Decorative Domingo

I know. Cheesy post title. But we're SO multilingual over here at maison d'Hofmann (see what I just did there?).

You know how I do Twofer Tuesdays, where I get some mileage out of my Bookish blog? Yeah, well, welcome to Decorative Domingos. Charlotte, bless her heart, recites the days of the week in Spanish oh so very often, and since I'm a sucker for alliteration, Decorative Domingo sounds more spiffy to me than Decorative Sunday. And a little snarkier.

I've been on a homemaking binge. Alas, the dude to whom I'm wedded sees decorating as a rather frivolous use of money, and it's hard to make the argument that artwork or furniture or cool vintage decorations are as important as contributing to Roth IRAs or 529s. He just doesn't see the point. But retirement? Um, yeah. A bit overworked for his corporate employer, the guy really, REALLY wants to retire.

Now, I don't want to argue about why the cool painting I found at Home Goods would look super cool on a wall. Chris simply doesn't see the value. Also, I get a weird sense of pride in reworking something I already have. Prettifying what might otherwise be tossed.

I've been on a roll lately, and really, Decorative Domingo = brag posts about my decorative joy.

I love, love, love, love, love, love to decorate.

Which project to brag about first?

This one. This one took almost no time, was super fun to do, cost absolutely nothing, and has brought me an embarrassing amount of pleasure and pride.

My formal dining room, which connects to the not-yet-formal living room (I call it the Reject Room, except for the pretty piano and some legitimately decent artwork). Before dementia, my grandmother called my aesthetic "traditional," as she called her own, and as a result I have some of her end tables, a lovely foyer table, and a beautiful Cassatt painting in a gilded gold frame that I loved since I was a little girl. It depicts two little girls, a blonde and a brunette, and when young, I'd pretend that the blonde was my cousin Liesl, and the brunette was me.

But I think my aesthetic is more complicated than this. As much as I love my family room, for instance, it's kind of generic. More functional than anything else. I love the colors (duh, I picked them), all the light, the toasty fireplace, its proximity to the kitchen, its large size. But the "back" rooms--dining and formal living--are where I plan to be hopelessly fussy.

What I love is a strange mix of glitzy vintage, farmhouse chic, and traditional/colonial. What, you say? Those three don't go together?

Oh, try me.

I was at Michaels, about to spend a fortune on getting a print custom-framed (it's a long story--Chris has admitted that the end result was almost worth it to him), and I spent around 45 minutes working with the poor staff guy who was helping me. I tried to explain what I was shooting for. We were working with a country, farm-y picture. It would be traditionally frame, with glass and matting and whatever. I wanted some gold and some rustic. The guy looked at me like I was nuts. White mat and black frame? No thank you.

Finally, we had what I wanted. This:

You can't see it, which makes posting this photo almost pointless: Two outlines of gold, and a loverly matting. The gray is rustic and mimics the maiden's sleeves pretty much perfectly.

Now, that's not actually the project I wanted to write about. Although it DOES give me great joy to see it every time I come down the stairs. And it gives me hope for someday revamping the Reject Room.

No, the project is actually some dining room art. We recently bought a refurbished buffet that I LOVE. Behind it is a huge wall. At first we thought we'd put a giant mirror there, but we hadn't gotten around to it because of two factors: hassle and expense.

I started to rethink the mirror. It's kind of boring, really. Too safe. I decided I wanted to put lots of art, almost mismatched, but consistent with my colors (olives, yellows, peaches, corals, golds). In the basement, I had a good-sized canvas artwork from when we staged the DC condo for sale. It had nice olives and yellowish-gold tones, but it also had lots and lots of reds and burgundy, which I'm totally over. I do oranges, not reds. So, it was in the basement. If only it didn't have so much red, I thought. Repeatedly.

Then it dawned on me. I could just . . .  change it. So, I painted over what I didn't like. The entire last color block had been deep red with an image of ferns. I repainted it a copper-y peachy color and added some flowers. In a middle panel, some bright red flowers were cute but not what I wanted. I repainted them white-ish.

Ta dah. Chris happily hung the artwork, overjoyed that it did not cost a penny (I already had the paint!), and I was so stinkin' pleased with the result. I love looking at this part of the dining room now.

With a set table, when we had Actual Company over for dinner.

But my dining room is prettiest when it contains my family.


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