Tips and drips from an interior decorating dropout


I doubt HGTV will be giving me my own home improvement show anytime soon, unless it would be for comic relief.

Martha Stewart would probably faint dead away if she visited my home. But she’s not likely to visit, and I’m not likely to invite her.

Most of the time, I’m the only one on the premises, besides the two four-leggeds of course. Their interior (and exterior) decorating skills are even worse than mine. They try though. Big black dog Ebony “repurposed” an outdoor elevated flower garden area into a xeriscaped (sounds better than bare dirt) perch for herself where she can easily spot people walking or cycling by and tell them to keep moving. It’s not as comfy as a couch in the front yard (which I’m sure she would prefer, but I do have some dignity!), but it suffices on a cool day.

On warm days, she tries to find shade under the scraggly bushes that have taken over the fence line. Or she gives up and goes inside where she has many reclining locations to choose from, one of them even a designated dog bed!

Crazy cow dog Boca Burger’s idea of interior decorating is pushing the dog blanket with his nose up against the “curio cabinet” (several shelves I tried to put together using instructions in Chinese … some of the shelves are straight enough to hold “collectibles.”)

We won’t go into the fur faces’ other exterior decorating tips (or “dumps”) unless you’re into composting with canine manure. (I’m not.)

Outdoors, my summer “gracious living” décor consists of petunias in spray-painted car tire planters, a hanging banner (I can’t take credit for that, since my father put that up when they were here recently) and a hanging flower plant (also my father’s doing) that decided after the first day it would rather be a porch plant than a hanging one. It’s easier to water on the front step and so far none of us (namely the human in the household) have tripped over it.

Grass will be for when I retire or die and the new owner brings in a rototiller.

My latest indoor “renovations” have included some fresh coats of paint — to the floors. I have flooring in the kitchen and bathroom that after all these years looks no better after a waxing than it did before, so I decided to try a new approach. At least it seemed like a good idea at the time.

It started in the bathroom (many great ideas do, you know) where I liberally applied a coat of blue paint to the floor last fall when I had company coming and another coat again this spring when I had company coming (that’s about how often I have company.) I like the color and the upkeep. All I need is a new paintbrush every once in a while.

The kitchen floor has been a problem area for some time. I tried putting some stick-em-down-yourself floor tiles years ago when I could see something needed to be done, but that turned out to be an uneven disaster that still presents a tripping hazard to anyone brave enough to go into the kitchen. I think I might have laid down three rows before I could see that wasn’t going to work. You actually have to try to get them even?!

The kitchen flooring can no longer be improved with washing and waxing, so this spring before my folks came to visit I decided it couldn’t look much worse with a coat of paint than it did without it (that’s my vote, and I’m sticking to it … or at least I was “sticking to it” until the paint dried.) This time I decided to go with “antique white.” I needed a bigger can this time, but I have plenty of paint left over for the next time I have company and need to “refresh” the look.

(Side note to those trying this at home, it’s probably not a good idea to paint the floor while still wearing your new favorite top unless “antique white” blends into the blouse’s design.)

A miller who should have known better because it has wings (but not much common sense; hence all the dead bugs in the light fixtures) decided to add its artistic mark to my freshly painted kitchen floor. No problem! I still had paint on the brush.

I haven’t finished painting my kitchen floor, though, because I still need a path to the refrigerator, one of the most important appliances in my house next to the microwave, so I’ll save that for some weekend when I’m headed to my folks and I have time to let the paint dry.

In the meantime I’m trying to decide if I want to stay with “antique white” for the kitchen floor or if some other color might not show my culinary spills less prominently.

But then who knows? Maybe enchilada sauce red is just the thing to “accent” an antique white floor!

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