Restrained Exuberance


I painted the floor of my oldest’s nursery almost nineteen years ago.  It was white with a Wedgwoody blue border.  I have longed to paint another floor since and have measured and sketched meanders and hexagons, but have not again taken brush to wood.

The first thing I did to my current house was rescue her from the troubling orange cast of the light stain of her floors.  (Who thinks that color is a good idea? It should be illegal.) Having invested a good little bit in the no-red-not-too-black-just-rich-brown shade that runs throughout, I can’t come to terms with painting over it.

But, oh, that blue in Christopher Spitzmiller’s country house! Bold, yet grounding (no pun intended – okay, maybe a bit) this floor made my pulse jump and fingers itch for a brush the second I saw it.  This is one of those great rooms that if someone were to describe it to you – “Under the eave, snappy red and white chrysanthemum wallpaper, painted furniture, bright blue floor.” – might make you say, “Hmmm.” And yet, on sight, it’s perfection.

I still can’t cover my floors; there were too dear.  But my porch floor, she who was cracking and peeling not one but three layers of paint, was recently stripped.  The poor darling, I had planned on leaving her bare, to recover and breathe a little bit.  I’m not going to break it to her yet, but I have a colorful future planned.

Image, Christopher Spitzmiller’s farmhouse in Architectural Digest, July 2015.  Photography William Waldron; produced by Anita Sarsidi.  Spitzmiller’s spool bed once belonged to Albert Hadley.  If you can find one with similar pedigree, I say, do. But I run across these beds pretty regularly and they do look awfully swell painted.

This seems the perfect image to kick off the holiday weekend! Enjoy!

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9 thoughts on “Restrained Exuberance

  1. That much exuberance requires, and has had here, a wonderful dose of discipline. Dying to see what you do to your porch.

  2. Patricia I knew Christopher' blue floored bedroom would appeal to another Kansas City lady. Have a wonderful holiday weekend celebrating the Independence Day!

    The Arts by Karena
    Gallery Opening!

  3. LOVE the picture you posted! To me, that is the epitome of a summer house – charming but not taking itself too seriously or trying to be "posh".

    Having spent over 35 summers on Martha's Vineyard, I have seen many a painted floor. My favorite is the old "speckled" floor one never seess done anymore – don't think anyone is still living who knows quite how to do it.

    That front porch will be WONDERFUL painted!

  4. My parents had a solid navy blue linoleum floor in their bedroom; we moved into the apt. and there it was from a previous tenant. Dad thought it was a goner but Mom took one look and decorated the room around the floor, chalky white walls, high gloss white moldings, sky blue ceiling and toile in a very delicate, almost not there drawing of blue on white. The dark English furniture seemed right at home…

  5. Dear Mrs. B,

    I followed a link to your blog yesterday evening and have read back to 2009. (I'm dealing with worry about closing on my first house and pain from a foot injury, so sleep wasn't going to happen anyway.) Your blog is truly wonderful. I really enjoy that you show a bit of your home and your projects but take your time making decisions; there are no forced projects for the sake of content. You make clear your love of family without compromising their privacy. You occasionally write melancholy posts about formative parts of your life, which are fascinating. Most importantly, you have such a wide-ranging eye for what's interesting and well-designed. Thank you so much for keeping me company through a rough night, and I look forward to reading more.

  6. Love it! I am a red-white-turquoise gal myself 🙂 Thanks for sharing! And your Kantha in the top photo is a near-twin to the one on my bed. Lurve the blog.

  7. Luke – thank you for such a thoughtful comment. I am sorry about your worry AND your foot. Regarding worry, someone said to me the other day, "You already know it's a waste of energy, but the thing is, what you worry about is never the thing that happens. The bad stuff always comes out of left field." Still, happy to keep your mind off things for an evening at least. Best, Patricia

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