The white sofa is the perfect wingman. Everything looks good next to a white sofa.
It’s the winning supporting actor, best friend, “hey everyone don’t look at me, look that beautiful thing over there” item you could have in your home. The white wall is a close second.
Even when the white sofa gets old and decrepit and saggy and wrinkled with age spots, it still shows off all the other pretty stuff in a room. “Hey young whippersnappers, look yonder at the pretty stuff on the walls”.
But then a fresh young buck came into the picture….
And eventually things change. I love, LOVE my new rich, dark leather sofa, but I’m still mourning the white sofa. Lucky for me it’s only 10 feet away in the front room so I can visit frequently. I tried to figure out what it was I was morning and then it hit me. The white sofa made decorating the room really easy. It was a crutch. A muse. And other words that show my dependence on my white sofa.
So, I’ve been struggling with the wall over our new sofa. It’s the main wall in our house, the downstairs hardly seems to have many walls and this one is like a vast canvas that never ends. At first I was annoyed that we had such a huge main wall just waiting for me to make look good. But then, suddenly, after two years of living here and slipcovering our sofa in white, I DID somehow make it look good and it was photographed and got all of this attention and go me! I did it! I was so happy that I had this huge, huge wall so I could make it such a focal point. I was awesome!
It’s really a lovely limitation.
Then we got the new sofa. And I knew it would require change, hey, I LOVE change. But it’s been a challenge. First off it’s a little higher than the white sofa, so even if I wanted to keep everything the same the whole wall would have to move up about 4 inches. Also, I have this thing where too many saturated colors make me feel nauseous. And the deep turquoise and dark browns had me feeling sicky. High maintenance anyone? Plus, I kind of don’t like things to stay the same year after year and as much as it pains me, I’m ready for a little change.
I have struggled with even knowing where to start with this wall. And it’s still a work in progress. I’ve tweaked, I’ve removed, I’ve fallen off the sofa with frames in my hand and quickly looked around to make sure no one walking by outside happened to be looking through the window in time to see me fall.
And secretly I love it. Because this is the fun part of creating a beautiful, meaningful home. But it’s easy to lose sight of the goal and become impatient and want it done yesternow.
I ended up neutralizing the mats for the silhouettes with a little coat of paint. I never buy new ones, just paint over the old ones. If I hate it I can always paint it back. Rarely is anything permanent.
It doesn’t even look like this right now, but this is the last photo I took. I’m not showing you these photos to ask for advice or complain about my indecision or for someone to tell me that something doesn’t look right. I’m hoping that you can see that it’s ALWAYS a process. And in the midst of the process you have a choice to just have fun with it and evaluate and wait for the right look to come, or you can force perfection and fret and try to make something work that isn’t ready yet.
This wall is so not ready to work yet and I’m okay with that.
Here’s why I can eventually make my walls work:
1. I’m patient. I’d rather wait longer to get a look I love, than settle just to have it done.
2. I’m not afraid of risk. Sure, I’ll hang my old high school flute on the wall, who knows, maybe it’ll look great. And, I’ll even show these photos of my undone wall on the internet to 40,000 of you. You get me. You know that both me and this wall are a work in progress. No judging here.
3. I shop the house with fresh eyes. Everything in my house is up for grabs when I do something like this. The goal is to have each item we own in the best possible place. So yes, I love the monogram in our bedroom but what if, I liked it even more downstairs? Wouldn’t that be worth the 90 seconds it took me to carry it down? What’s the worst that can happen? I hate it down here and carry it back upstairs?
Now that I’ve read all of Handmade Walls, my mind is dreaming up all the different scenarios I could create. I’ll keep you posted, but don’t hold me to keeping it one way for years and years. You know how I am.