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Saturday, June 15, 2024


Notes to my Neighbors 3.1.2006

By Rick Racela

Okay, crazier.
Now, I like having a nicely decorated home as much as the next person, but I hate suffering the pains it takes to get there.
Oh, I know some people love it, trolling the stores for the latest “seashore chic” furniture and designer knick-knacks. They love spending hours with carpenters and painters. Some even love getting elbow-deep in spackle themselves creating some Better Homes-worthy space.
My idea of a DIY project is finding a picture of a beautifully appointed room in Better Homes, and then sitting in my recliner while I go online to order the pieces to copy it. Then – most importantly – I’d like to move to Florida while the pros transform the old into the new.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a vacation home in Florida (or anyplace else for that matter), so I’ve got to live amid the mess till the work is done.
For the past few weeks, we’ve been renovating two bedrooms and a hall. That means the furnishings from two rooms are piled up in every other room, not to mention the heaps of things we’re storing next door (Thanks, Joanne and Rick).
I hate whining, but it’s just that I haven’t been able to find my gloves or my pajamas. And I do get cranky when I can’t find my pajamas.
Anyway, “renovating” may seem a little silly, since our house is only five years old, but it just goes to show how creative I am.
You see, if you own an old house, it’s easy to find things that need overhauling, but if the house is fairly new, you’ve got to generate creative excuses for making what you want sound like something you need. This happens to be one of my strong suits.
If you watch “Nip Tuck,” you’ll recognize this as similar to the phenomenon of young women having plastic surgery. We all know they ought to wait until their parts wrinkle and sag, but reinventing one’s body or one’s home can be a fine hobby.
In the few years we’ve been here, I’ve dreamed up plenty of projects already. I wrote about some of them in “Herald Homes,” like our ripping out new-ish carpet to make way for hardwood floors, installing hard and soft window treatments in the living room, and researching, then buying an LCD TV.
Now I’m getting around to replacing some more of the “builder’s white” paint with something more my style.
If only that meant a simple coat of paint.
But no, it’s way more complicated that that.
A change in the wall color also means finding the perfect coordinating bed linens. Then it’s off to find curtains, and carpets, and (good heavens), I’ll need to find lampshades to match the room’s new personality, as well.
Oh, the pressure!
This week, we started by figuring out a color scheme. If you’ve ever had to choose a can of paint, you know that it’s so much more complicated than simply asking what color you like.
There’s no saying “I like yellow.” Paint doesn’t come in anything called yellow these days. You’re going to have to decide whether it’s Waffle Cone, or Unicorn Pearl, or Sand of Time.
For me, to tell the truth, the actual color that meets the eye is much less important than what its name suggests.
It’s like nail polish. Sure, its appearance matters, but when I’m selecting one, I’ll never go for something called “pink” or “red.” Oh no. I’m going to go for OPI’s copper-colored polish called “Down to my Last Penny,” or maybe “Amster-damsel in Distress,” or the red one called “Peru-B-Ruby.” 
Last week I saw a sign on a paint store in Skibbereen that read: “Men choosing paint must have a note from their wives.” Makes sense. You need the nail polish experience before moving on to the more permanent paint. 
At any rate, I settled on doing the walls in a color called “Claude” in one room and “Island Sand” in the other, with the trim done in “Windsor Burgundy.”
Translation: off-white, tan and red.
Eau. I like them much better with the names Ralph Lauren gave them.
Now that the decision’s out of the way, I’ll get out of the way myself and let my husband start working.
I would take a walk, if only I could find my shoes.

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