Wednesday, June 18, 2008

stony rubbish

...what branches grow
 Out of this stony rubbish?

TS Eliot, The Waste Land, 19-20.

This is a confessional post.  The work on my front yard has begun.  My design nightmares are before me In front of me, really.  We've done so much work on our house over the past year, and I've spent much of it almost paralyzed with fear that I would pick the wrong thing, spend way too much money on it, and then hate it and be stuck with as it mocked me day after day.

I had a close call with the new front door, but I love it now.  Sunlight streams in through leaded glass.  The kitchen is great, I'm glad I held out for just the right light fixture.  The bathrooms are all vastly improved, and the new closet in my bedroom makes me feel very indulged and organized.   None of it is really that great or unusual, but it's a big improvement, and I'm really happy with it.  I thought I was home free.

Alas, on to the outside.  The house is blue.  I've never liked it, but lived with it for 12 years.  The shutters are brown.  never liked that either, but lived with it for 12 years.  The trim is white.  OK.

In the remodeling, the front of the house changed, but we did not plan to change the siding.  It would be hard to match 12 -year old vinyl siding, so I decided to create a stone accent on the front of the house.  That might not have been so bad, but the stone I picked (by mistake) is very dark gray.  way too stark.  So, now I have a blue house, brown shutters (half of them missing from the renovation work) white trim, gray and black stone, a tan brick chimney, and a light gray stone front walk.  It's horrible.  I've gotten bids to put new siding on the house, but what color goes with grays and tans?  And I didn't plan for that expense, so my husband is NOT happy.  I'd post a picture, but it's too sad.  (picture now posted above . . .)

And I haven't even mentioned the exterior of the front door.  It's electric blue.  Electric Blue.  That, at least, is relatively easy to change, but the rest has me close to design despair.  I could be the poster child for some as-yet un-invented HGTV makeover show.  What Not To Do, perhaps it could be called.

In my heart of hearts I was counting on the landscaping part of the project to come magically to the rescue.  I know that doesn't make sense, but at least I could pretend to the neighbors that we weren't really "done" yet, and that this sad state of mis-matchedness was temporary.

Oh me.  To top it off, I hear my mother's voice in my head saying, "Nina, if that's your biggest worry, then just stop whining, fix the problem, and move on to something a little more important."


Andrea Rusin said...

You'll be fine. You crafted a gorgeous kitchen and a spectacular bathroom. You can do this.

Wanna borrow my mantra? It's all evolution. You don't have to do everything now. Just do something.

And I do want to see a picture of this front door. You've been talking about it for a while now. it can't be THAT bad.

Andrea said...

OK,first off.... sometimes your mother's voice in your head just needs to be turned off. Even when she's right.

Now, this is not as dire as you fear. Taking the shutters off eliminates the dark brown, but with nothing the windows might look a little bleak. What about white shutters? You seem to like the white trim well enough. Would that help? It's certainly cheaper than new siding. (I suppose, anyway.)

And as for the door, navy blue would be handsome and less evocative of...oh... the recycling bucket. (I know you didn't choose the color, so I felt safe saying that!) Or you know what? Find a good blue that you like for the door and then get the shutters to match. I really do think it's the dark brown that's throwing you off.

Nina said...

I'll try that. maybe tomorrow I'll go to the paint store and see,
And sadly, I did choose the color for the front door, but I knew as soon as I opened the can that it would be bad.

it's only paint, it's only paint, it's only paint . . . .