Friday, February 5, 2010

On the topic of Decorating . . . Whose job is it, anyway?

My blogs have been kind of downhearted of late . . . with reason, you know . . . but I want to reclaim the Sunshine in my spirit. It is the middle of the night, and I'm not sleeping again . . . sigh . . . so I checked for drafts . . . you know, blogs that I had begun to write but not finished. I came upon this one, which is kind of sweet. Is that okay with you?

A blogging friend recently wrote that she and the man in her life were having a difference of opinion about decorating, and she asked for votes from her readers as to who gets the final say? She is a Shabby Chic decorator, and he is a tidy, modern, minimalist sort of fellow. I hope opposites really do attract, because I think she kinda likes him.

This was my "two cents worth" response to her query.

In my lifetime {which, when I begin a sentence like that, sounds as long as Methuselah's} I have seen a few couples start out life with differing approaches to decorating their nest. The first time that I witnessed a husband with strong decorating opinions . . . well, he just left me mouth agape. What? A man with a decorating opinion? He must be a fool . . . or he has a mighty high opinion of himself . . .or low one of her.

In the fuzzy around the edges memories that I've dragged with me through time, I remember that my Mother was the be all and end all of household decorating. My Father simply did what she told him to do, moved the furniture and hung the pictures. My husband, raised in a like~minded family . . . is similarly disposed.

Ooh, these enlightened men scared me.

. . . so I had a girlfriend . . . we lived across the street from one another . . . she was a newlywed, compared to my vast seven year, one {and a half} child marriage. The mainstay of our friendship, at that time was housekeeping. We lived across the street from one another in what, in retrospect sounds like a 1950's neighborhood, vintage indeed. {It was not.} We had coffee every day, tended one another's children, wallpapered one another's rooms, shared sewing thread at 1:00 o'clock in the morning when we could see by the lights that the other Mommy was still up sewing, too.

Oh, I have waxed nostalgic, haven't I? The point . . . the point . . . Her husband was a little older and had been on his own for some time, and had plenty of decorating opinions {read that as rules, maybe even laws}.

Especially . . . he thought bare white walls were "it". Period. That's it. Nothing but bare white walls. They even fought about it. She cried. He demanded. No. White walls. Nothing on them. That's the way it's gonna be. Oh the sadness of it all, denying a new bride the right to feather her nest . . .

Naturally we set about doing what women do anyway. Just gently and maybe a little bit secretly, so as not to arouse his suspicion . . . A family portrait here, a picture there, a pretty little shelf in the hallway, flowers on the side table, a wreath here, a bold paint color in the kitchen, a brilliant wallpaper in the laundry room, until beauty and color absolutely exploded all over her lovely little cottage!

One day, after a year or so of our clandestine decorating, {he never knew what hit him} they were invited to dine at a new friend's home. It had bare white walls. After dinner, on the way home, husband turned to my friend, and says, "Wow! RoseAnn really doesn't know how to decorate a house . . ."

. . .wait for it . . .


So you see, dear Sir . . . there is no point in resisting. I'm getting up there . . . I've looked at life from both sides now, from in and out . . . wait, oops, wrong example . . . I know what I'm talking about. Resistance is futile. But comfort, warmth, and beauty that causes the Mother-in-law walk in and say, "You really know how to make a house a home" is the result {and the reward}. Sorry.


  1. Hello Debbi, I can't seem to sleep either. Some reading and looking at blogs I will do. It is nice to have something to do when you can't sleep.
    I am glad my husband has always let me decorate the house. As long as he
    has good light and a comfortable chair, he is happy. Have a nice weekend. sandi

  2. Wow, Mom, I can't believe I never heard this story about you and my first best friend's Mommy (in case we aren't using names). What a GREAT story. Its nice when our husbands think we're decorating geniuses. I can't imagine it any other way. You made me long to live on Pearl street! :)

  3. Hi - Sam here again!! (the other one - not your son ha ha!!) I don't have any decorating rules - in fact, I tend not to think about it so much - just pop a few pictures up, throw a few pillows over there, but it seems to work!! (oh, I should mention that I live alone so no-one to argue decoratively with!!)

  4. Debi,
    Girl, you kill me! This was not only side-splitting funny, but so dang true. Youngsters don't know the half of it , do they? White walls indeed! The cars we drive today don't even have white walls. They turn those inside now. Remember when the wider the white wall the cooler you were? Yuck, yuck, yuck.
    So, still not sleeping huh? I have those nights also. One out of every 3 is up til all hours. Well, that's only partially true, I mainly work later shifts so I stay up late by most standards. It's all relative though.
    What part of Tx are you in? I think I told you I was born and raised in Houston. I don't miss living in the big town. Everything is so different when I visit. It's no longer my home.
    Enough for now. Please take care of yourself and blessings.
    If ya wanta email me:

  5. Hi Debbi - you are a great story teller. I sat reading, enthralled until the very end. I, too have a dear husband that just lets me do whatever I will. He has great taste but always defers to me. BTW, I got your blog site from the Valentine's Day Swap with Cathy Scalise! So glad to find you.

    Olivia Paige