Eclectic or Quirky?

It was a quiet weekend at home. Hubby is off on a guys’ trip so it was just the cat and me. I’ve been fighting another little bug, probably picked up from grandboy Owen last week. Nothing serious, just a naggy cough and overall sluggish feeling. No one else in my family needed me for the first time in ages, so I decided to lay low and try to kick the crud. But as often happens when my better half is out of town, I got itchy to start working on some decorating projects, so between naps on the sofa I did a little fixin’ up.

I’m not sure exactly why I get this urge when he’s gone, but I can theorize. I’m totally on my own schedule. I can stay up as late as I want, stay in my pjs as long as I want, eat when I want. I don’t have to consider anyone else’s needs. Sounds quite selfish actually, but I think most married women at just about any stage of life can relate. Every once in awhile it feels good to shut the world out and be creative on your own. Plus, hubby’s not here to put a damper on my enthusiasm, not that he would do that….

This isn’t the first time I’ve been known to do this sort of thing. Two houses ago I installed some vintage shutters on the dining room walls while he was out of town. I enlisted my teenage son to help me and I can still remember him saying, “Billy is not going to be happy with you, Mom.” Surprise, surprise, it took him over a week to even clue in when he got back! Not sure what that says about the observation abilities of men, but by the time he finally commented I easily defended myself with a “you didn’t even notice!”

My attentions this weekend were on the grandboy bedroom. When we moved into this house it was a room I didn’t even have a bed for. My girlfriend, Angie Heath, came to the rescue with a trundle bed she did not currently need, but also did not want to permanently part with. Perfect! I put some bedding on it and called it a guest room, but quickly realized it was a little too girly for rough and tumble boys who were the primary occupants. The bedding had flowers and birds in the pattern. I ordered a new blue-checked set and switched them out a few weeks ago. What was the first thing almost 4-year old Caiden said? “NeaNea, where is my flower pillow? I liked my flowers.” So much for worrying about what he thought. Nevertheless, I stayed the course of continuing to man up the space a bit.

My decorating style can best be summed up as eclectic. (Some might say quirky.) I love a mix of new and old, but really have a passion for anything that’s had a previous life. We made another trip to the storage unit last weekend and unearthed a lamp I had been missing. It originally hung as a fixture in the U.S Capitol. (Billy’s father was the Assistant to the Architect of the Capitol for over 40 years.) During a refurbishment at some point years ago some lighting was replaced and he was able to acquire this gorgeous piece. It’s brass and has a patriotic feel. I decided to use it in the grandboy room. It was perfect for my idea of a quasi-nautical theme.

A trip last week to one of my favorite antique haunts, The Depot at Gibson Mills, led to some great finds. A couple of old paint-by-number boat/coastal scenes and an old model sailboat fit my theme perfectly. A beat up lifeguard skimboard was also a fun, funky catch. But by far my favorite discovery was a pop-up educational brochure about Christopher Columbus for only $12.00! Ol’ Chris has taken a beating in recent times for the scourge and slavery he brought to our shores. Please don’t think I am supporting those values, but this gorgeous depiction of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria is stunning and will hopefully fascinate the boys as much as it did me.

I’m not quite finished in there yet, but it definitely feels more like a space for little boys to sleep. I love this stage of life when I can decorate a room the way I want it and don’t have to consider the latest fad, like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bedding of my son’s youth. I’d like to think that one day my grandboys will look back fondly on my quirkiness and have appreciation for all my gently used stuff. I happen to think there is virtue in treasuring our past by recycling and/or upcycling. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be valuable. The value is in the new memories created, in the continuing story of every item. And as you know, I just love a good story.

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