Susan, Plain and Tall

The house has looked a little bare since all the Christmas decorations went to live in the attic.  Well, more bare than usual, that is.  I tend to keep my shelves and tables pretty spare in terms of decoration mainly because my boys are still all arms and elbows and have a tendency to knock things over or move them to other rooms should they suit their needs for a Lego battle or as a projectile target for the latest round of Nerf Wars.

Some might call my design philosophy as “minimalist”.

I prefer “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”.

This past weekend I decided it was time to do a little decorating in the living room since it’s really the main room we hang out in and it’s a little boring what with everything being brown, cream, shades of brown and cream, with a little light brown and cream thrown in for accent.

I was chatting with Amy about bringing some color in on the still empty mantle and telling her I was interested in something with height and color and she said “What about forsythia branches?” and I said that might be a good idea and then I threw out some other thoughts but she was settled on her branches and so I listened to her because we’ve been friends for twenty years and I know when she won’t give up.

So I went to HomeGoods and found a pretty, tall vase that brought out the green in my new pillows and was conveniently 75% off.

And I texted Amy to show her the pictures and said, “Now I need to figure out what to put in my green vase” and she said “I know, what about FORSYTHIA?” so I went to Michael’s and camped out in the floral aisle and started jamming branches of forsythia into the vase that I took in with me because I wanted to make sure I got enough because nothing annoys me more than getting home and realizing I should have bought the extra stem.

And while I was decorating in the aisle trying not to feel guilty about using a vase that I’d purchased at their competitor’s, the store designer who clearly played for the other team came over to me and asked me what I was trying to accomplish and I told him my tale of woe of my boring beige living room and my attempt to inject a little color into my life and he asked me several questions about how my room was decorated and when I told him, he started nodding and said, “I think I know your style. It’s like my favorite Hallmark movie,  Sarah, Plain and Tall.”

And I’m still trying to decide if that’s a compliment or not.

He told me that I needed to pick up some other colors to add warmth to the room and then we got into a fascinating discussion regarding symmetry and balance and looking at the left side of your room instead of the right side to create cohesion and I nodded like I had any idea what he meant and I think he meant I needed to buy more stuff and then I bought tons of forsythia and some branches of filler that he recommended because somewhere I read that you should always take the advice of gay men when it comes to decorating and came home to my brown and beige house.

And made my arrangement just as he and Amy told me.

And spent the rest of the afternoon moving it from one side of the mantle to the other.

And realizing that it’s now the only yellow thing in the room which means I need to go shopping for something else to tie it in with my other things.

And also realizing that yellow is just a more vibrant shade of, yes, cream.


Have a nice, plain day.



8 responses to “Susan, Plain and Tall

  1. that domino effect gets me every time. can’t just buy a pillow….

  2. Sigh…I had no idea what forsythia looked like… I have empty vases all over my house. And (don’t judge me) I still have a Christmas tree up…

  3. While I am an example of a heterosexual male who does not shy away from decorating discussions, I must yield the floor to my esteemed colleague (and better half) from the Commonwealth of Virginia, who has forgotten more about flowers than I could ever know.

    In other words, let’s see what Momologuer has to say.

  4. Love it! Look around the house for anything yellow and swap them out for things already on the shelves. Yellow candles etc. It won’t take much to draw the eye in. Minimalist is your forte.

  5. OK so didn’t know that Michaels had homosexual men camped out ready and willing to help me decorate my house. I must investigate this…

    Does this mean Nate Berkus is gay?

  6. Not plain and simple, but soothing and refreshing

  7. This is just a little too funny for me at 4AM.

  8. i have always wanted a FORSYTHIA bush in my yard!!! now I want it on my mantle too !!!!!! I absolutely love it when it starts to blum in the spring, absolutely beautiful, reminds me of the son!! shining bright and happy, it makes me happy…..

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