Well, y’all, it’s been an enlightening weekend for me. I went into the weekend confused, frustrated, and ready to throw my hands up in defeat when it came to my music room. (I seriously considered hiring an interior decorator for an hour consultation or so just to get me back on track. Is that weird? An interior decorator hiring an interior decorator? I didn’t care. I just needed someone to bring clarity and focus back.) As it turns out, all I needed was a little quiet time so that I could refocus and reprioritize, and I’ve come out the other side with a completely different mindset and the freedom and confidence to tackle these rooms. My new mindset? I’ll call it “decorating hedonism.” 😀 But let me back up…
I played hooky from the blog last Friday because I just needed a day to clear my head. After receiving so much input and advice about my music room last week, my head was swimming with ideas and inspiration, and I just couldn’t seem to get my bearings. So I needed to step away, let my head clear, and then return to the problem and ask myself, “What is it that YOU truly want?”
Somewhere along the line I had gotten off track, and now my vision for my dining room, entryway, and music room weren’t working out. The problem, of course, was the piano.
In my opinion, that piano was (yes, past tense 😉 ) absolutely gorgeous. Honestly, it was probably the nicest thing in my house. But that piano completely derailed my vision and plans for the music room, which in turn seemed to be altering my plans for the dining room and entryway. It’s not what I had wanted at all.
It’s kind of like if someone had given me an original Salvador Dali painting, or an authentic Ming Dynasty vase. Either of those things, without question, would be the nicest thing in my house (and obviously the most expensive thing in my house), but I wouldn’t want either one of them. Neither of those are things that I personally want in my house because they just don’t fit the vision I have for the style and decor of my house. (Although I’d sell either one in a heartbeat and use the money to decorate how I want. 😀 )
How did I get so completely off track? I let other people’s voices get inside my head. First there was the wife of the man who listed this piano on Craigslist, who said it was a shame that I wanted to refinish it and not keep the original finish. (And yes, this is the same woman who had told her husband that if he couldn’t find someone to take the piano, she wanted him to chop it up and throw it away. *sigh*) Then there was the piano man who moved the piano, who also restores old pianos and went on and on about the walnut and how beautiful it could be refinished, even showing me pictures on his phone of recent pianos he had refinished. Then there was my mom who convinced me that if I wanted it yellow, it needed to be a really light, soft yellow, but green would be better. And then many of you, who expressed that painting a piano like this would be a shame.
So when I got ready to actually do something with the piano, I had all of these voices and opinions swimming around in my head. But do you know whose voice and opinion got completely lost? Mine. The voice of me — the actual owner of the piano, and the owner of the house where this piano will live for decades to come — was completely lost in the commotion going on inside my head.
That’s how I ended up with a piano that’s half walnut and half gray paint. What I had wanted all along was a bright yellow piano sitting against a lighthearted background of tree limbs and brightly colored birds. What I ended up with and what I had envisioned couldn’t be more polar opposite. And you know what? I.DO.NOT.LIKE.GRAY!! 😀 I gave it a try. I thought I liked it. But after living with it for a week, it couldn’t be more clear to me that I just don’t like gray.
But then the response to my “new” piano was great — so many compliments — so I was pretty excited about it. But there were a few comments that really gave me pause — of course there were the comments from those disappointed that it wasn’t yellow, but then there were comments about how “Kristi has grown up” and referring to the piano as a “grand old lady” and describing how “elegant” the piano now looked.
I hear the word “elegant” used about my kitchen all the time, and it completely throws me off. I don’t see it as elegant, with the concrete countertops and inexpensive subway tile backsplash. I never wanted an “elegant” kitchen, and I certainly don’t want an “elegant” or “formal” house. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not an elegant or formal person. So when I keep hearing that word used over and over, even though it’s meant in a complimentary way, I want to run the opposite direction with my decorating decisions.
So over the last week, I tried many things to make the piano more “me.” I tried painting the painted parts the original yellow that I purchased for the piano. It looked hideous against the walnut. Then I tried black. So drab. Then navy blue. Drab again. Then I thought maybe those of you who suggested gold were right. Maybe that’s just what it needed. After searching and searching for the right color of gold paint, I finally gave up. I came across several tutorials online where people actually used Rub ‘N Buff on entire pieces of furniture, so I thought maybe I’d give that a try. I Rub ‘N Buffed a very large portion of the piano using the same gold I used on the pedals (the process actually went pretty quickly), but it had the opposite effect that I though it would. It wasn’t bright and eye-catching like I had hoped. Again, it was dark and dull.
That’s when I finally stopped the madness, quieted the voices in my head, and asked, “Kristi, what is it that YOU want? If you push guilt and obligation aside, what is it that YOU truly want?”
I wanted a bright yellow piano sitting against a lighthearted background of limbs and colorful, playful birds.
So before I lost my nerve, I headed directly Home Depot, paint samples (kitchen cabinets and buffet) and fabric swatches in hand, and I chose a bright yellow that made my heart happy. The one I chose is appropriately called Smiley Face. 🙂 I didn’t even choose several options, order samples, come home and do a sample board, look at the colors in the various lighting througout the day. Nope. None of that. I chose a color, ordered my quart, and came home and started painting.
It’s not finished yet, but everything has at least one coat of paint on it, so there’s no turning back now. And I wouldn’t want to turn back anyway. Does it make me look “grown up”? Probably not. Is it a “grand old lady”? Definitely not. Is it “elegant”? Absolutely not. But this is exactly what I wanted all along.
And that’s how I became a decorating hedonist over the course of one weekend. Painting over all of that walnut, as gorgeous as it was, was so freeing. And with each brush stroke, I became even more dedicated to my new decorating hedonistic life. From now on, that’s my new philosophy. If I like it, I’m going to do it (when it comes to decorating, that is 😀 ). To heck with rules and labels. And to heck with guilt and obligation. This is my house, and I have to live with it. And a gift (or a free Craigslist find) that comes with strings attached (e.g., don’t paint it!) isn’t a gift. It’s a burden. I won’t be accepting any more decorating burdens into my house. And I can assure you that this…
was the last time you’ll see me making a decision for my house out of guilt or obligation. From now on, it’s decorating hedonism every step of the way. 😀
Who’s with me? 🙂