Spring is in the air. To many people that means Spring Cleaning. But that’s a total drag. To me Spring means decorating! I always have a notion of what I want to do, decorating-wise. I walk into a room and have a pretty good idea of what I want it to look like. But it wasn’t always so. I’ve talked to so many people who don’t know where to start. This is Step One:
What Color Is Your Slipcover by Denny Daikeler (available used on Amazon for 1¢. That 1¢, people! Even with shipping it only comes out to $4.00. Bargain!) It’s a decorating book with no pictures. What an absurd concept! The whole idea behind this book is that your house is your haven, your sanctuary. What it looks like can stress you out or fuel your creativity. It can make you frustrated or feed your soul. It should be a place that will make your heart and soul sing. This means different things to everyone, and this book will help you figure out exactly what makes you happy.
In my last house I walked into my family room one day and thought, “this room isn’t me at all! How did this happen?” I bought everything in there. I picked it all out. But I bought things that I didn’t really want at the time, and wanted even less later on. I picked out furniture I wasn’t crazy about just because it was comfy and we could get it right away. I bought accessories because I needed something that was a certain size to go in a certain nook and it fit my requirements. I didn’t love my accessories. Or even like most of them.
The colors in the room were picked because they were popular; they were the things that other people were using. They weren’t “me” at all. I had a nebulous idea of what I did like, but I couldn’t really put it into words. That’s where What Color is your Slipcover comes in. It has a bunch of really unusual but profound exercises to help you figure out what kind of surroundings make you happy. They’re all important, so do them even if they seem dumb.
There are also great chapters on making a house a place both you and your husband can agree upon. Or you can just say to your husband, “look, I spend all of my waking hours in this house and what it looks like is really, really important to me. Do you care all that much?” In my case Mister said he doesn’t really. As long as he can do whatever he wants in his Man Cave, I can decorate however I like. (Hopefully you’re not married to a control freak who doesn’t actually care but still wants to have a say. That’s the worst of both worlds.) So we sold all our family room furniture and accessories when we moved here and started from scratch.
Our family room is still a work in progress and I know it’s not most people’s taste (pale blue, bright green and pink) but I love it. I absolutely love it. Every time I walk in the room it makes me happy. *
*Until I look down and see the crappy, gross carpet. But we have the replacement flooring. We just have to install it.