Monday, August 18, 2014

Different Strokes for Different Folks by Melinda Curtis

My son and daughter-in-law bought their first place last week.  This week, I showed up with my paint brush. I must admit, I'm known in my family for my ability to "repurpose" things (paint furniture, kitchen cabinets, create new chair covers/curtains, add new hardware to cabinetry, etc.). So I came in with the mindset that work needed to be done. I was mentally prepared for the rundown condition of the house (well, maybe not)...

But not some of their choices in paint (sponge painting a ceiling?)...

Or how they covered over their past painting/wallpaper ideas (paneling).
As I was telling my 88 year old mother about some of their choices, Mom reminded me that everyone has a different view of beautiful and a different way of dealing with stress (short-cutting cleaning or DIY efforts). She's a smart lady. She could have written some good romances if she hadn't fallen in love with another art form first.

My mom was an artist before cataracts stole her vision. When we moved into our current house in 1990, she painted tropical fish on one of our bathroom walls. Years later, Mr. Curtis is desperate to paint over those walls, but I'm going to hold onto those fish (besides, every time Mom comes to visit she rolls her walker down the hall to see if we've painted over it - she can see the bright colors and it always gives her joy).

What is it about your house that you've done (that others might find odd), but that gives you (or others) joy? Readers who post will be randomly selected to win an autographed copy of either Summer Kisses or Season of Change. Increase your chances to win by sharing this post #romanceauthorDIY

30 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this post, Melinda. I wish I WAS good at repurposing but I'm not. My different choice is that my office is painted two different shades of orange. He tries not to, but I think my husband flinches every time he comes in.

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    1. Liz, it clearly helps your creativity! Did you paint those walls?

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    2. No, he painted them (I'm slapdash--he can't stand the way I do anything like that), but hated it the whole time. And let me add my vote for the fish staying--I love them too!

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  2. I'm horrible at repurposing, too. Hey, Liz, I did the living room, two walls creme and two walls mustard.

    My husband is great at repurposing and has learned not to ask my opinion unless he really wants to. He's still rolling his eyes because I wanted saloon doors separating the great room from the laundry room.

    Oh, and if you're following me on Facebook, kitchen remodel, you should have seen me fight for a corner cabinet.

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    1. I'm impressed, Mel. We could use you here! Our home was built in 1906 and remains a bulwark of secure construction, but nothing is really square and we're on a hill with a significant grade. In some rooms we have the original plaster (not wallboard) and cracks we've patched continue to reappear. Fortunately, I'm married to a painter and can cover any size or shape with framed original artwork! Our poor old house is so flawed, but I love it. Bless you, Mel, for keeping the fish.

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    2. Been enjoying your FB reno posts Pamela!

      Muriel, I married the son of a drywall contractor (my fil is always renovating their home). I had to work to keep up with his skills.

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  3. Well, I haven't painted anything orange or mustard, but when I gutted half of my house, most people thought I was crazy for not just selling and buying a house that I liked better. But I love my neighborhood and my neighbors and I'm glad I did it, even if I thought the two months or renovation would kill me. :-) Now if I just had the bathrooms behind me.

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    1. Yay, Patricia! It's funny how my hall bathroom is only half done, but Mr. Curtis was intent upon finishing my son's bathroom Saturday. (sigh)

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  4. Nothing special about my home, but I love your story about the fish - I would never let anyone touch them!!

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    1. Hey, Robin,
      You can see a picture of the fish on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MelindaCurtisAuthor/photos/a.169478513230408.1073741830.151051101739816/306255486219376/?type=1&theater

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  5. Mel, it's great you are keeping the fish. Denny came from a family of diy'ers. Our first house we cleared the land and built much of the house. Added on where Denny and pals cut down through one wall and moved it out 18 feet to where we'd poured a concrete slab. We added arches and a circular drive. Did the landscaping. The next house we redid almost every room. Denny traveled a lot with his job and he came home one weekend to find I'd ripped out carpet from livingroom, diningroom and bedrooms and had it and the pad all piled in the garage. Our 3rd house we did the same. Total makeover. I wish I had the money we spent, but maybe I do. After he passed away and it was too much for me to take care of, I sold it for a good profit and bought a townhome that needs almost no work. Although I would like to put up a backsplash in the kitchen. I like those glass tiles. This kitchen doesn't lend itself to a cut-off place, but I keep measuring and thinking...

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    1. Roz, I'm sensing a theme among the authors posting - we're either "fixers" or we "live with it". LOL. I'll come by and help you with that backsplash.

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  6. Mel, so funny about your ideas and expectations for the house vs. your son and daughter in law's. I am pretty good at making things work, too. It's difficult for me to get rid of something if it's still useful--I like that term "repurposing" LOL.

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    1. Carol, I stole "repurposing" from Nicole Curtis/Rehab Addict.

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  7. Long live the fish!! Definitely looks like you have your hands full with this project, Mel. :) I think the riskiest thing I've done is leave my house alone...yeah, I'll go with that. Aside from some tile replacement, it's the same as when we moved in in 1986. I'm thinking it's time for some improvements...wanna help? :))

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    1. Anna, I'll help you if you read my pages...oh, you already do that! Call me.

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  8. I love the fish, Melinda. I'm glad you're keeping them!

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    1. Thanks, Kate! James Cameron of DIY Network favorite one of my tweets about this. Love his biceps! Oh, and the work he does with yards and homes.

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  9. I leave all the painting to my husband. He's the DIY person in our house. I don't have the patience for painting. I have it for many things but not that! Good luck and have fun :)

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    1. Hey, Amy,
      I've seen your calendar (Mom's Taxi service). You're allowed to let the man pick up that slack.

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  10. Oh M el I'm so glad you've kept the fishes for your mum. My mother would have been 88now too and I still miss her every day.

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  11. I think my answer to your question is what I haven't done - painted over the existing color of the tub - it's robin egg blue! I would still change out the wall paneling - it's faux marble-looking, but I've come to love the tub. It's different. Quirky. Like me *grin*

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  12. I can't say I'm a fixer, but my stepdad is. He's anxious for me to buy a house so he can have projects to do :)

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  13. I have zero talent at being crafty and at DIY projects. That gene hit my mom but skipped me. :) But I like hearing what other people do! Keep those tropical fish in the bathroom as long as you can. :D

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  14. Hi. I finally found and bookmarked the blog. I liked your post about "repurposing." It also spoke to me about different generations of family members coming together and helping each other. When my parents moved into their first house, my grandmother insisted on buying white paint from Sears for them because she loved it and it served her well. There's always a renovation project at our house, but my wonderful hubby painted our master while I was at RWA in San Antonio. So it was nice coming home to a fresh new color.

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  15. I grew up in a house with a bathroom wall painted with an underwater mural. I loved going in there as a kid. It felt so magical. My father is an oil painter, though he didn't paint the fish. Still, we never changed it because it gave so much character to the house. As for my current home, one thing I love is a skylight over a garden tub. I have purple tiles around it and it's very feminine and was the one place, when we built it, where I got to have a complete say in it :)

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  16. Mel, I'm a fellow DIY person/fixer and our designated painter at home. I love this post! Your fish bathroom brought back memories because I painted fish in my kids' bathroom at our last house. My kids loved it, but it wasn't to the taste of our buyers, so I had to paint over it all for them.

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  17. The only power tool I'm comfortable with is a sewing machine. I can work wonders with a hot glue gun, and I can sling some paint (but don't make me do the ceiling. I hate when paint drips on me. A lot.) Definitely keep the fish. My mom painted on canvases. I have some of the things she hid in a closet and have them hung on my wall. I think she'd have something to say about that, but they make me happy!

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