August 9, 2010

Painting a Happy Little Home

I received a great compliment from a friend a couple of weeks ago. She was visiting our home to help celebrate our son's one year birthday and had come early to help wrangle the birthday boy while I finished up preparations for the party. As my friend made her way into our kitchen to wash her hands she spotted a clear, Plexiglas bottle that we use for our dish soap and casually said, "I like the palette of your home".

I looked at her like she was crazy for using words like 'palette' in reference to a dish soap dispenser and she paused, gestured around her to the rest of our kitchen and the peek you get of our living room from the area over by the fridge, and repeated, "no, everything in here is very you. And I like that I can tell you, 'I like the palette of your home', and you know what I mean by that".

The conversation moved on but later that day, my mind was still wrapping itself around her statement. What exactly WAS the palette of our home?

I have never claimed to know what I was talking about when setting up our living spaces. Nor have I ever assigned any style to the look I am aiming for, which for the most part I’m unsure of anyway. But I do know what I like.

I started to think of the oil paintings I used to watch Bob Ross create and how I always loved when he reached for the Titanium White to create accents. He would draw out the crisp white paint onto his palette and pull in some other color. Then, with a quick whisk, he would curl paint onto the tip of a metal tool and start highlighting the heck out of what was already a gorgeous painting; making each tree and lake and mountaintop glimmer. As a kid, there was no art as gorgeous to me as the oil paintings I saw created each school-day afternoon on PBS; and each piece was created from a delicious palette of colors expertly applied to the canvas.

The palette of our home is made up of the area we live in, our 101-year old New England colonial house, the people and personalities that live here and an obstinate kitty named JP; as well as material items (Plexiglas soap dispenser, anyone?) and the intangible (the sense of peace that the morning light filtering through our living room windows evokes).

It is a great compliment to me for someone to be able to look at the whole of our home and determine they like the palette. It boosts my confidence in that maybe we are on the right track to creating a home that is not just filled with comfortable, sensible, quirky, beautiful, light-filled, personal things but maybe, just maybe, we are that much closer to defining our style.

What is the palette of your home?


Image source: Gregory's paint and flooring

2 Responses to “Painting a Happy Little Home”

  1. kathrynzj Says:
    August 11th, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Great post. Our home is very much a work in progress. We are landlocked, love the beach, but don't want the palette of our home to be flotsam and jetsam.  

  2. Brenna Says:
    August 16th, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    My husband and I took forever to choose the color for the main area of our home. It's one open space and small, so we wanted it to be uniform. I kept choosing shades of green. We ended up with a muted gray/blue that I love, and that he continues to insist is a shade of green. The rest of the house are similarly muted shades of gold, rust and tan.