24 June 2011


current great room

current dining area, soon-to-be morning room

Today is the first day I've actually begun to enjoy the redecorating process. Yep! Something I've dreamed of doing for years, scouring design books, magazines, furniture and decorator's stores, design blogs, etc. Now we've decided to go the whole nine-yards with our great room, bedroom, and study-dining room and I haven't been enjoying the process. Duh!

I started small, hiring a decorator for a consult on what to keep and what to ditch; what to reupholster and refinish; where to place things. We quickly progressed to my paying a retainer, and beginning the process of adding and refinishing all our hardwood floors (something I'd never come close to imagining) and reupholstering all the furniture pieces we're keeping (ditching 2 sofas and a 60" round dining table from the mix). That's seven, no 8 or 9 pieces. And, we're going to repaint the base of our 6-1/2 ft. harvest table (which becomes my new desk) and also (don't tell CA yet, 'cuz he'll freak) our 3-piece shelving-media unit that lives in the study-dining room.

I'm operating from the realization that every few years our lives change, and thus our spacial needs. When we moved into this house almost 10 years, our almost empty nest was full again. Both DM and JE were living at home--on the way to flying away more permanently. DM was stateside for additional training before returning to work in Slovakia, and JE had just graduated from college and was in that small lull between college and accepting a position with Americorp-Vista in Omaha.

Now 10 years later, darling JE is still in Omaha, married to MA, and with child #3 on-board for a late July arrival. Up until now, DM has continued to live in Slovakia, marrying our lovely MK and raising the three little girls. While they're moving to Orlando in early August for a year, there's a possibility that they'll settle their family on this side of the ocean.

That all means, while our nest is empty it sometimes overflows for just a few days or sometimes months at a time. We need space for children and grandchildren, but only sometimes. The true flow of our days and lives is home-centered with plenty of space for separate-ness to pursue our individual interests. CA studies French, watches lots of sports, and reads when at home. He keeps busy continuing to coach soccer. I'm most content to be at home where I read, write, cook, bake, sew a bit, and generally putz about the place--I'm definitely first floor-centric so the loft office space doesn't work for me. (Just to be clear, I'm not totally a slug--I also leave the house early 4 or 5 days a week to meet friends for walking and yoga.)

At this moment I am sitting in one of our wing-back chairs in the area that will soon be our morning room. We envision it as a place for coffee or a small meal; a perfect spot to write, read, relax, and enjoy the back deck, yard, and the nature preserve behind our home. I can tell I'll have time for deep thoughts and loads of lingering in this soon-to-be re-designated space. I actually gravitated to this spot without even framing the thought that I should try out this chair in this space to see if it really works. It absolutely works because I'm naturally a kitchen person, and this spot is just behind our kitchen and open to the great room.

So... CA hangs about and the time actually goes very well. I get even more excited about the fabrics previously chosen, and we decide on almost all the rest--substituting just one of the fabrics previously chosen. And, the reason I'm really beginning to enjoy this process is that having RvH and CA here has ended up being encouraging and validating. While neither loves or understands every fabric, they both really like most of the choices. When either offers an opinion that I can't accept, I quietly turn my shoulder and speak softly to DV... This is my project and I get the final say.

There's a subtle difference in CA's attitude made more noticeable with today's involvement. When we later get a chance to process some of the discussion  and decisions, he remarks that when I had in an earlier conversation called this Huge Project my World Cup, it clarified my desire for this makeover and he gets it! You just need to employ an applicable sports metaphor. Interesting... He's on-board with whatever I want to do. (I don't actually remember even saying "World Cup" but whatever... He gets it!)

This wing-back chair is here because moved we it from it's previous home in the master bedroom to facilitate the fabric selection process with DV. When I say "we" I mean DV and me, and RvH and CA. RvH was invited to observe. CA was not. In fact, I told him that he should not start his errands until DV arrived so that he'd be out of the house. Any-who, CA is not budging from the home place. I'm guessing DV is a bit flummoxed when she sees this team waiting for her, but everyone behaves and progress is made.

So far, I've found the decision process fraught with tension and anxiety and felt that bringing CA on-board and keeping him on-board with these early decisions would be too much additional stress. RvH has asked to be involved, as an observer, so that she can live vicariously through me! Yep! She's the proverbial angel on my shoulder--here to observe, enjoy, and once in awhile to subtly push me toward or away from something. She is an artist at heart, and loves this kind of stuff. CA has opinions, but struggles with visualization (he's a mathematician), but especially with change of any kind.

Next week, the painters come to do our exterior painting, and the roofer comes to repair the small leak over our master bedroom. We're also having some screens replaced on our porch, and I'm getting some landscape makeover ideas for the back yard. WARNING: landscape re-design is viral. Steer clear of the process unless you're fully committed to weathering the complete run of disease and lingering symptoms. In other words, the front looks so great while the north side of our house and back look so pedestrian... By fall, I plan to have redone it all!

Today CA has the assignment to complain to our Association about how the landscape crew has once again torn up our back yard with the lawn mower wheels. They have to cease and desist in mowing after torrential rains. Hey, people! Did you notice the wetlands through the trees in the nature reserve? Duh! Did you ever think that it might be kind of wet back here? Notice the tire tracks... Do you think we like torn-up mud and smooshed grass?

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