Didn’t you grow up thinking empty nesters were old? You don’t feel old. Yet, here it is. The funniest thing is, you have a sudden desire to feather your nest, and it’s just as strong of a desire as when you first brought your baby bundles home. Years ago you spent hours in their rooms before the Big Event, in order to prepare: sanding the dresser, painting it white, and then choosing a crib, (white with slats) bed sheets, baby bumpers, and a bassinette (white wicker, on wheels)…and folding the tiny baby clothes and putting them away in the lined drawers.
Now, you are suddenly seized with an instinct to:
1. Pack everything up in a POD in the driveway and refinish the floors (aren’t there special vacuums now that spew all the dust out?)
2. Clean all of the carpets. (You have spilled way so much more stuff than the dog).
3. Repaint every surface of the house, in some calm Ben Moore creams and beiges such as linen and muslin (basically… “brown,” as your husband calls it. He has a point. You actually think that the ‘new black’ should now be called the new brown.)
4. Clean out the toy closet–just today you found 1, 254 legos, 3 wrecked monster trucks, a pack of broken sidewalk chalk, a broken badminton racquet, a potato gun (with a wee bit of skin still inside), and a deflated volleyball from the 90’s. It’s time. You need to go buy a huge plastic tub at Target to store favorite childhood books and toys for your future grandchildren, to join the sacrosanct vault where you have stored the American Girls dolls in the attic.
5. Renovate the kitchen. Strip that 1980’s wallpaper and glaze the walls (in a creamy-beige, not really brown…necessarily). Update the kiddie stools to a French country look. Replace old brass hardware with a satin nickel. Replace bright blue backsplash with tumbled marble, subway-size tile. Replace old stove, oven and fridge with streamlined stainless Vikings. Replace white Corian with dark limestone–this is getting more expensive by the minute. (Note to self, start saving now). Maybe just for now you can just open the kitchen window and air it out a bit, in order to refresh.
6. Hang things. You’ve lived in this house 23 years and have never finished hanging artwork and photos–the day has come! You also want to find a “photo wall” and frame family pics, even though that means sorting through shoeboxes of photos up in the attic…hmmm, it may be time to clean the attic, too. (There are actual living, breathing word processors up there–scary). Next post.
7. Clean out our old files (yuck) and buy another filing cabinet. Can anyone recommend a nice-looking one? You’ve been searching online at Horchow sales, Crate and Barrel and the like. Your work files are inundating the house.
8. Call consultants to help reconfigure. There is a new breed now called the ‘re-designer’ who comes and helps you, ‘shop your house’–rearranging and using items you already own, and therefore saving boatloads from buying new decor…(is there a re-designer for girls’ rooms?)
9. Spiff up the rooms by throwing a new slipcover over a sofa or some chairs, and adding pillows…in some neutrals. (Like your favorite Nina Campbell fabric). Women love throw-pillows–absolute hands-down least expensive way to update and change out any room, bar none. Men don’t particularly care about throw pillows, unless as a neck-roll to watch Sports Center. And as young men, they enjoy throwing them, hence the name.
10. Okay, you’re getting tired of self-improvement projects, and getting sick of brown. How about sitting on the porch for a minute after work. Whoops, then you see the yard needs weeding and windows need washing… the Domino effect. You’ll tackle one at a time. Just hanging out on the front porch sounds fine for now–you can leave the door open and just air out the house and refresh. As Barefoot Contessa says, “How easy is that?”
© ReelingintheYears, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given toReelingintheYears with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.