 10 minutes over the hour, they want their two pence for that 10 minutes.

I began to scrape away "National Lampoon's Kitchen Border" when I found this underneath:

At first, I thought it was mold, but we had an expert come out and look at it, and he said, "No, what you've got there is dry wall, plus two layers of paper plus paint plus a skim of dry wall over that and then your paint and paper. The former owners skimmed drywall over the walls so they wouldn't have to mess with it."

Thank you, former owners. And by the way, did you wear crocheted floppy hats and stand in that avant garde way when you pasted that western-themed paper with the carriages, sheriff badges and lamp-posts on my kitchen walls in 1966?

So, I spent all of a beautiful July Saturday scraping. All I know is, no more wallpaper for this room. As far as the TV shows go, I can't even be safe painting it white because someone will say it's too stark. But soon I will have to commit to some kind of decor, and then I will be vulnerable to the peer pressure of design shows again. Aack!

Any paint suggestions? Does anyone out there know any new color/design trends that do not have traces of flowers or horse-drawn carriages about them?

Here are a couple of interesting helps I found, although since it's already mid 2008, they're a little dated: Hunter Douglas and Colourlovers Blog.

Tell me what you think!


Chatty Kelly said...

I am horrible at decorating. So why am I comments? Because if ever a blog needed a Mr. Linky, with an opportunity for folks to post their worse decorating challenge in their own homes. wow. What fun to mock others houses and feel better about your own. Like the show!

When we moved into my home the kitchen wallpaper literally looked like the a TV with the v-hold rolling. It would make you seasick if you looked at it to long. I have a photo. I could win the Mr. Linky contest. What is the prize?

Why 2nd Cup of Coffee? said...

Kelly, that's a great idea, but it's now 7:30 am, and I can't remember (if I ever knew) how to do a linky thing and I have no prizes after splurging on the room and tearing down our privacy fence. My husband is ready for me to go back to work, I'm sure.

Cindy Swanson said...

Great post, Linda! I too love the HGTV shows, but they can be intimidating at times!

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on my post about the anniversary of my dad's homegoing. You are always such an encouragement!

Theresa said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog this morning...it's always good to meet a new face.

As for decorating, sorry, I'm the worst. I just took my downstairs half bathroom and decorated it in a nautical theme....including a hanging life perserver that says 'welcome'...it gets lots of laughs....so I wouldn't take any advice from me.

DidiLyn said...

What color rooms do you like to be in? Go with any of those colors and you will be great.Golden, even.
Sounds simple, huh? But it is so true.
By the way, you are only going to be able to use the "I am 45" thing for so long. Then you will be old. Like me.

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

I clicked on the links. I kind of like the black and white idea. Never would have thought of it, but I like it. I have some black and white toile-ish in my guest room.

I liked some of the greens on that second link. And the red trend in the first link...I have one red wall in my kitchen and I ALWAYS get compliments on it. The rest of the walls are a warm golden yellow-ish. I love the green I used in my school room, too. I was at a friend's house this week who has a green kitchen and it is BEAUTIFUL. Pick a color and I'll help you find the right shade. :)

Jodie said...

Ok. Two things. (Unless I think of more.)
1- Go talk to Faye over at redriverinteriors.blogspot.com. She could probably help you decide.
2- Personally, I say, don't go trendy. Trends change too often and you may end up with mauve/country blue or the dreaded disease of navy/maroon/hunter green. Both, in my book, go down in history alongside the bubonic plague (which if you recall, was carried by rats).

You know what Linda, b/c I lurve you, I'm gonna go hunt and see if I can't find you some links I like. :) I'll be back later with what I find. :)
You may hate them. That's ok. I'm gonna go huntin' anyway.

Mrs. Who said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment - you know we bloggers LIVE for comments. After reading through your posts and laughing and nodding, I have added you to my Google Reader.

