The Mom has an affinity for rich colors plastered throughout the home, creating the perfect Pottery Barn scene to walk into from work. Dark Coffees, Russets, and Stormy Shades envelop the leather furniture. Add her famous pumpkin dessert and some steaming apple cider to drink during a fall open house, displaying every form of fall decoration a human could ever desire – and you have the home I grew up in. Warm colors hugged you, and I loved it. A room was, and still is a statement, for The Mom. Welcome to our home. Make yourself comfortable. Now let me light my 93 candles to provide the correct level of ambiance for our thrilling, intellectual conversation about to commence.
The Apartment does the exact opposite.
I am suffering from a severe lack of color in my life, so I’ve begun to name each of the whites I now call home. White, snow, pearl, lace, blonde, seashell, cream, and essence of coolwhip. Each wintery hue is just as anti-social as the next… forcing all color to appear minuscule – a futile attempt to take on the overbearing open. There are no hugs when it comes to eggshell. There are no apple cider sippings in a room of cotton. The Apartment just stares at you… daring you to smile. Daring you to feel at home. Daring you to commandeer the cold, institutionalized, bare, and slightly terrifying white. Daring you to see the difference from one paint swatch to another.
I have responded rashly with splashes of non-coherent color in hopes to cling to what sanity I have left. There are stark, black sheets on the bed. There is a black coffee table – a forest green loveseat. I have begun dressing in very bold and every neon imaginable and somehow managing to pull it off! I refuse to give in to white-washing!
Along with colorful bouts of acting out, I use the therapy of sitting in a Pier 1 or Ikea for inspiration. I touch all of the deep leathers, the powerful red woodwork, and the outrageously bright deck chairs. I live for the decorative owl hangings and the blown-glass vases, coasters, and napkin rings. I sit on the great barrel chairs and look to a day where I, too, will decorate with purpose. I have a dream! I dream of a day when my friends and family will turn to me and say “My, what a beautiful home you have.” I dream of a day when I can look to my children and talk of the nightmare of a ghostly world and tell them they’ll never know it as reality!
But today is not that day. I will continue to fight the good fight. For I say let color gleam from every wall hanging and every poster. Let color gleam from your sheets and your pot holders. Let color gleam! For when we let color gleam from every nook and every cranny, we stand up and proudly proclaim a house to be a home.