Starting next week, I’m having my apartment painted. I expect to be thoroughly traumatized by the process. It’s been more than 20 years since we had the place painted, partly because of inertia and partly because I couldn’t stand the thought of cleaning.
At the time, we felt we had a very artistic paint job. No ordinary whites and creams for us. We own a magnificent painting by Charles Clough, and everything was designed to show off the painting.
That’s not entirely true. We also have lots and lots of bookshelves.
Our bedroom has walls that are a warm, peachy shade. Our bed, which we had built in (to hold more shelves for books) has a pale sea-green headboard, with lights designed by the artist James Hong. There is also a yellow chair by Terry Main that looks a little bit like a moose, and two mirrors by Carmen Spera, who also did our coffee table. My husband and I were quite the scene-makers in a certain part of the New York art scene in the late 1980s.
I think I need to change it.
Not to get rid of anything, because I like to live with art, to sit on art, to read with light supplied by art. Even after all this time, the pieces that I own continue to push me, to provoke me, to challenge me to see the world anew.
Also, they remind me of a time when I was young and cool and in love.
Still, I’m not that person any more. Designers don’t lend me clothes to wear to parties, because the designers I knew died from AIDS more than 20 years ago. The galleries I went to in SoHo are now Chanel boutiques or (even worse) Starbucks (and I like Starbucks!).
So I need a change.
Nothing too drastic. Intensify some colors, lighten others. Take our the carpeting in my room and enjoy the hardwood floor. I am not the same person I was, but I contain her.
And that bathroom is staying red.
Martha Thomases, Media Goddess, has not asked her cat about color preferences.