The most special things are the things that don't really belong anywhere but here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Home Decorating

It is difficult to be in your twenties and live with your parents, and anyone who is in their twenties and lives with their parents would probably agree for their own reasons. For me, it’s not because they nag me, or impose their rules on me even though I’m grown, or that it’s awkward when I bring men home (HAHA! Bring men home! *Wipes away tear*). No. It’s because I can’t control the AESTHETICS OF THE HOME.

I know not everyone is sensitive to aesthetics, but let me tell you something, I am. It’s okay if things are a little cluttered or if not everything is in its place, but I am very sensitive to colors, especially wall color, or the lack there of. The Thornes house consists of lots of wooden furniture, wood paneling, and cream walls. It’s just…I can’t….I just….*fights seizure*.

Way back in 2008, I got my first apartment. It was located on Douglas Avenue in apartment 6, in Las Vegas, New Mexico, just to be precise. Not all of the apartments were painted, but mine was. The aesthetic gods were like, “this is going to be Brigette’s apartment,” because aside from the hallway and the bathroom, there were NO WHITE WALLS. Okay, something weird was going on, as most of the walls were this strange adobe pink and I’m not even sure if it was really paint. One of my living room walls was mustard yellow. I didn’t even care. It was color. It was the best.
Look how cozy! Actually, it was only cozy on the eyes. That apartment was freezing.

Then I came back home. As happy as I was to be back in Michigan and back with family, I was also back in the land of bland, and it’s been one power struggle after the next. One of the causes is that Mom has a really, really hard time with change. After years of thinking about painting the doors red, Mom finally said me and dad could paint the doors red. So we did, and she actually liked it. Now, after years of thinking about painting the downstairs hall blue, mom finally decided I could paint the downstairs hall.
Is this not the most beautiful door you've ever seen?

Some facts about the downstairs hall: there is no light fixture. We almost never go in the rooms the hallway leads to. We never think about it and barely see it. But, it was space that she was letting me control, so I was going to fix the hell out of that hall.

I spackled cracks and taped door trims. I made big plans to change what pictures were hanging up on the walls. I moved a lamp from another room into the hall so that there was actually light. I brought home tons of paint samples. I wanted a green or an aqua color. I was very excited.

Out of the five million samples I brought home, mom liked none of them. I said, “You don’t even care, so why should it be up to you? Why is everything always up to you?” Mom said, “Nothing’s ever up to me!” Dad came in the room and we shared a look, like, “Isn’t it?” Then Mom said, “I want to be at home, making it nice, but I always have a million things to do! I’m always running around, doing something for someone else! I’m always working so I can buy you kids a million things!” This trick chased out Dad, but not me. I just stood their with my hands on my hips because I’ve heard it all before. Nice distraction, Mom, but you still need to pick out a paint color. It was so dramatic. It was like an episode of Jersey Shore.

Mom finally settled on a dusty rose pink. My little sister saw the sample and said, “Ew, it’s white.” It’s not even close to white. So even though it’s not the green I wanted, I don’t care. It will be color.
The downstairs bathroom, circa early 2000's. Danielle and I painted the bathroom a rather offensive purple; it wasn't white.

Sometimes, when friends come to visit and I complain about the aesthetics of the home, they say, “Why don’t you redo YOUR room?” I say, “What on EARTH are you talking about?” And then their eyes wander to the wallpaper border.

I probably shouldn’t post this on the internets for all the world to see, and I will probably regret it as soon as I do, but what’s the point of life if you’re not living it dangerously?
The babies.

This is the wallpaper border in my room. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the artist is Bessie Pease Gutmann, and yes, those are paintings of babies.

When I was in fifth grade, we built the addition to our house, which gave me my own room. While other fifth graders would get bold colors for their walls to match their Bonnie Bell lip gloss and decorate their room with pictures of pop stars, I took one look at those babies and said, “Oh, how precious! Let’s enter adolescence the RIGHT way!” And so once again, the half six-year-old-half eighty-year-old who lives inside of me steered my life into the absolute wrong direction.

So, it’s been like, 15 years. Why don’t I just take the border down already? Isn’t it weird when I bring men in there? (HAHA! Bring men in there! *searches for noose*). The thing is, would I really need to take it down? Like, my room is really big and it would take such a long time, and then there would be this absence, like I would need to get crown molding installed or something. And there IS color on the walls, and I have many lamps in my room with different kinds of shades so I can really control the light and the mood, and it’s just that the babies have always been there, you know?! I mean, why do you want to get rid of my BABIES?! 

So, what do you guys think? Are you as sensitive to aesthetics as I am? Aren’t white walls the worst? What kinds of power struggles did you have when you lived with your parents? Have you either lived some place that was really cute or really ugly? If you were my mom, would you be like, “You’re almost thirty. Move out and paint your own damn hall?” If you answer “yes” to that last question, then I think you’re just horrible. But please, do share.


  1. Brigette! You are always you had me laughing through this entire post. I very clearly recall the babies on your walls--and I truly believe that they should stay RIGHT THERE! Living at home for two years in between college & marriage meant I got to live in my old bedroom--one that was still decorated with very stylish baby boy blue sponge paint...from 1997. I painted that room myself and I was quite proud of the crazy collection of items that ended up on those walls! Needless to say, before I moved out I took a million pictures so I could always remember what my room looked like--and I have to say that every time I go back and look at those pictures it makes me a little sad. I kind of want my "adult"/"married" bedroom to have the same sweet bulletin board filled with a random assortment of every little scrap of paper/photo/sticker/ticket that ever crossed my path. Unfortunately, Dan's against the whole thing. In response to his dislike of my middle school decor, I have taken control of the office and made it quite similar to my bedroom growing up--lots and lots of books, photos, and scraps of paper--everywhere. This is where I do my best thinking--this environment makes me the most happy. I don't know what it is but I enjoy being surrounded with the pretty little tangible reminders that make up my life. I have grown to love my office and it's baby boy blue walls. Thanks so much for sharing Brig! Miss you tons. xo, chels

  2. Chelsea, I totally loved your sponge painted walls! You SHOULD be proud of that room! Are there still a million beanie babies in it? Did your parents change it? I really hope not. :) I think I'm going to have to support Dan on this one and say it's probably good that your room is grown-up and classy, but having the office filled with "you" stuff is totally the way to go. Everyone needs a room like that, and I totally plan on having one when I have my own house someday. Until then, my millions of pictures and scraps of papers will reside with the babies on my walls. :) I miss you tons too! <3

  3. We decorated my granddaughter's nursery with Bessie Pease Gutmann. We are now redoing her room, (she is 8yrs old) with peacocks. I have so many items to sell, including 28 yards of the wallpaper border. I also have a vintage 6 pc layette set. It is satin with blanket, pillow and 4 pc bumper set. I have wastepaper basket, tissue box, framed prints, 3 tins, a tray, a bank, 2 pedestal mugs, 3 flute covers with original chains, (I just hung a pictures, large plaque 12 x 36, a baby book, 3 plates (9in.) I have 2 matted 8 x 10 prints, 2 framed 16 x 13 prints, 2 huge framed 20 x 24 prints and 6 8 x 10 color iron-on-transfers ( used some for curtains. I LOVE all the Bessie Pease, but it is time for her to move on :-(