Friday, September 6, 2013

Painting my new town red

After 5 years in Upland, I finally decided that the commute to work was outweighing the benefit of not moving, and left my cheery little apartment for a new place in Orange, CA.

Despite all of the packing and hauling, I do love moving for the opportunities for crafts and DIY fun while settling in. So, while I should be working on my dissertation or at least preparing my lectures more than 2 hours in advance, instead I have been cruising Pinterest for inspiration. This means get ready for me to actually post this fall, because over the next couple of weeks I will be working on many, many procrastination driven moving messes.

I'm trying to start in the kitchen and work my way through the house. So, naturally, the first logical step is not to do anything, but rather, to spend hours on Colourlovers making palette to design the room around.

If you've known me long enough to have been around for my first attempts at decorating a room on my own, then you may remember the brief red phase... Inspired by a piece of funky retro barkcloth that came in to Betty's Fabrics, I decided to decorate my room all in black, red, and oregano green. The result, which I lived with for about 6 months, wasn't terrible. The room was coordinated, and semi-cool for what it was. But, I never did get over the fact that even with my attempts at feminine flair, it looked like a boys room.

So, when I next had the chance to redecorate my room I went to the other extreme. I bought cans of spray paint in pinks, yellows, greens, and blues and covered every surface in the girliest colors I could find. Then, I covered everything with flowers. I swore never again to let the red happen even if it was a good color for vintage inspired design. I've fended off the red that my mom wants so badly for me to have in my kitchen (every Christmas, something new and red follows me home). I've looked for other colors in my vintage prints and art work to base a room around. I've boycotted red as best I can and centered my decor around oranges and pinks instead.

If you've been around long enough to remember the room that ruined red, you have undoubtedly seen my cork board. One of my most successful messes, I made this board back in 2005 from a 5-gallon bucket of wine corks, some goodwill art, and a couple tubes of liquid nails. It has moved with me from apartment to apartment, taking on new life every time. It started out in a maple frame which I painted gold in my red/black room, and berry pink 6 months later. It has lived out its most recent days above my desk, very, very pink.

In my new place I've decided it's time to hang my cork board where I've always wanted it: the kitchen. But, you saw the palette, berry pink isn't going to work. So, I went to the store and picked out a nice bottle of "wine" colored acrylic, expecting a deep rusty purple, like red wine. I got home and put a couple coats on the frame then I realized, to my horror, that it was red. My beloved cork board, red. It's growing on me-- but I'm still a little uneasy.

The other piece that I knew upon making my color palette would have to go, was a set of salt and pepper shakers I picked up at the goodwill a few years ago. I bought them because they were quirky: a very traditional shape, but in a funky shade of blue with green lids. I proudly displayed them in my home, even though they didn't really match, and thought myself sort of cool for having them. That is, until the day my sister visited and said, "I like your spray painted salt and pepper."


I was aghast! It hadn't even occurred to me that someone had just taken those ugly, generic salt and pepper shakers from the restaurant supply store and attacked them with spray paint. But clearly, that's what had happened. Since that day I have secretly begrudged them, embarrassed that my "retro" find, were most likely from an out-of-business cantina somewhere that couldn't even make a decent margarita.

Just about the same time I was thinking about sending them back to the goodwill from whence they came, I stumbled across some out-of-place bird-shaped white ceramic shakers at the 99 Cents Only store down the street. Naturally, I didn't want white birds in my kitchen that looked like dollar store. Instead, I decided that if restaurants can spraypaint shakers, I can too.

Again, I went to the store for paint and came home satisfied with my color choice. Again, a few coats of paint later... and they're red. But, I they've got the funky anthropology "put a bird on it" feel I was going for. I give up.

Try as I may to fight against the red, I think it's going to be in my kitchen whether I want it to or not. The best I can do is keep it in check.

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