I grew up in a tasteless house. It was bad.
In the 80's our 70's era shag rust was replaced with a thick, dark brown carpet. The interior of our house was repainted several times, each time in the same color, Smurf Blue. As if to attempt to blend in with the carpet, our furniture was all heavy oak wood and the walls were decorated with pictures of ships that my mom bought from the Franklin Mint.
It was horrid.
Here are a few pictures to illustrate my point.
The first is my childhood bedroom. A bit of backstory... when I was about eight, my mom tried a brief attempt at reverse psychology when she decided to stop pressuring me to clean my room. It was a bit of "You'll see, you won't be able to stand it when it gets out of control." Much to my mom's dismay, it didn't work. I didn't care if it was messy and the experiment lasted less than a week. Mom caved first.
Before making me clean it, she took pictures of the mess as an attempt to shame me. Those pictures went right into the family album, between Christmas and Easter, as a reminder of my sloth. Apparently, I should have had the sensibility to be embarrassed.
Look beyond the mess. I'm posting the picture to show our tacky brown carpet and brown furniture. It blends. It's horrid.
Here's a second picture that shows some of our living room. This was before the walls were painted the Smurf Blue. The Smurf Blue reign lasted from the very early eighties until I inherited the house in 2008.
Shown are two of the many ship pictures that decorated our home. When I inherited the house, I kept wanting to say "Shit Pictures" when talking about them, because that's how much I dislike them.
As you might expect, my taste when decorating my own home was only marginally better. For better or worse, when I moved in with my now, former husband, we agreed on how to decorate our home. We were starting out and most of our decorating was done on the cheap. We had a mix of furniture from my childhood bedroom (heavy oak bookcase, oak/brass dresser) and stuff that he acquired when he moved to California. We made up of the difference at Ikea.
I divorced and inherited my childhood home in the same year. My first order of business was to gut the house. I tore out the carpet and put in hardwood. Every inch of the kitchen was redone. Out went the dark wood cabinets and in went white ones. Everything was made lighter and more open.
I repainted, although according to some, I didn't do much better than my mom with the Smurf Blue. I painted a majority of the house a light creamy yellow. However, I had fun with the individual rooms. My master bedroom was a lavender, the master bath a pale green and the office a punchy coral. I paid homage to the smurf blue with a similar color in the downstairs bathroom.
When Dan moved in, we repainted and the contractor had a few comments. He said that the upstairs would be great at Easter time. He then offered to repaint the downstairs bathroom for free, because he felt that we might be embarrassed if we had guests.
Call if tacky, but I still stand-by my paint choices! They made me happy.
I redid my house in 2008, but I still kept most of my own furniture and I didn't put any pictures up. It looked better than the way my mom had it, but only slightly. It lacked a sense of style and was sloppy.
Dan moved in and we dumped most of my furniture. I think it looks good now, but Dan is constantly coming up with a new way to rearrange the furniture or wanting to get something new. I resist change!
Yesterday, was the first time in my life that I've been blown away by beautiful furniture. We took a trip to HD Buttercup in Culver City. HD Buttercup is a designer furniture gallery located in the historic Helms Bakery factory. It's enormous.
When I first entered the store, I was completely overwhelmed trying to process all of the cool furniture. It took us about half an hour before we reached the back of the store and fell in love.
Timothy Oulton designs the coolest furniture that I have ever seen. The rest of the furniture at HD Buttercup pales in comparison.
It is so cool, that without hesitation, I am willing to spend over two thousand dollars on a bookcase and it would be worth every penny.
Dan loved it all too. Here is the problem, all of it was so inspiring, that we can't possibly decide on how to proceed. We spoke with the Timothy Oulton gallery manager, Javier, who was incredibly nice and genuinely as excited about the art as we were. Let's make no mistake, this is not mere furniture, each piece is a work of art.
We sat on an amazing Timothy Oulton leather couch and soaked in all of the art, trying to figure out how to make it work in our home. We sat silently, Dan's gears working on floor plans and visuals. Me, wondering how many banks we can rob to buy more pieces.
Our house is simply not cool enough for the furniture. Okay, how can we come up with the money for a new house in addition to the new furniture? Sigh.
Javier gave us info sheets on all of our favorite pieces and we headed next door to Father's Office for beers and to obsess over furniture.
Here are some pictures from Oulton's Facebook page.
We are thinking of the smaller version of the wood drawers in very back of this picture. Just the drawers, not the bookshelf on top.
We absolutely loved this chair.
And this chandelier lamp.
One of my favorite pieces is this bed.
I couldn't even find pictures of some of our absolute favorite pieces. I look forward to being able to post pictures of a newly remodeled living room with some Timothy Oulton art in the future. We have big ideas and now we need to figure out how to expand our budget!
We kept saying the word aluminum repeatedly all day, that I even caught Dan pronouncing it the American way, rather than the British "Ah-Loo-Minny-Um". It was a rather sad result and I am sorry to be a bad influence.
Check out the Timothy Oulton website for more beautiful designs.