And about decorating - forget all that advice. What do they know? You know what you like and what makes you happy. They would probably be HORRIFIED by my apple kitchen, complete with apple wallpaper border, apple wreath, apple pictures, etc. But I love it.

My daughter thinks my lace pull-back curtains in my dining room and living room are old fashioned and HIDEOUS. But I love them with the hardwood floors and oriental rugs.

Just make yourself happy. That's my philsophy.

annie's eyes said...

I'm awful at this stuff but addicted to trying new. A great way to figure it out is on Benjamin Moore's "personal color viewer" I love the historic color chart, a tip from a decorator friend of mine, as they are subdued colors that seem to hold their appeal a little longer than the bolder ones. Can't wait to see the "after." You are a brave woman!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I love this. And thanks for stopping by my blog!

Lorri said...

I think black and white toile with green accents is beautiful. Saw a kitchen with that design once and never forgot it.

My favorite HGTV shows are the oldies...Room by Room and Decorating Cents.

Mocha with Linda said...

I am decoratively-challenged, but it is my experience that if you go with the current trends, you will quickly have a dated kitchen. So I wouild choose what you like and go with a simple classic color. White if you like and do accents that are easier to change. Or taupe for the walls. Some kind of relatively neutral color for the walls that doesn't lock you in.

What makes me shudder is seeing all that retro 60's stuff coming back - the orange and avocado and brown. Ick and double ick.

And um, isn't August 1 Friday? Are your days as a SAHM fastly winding down?

Shelly W said...

Hi Linda! Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I just thought I'd add that we put an addition on our house three years ago, so the redecorating commenced in full force. I decided to go neutral in most of the house (but the living room is still deep red and I love it!). I think the color I went with is a Benjamin Moore color called Carrington Beige (at least that's off the top of my head). Everyone who comes in makes a comment about how much they love the color.

Good luck!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I've seen that show. I like the male decorator. I however believe they purposely pick homes that are the all time worse or they tell the home owners to keep it looking bad just for the show.

That is so weird you saw your own wallpaper. I'm not a big fan of wallpaper unless it's the kind that is just textured and painted. Actually, I have textured wallpaper that is painted red in my dining room. We also have texture beige wallpaper in the executive suite here at work.

I love paint colors: browns, greens, reds. Go color!!!

Barbara H. said...

Personally -- I like your border. My inner rebels gets aroused by things like keeping up with trends. :-)

Teri said...

I am pretty much a nonconformist around here. I just do what I want to do and well, paint is relatively inexpensive...we use "good" paint and I can still change it pretty much whenever I want to. We have lived in our home for 6 years and I have already done the main bathroom and living room twice. I am a color girl too. I like how things look right now, although I am tempted to change up my daughters room bit.

Obviously there is no decorating advise in this comment...just some rambling, so I will put you out of your misery now!

Breanne Vasquez said...

That was funny! Yet sad all the work you got yourself into. My favorite right now is SW Fiery Red by sherwin williams

IT needs lots of light though or else it will be too dark.

Cyndy said...

My personal philosphy in decorating is to do what YOU like. You and your family are the people living in the house, not the commenters. I thought Zoe's bedroom to be absolutely charming!

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

Stick with what you love and ignore those shows. There is a difference between decorating a house to keep and decorating to sell. (We've seen your new guest room. We know you have style!)

If you are in the mood for a change, HGTV has a great site where you can browse all kinds of rooms. Decorating Cents and Design on a Dime are good ones for quick, easy, afforadable makeovers. Those are my favs.

