In the extreme highs and lows of moving into a new apartment (see “Apartment Search in three parts”) there is always that glimmer of success at the end of the grueling search and move; decorating.
I moved into my apartment almost 2 months ago and still I stare at blank walls at night. Although, thanks to my roommate’s creative talent (you will see her work showcased at the Lincoln Park art fair in September!) our kitchen and living room look put together and cozy with her painting on the wall and color coordinating rugs and furniture. But my room has become somewhat of a burden with its eggshell bare walls and exposed holes in the plaster from the last resident. The task of decorating my room has become so daunting that my brain hurts if I look at paint samples on the Sherwin-Williams website too long and have had to stop myself from surfing the pages and pages of decorating ideas on HGTV.com.
In the past 5 years I have changed rooms so many times, it always seemed like more work then it was worth to paint it any color other then the off white it came with. I found various ways to cover it, with magazine cut outs and posters, but never a permanent stamp of life. After I moved out of my home in RO, one tearful trip home showed me that my bedroom had become a guest room with a splash of my childhood in the pictures and MSU decals scattered around. I have accepted that that will forever be my room and my home, but it was finally time to create my own safe haven. I have loved the fact that my life in the past 5 years has taken me to so many different places that I haven’t had time to settle down with a bedroom long enough to call it my own. I would have it no other way. But now that I am starting to settle my life (as settled as a 23 year old who isn’t ready to settle can be.) I am ready to start this next step in the confines of a room that mirrors myself and my potential.
So with all that said, you can understand the stress of trying to plan a room around such lofty expectations and desires. I want something bright and colorful, I want lots of art and pictures on the walls, I want lamps and pillows. Lamps and pillows are easy when you are a constant fixture in the clearance apartment section of Urban Outfitters. Art.com and the gift shop of the Chicago Museum of Art will be perfect for my Andy Warhol prints and Beatles posters. But the color of the room has become the biggest decision. My favorite color is purple and I would love to finally have that color coat all the walls around me. But unfortunately the confines of practicality limit my limitless dream of the perfect room. What about when I DO have to move in 2 years, how many hundreds of coats of paint is it going to take to cover that lovely deep velvet purple? I have to run my paint choice by my landlord as well. And, although she is a great 30 year old that I know would embrace the boldness, I am still hesitant to ask. My biggest problem with color choices is that I have no idea what I am going to get until the room is done. I might pick some dramatic eggplant purple that I would love if I saw on a dress, but then after I see 6 gallons of it on my wall, might lose myself in the Harlequin brothel of it all (which is debatable whether that is a good or bad thing…..)
I found this handy little application on Behr.com to help people like me that need a visual before I will commit to anything. Its called Color Smart and for $4.95/year (which I will promptly cancel after using) you can upload a picture of your room and preview what colors will look like against your funiture and bedspread. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but when I inevitably do, I will let you know how it goes. It could be just what I need to help me commit to a colorful future. (I should be getting a commission from Behr for this!)