Holiday Greetings, Dearly Beloveds! If Any Remain (Bon Jour, Remains of the Day). Let The Merry Bells Keep Ringing, Both for the Season, and also
Because I am MOSTLY DONE Making My House Pretty !!
(Mostly Done, as opposed to Miracle Max’s Mostly Dead— a grievous, less animated, almost-but- not-quite hopeless state). At last,
I Can With Unabashed and Ebullient Narcissism Show Off My Life’s Work!
(ok, the work I’ve been up to the last couple of months). Beginning (appropriately) with “The Hall of Days”.
House For Sale, and The Hall of Days
Perhaps you know (because you’ve read past blog posts here, or because we’re acquainted and you’ve seen paint splatter on my person) that my family and I have been sprucing up our place, getting it ready for sale. I just have to say, it’s been hard. And tedious. And slow. Lots of painting (exhausted after construction five years ago, we moved in before we had painted the trim or even some of the rooms). An endless trickle of small repairs and treks to donation centers, a storage unit, and the dump. We even put siding on the little backyard barn, and painted it on a rare warm day.. It feels Mostly Good to be taking “finished” pictures and putting a for sale sign up, at last. Bittersweet. This home is the third we’ve owned and loved. The second we’ve designed and built (my design, with my husband’s cheerful support and help with implementation).
Each home has been more than a shelter…it has been a haven, a refuge, a place where we can be…We. Us. Which is probably why I’m feeling a little sad as I post this. Leaving is part of a good plan. We’ll build another, make more memories… but there are memories here. A profound sense of belonging—not only to each other, but to a place. So I thought I’d begin my little House Reveal (pretty at last) with one of my favorite places in the house.
I call it “The Hall of Days”. A little wordplay. Plus it sounds sort of Lorien-ish.. Mystically romantic. It is the back hall, where you enter from the garage and mudroom to the living spaces beyond, where you find the loo (powder room, or main bathroom, realtors would say), the laundry room, our bedroom. We all pass through The Hall of Days a lot. The walls read sort of like a family photo album, with favorite, defining pictures of all of us taken through days past. Ezra’s first haircut with a real barber. The kids playing in the ocean, or the mud. Nora with bedhead on a sunny Saturday morning. The Hall of Days captures our family’s mood, memories…mission. I love it.
Notes on the Hall of Days design: The colors and mood of this space are inspired by our family’s favorite getaway spot: The Oregon Coast. Beachy white trim (painted mdf, very inexpensive), muted aqua wall color, and swirly curliques. Also the eclectic mix of picture frames. Most of the frames I used in the Hall of Days were thrift finds…usually a dollar or less. A few were found cheap at Ross or TJ Max. I sanded some to give them a vintage, driftwoody look. Some I painted black, some I painted chippy gold. Some I left alone. I hung them somewhat evenly, remembering what I’d learned as a high school annual staffer about even internal margins, and then breaking the rules sometimes for balance or convenience. I love how they all work together. Next time I do this (and I plan on it), I would add another horizontal line…wainscoting (more painted mdf) about three feet up the wall, before I filled the remaining top completely with pictures. Our downstairs ceilings are ten feet high, another whim of mine that I hope to repeat in our next house. In narrow spaces (hallways, bathrooms), high ceilings can make a space feel like an elevator shaft. Horizontal trim helps the space feel, well, a little more horizontal. Or at least whimsically eccentric.