Monday, January 21, 2013

Keep Calm, It's Okay To Be Out Of Style

See that little blue sign in my old kitchen window? It's a "Keep Calm and Carry On" plaque. I bought it in 2010, three years after I first saw the poster, and two years after the image jumped the shark and was appearing on rugs and key chains. (Check the comments on this Apartment Therapy thread about the poster to get an idea of the vitriol this image inspires.)

The original "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster, Barter Books
You know what? I don't care. I have liked the image since the first time I saw it. It resonates with me. As an anxious person, I need the message. When I see my little plaque, I remind myself to just breathe. It also reminds me to stick with what I like, and not be influenced by what anyone else says is "in" or "out". Here's a graphic with some history of the poster, and some figures on exactly how (overly-)popular it's become:

Keep Calm and Carry On

I did think about scrawling on the back of the plaque my back-up plan for when "Keep Calm and Carry On" fails. That would be "Freak Out and Call Your Mom!" I wouldn't be the first to make a parody:

I picked up my plaque for $5.99 at HomeGoods. It's not even a good reproduction. The typeface isn't right and the crown is different. Seriously! Stuff like that usually drives me crazy, but in this case the plaque is less a design statement and more a life affirmation.

Keep Calm plaque in my current kitchen. Note the wrong crown and wrong typeface.
Right now I have a big dilemma about what colors to paint the big, main room(s) of my house. I painted my last house gray, in mid-2011. No one around me had gray on their walls yet. I loved how it turned out, but then gray started to be EVERYWHERE! If I were still in that house, I probably wouldn't be considering repainting. Not for another three years. But in this new house, even though I still like gray, I'm not sure I can commit to it, because it seems like it's "over". Which is silly, because very few people here even have gray. What's the next neutral? Has Jenna Lyons repainted her living room yet? What color?

Besides the trend aspect, there are practical concerns with the gray. The living room is vaulted, and the windows face north and west, so it's not the warmest light. I'm afraid such a huge expanse of gray will be too cold. Also, it's the only painting project in the house we aren't going to tackle ourselves. We have decided to hire painters because of the 20 foot ceilings. We NEED to get the color right the first time, because we sure don't want to pay twice!

Here's the listing photo of the room, and loft, in question. These are the previous tenant's furnishings. I know, a lot of ooooooooaak! The paint is light tan, with a darker clay accent wall, and a rag-roll faux paint treatment of both colors on the balcony wall. It reads mauve-y pink in some light, which is blech! It all feels very fleshy to me. The entire upstairs hallway, including all doors and trim, are painted the dark clay color. It's very dark in that area, and I just don't understand why the trim is the same color. Standing in that hall feels like being trapped in a legume of some sort. That makes no sense. Neither does the paint.

Anyone have any great ideas? I know, I know...keep calm and carry on. :-)