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A pretty living room can change your life

I really don't like decorating, inasmuch as one doesn't enjoy something they're not good at.  I'm bad at visualizing things, so any time I do find something that I love and that I think will look great, I end up getting it home and realizing that it doesn't fit anywhere, or the scale is wrong, or it just doesn't look the way I thought it would.  I've lived in this house for almost three years now and, other than painting in the living/dining room and kitchen (only because both were beige, and I DESPISE beige with every ounce of my being), I haven't done a thing.  And even that little bit that I did, the painting, I got tired of after about two years.

This is a three year old picture, we have much cuter chairs now.

Because I painted my living room orange.  Bright pumpkin orange.  It looked good, actually, and even the doubters admitted that they liked it, especially with the white trim.  And I liked it.  But I'm bad at accessorizing as it is, so after about a year, and after we got a new (grey) couch, I started wanting throw pillows.  Non grey ones.  Definitely non pumpkin orange ones.  And it limited me in other ways- Christmas decor, for example.  I wasn't going to use a lot of red in an orange room, so I was limited to green and gold/silver.  That got really old.  And it was kind of dark for our smallish combo living/dining room.

I've known I wanted to paint over it for a while now, but since I hate any sort of decorating it has been a struggle.  It went something like this (I wrote it in second person so you can more easily visualize my process):
  • Using super handy dandy paint chip book (really, I don't know what they're called...) that you borrowed from a friend like 5 years ago and still haven't returned, pick out a color you think you like.
  • Get to the paint store, pick a completely different color, and get a sample of that color (this is better than the first time I painted the kitchen- I didn't get samples, just jumped right in and got the pain, and ended up hating it.  Bye bye $75).
  • Go home and paint that sample on the wall in a few very conspicuous spots.  Hate it.
  • Despair for a few weeks.
  • When hope returns, go back to the paint store for some new samples.  This time come home with three different colors.
  • Hate all three colors.
  • Completely ignore the problem, including the four different colors conspicuously painted around the room, for seven months (yes folks, I started this process last April).
  • Completely by accident, find a lamp on clearance at Target that you're pretty sure came from one of their kids' decor collections, but you completely love anyway, and finally get some real inspiration.
  • Look at that lamp for two months.
  • The week after an insane trip involving a major holiday, over 100 family members, and a wedding reception that lasted well past 2 in the morning (not to mention the 10 hour drive home the next day) and BEFORE putting up Christmas decorations (which your family usually does religiously the day after Thanksgiving) decide to paint. 
  • Don't tape anything, and only use one drop cloth.
  • Cuss when you get paint on everything.  Including the couch (which was the one thing that got covered).
  • Then, when you're finally done and the room is all put together and the Christmas decorations are up, go crazy accessorizing and be all anal about keeping the room clean.
 Yep, that's pretty much how I roll.  Nothing easy.  Nothing as planned.  Everything as difficult as possible.  I'm sure there's some deep seeded psychological reason I'm this way, and I'm sure it's my mother's fault (just like it's my dad's fault my son has been absolutely beyond naughty for the last week and a half).

I still don't have any throw pillows.

But now my living/dining room is so pretty it makes my heart soar just to look at it.  It's so pretty it has inspired me to fold laundry (and for anyone who knows me, you know that's pretty serious).  It is so pretty, to me at least, that it looks like something out of a magazine.  I can't, however, get that to accurately translate to pictures because the lighting isn't great and I am not a very good photographer.  But I'm going to show you some pictures anyway.

That window is another project I'd been putting off for months- I rode the motivation of the painting and finally got it done.

 And it's weird how it has changed my mental state- before I painted I was frustrated about everything.  I didn't want to clean my house, keep up with the laundry, or do any housework at all.  But after I painted it was like a physical weight lifted off of me.  I didn't realize that a color could make one feel oppressed, but that's the best way I can describe it.  I was oppressed by the color orange, and now I am freed.

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