Reflections on Redecorating

By Jeannè Sigler
Thursday Review Contributing Editor

What is it about applying paste-up decorative border that brings out the worst in some people – namely me. Okay, I never laid claim to knowing how to decorate. Well, maybe hanging crepe paper for a birthday party, but that’s about where my home furnishing skills come to a screeching halt.

We bought our first home a little over six years ago. It was circa mid-seventies style, and although the previous owner kept it pristine, the dark panel wood, green kitchen stripes, and yellow shag carpet just was not our taste. So, little by little, my husband Michael and I decided that we’d take one room at a time, as time and money dictated.

We entered into our first project almost immediately. Being married to a chef, the kitchen was the most likely place to get started. The stripes were the first to go. Soft yellow walls with lovely Tuscany grapes accent livened things up considerably. We can do this, I thought.

Next up was the master bathroom. Now were talking tiles and plumbing. Thankfully my visiting brother-in-law had those kinds of skills, so we put him and my sister (one of those can-do-any-craft type people) to work. “Pedestal sink?” Scott remarked. “No problem. Get me a wrench.” God bless him.

With two rooms under our belts, Michael and I decided to go even more creative by painting and applying border to one of our guestrooms. Easy, peasy, I figured. We’ll go for a theme, and call this the Thomas Kincaid Room adding all kinds of lovely accents, including a pretty country cottage border.

The painting went fairly well, despite my sore arms from all the roller action. Then came the border…the demon border, that is. That’s where I almost lost it. Wet, paste, press, straighten, keep from bunching. “It’s crooked,” cried Michael. “A little higher. A little lower,” he added.

Aaargh! My mind raced. What made me think of this crazy idea? Why couldn’t I have been satisfied with paint? Who is Thomas Kincaid, anyhow? In a minute I’m going to paste someone against this wall.

After all the toil, the job was complete. I fell into my husband’s arms and apologized for my short fuse. In his forgiving manner, he patted my shoulder and said, “Come on. Let’s take another look.” Stepping back, we admired our handiwork. “It was worth it, don’t you think?” Michael asked. “Yeah, it really was.” I replied. “Can’t wait to get started on my office. You with me, Partner?” Michael enthusiastically uttered.

“I’ll check my calendar.” I answered wryly. “Hmm. I see I have an open week in 2027. Will that be soon enough?”

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