July 18, 2012

Design Dilemma

Have you ever attempted a design and then immediately regretted it? Or painted an empty canvas and wished it was just white again? Luckily, most design disasters can be fixed. But sometimes, you just cannot undo something, so you have to make it work.

Point in case, my mom gave me a frame a few years ago that I thought she just didn’t want anymore. So I got busy slapping some paint on it and making it my own. I’m a firm believer in one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. I used that frame to create a shabby chic frame wall that I loved. When my mom came to visit a few months later, I suddenly found myself regretting my decision to paint that wooden frame.

What she failed to tell me at the time, or what I failed to really hear (she sees one side, I see another) was that her father built that frame more than fifty years ago, and she had given it to me as a piece of him to keep forever. He passed away when my mom was only 19, so it broke my heart that I had hurt her by repainting it. 
This was old barn wood, and sanding it to remove the paint would destroy the textured finish of the wood, so I was left to live with my way-too-modern, now-black barn wood frame. I put it away for a while, because looking at it reminded me how sad my mom was about my refinishing it, but last week I brought it back out, determined to make it work and love it. I wanted this frame that had been in my family for years to be a part of my daily life. So I decided to lightly sand it with very low grit paper as to not remove the finish and just slightly remove some of the paint. A black-meets-brown rustic wood if you will. (totally natural, right?) The result? A beautiful frame I now love again and smile every time I walk past. It’s a small piece of the grandfather I never knew smiling back at me.

The lesson here is make items in your home work for you. Just because you change an old piece that might have special meaning to you and your family, doesn’t mean you aren’t still loving it. You’ve just breathed new life into it. And that’s ok. Times change and people change too, and if you leave everything the way it once was, you might not remember to see the beauty in it. So refresh by refinishing, and love it for a long time; and when you're ready, change it again.

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