Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Living with a designer can be amazing, yet it can also be exhausting. A magazine gets tossed at you, "While you are sitting there, fold down the pages you like!"

32 Dominoes, 19 Elle Decors, 27 House Beautifuls, not to mention tons of others later, and you still can't always tell the difference between Hollywood Regency and Art Deco. Not to mention the subtle differences in fabric or paint color. And somehow you are supposed to convey visual ideas in word form, somehow understanding the complexities of just why something clicks in your brain to someone who is immensely more trained in the area? I read a lot of literature and edited a lot of papers in college (among other things). I cannot tell you what type of print that is and where it originated. Sometimes she makes me feel a little dull, not to mention slow (I feel I may have to take a textiles class, a design class, and an art history class--again--just to keep up).

Ruby recently saved a bunch of scraps from cloth heaven and they have been helping shape design schemes of our house. Though we have been poor, the idea of shaping a new year around color, art, and good design has helped cheer her. We have a list a mile long of things we are saving up for. First up, painting (mostly because it was the cheapest way to make a huge difference)!

B recently painted her room. For some reason, I thought I had heard the color was passion. Pounding my brain for days, there was no way to identify how a timid blue-gray (with hints of periwinkle in certain lights--though in the picture it looks almost white) could convey passion. Turns out, it is passive. Ahhh. . . Totally makes sense now.

Our second big painting project was the living room. I have wanted to paint an accent wall since before we moved in, but we could never settle on a color. After going through a trunk-full of design magazines, I have enjoyed the various stripes I have seen a lot lately, but wasn't sure exactly if I liked them for my house. Stripes have been big for a few years now (elongating a room, giving it boundaries, making it wider or shorter, tying together an area). My parents did a whole dining room in cream with glossy stripes alternating with matte around the square room. I adored the almost ribbon effect and hatbox feel it lent to the room (B is going to give me crap for not actually remembering the term). So, a few weeks ago when the BRu came home and said, "How about chocolate and cream stripes in the living room? It means we'll have to paint less since the wall is already cream," I thought about it, and the whole idea came together in my head. "Sure."

On December 30th, when we started planning (yay for increased journal writing!), I scrawled painting stripes on my calendar for MLK weekend--3-day weekend; payday; perfection! I could tell the Bster was getting a little worried about it, but I kind of shrugged it off. She visited Sherwin Williams, grabbing everything we would need, including the black bean paint, 6" rollers, a paint tray, etc (It says black bean, but it really is like melted chocolate--I have dipped strawberries in the exact same color). I knew the taping would take the most time; but Friday night taping became Saturday night, and then it was 7:30pm on Sunday and nothing was done! Slight annoyance led to an amusing squabble over taping and whether we were actually going to do this (okay, amusing after the fact). We taped the top and the bottom, worked out that we would need a ladder and a laser level (woo-hoo Internet comparison shopping); and Ruby went to bed knowing she had to work and I was going to paint.

My Monday:

8-9 Lowes
9-3:15 taping

3:15-8:10 painting

8:45-9:20 clean up and tape off

Tuesday's Snow Day (First snow that stuck in Carolina since '04) allowed us to put the room back together

Ruby was pretty nervous. I think it helped that I sent picture updates throughout the day. I think she truly enjoyed letting me paint and then being the one to officially remove the tape. I don't know that she would have had the patience or the attention span to do it with me (plus, it is probably better for our relationship). My saviors that day were Bryan, Jen, and Jordan, who selflessly showed up and didn't let me do it by myself. The hours of taping alone qualify them for sainthood. All three will be getting massive amounts of love from the Sisters Ru. Oh, and a tiny shout-out to Brad for his drop-cloths--couldn't have done it without you!

It totally transforms the room. Though still fiscally-challenged, we cannot wait to add art, window treatments, lamps, and so much more. B is a little shocked we actually followed through, but I knew if we didn't, we never would. So, thoughts? Feelings? Love it? Hate it? Terrifying paint experiences? Yay, tape (3 rolls of it)!

Living with a designer can be massively exhausting, but it can be pretty exciting, too.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional photographer. I do not even own a camera, except for my phone. All pictures were taken with my phone (most of the finished ones at night), so please forgive the resolution and the lighting.

Disclaimer 2: The magazines served to help B identify my likes and dislikes. The actual design, originality, and creative inspiration are totally hers. She took all of my folds, all of my comments, all of my babblings, and found the perfect inspiration fabric that has me jumping up and down to keep going. She is even pushing me in my bedroom. When I finally do get to my room, it is going to be fantastic!


Adam and Ariel said...

T, this looks amazingly awesome. Wish I could be there to see it in person. Wanna come tape an accent wall for me too? ;)

Bradley said...

I personally love it, and I don't think it looks like to live in a tent. That was just a joke. You can borrow my drop cloths anytime.

tkangaroo said...

Airy, you tell me when! :)

Brad, I told you before, we don't like mormonads, we're more into symbolism. 1st Nephi 2:15. We have our tent and our Liahona.

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