We've now been in the new house for almost 3 months...a trimester.. a quarter of a year... and people keep asking me how I'm settling in. The truth? It's been a little hard. Jason and I are "beach shack" people. Living together, we have gone from a 700 sq foot duplex in Solana Beach to a 1000 sq ft townhouse in Del Mar to a 1400 sq ft (but on about a 1/2 acre of land) Mid-Century Modern "classic San Diego beach bungalow" in Encinitas, all west of the 5 (which, in San Diego, pretty much means minutes from the beach). All of our houses were old, but they all had tons of character. Now we are in this behemoth of a new house, with granite tiles and nice carpet and more bathrooms than bedrooms...and I'm lost.
Don't get me wrong, the house is beautiful. I guess the problem is that it's too beautiful and grand for me. I'm the girl who shopped Ikea for ideas on "how to make the most of a small space," not the one desperate for big furniture to fill a room. More than anything it's a different frame of mind, having a nice house opposed to a funky house, and that's one that I'm not used to.
A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my Mom's friend, one of those people with an amazing eye for design and who used to (back in the real estate heyday) flip houses in LA. I told him I was having a hard time settling in and he gave me the best piece of advice...he told me to paint a wall.
Simple enough to do, and according to him, the best way to claim your new house as your own - a marking your territory type thing. He said to pick a wall and paint it a bright color. Even if it doesn't stay forever, pick a color that you love and makes you happy and paint a wall. I thought about that for the next 4 days. Then I went to Home Depot and asked them to whip me up a gallon of "Tiffany Blue" paint.
And I painted my wall. And I freaking love it.
Picture by Patty at Petula Pea Photography
And, for the first time in over 3 months, I'm beginning to feel at home.