Monday, April 23, 2012

The Color and Style Strategy

As I explained before, I expect that Miss Abigail's future household will be quite eclectic and jumbled in color and style. Early households invariably are. Almost everyone I know sets up housekeeping in a space in which color is already present, and most often, there is no opportunity to make changes. In the case of an apartment the color scheme is usually off white, beige or some variation of brown. Kind of boring! But, one can only hope for such a nice, neutral apartment, since in other cases, the colors might be even less appealing. We rented a duplex once with a hot pink candy striped bathroom. It felt like Mary Poppins! My sister, early on, lived in a small rented house with a multi-colored carpet which she called the "cow" carpet. I'll let you use your imagination. You could probably tell me other stories. Furniture is a second issue. My sweet mother-in-law generously provided a mossy green couch and a wild green and yellow floral recliner when I first married my husband thirty some years ago. We were very thankful to have them, but it is a good thing I didn't expect anything to match.

No one can possibly anticipate the colors of their first few homes. Even trying to use a favorite color scheme may not work, since clashing colors may already be present. I really think the solution to all this uncertainty resides in choosing a deliberately patchwork kind of style - non-decorating to begin with! If we use a wide variety of classic colors blended with neutrals, items should "match" each other pretty well. I love patchwork quilts and my favorite "style" is the all-over scrappy quilt. When fitted into an overall plan, all the colors end up blending just fine. You simply count on the neutral colors of the sashing and borders to bring it all together and make it whole.

So, my plan for the hope chest is for aged and comfortable, a sort of purposeful mis-match style that seems accommodating and is always less than elegant. If we go for the "dime-store decorating" style to begin with, whatever we make will match whatever comes along next. Abigail may have other ideas later, but this is my current working plan. For everything except kitchen things. I'll talk about that next.

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