Sunday, January 22, 2012

House-Hunting Continues

Last night, I realized that there weren't any open houses that I was even half-hearted about seeing today, and fell into a bit of a funk. That's always my cue to broaden my online search well beyond Boston. I imagine us with a horse farm in Concord, or running a bed-and-breakfast in some sprawling, decrepit mansion in Salem. I fantasize until I remember that I love Boston best and fall back into my depression.

But sometimes there are discoveries that send me to bed chuckling. Behind a prim, gray-shingled fa├žade somewhere north of Boston is this orchid and chartreuse living room:

Wire chairs are an excellent way to deter visitors. 
I count four of them in this room.

It gets better. Check out the lime-green and lavender kitchen. Those colors might be fine together in a bedroom if you're an optimist by nature and you have the right quilt. But if you mix them with granite, a red floor, and some mismatched chairs, you have all the ingredients for a nightmare. 

That's a hot tub out on the deck, but I still despair....

It's important to remember childhood wisdom even after you've grown up. For example, we all survived to adulthood because we figured out that things like Bazooka Bubblegum and Gulden's Yellow Mustard should never be mixed. Not in your mouth. Not in your sitting room: 

Note the torsos in hats, having tea. 
And I think I spot a stuffed blowfish.

And if you think the solution is to reverse the wall and trim colors because they'd be magically more appealing that way, you'd be wrong.

Is it my imagination, or are these Queen Anne chairs cowering in shame?

I'll spare you further details, but every upstairs room in this house is equally colorful. No doubt this house belongs to an artistic family who feel completely at home with these colors and have even more dramatic plans for their next abode. No doubt the rest of us simply haven't evolved to this level of color tolerance. It's very possible. Or maybe this whole family is color blind...

I'm usually the one complaining in shrewish, Maggie Smith–like tones whenever every surface in a house has been painted white to "neutralize" it, so it will supposedly sell faster. I can't begin to imagine myself living in a bright white box; I need color to bring a room to life — Manchester Tan, Shaker Beige, Revere Pewter, Green Tea... it may not be my wall color of choice, but if it warms up the room and highlights the trim, I'll begin to feel more at home. 

But in the case of this house, slapping any one of Benjamin Moore's "Favorite White Paint Colors" across its rooms would have been an act of mercy. 


  1. I think they used the same interior decorator as Upstairs on the Square!

  2. (whilst shuffling my feet and scuffing my toes). The colors in that kitchen? I had a visceral reaction. Those are the identical colors (I admit, I chose) for my bedroom during my teen years. Handmade desk by my engineer father was the limey green, and the lavender went on the walls.

    Curtains/bedding was all of a piece 70s lavender flowers with greenery combo fabric. There was also a lavender faux fur covered boudoir swivel stool that went with the lavender painted kidney-shaped vanity (matching lav/lime skirt, natch).

    I'm a bit queasy at the memory. I haven't even been able to stomach lavender sachets after that era. The only limes I can stomach go into gins and tonics.


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