Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Decorating the dressy pantry

I can't believe what I'm about to say.  I'm going shabby chic...but it's not by choice.  I have nothing against shabby chic/country/cottage style, it's just not really me and not something I ever thought of using in my own house.

In a bizarre twist of fate, I now find myself with almost 3000 square feet of pastel pink, blue and green flowers to deal with.  Fortunately, the colors and the flowers are confined to the kitchen and two bathrooms, but since the house has an open floor plan, I need to make sure everything flows.

I could deal with the pastel colors a lot easier than the floral wallpaper but I've got both to contend with so I'm trying to make peace with them.  My own style is very eclectic but leans more toward Contemporary Asian or Mediterranean with bold colors and geometric shapes.  I mean it would lean more toward that way if I ever actually bothered to decorate my house.  Which I don't.  I just talk about it a lot.  Now I'm going to talk about my new style which I think I will call Eclectic Contemporary Cottage.

You can see my style reflected in some of my doodles.  I like thick, bold lines and strong color.  There are no tiny little pink roses on a white background.  That's because I don't like tiny little pink roses on a white background.  Now I have a house full of them and it's a rental so I can't change them.  But...it's a rental that we might want to buy later on so I need to work with what I've got for the time being.  I can do this.  I can flex.  This doesn't mean I have to have a house full of ducks and quilts, right?  Right??!!??

Since I've been housebound while recovering from surgery, I've been using my time to search the internet for some decorating ideas on how I can work with my new color palette and style without gagging.  From what I've seen, all I need to do is paint everything white.  I can do that.  Then I can throw in some chocolate brown to offset the pastels.  That'll work, right?  It took some digging, but I think I've found a few ideas I can live with.

Check out this mason jar chandelier from The Stories From A To Z.  I like that.  I can live with that. Anthropologie has used mason jars in some of their displays so that makes mason jars cool.

Then I ran across this pantry makeover at House of Smiths.  Decorating the pantry is not real high on my list of priorities, but I couldn't get over how much time and effort she put into hers.  Don't get me wrong, it looks great, but what I want to know is...where in the heck is all her food???  You can't tell me that everything in the before picture is also in the after picture.  I read her post a little more carefully and found that she has a separate pantry for all her bulk items and food they don't use every week.  So this is just the show pantry.  The dressy pantry, as opposed to the casual pantry.  I know...I'm making fun of her because I'm jealous.  I wish I had a ginormous canister of vanilla whey, too.

This living room is actually pretty tolerable.  The pastels are kept to a minimum and there's plenty of white but the textured rug gives the room warmth.  I could sit in there.

I could NOT sit in this dining room, not for very long anyway.  It is the perfect example of what I want to avoid.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with it, it's just too...sweet.  I am not sweet.  My family is not sweet.  We are sarcastic and we require a dining room that reflects that.  You could probably get a delicious pineapple upside down cake in this dining room.  In my dining it's a fight to the death to see who gets the last row of Oreos in the package.
This bedroom from Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic isn't too bad.  I'm not crazy about the tufted headboard but overall it's okay.  Most of the other pictures on her website caused me to go snow blind, however I did run across these colorful vases that I actually love.

Brandywine Boutique has an entire shabby chic studio full of shabby chic stuff.  Even though it isn't a style that I like, I can certainly appreciate how well done this is.

I can get all over mismatched bookcases like these I spotted over at Apartment Therapy.

So that's the plan.  If anyone has any old furniture that I can paint white, just let me know.  I might take it off your hands.  I haven't told Jayson yet but I'm going to paint our dining room furniture white.  This is a picture of our china hutch.  It has a matching table with 2 leaves, 6 chairs, and a matching grandfather clock.  They all have beautiful burl wood detailing and very traditional styling.  And I hate every piece of it.  Not that I'm not grateful for it, I am.  The whole set was given to us by my Dad's old girlfriend who didn't want it anymore because it reminded her of her ex-husband.  I didn't want her to be traumatized by her furniture so I offered to take it off her hands as a favor to her.  I'm just self-sacrificing that way.

I think it would look great if I painted the table white and maybe paint the hutch a pale blue and put an antique glaze on it.  I might just have to sell the grandfather clock since I don't think it would be a very good idea to paint it and if my clock repair guy knew I was even considering it, he would hurt me...psychologically, not physically.  Very few people intimidate me but he is one of them.  When I took my watch in to be repaired he told me that it was a dressy watch and I shouldn't be wearing it every day because that's why it quit working.  The humidity got inside and rusted some of the parts which required the whole thing to be cleaned. 

That's the second time in 25 years I've had to have that watch cleaned.  It needs a new battery once a year but other than that, I've had very few problems with it.  Mr. Clock Man acted like I was the most irresponsible watch owner he'd ever seen and I should be forbidden from even owning a watch since I obviously don't know how to take care of one.

I just don't see why I would need buy a casual watch when I have a perfectly good dressy one that I can wear every day.  That's almost as stupid has having a dressy pantry and a casual pantry. 

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