Monday, February 23, 2009

The Return of Unfortunate Good Taste

A little more than a year ago, I redecorated my bedroom. In the process, I briefly toyed with a color palette best described as Excessive Good Taste. It was taupe and gold, based on a roll of fabric I had won at a charity auction years ago and never had figured how to use. Fortunately, I remembered in time that I don’t actually like Good Taste. I can admire it in the abstract, but the idea of living with something Barbara Bush would go for just failed to appeal to me. I wound up using indigo with bright orange accents. Quiet refinement it’s not.

So I still had the damn roll of fabric, lurking in a closet like a woven rebuke. Sometimes the burden of possessions is a weighty one. I felt like I needed to use it, it was there after all. Maybe in the guest room, for instance.

Over the years, we have painted all the interior of our house brilliant clear colors: cobalt, hot pink, plum. The front hall is contrasting walls of gold and red, even the laundry room is turquoise. All the rooms except the pathetic guest room. I originally picked pale green for it thinking it might be sophisticated and soothing for the frazzled nerves of our company. Instead it turned out to be something closer to Nurse Cherry Ames’ dorm room.
I’ve hated that fucking mint green for years. My one absolute decorating mistake.

This weekend, I had the brilliant idea of covering the walls with the taupe and gold Salute to Barbara Bush fabric I had rejected for my own room. It really is beautiful and luxurious fabric, I think it’s silk and cotton with a velvety nap and the repeating pattern of lotus blossoms gives it a kind of Asian feel. Beautiful stuff.

Urban Street Pirate (god love him) helped me put it up, it was a snap, a couple of hours and boom, all done. And now, voila (or walla, as someone once wrote to me in a very disturbing email) I now have a room transformed. It’s just a shame that it’s been transformed from dull to boring. Honey, if the World’s Fair is ever looking for a Pavilion of Granny’s Wallpaper, I got it ready for them. How did I forget Barbara Bush and how I feel about her as a design icon? Plus now I’m wracked with guilt over sucking the Pirate into all that hard work for a project I’m pretty sure I hate.

R Man swears he likes it, but I think that’s part of the whole for-better-or-worse thing, in this case the “or-worse” being my decorating idea. I’m leaning strongly towards ripping it all down and going back to the Cherry Ames hospital green, but first I’m going to finish the room and see if I like it better. It seems unlikely.

Anyway, I’ll post pictures later and we can all vote on it. Won’t that be jolly?


  1. As I know you've learned, it's not about good taste. It's about what tastes good!

  2. first: I kinda want to hear about "walla"

    second: I'm pretty sure Barbara Bush has a repeating pattern and velvety nap too.

  3. Well, it would be good for taking a velvety nap in.....

  4. Perhaps the Pirate would be willing to help Mr. P with the teardown if Mr. P provides some Cherry Ames Pie.

  5. That's my room, and I demand the right to see it! And Jason, I believe the "walla" to which Mr. P referred was in an email from me, talking about a new feature on a woman from east Texas who makes fruitcake. . . and who produced one at the end with a loud, east Texas accented "WALLA!" What was disturbing about that I do not know, since P didn't actually have to witness it.

  6. So go get a can of paint and PAINT over the fabric! Then you sorta have a tone-on-texture thang happening that will have all future guests exclaiming "...those gays, so creative?!"

    Or maybe just peel it down while crying into a good vodka martini.

  7. well, ronda, in her defense, when I produce a fruitcake "walla" is exactly what I yell too.

  8. Don’t fret over dubious design decisions. Look at it as another opportunity to suck the Urban Pirate.

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  10. Darling, don't toy with Ronda, she actually likes fruitcake, even the ones from Corsicana.

    My father used to send us one of the Corsicana delights every year. I still have a collection of the tins with the Alamo and cowboys on them.

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