Masculine vs. feminine

So we’re still busy moving Spencer into his new home in a neighboring town, but things are definitely coming along! Elevator or no elevator, the boxes are stacking up in the living room, the kitchen is stocked and the fridge is no longer emptied of anything but cherries, wine and Pepsi Max.

And now comes the fun part. While I fully recognize that this is Spencer’s house and Spencer’s stuff, I’m the girlfriend who enjoys prancing over and decorating. I’ve never had a blank palate with which to work or my “own” space outside of my bedroom. That might be why I’m so obsessed with decorating my office — choosing artwork and furniture; spicing it up just so. It’s mine.

Spence has been very good-natured about letting me organize things. While I would never be so bold as to wantonly stick stuff where I would want it, he hasn’t been micro-managing where I put every little fork or pair of scissors or shirt. It’s been a collaboration. And I’m trying to remember that Spencer is:

a) A man; it’s one of the things I like most about him.
b) Not interested in anything pink;
c) A man; and
d) A man.

Also, that he is living there full-time and will thus be subject to my whims . . . and I will not.


I’m being good. I’ve resisted the urge to order every print from this Etsy shop and paper the walls with them (though I’m in love with everything there, especially this). The only pink item in the condo right now is a cherry blossom soap dispenser, and I’m not going to lie — I love it. The fresh scent. The girlie bottle. Everything.

I’m terrible.

And I’ve decided that, rather than subject my sweet guy to my eclectic decorating fancies, I’m going to have one pet project: the guest bathroom.

Not the main bathroom, I should note. Not Spencer’s bathroom. But the secondary bathroom, the one reserved for visitors and, you know, me.

That will be my baby.

I will not do anything pink or feminine or crazy. I will not put a vase of fake flowers on the counter. I will stick to neutrals with punches of color and I will not, under any circumstances, put something that my boyfriend hates in my boyfriend’s own condo.

But other than that? Well, I’m going for it.

And we have a blank slate. The tile is light brown with a faux marble finish; the walls are a very light beige, almost white, so compatible with just about anything. The cabinets are a dark maple (see photo). I’d like to stick in the brown/cream range with an accent color — maybe red? turquoise? blue? I haven’t decided. I think I’m waiting for the right shower curtain to appear in my life, introduce itself and then hop into my cart at Target.

We were there on Sunday evening after a long, hot day of moving boxes and furniture with our friend, Eric. Spence pushed the cart as we wandered through the bathroom fixtures area, taking note of the different patterns and textures (and price tags). Everything that caught my eye — because it was pretty; because it was feminine; because it was unique — was not something that pleased my boyfriend.

I’ve never had to marry styles before. I’ve never dated a man who had his own place before. And, more than anything, I’ve never been instrumental in the establishment of a home before, so this is all totally new to me.

And I don’t want to think this is totally masculine vs. feminine. I would like to believe that I’m evolved enough to enjoy a tastefully decorated room even if it hasn’t been dipped in pastels or bright colors, florals or a fleur-de-lis. Though I know Spence would never go for a neon-pink bathroom, it’s not like I would really want that, either.

But I want this to be awesome. Classy and simple but lovely and put-together. I want it to be a grown-up, uncluttered and adult space.

Yes, I realize it’s just a bathroom. And it’s not like I’m being tested on any of this.

So why does it feel like such a paramount decision? Why am I spending so much time looking at shower curtains and minute details that, in the grand scheme of things, are probably not a big deal?

Because I like projects, I think. And because I love him. And because I want this space to feel like home.

So my search continues.

Hey — seen any cool shower curtains lately?

Beginning to look like Christmas… at work!

Kelly and I — our office’s “spirit elves,” if you will — had some helping dragging all of the Christmas decorations down from the recesses of our building last week. It took a few hours of slave labor but — hey! — our holiday tree is up! And it looks pretty nice, if I may say so. I have several scratches up and down my arms from wrestling with our lovely faux tree, but I’ll wearing them proudly as battle scars.


And we have an adorable snowman guy here too,
complete with Buffalo snow
(or pillow stuffing, call it what you will):


And, because I’m such a serious lover of all things pink, I present to you my infamous Bright Pink Christmas Tree: