Baby Steps

According to the magnolia tree in front of my house, winter in the East Bay is OVER. And unfortunately for us, only a couple days ago did I take the first step in the gargantuan project that I SWORE I would tackle over said winter:

“Decorate the house.”

I don’t really know all that “decorate” encapsulated, really, but I think I THOUGHT I would get more done than I OBVIOUSLY have.

Here’s what I did get done:



I bought a rug.

This seems small to you, sure. But to me, this goddamn rug if the lynchpin in EVERY OTHER DECISION TO BE MADE ABOUT THIS ENTIRE HOUSE.

Literally, this entire house.

It’s an open floorplan, after all. It’s not like you can’t SEE the f#@%ing rug from every nook and cranny of the first floor. It’s in a sight line to every work of art on every wall, with light from every window hitting it, picking up every paint hue.



The good thing is, I like it. I really like it.

The bad thing is, I am no closer to completing “decorate the house.” Instead, I now have approximately eleventy hundred and seventy-two new décor-related questions, including, but not limited to:

  1. Can an anal-retentive like me really deal with a predominantly white rug at the top of the stairs, or should I re-orient ASAP?
  2. Should we switch the entire upper floor paint color to gray, or is that too matchy-matchy?
  3. Should the Louis XV chairs be reupholstered in white, or will white get too dirty (anal-retentive!), or be too hard to match?
  4. Whatever I decide, should the ladderback cushions match the Louis XV upholstery, or should they be complementary?
  6. Anyone need an all-wool red and yellow checked runner?





PS — I got it at West Elm, if you’re curious.


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10 thoughts on “Baby Steps

  1. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    You are over thinking this. Of course, you certainly did NOT get the “decorator gene” from me. My house is composed of leftover furniture from dead people’s estates. And I am sitting on a couch that belongs to my landlord. Allow me to say that the photos show a home that is warm, inviting, and full of just enough color and light and shape to make it comfortable and easy on the eye. Enough said? Now go have fun with this and don’t stress too much. Love, MI Mom

  2. CA Mom says:

    Love the RUG… very nice!!! Don’t worry about dirt – if you’re afraid of the white background; go purchase a can or two of Scotch Guard and spray the hell out of it and let it dry good before returning it to the floor. I’d hang it on the rail on the patio to spray it! That will keep the dirt on top and you should be able to vacumn it and keep it white!

    Okay … yes the chair cushions & upholsry on the Louis XV chairs should be the same. They live together and since they are so different in style have some “alikeness”. I would use the “grey” tone in the center of the yellow flower on the rug and look for a linen style fabric with some texture but a solid. The grey textured linen will not show stains and you already have pattern in the rug. The yellow flower brings in the tone of the wood in the chairs and all will look co-ordinated!

    Basics when adding color to an area the rule of decorating is to use 60% of your neutral (yellow-tone in wood floor, chairs, flower), 30% of a 2nd color (Grey – walls, chair cushions) and 10% of a POP color – which can be WHITE which is on the wood above but is pretty boring or try a more vibrant YELLOW/ORANGE or a vivid GREEN which would compliment the living room wall color and brings the 2 area together as one.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!! 🙂 CA MOM

  3. CA Mom says:

    Okay… I was thinking… how about TANGERINE… for your pop of color. Your an orange gal and TANGERINE is the latest decorator color- it should also pick up the shade in your leather chair in the corner!
    – Check out these pillows for color — one actually has “grey” in as a background. 🙂 — Okay I’m done – I promise!

  4. Ali says:

    Try this cool tool: You can upload a picture of your room or something you find inspirational (like yosemite or whatever) and it’ll tell you the shades they are and the ones that are similar or complimentary. From there you can then start picking up stuff that’s in those colors. Trent may be able to do something similar too with his graphic design background. Then decorating is all about that random thing you found at an antique store in the middle of nowhere that you knew was in the right colors but would never had been able to purposely pick out.

    Also, pinterest is awesome for this stuff but you may need a fb to login from….

  5. […] before saying goodbye to a winter of luxuriously relaxing tasks like obsessively shopping for rugs online in favor of a return to manual labor, I felt the need to go to San Diego and spend a weekend eating […]

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