Thursday, July 12, 2012

On the Color Wheel of Life

I have a 1930s-era bed that I’ve wanted to paint white ever since I bought it a few years ago. 

I found the dark wood carved headboard and footboard in a resale shop, but I never got around to painting it. 

I used to be a fearless painter of furniture, mirrors and chairs. 

I painted everything white with no qualms about what it would look like until I eventually didn’t like the way a couple of pieces turned out and rethought my no-holds-barred approach to painting furniture. 

The bed before painting.
In the meantime, I bought an inexpensive tea-colored bedspread just until I could find something better. But I never could find a better bedspread. 

All the patterns and colors in my bedroom contributed to my tentative bedspread search. 

The walls are a very pale ivory. I have a floral patterned chair and a floral patterned fabric bench. 

My silky cream curtains have a yellow checked border on the bottom. 

Every time I bought a bedspread, I didn’t like it. An ivory bedspread only made me feel hot like it was a blinding expanse of sand on the beach. I tried a cranberry-colored bedspread that made me feel like fire engines were engulfing my room. A patterned bedspread I bought seem to clash with the other patterns in the room. 

So I decided to paint the bed to help solve the bedspread problem.

I bought eggshell cream paint in high-gloss enamel and my mother came over to help me with the project. 

She approaches painting unflinchingly, claiming you can always take the paint off or sell the piece and buy something else. She is a radical risk-taker where decorating is concerned and somehow with her undaunted guidance, my projects usually turn out great. She always encourages me to buy beat-up vintage furniture that we can fix up with a little paint or fabric.

The bed took three coats of paint. My mother meticulously detailed the headboard, carefully painting the shell decoration in gold. 

I tackled the details on the footboard and was much more casual about my efforts. But overall I was happy with how it turned out. 

Now that the bed was no longer dark, I thought finding a bedspread would be easier. But I still couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. Before I drove myself crazy looking for perfection, I settled for a coverlet with a predominantly white background with a splash of pink roses sprinkled along the sides. 

I added a silky pink pillow in the middle to pull it all together. It’s far from perfect but I kind of like how all the blended colors and patterns now look in the room. Some light colors, some dark colors, a few busy patterns and strong solids.

The colors are matched and balanced. Not for perfection, but for an interesting, harmonized room. 

I want to welcome the colorful seasons of life, too. The rich experiences that bring joy and effervescence. But I also want to appreciate the dark times. Although they might be difficult and painful, the dark seasons often provide a depth and richness to my life in ways the good times never can. 

They press me to carve out more time for prayer and send me searching to the scriptures. And when I do, God allows me to see just a hint of the pattern. The nuances of color he's shading my life with. 

And I find the clarity of God’s direction in my life so I can have a greater understanding of his purpose and plan for me. Dark times will come, but I can’t be afraid of them or try to rush through them. 

Together, the dark and the light places show me what I was made for. They give me the intensity, illustrate the brilliance, and enhance the vividness of all the experiences of my life. 

Together, both the light and the dark seasons of life blend and complement for a perfectly pleasing color palette.


8 comments:

  1. Love, love, love it! Great mom and daughter project - thanks for sharing. Keep creating - as our wonderful Creator God said at the end of each day - "It is good".

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    1. I love the idea of being satisfied and resting in our creations -- whatever those projects may be! And the idea of ending each day with "It is good," is an insightful reminder, too -- thank you!

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  2. very insightful. Dark times are so painful that we want to rush through them rather than taking our time to look for God in the dark times.
    Thank you Valerie!

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    1. I know I always am richer when I look back and on the other side of hard times, but find it so difficult to be in the middle of them!

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  3. Great article! I love the new look - great job! It blends so well with the other pieces....a very positive atmosphere!

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    1. Hi Sharon,
      I am loving the new look too!

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  4. Love this post! The bed is GORGEOUS. I love the idea of being a fearless risk taker in decorating, and appreciate the reminder to cherish both the bright and dark spots in life.
    Christy
    PS I also like the idea of a balanced room with interest and harmony! Have to see if I can remember that one.

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    1. I like that taking risk in decorating is sometimes reversible! :)

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