Listen to Your House

The Husband and I are big believers in not straying too far from the spirit of the house when decorating or renovating. You’re never going to turn a 900 square foot clapboard cottage into a Versailles manor, and it just looks a little silly if you try to put a full sized plaster statue of a Greek god in the yard of your vinyl sided ranch house (I’m talking to you, people of Worcester, MA). Modernizing, restyling, and personalizing are all great. But going against the very essence of the house just makes it sad. Accentuating the attributes that are inherently charming and unique about the place? That makes it happy.

Sometimes, your house will speak up. If you’re lucky, it will agree with the ideas you had for the aforementioned modernizing, restyling, and personalizing.

The husband and I were married in New York City, and we had our cake in Grand Central Terminal. I love all things turquoise to begin with, and it seemed especially appropriate to infuse our bedroom with a touch of NYC. We decided we would paint the ceiling in the same blue-ish hue as the terminal. But it seemed like a potentially overwhelming color. I sought out paint chips in similar yet lighter tones, but when I would bring those little one inch swatches home they were all… less than.

Meanwhile! The original wallpaper in the bedroom was, indeed, pretty much original to the house. It has suffered the indignity of being stuck to a non-air-conditioned, poorly ventilated upstairs wall for over half a century. As much as the wallpaper was a sweet French Country piece de charm, it was unfortunately more shabby than chic. We decided to strip it off the wall to get an even painting surface. And, oh my god, you guys! Look!
There it was, Grand Central Terminal turquoise, unearthed by my wall-scraper. The evidence of this paint color having been an inherent part of the house since the beginning underscored that we were doing something right.

It’s a good feeling when you and your house seem to be in design cahoots. What about you? Any great stories of secret handshakes between home and owner?


One Response to Listen to Your House

  1. Too funny! I can’t think of any secret handshakes in our last house, because the previous owners had redone the 1900 house in the 70s and just kind of left it that way.

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