The story we’re painting together

Paint samples


Buying paint is such a grown-up thing to do.

And six months from being a married woman, I’m starting to feel like one.

I don’t know why it’s taken so long for us to slap some color on the walls. Spencer became a homeowner almost two years ago, and we were both pumped to decorate his space. It was a blank canvas — literally. White walls, beige carpet. Nothing but empty space to fill, fill, fill.

But the options were overwhelming. Since we could do anything with the kitchen and living room and hallways, the options were too much. And I have no real clue about interior design. For years I was actually afraid to really make any bold moves in the house, nervous about stepping on Spence’s toes as The Girlfriend who didn’t, you know, live there. How could I decide what he should have to look at when I was only there half the time? It didn’t seem fair.

That being said, that was all firmly in my head. Spencer never gave me anything but free reign to help design and decorate his home into a very “us” space — even before we were engaged. But now that we’re six months out from the wedding, I feel the earth shifting. I’m moving in soon. And we’re trying to get things organized before that happens.

In addition to redesigning the master closet to accommodate my avalanche of clothes and shoes and bags (that should be nice and scary), we’re finally sprucing things up. Hanging prints and photos. Dusting. Vacuuming the nooks and crannies. Going through old boxes. We went through the bedroom and closet on Sunday, getting rid of the detritus that tends to accumulate, and it felt so nice and productive. We opened the windows, got a trash bag and began sorting and throwing out and organizing.

I do like to be organized.

So that’s one little corner down. After procuring the Borders bookcases two years ago, our work around the living room came to a stop. We did quite a bit of reorganization after Christmas, moving decorations and ornaments to a hall closet, but haven’t done much of a purge since then.

Spence jokes I’m moving in one garbage bag at a time, and that’s not entirely untrue. I bring something with me every time I come over. Lately I’ve been sorting through my clothes at home, donating older items to charity and bagging up the out-of-season clothes to bring to Spencer’s. I’ve already moved several trash bags full of sweaters and hoodies, plus all of my work-out clothes (Lord knows I barely use them). I’ve also dragged all of my winter coats and jackets over and hung them with Spence’s in the hall closet.

Moving is weird. I still live at home. I never moved out, not even for college, and as a 27-year-old woman with a lifetime of memories in one childhood bedroom? Well, it’s strange. It’s hard. I’ve moved beyond fear at the idea of leaving to excitement at the prospect of sharing a home with my guy, but it’s still going to be odd to live full-time in another town.

Hmm.

But not going to dwell on that. Let’s talk about paint! After years of staring at white walls, Spence and I finally made a plunge last weekend. We decided the living room was in need of an accent wall — and since we were juuuuust getting started with this whole color thing, it seemed like the logical place to begin.

We motored over to check out paint at a home improvement store, the first time I’ve ever been excited to hang out in one, and grabbed swatches in varying hues. We finally narrowed our choices down to three and bought samples, which came in cute little containers. Our living room is mostly green, brown and taupe, so we were looking for something earthy but bold to complement the palette we have going on right now.

So we chose red, naturally!


Spencer painting


It sounds weird, I know, but stick with me. Though Spence and I may not have identical tastes in decor, we’re both suckers for red (our primary wedding color, in fact). We brought home samples in deep purple, an olive-toned brown and this unusual, bold red hue . . . and after Spence painted swatches on the wall, we agreed immediately that red was it.

Plus, as an added bonus? The red will totally complement our postcard pillows. Visiting Spence’s family in New York last summer, I stumbled upon fabric featuring vintage postcards in a quilting shop. I fell in love instantly, of course, but had no clue what I would do with said fabric. My lovely soon-to-be mother-in-law is a talented quilter and certainly no slouch with a sewing machine, so she kindly made pillows out of the fabric when she came to visit at Thanksgiving. I am in love with them. And they’re beige, green . . . and red!


Postcard pillows


Are we strange enough to match an accent wall to a collection of pillows? Maybe. But in all honesty, I just think the red looks really cool. We’ll officially convert the wall to red later this week, and I’m enjoying the little splash of color in the meantime.

You know, I was terrified when Spence first dipped his brush into the paint — afraid of the enormity of bright red on a white wall. It was so permanent. And scary. But once it was done, decided and begun, it was invigorating. It’s the second life of his home — our home. We’re ushering in a new chapter, scrawling the rest of the story . . . the one we’re writing together.

Or painting together.


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9 thoughts on “The story we’re painting together

  1. My husband would give you the double fist pump on the red. He ALWAYS goes for a red accent, and I happen to agree with him (although I give him so much razzing over it because that is the only accent color he wants…in any room). I just have to say that all your preparations are so damn cute. You make me smile.

  2. You are so lucky to have a home to decorate! I’m kinda bummed that we will have all this fun wedding stuff and it will get stuffed into a tiny apartment and probably unused for years. BOO!

    I absolutely LOVE the red. Gorgeous.

  3. This is all very exciting! Pretty soon you’re gong to have to stop calling that “Spencer’s place!” It will feel like home to you in no time!!

  4. Ahh, I LOVE red! We had a red living room for years. We’ve moved on now to a pretty shade of blue but I’ll never forget those red walls!

  5. This is all so wonderful. Have fun decorating. Those pillows are really lovely! I would have matched a wall to them too. I hope you’ll keep us all posted on the outcome : )

  6. In all honesty, we’ve owned our house for probably five years and just got around to painting the living room this year. I always pick the colors though. If it were up to my husband it would all be beige. Matching pillows seem perfectly reasonable to me. I tend to match colors to photos or pictures I refuse to part with.

  7. I love red!! We have a red accent wall in our dining room. I love when you share about your plans for your new home and life!!

  8. That is going to look fantastic! I lived in a lot of appointments before and after college, but I didn’t get a house until the Huz and I got married and bought one in 2009. It was the very first time I felt like I really had a “home” since childhood. It was so much fun to decorate and paint and make it our own. Have fun!

  9. Love is a fantastic color to make a room lively! I’m sure it would look great!
    It’s funny, I’ve spotted some very similar fabric to make pillows for our new place. I haven’t gotten it yet but it’s tempting! Decorating is so fun :)

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