Remodeling for the rest of us

I hate looking at design idea books. Oh sure, they’re nice for oooohing and aaaaahing over, or mentally collecting names of products you’d like to use (but can’t afford), but they’re just impractical for someone like me. Y’know, someone who has cabinetry from Sears with early American hardware. It’s hard to design a look around that, if you know what I mean.

Someone really needs to publish a book for the rest of us. Something entitled “People Who Have 1950s Home That Have Been Desecrated Beyond Recognition — A Tale of Hope.” The pages would be filled with homes that may have been nice back in the 50s, but whose decor suffered terribly in subsequent decades. Perhaps the book could highlight homes that have features that are plain mysteries. For example, why does a room in my basement have 50s style wallpaper … on the ceiling? The rest of the room is not finished; the walls are concrete brick that’s been painted with waterproof paint. If someone actually had used that for a bedroom at one time, then I’d peg them for an emo, recluse, or possible vampire. Yet there’s wallpaper on the ceiling. Riddle me that.

I have a cabinet in my bathroom that looks normal enough, but the bottom shelf is just an open hole. Initially when I moved in, I thought “laundry chute!” But the chute ends up nowhere by the actual laundry room. If I actually dropped anything down there, it would end up near, if not actually IN, the toilet of the spider-infested bathroom below. Although the opening has provided great fun for my boys since they’ve discovered it (Spider-Man is dropped through there quite frequently in his quest to outsmart Venom), it’s yet another unexplained feature of this home.

While I enjoy looking through the decorating books that show us Italian ceramic floors and 18th century farmhouses with original furniture, I need a book that helps me overcome the impulses and fads of previous generations. There’s orange flowered wallpaper on the wall underneath my sink, and it’s calling to me. Send help.

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