Tina said...

do what I do....ask your daughter.

she'll know what to do! :)

Tabi said...

you have me laughing b/c I am totally clueless on decorating too! We tried to pain our kitchen one year...I wanted red, my husband says lets sponge paint it.....the results...looked like someone was murdered in our kitchen! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Linda - been stopping by your blog for awhile now! Just had to comment as this post cracked me up! So sorry to hear about your kitchen wall woes! I love decorating shows and love to decorate! HGTV and TLC are my favorite channels! I say whatever colors you like is what you should paint it or just paint it a neutral color and use accents (wall hangings, pictures, towels, curtains, etc.) to bring in the color. My kitchen is a yellow color and I have tea cups and coffee themed accents! My dining room and living room can all be seen from the kitchen. The living room is a golden beige color (it's called Beige Waffle) and the hallway connecting it all is a cream color. I went with neutral colors and add the color by using accents. You just have to go by what YOU like!

BTW - I lived in Muncie for 6 years and taught in a Christian school there! :D

Debbie said...

Okay, you do remember I do this all the time, right? Here is my advice - like others have said trends come and go so do what YOU like. I suggest you go stand in your family room. It is HGTV quality decorating. So go in there, take a deep breath, look around, and let it inspire you for which way to go with the kitchen. The two should compliment each other since they're connected.

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

Firstly, if it be any consolation, your exact border is also hanging in my kitchen. My only defense is that I didn't hang it there, however, I have allowed it to remain for 3 years now.

I'm contemplating a kitchen redo. Right now, I'm looking for an inspiration piece. Like some great curtains or piece of art. I'm afraid to commit to color until I find something I love to pull from.

Do you have a wallhanging, rug etc. you know you are going to use to help with the color thing?

Jen said...

Hey Lid.
I am great at this. I wish you could earn a degree just by watching tv. I've been watching those shows so long that I've finally moved on to the History Channel and NatGeo.
Here's what I suggest: pick something you like in the room. Do you like your dishtowels? Use those. Got a favourite picture? Use that. Got something that when you see it makes you feel good/hungry/peaceful/happy? Use that.
Choose one.
Look at the colors in it. Which one do you like? Is there a nice one you can see on your walls?
There are a million ways to do this. If you have photos of specific problems, put those up and I'll come by and tell you my two cents.
Believe me, there are SO many things I'm terrible at. But this is one thing I do well. So I'd love to help you!

Jen said...

P.S. Two things I forgot to mention: 1-I hate wallpaper, I never do it except possibly a border and even then it's unlikely unless it's just perfect -- and 2-I looked around yesterday at my very restful and pretty bedroom and realised that the dresser, the comfy chair, and the bench at the end of the bed came from Goodwill. The headboard was salvaged out of the trash. The side table came from Ikea for $10 and the nightstands are actually trays from BB&B for $20 each. The curtains are Big Lots. Even the Sleep Number bed came from Ebay.
The table behind the chair was given to us.
No kidding.
So clearly I do things on the cheap. But they never look cheap, that's the rule --

PJ said...

My kitchen and family room are done in a deep purple (eggplant) that I've had up for about 5 years and I still get mega compliments on it. I did the French-y stuff in the kitchen -- you know the sidewalk cafe with tables, ...I'm not smart enough to know what it's called.

BUT..if you don't favor purple...I did really like that deep blue on one of the links you put in....A dramatic dark blue could work (And you could still do arsenic and old lace against that background and it would look up to date)

Soft blues and greens are really "in" too. If you want a more soothing look...seafoamy blues and greens are nice.

Behr Paint has a Color Smart site that lets you experiment with different colors. I always have fun with that and it gives me a good visual before I actually purchase the paint. I've been known to paint and then paint over it when it didn't look the way I wanted -- not good when hubby insists on having a GUY whom he pays to paint. :)

samurai said...

What to do, what to do? Well, most of it depends on how much time and money you want to dedicate to such an endeavor. ;) My suggestion... mud over, sand, and paint. There is nothing that says you have to go back to the bare wall. If you do that, you will get into a lot of time and money.

Vicki said...

You are so funny! This same thing happened to me. Only the scoffers were my own grown kids. But in my heart of hearts, I knew they spoke truth when they said, "Mom, you need to get rid of that flower crap on your kitchen walls." Poor hubby was the one to scrape and pull and agonize over the pain of wallpaper. Never again.

