Of late, I am not accustomed to things going according to plan. It’s been so bad that I’ve taken to saying that I’m bad at planning. Although properly executed with the appropriate preparation and diligence, things go awry. And nothing goes awry like paint.
I have painting stories that’ll curl your stir sticks. Really.
While nothing will ever top the Great Tibetan Red Saga, there was the Moose Mousse episode and it’s probably best if I don’t go into the Homestead Antique Cameo story. The Cerulean Blue master bath was not an unmitigated disaster, but it also didn’t end up as expected.
I am so scarred by these episodes, coupled with some trauma from my youth, I am afraid of color. So. Imagine my surprise when this past January I started thinking about painting the office at my place of employment lavender.
Honestly, you’d think I’d know better. That definition of crazy – doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result – would appear to be in play here. I yearn for strong color on my walls, but cringe at the results.
Still, I dutifully collected paint chips and examined them in all the various light that occurs in my office. I solicited opinions (most of which resulted in dubious expressions from my co-workers). All of these samples left something to be desired. One day, while busy doing fundraising type stuff, I encountered a piece of standard lavender copy paper. It looked just peachy laying on my desk. It looked even better on the credenza-hutch thingie. I said, “Hmmmm.”
I solicited more opinions.
Now some months ago I posted a picture of the mess in my office. In case you missed it, here it is.
Clearly, this is a disaster that even lavender paint can’t make worse.
Clutching copy paper in hand, I toddled off to the Home Depot where they cheerfully mixed me up a can of lavender satin wall paint.
After the first coat, I was ready for a martini. “This,” I said, “is going to be bad.”
After the second coat, I realized it wasn’t bad. I just needed to adjust my planned decorating scheme. (I am bad at planning.) I pulled out everything that wasn’t black, white or gray.
“This,” I said, “might work.”
I remembered some things I had at the house that would do.
This is the miracle part.
For years I have been de-junking and de-cluttering the house. I have made great strides. But, I had some things that didn’t go with the house but that I liked too much to get rid of. They’ve been taking up valuable closet space and just a couple of weeks ago I was resolved to get it out of my house. I am trying not to be a packrat; and hanging on to stuff I’m not using is antithetical to my goals.
All that stuff I referred to as crap just a few weeks ago is now appropriate and much loved office décor. For years I’ve heard that the secret to decorating is to buy only what you love and eventually it will all come together. Well, people, it seems to be true (though you might need a couple of cans of spray paint).
Because the office was disassembled, I took advantage of the absolute chaos of painting and moving furniture to do a major purge. When I first started working there in 2004, I didn’t have a sense of what I needed to keep and what I didn’t, so I kept everything. Five years later, I’ve decided that 95% of it can go. And go it went. I now have empty filing cabinet drawers and I know where my manicure set is as well as the baby footprint certificates. Woo Hoo!
Reassembling the office was great fun. With every new addition, the plan I didn’t plan came to fruition.
I am wildly in love with my lavender office which proves, I think, that I’m crazy. I did the same thing this time and got a different result. The office is tranquil, elegant, refined and sophisticated. The first thought that goes through anyone’s head is that this is not the least bit like me.
BTW, it’s lavender or lilac. It is not purple. I dislike purple. I would never ever not ever under any circumstances color my life with purple.