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Harried, Hurried and Hapless. That's how it goes.


Saturday, June 04, 2005

The time had come and gone for new furniture at the DeBolt chateau. Until the day we purchased our existing "old couch," six years ago, our home decor could be classified as yard-sale sheik. Castoffs from family members who were generous enough to donate to the too-poor-to-purchase-matching-sets reigned supreme.

Green matching upholstered chairs from the 60's spooned with a handmade pine endtable. Our massive brown sectional splayed across the living room, jarringly linear compared to the nappy yellow recliner claimed from my husband's parents when they upgraded in the late 80's. We'd just purchased the home we lived in and I was thankful we had places to rest our backends-styles and colors weren't at the forefront of my concerns.

Six years ago, after the sectional fell victim to some random childhood macaroni vandalism and the recliner was laid to rest, I determined that it was time to broaden my horizons with a new decorating scheme.

I am to planning what microwaving is to cuisine and within hours, I had declared that our new living room would be christened in the country-French style, or so I imagined. I drug my husband from one furniture store to another, seeking the perfect selection that said "casual taste." What we eventually bought was an attractive light blue plaid set, complete with button-top ottoman that should have said "Buyer with children and pets beware."

It was in the years that followed, my pretty country room turned to ruin. Somewhere between day one and the end of it all, the ottoman had found it's use as a shuttle serving the kitchen and parts unknown. Objects of furniture with wheels, partnered with children around, soon turn to projectile devices I discovered.

Not to be left out in the destruction of my living room landscape, our dog Sadie learned a new pet trick. In our absence, she had learned how to jump high enough to grab the blade of our ceiling fan to entertain herself. To celebrate, she'd grab a mouthful of the pretty blue plaid and shred it. Soon all the arms of the sofa and chairs looked like wounds left to fester. In the meantime, an accidental chili spill on a cushion was cleaned with bleach spray by accident, removing all color and leaving the fabric a dingy yellow, absent of the plaid that made it so perfect.

"CANT WE HAVE ANYTHING NICE?" I screamed to the heavens.

So there we sat. On our mortally wounded furniture, for years. I didn't have the gumption to fight it anymore.

A few months ago, I did an interview at a paint store. On the way home, my purse glowed with a promise of what might be. Two paint cards, one a brick red, and another, a deep sand, were tucked away tightly. That night, the two cards were tucked in behind our thermostat on the wal for effect. I'd glance at them furtively, laying the foundation for my new decorating plan.

I started gingerly, straying away to furniture stores alone. I'd look guiltily at sets , then the sectionals. I considered fabric, suede and leather, breathing nothing of my travels to a soul.
One afternoon I encouraged my husband to tag along. Fortunately for me, his tastes seem to have matured, and we didn't have to look at camouflage furniture with whitetail appliques. We both cast a coveted gaze upon a leather sectional, but left the store empty-handed. "Leather is nice," he said.

Soon, I was overwhelmed with the need for new furniture. As my need increased, only a quick fix would do. A spontaneous trip to a furniture store with my youngest daughter led to the purchase of the highly acclaimed leather sectional, but not before we sampled all the other options. This couch would be king.

Once the living room was devoid of any evidence of the furniture-morgue it had become, we carefully unpacked the three sections of leather sofa and all it's glory. "It's huge," was all my husband would say, and indeed it was.

Claiming nearly half of the wall space in the room, it looked as if it were planning a takeover. "Leather Land" had been unsuspectingly born. "I guess I should have measured," I said.
Fearing for their lives, our other furniture had fled to the East side of our house on their spindly, crooked legs. An unsegregated collection of end tables, coffee tables, floor lamps, planters and two desks clamored to fling themselves out the window to safety before they were swallowed whole.

"What about all that other stuff?" my husband said as he pointed in the general direction of the furniture which no longer belonged. "I have no idea," I shared, truthfully.

So far, bits and pieces of the refugee furniture have been claimed by other locations in the house. There is still a fair bit that looks positively out of place, and orphaned. I'm hoping that by the time I get the walls painted, it won't look so obvious. Or, that a too-poor-to-purchase-matching-sets relative will call and want some free stuff. Until then, I'm afraid our home will have to be classified as "Country Cluttered."

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