We now have fairly new painted kitchen walls....a pumpkin/peanut butter color, believe it or not. (I've gone from pastels to deep rich earth tones). Works for me. Dark red seems popular with folks lately, too. My son painted his kitchen red.

Btw, for what it's worth, I LOVE that flower border you posted.

Thanks for coming by the other day.
You're a blessing!

Lelia Chealey said...

Hilarous! I love paint. Paint is magic in a can. Just close your eyes and pick a color out and go for it! :)

skoots1mom said...

I like to go to http://www.sherwin.com/visualizer/

i copied a print of the colors I liked...i'll post on my site for you to see...just an idea!

What I like about their site is, you can do outside, inside, walls, envision various rooms...it's fun...another things you can spend hours doing...

Have fun with it!

Smilingsal said...

No matter what you decide, as soon as you've finished, it'll be out dated!

THE ROOST said...

A retired decorator talking here...Paint it (NO Paper) a soft neutral color and let the art work and fabric in the room "speak" . If you must have color use a softer gold that goes with anything.....Great post and I feel your pain when I realize something is long past updating:)

Truth4thejourney said...

Try and stay away from comparisons! They'll kill your contentment every time. I liked the flower border. I'm not the decorator at my house, I always defer to my husband.

It'll be beautiful when you're done!

Guinevere Meadow said...

We recently moved into a new house that has a little wallpaper in it. We're scared to pull it down because we have no idea what's underneath it! So we've just left it. I'm sure I would also be mercilessly mocked if I were to go on that show!

(And I TOTALLY hear you on that one where they put you in a box and have strangers guess your age....gah!)

Pam from alertandorientedx4.blogspot.com said...

We're still under cohstruction...but hubs informs me that diningroom will be ready to tape and bed tomorrow, so pick paint. I have a light green called allium now, with dark red (much like the border of your blog) for a couple of walls. I think I'm going to go with a dark olive wall in the hallway and dining room. Still not sure about bathroom yet. Vanity cost is more than insurance paid. Go with what you like...my bedroom is pink and girly...will post photos of my new floor when I finally get new comforter....NOT King James

Susanne said...

I am horrible at deciding on color. One time the paint guy let us bring home the great big color sampler that has every color they mix and I still couldn't decide. My hubby was pressuring me to pick so I closed my eyes and pointed to a color. That stayed up for many years. Thank goodness it was a decent goldy yellow that didn't look half bad. The color I have now I absolutely love. My daughter picked it. So I say do what the above commenter said ask your 14 year old. You might luck out like I did. :vD
Seriously though, pick what color you feel good being surrounded by, not what happens to be in this year.

My ADHD Me said...

I am terrible at decorating. I can hardly decide what clothes to put on each day, much less decide how to decorate a room. I've done painting here but I already hate the colors in 2 of the 3 rooms I did.
As for my kitchen, it needs a make over real bad. Original puke yellow harvest gold floor and appliances. UGH!
Good Luck!!

Roxanne said...

I actually LIKE your border, so don't beat yourself up over it. I have a very, very, very Laura Ashley/Waverlyish wallpaper in my kitchen--large LARGE floral. I STILL love it, even after 12 years, and my real estate agent (who is selling our house) said to just leave it alone. The next person might love it and if not, they can paint over it themselves.

That being said, if you want to update the kitchen look to something that blows your hair back, go for it!!!

Rachele said...

Linda, after reading this post, I think you will get a kick out of our upcoming conference theme and classes. www.woven-ministries.org and click on Upcoming Conference. It is a spin off the fix it shows. lol

Seriously, though, I love Arsenic and Old Lace. I have great style in my head but getting it out is another story.

chickadee said...

i know what you mean. i always feel the peer pressure too when watching those shows (especially what not to wear! someday someone's going to turn me in!)