16 April 2010

Decorating With Dudes on the Premises

A number of years ago I was on one of those home renovation shows. An elderly relative was convinced the crew from Extreme Home Makeover was coming to tear down my house. The budget wasn't quite that big, but I was in my glory when the designer painted my interior lime green, teal and blue. Everywhere you looked, there was fantastical color. Mr. Dork practically had a For Sale sign on the lawn the next day. (A couple of women bought it within 24 hours, so there). Two funny things about those shows: if you see the homeowners pretending to use power tools, it's a hoax: they filmed us with our tools unplugged for insurance purposes. They could smell a klutz from a mile away. Second, the layouts you see on t.v. aren't all that practical in real life. On our show, they replaced our only sofa with three club chairs. As if. "Where are we going to make out?" I asked on camera. That part ended up on the editing room floor.

So now I'm seeing all these blogs where allegedly married women are decorating their houses with ruffly cushions, pink curtains and colorful wall decals. What gives? How have they programmed their Stepford Husbands? Will they share their secrets? I sometimes long for the days when I was a singleton homeowner. If I wanted a screaming fushia duvet cover, I got it. I've toned it down now that there are two of us sharing a dwelling. In fact, after Mr. Dork put up a hideous painting of a cougar on our livingroom wall (grrrrr!) we agreed to a moratorium on artwork. Only two other pieces are allowed: this fantastical oil painting we bought for twenty bucks in Cuba:
and anything painted by the kids.

Mr. Dork takes a lot of trips to the U.S. Whenever he's gone we have this standing agreement: he brings me back Almond Joy bars, and I do not significantly alter the house. Yeah, cause apparently he didn't appreciate the last time that I hired someone to paint our main floor white. He says our house looks like the inside of an ice cream box. Hmph.

But our house needs some significant altering. Like our dodgy oak kitchen. I Googled "Fix My Ugly Oak Kitchen" and I came up with this:
The lady owner of this kitchen is renovating an old castle in the U.K. or something and she painted her oak cabinets red. I *love* it. We only have one dinky Alaska-facing window and a non-existent budget to purchase that lovely countertop and sink, and we don't live in a castle, but still I could so see pulling this off.

Mr. Dork lacks vision.

Suggestions to sway him?


Alisonswhim said...

It's easy to sway him if he doesn't cook. You just say "I'm the one that uses this room...". But... if he does cook and truly wants to have an opinion, I suggest you sit down at the computer together and choose one you both like. Other than that, it'll just always bug him, right?
Good luck and great little story!

Resweater said...

You crack me up as always!

Mine seems to think using 2 different colored paints on the cabinets is wild... like white and off white. I am thinking more along the lines of orange & lime, but I don't want my poor hubby to have a heart attack. Lol... I may surprise him one day.

Tina said...

My tip would be to have the kids paint some pictures in the red that you would want then hang them on the cabinets. Leave them up there for a while, and see how it goes.

Kris - Funny you mention orange and lime... When we bought our house 2 years ago, the kitchen was bright orange and bright yellow. At first, I was like, "Wow, that looks so cool!" Then after about a week or two, I was a little tired of it and the fact that it didn't match the rest of the house and I couldn't figure out how to make it. Took me about 8 months before I realized the bright colors where to distract you from the dysfunctional cabinets... Finally I tore down the cabinets and painted the kitchen green. Still have no cabinets, but I like the green :)

Little Yancey Family said...

LOL! I love it. We should be friends. My husband has an extreme fear of color. He's okay with earthtones, but any real color freaks him out.

By the way, next time your hubby comes to the US tell him to bring us some Wonder Bars cause I miss those like crazy! :)

lorchick @ ON{thelaundry}LINE said...

I would suggest getting knoocked up, it has turned out to be a highly effective tool in getting what I want where home decor is concerned. I've wanted to paint our cupboards for more than a year now and hubby would never do it. Then I got knocked up and he decided it was time to get his butt in gear for home decor stuff, so he painted all our walls (BenMoore Caribou, a warm brown/beige kind of color) and suddenly our cupboards looked even worse. So he finally up and painted them white for me! He kindof hated it for a day or three but a few weeks later he's totally over it. Scooooore. He's also building me a pimped out craft room downstairs since my current one needs to become a nursery, and I got to get a gigantic beauteriffic storage system/desk for it. Sweeeeeeet!
Maybe if I'm lucky I'll be pregnant with twins and I can do our bedroom in teal and lime green. Mwahahahaha.

I think the real secret is that my hubby has doubted me a few times and we've gone through with things and they worked out great. Sloooowly he is gaining faith in me. And anything I like and he doesn't i'm like, "I'm home staring at it happily all day. You stare at it for half an hour during supper, maybe."

Lisa said...

Hmmm, mother's day is coming up. Would new red cabinets be a wonderful gift? Especially if hubby doesn't have to do any of the work!!

We have an agreement in our household. I don't make decisions about the shop and barn and he doesn't make decisions about the house.

Elizabeth B said...

Ha, the post and the comments are all hilarious! What *I* want to know is, who is that fine, fine young man up at the top of the post?? ;)

erin said...

why can you not have a fuschia bed cover?...i am allowed free reign and did in fact have pink sheets on our bed at one hubby always just said "i love waking up knowing i'm in a chick's bed!"

Petite moi said...

I had so much fun reading this post, hahahaha:o) you are too funny :D
He'll come round you'll see :)
Hugs, Erika

Attilio said...

oh way so cool. when we bought our house, we also inherited the brand new kitchen, which would have been sinful to scrap. BUT its in very dark wood and i DONT like it! so i sewed some big bright red poppy print curtains, cushions. we also changed the counter top, as they were small tiles (unhygenic, took forever to clean and couldnt roll pastry!) maybe one day we will change the cabinets or maybe the house altogether!

Posie Patchwork said...

How hilarious, i do watch those shows when they are rarely on & you can be so sure if you say you hate "organge" they'll find a weirdo childless designer who does the entire house in orange, because it makes him happy!! How can they be professional designer when i'm sure no regular client would in their right mind pay them for the horrible work. Good luck with the kitchen, love Posie

Anonymous said...

Two heads are better than one.......................................................

Cathy said...

My day doesn't feel complete until I read your blog, and today the comments made me crack up as well. No Almond Joy's in Canada? Holy cow, that's un-American...well okay I guess that's the point. Almond Joy's are my one vice, and if things are going badly, they make me happy. I have no advice as to how to get your red cabinets, but it sure looks like your other loyal followers do. I'll stay tuned, some of these suggestions may come in handy for me too, someday!

Anonymous said...

LOL! If I were you, I'd sacrifice my Almond Joy fix and paint the cabinets the next time the Darling Husband is out of town. Paint is NOT a major renovation. Moving a wall or replacing appliances is a major renovation.

I always clear the garage when my Hubby is out of town...he never, ever misses any of the junk I toss out. Weird stuff like boxes of shim strips, broken lock sets that are missing keys and tumblers, empty coffee cans that are being saved to store hardware, rags, dried out tubes of caulk and sealant...blah blah blah.

I love the red cabinets!

The Sewing Dork said...

Okay you supportive people, I'll get Mr. Dork to read all your comments, then I'll break out the red paint. Thanks for the ideas!

Mrs. M said...

Love the cuban painting.
We have one with curvy houses too but it's really bright...yellow, orange red...aren't they great?
I'm trying to convince el hubbo to go for wainscoting and a victorian screen door in place of the standard pantry door. Not getting anywhere!
Can't wait to see the progress of your upcoming new kitchen. Personally I think the red would be fabulous....happy! Think hot chili Mr. Dork.:)