August's Room The Victorian House

Seeing Red (or Not)

I’m usually the last one to get dressed each day. Brandon walks the kids to school, so he hops in the shower and gets ready while I push them along through their morning routine. I see them all off while still in my pajamas, and I get ready once they’ve gone. We’ve adjusted as needed (like when I was teaching my morning class, or when I have early meetings or appointments), but for the most part I get ready last.

I didn’t think much of it until the other day. I was up a little earlier than usual, so I had some time before I had to get the kids moving. I put on jeans and a cute top, my glasses, and a bracelet. I did my hair, and even put on a little lipstick. It wasn’t anything amazing, but August paid me a compliment when he saw me. “You look nice, mom.” My day was made! For like two seconds, and then I realized that I must look so nice because normally I’m a mess each morning. Ha! But still, it was sweet.

We’ve been talking, he and I, about his room. I keep telling him I’ll paint it red for him (his choice), but he has to help clear things out. We’ve been planning this for ages. He’s super excited about it being his favorite color! He is super NOT excited about any work that has to happen before it can magically change! (And by magically change, I mean me spending a solid three days in there working on it. I want to paint the ceiling, trim, windows, shutters, and door while I’m at it.)

Jayne Mansfield and Diana Vreeland loved red.
If it’s good enough for Jayne Mansfield and Diana Vreeland, well then I suppose it’s good enough for my 6-year-old boy!

If his room was a disaster, I’d push through, clear it out myself, and get it done. But it’s fine. We painted it green after stripping off all of the wallpaper, and the holes from rewiring have all been fixed. It just isn’t his favorite color. And while I don’t want his room to be the ‘me-in-pajamas’ version, I don’t want to push a makeover he doesn’t really care that much about.

I have a whole plan ready to go. I want to get it dressed! Put a little lipstick on it! Get some before-and-after action going! But if it’s not driven by him, his green walls will be staying a bit longer. It’s a fine shade of green.

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  • Courtney
    March 7, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    I love your writing. :)

  • Barb
    March 8, 2017 at 6:36 am

    So interesting that you feature RED since today is women’s strike day and we are encouraged to wear red if we can’t strike. Bravo to you yet again.

    • Allison
      March 9, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      That’s exactly what I was thinking Barb! :)

  • judy
    March 8, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    that is really brave of you because the doing will be hard but the future undoing will require strong drink or spirits of ammonia or a nice Mommy only vacation leaving Brandon to deal with it. Yikes!

  • JJ
    March 8, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Get a red rug, window coverings, bed coverings and a few accents and forget the paint until he is older.

  • Lara Jackson
    March 10, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    You are amazing! I love that you’re giving him so much creative freedom, he’ll always remember that. And there’s nothing a few coats of primer can’t address if he decides down the line he wants something different. One of my favorite inspiration rooms for children was a room that featured a brilliant red and white wallpaper on one wall of a circus scene, it was so eye popping and whimsical it always made me smile. The nursery in our home (which is about to be home to baby #3) does not have red walls but red is the dominant color, reflected in the rich glossy lipstick red I painted an antique display case (that goes all the way to the ceiling!) and a large vintage dresser as well as the floor to ceiling shelves I mod podged with old Anthropologie tissue (remember the beige tissue with red squiggle lines?) and various fabric accents. I think August’s room has enough molding/doors/windows to downplay the blast of color, it will look brilliant. If you’re nervous about the exact shade, this is one of those cases where it will really pay off to do a few big canvases of paint color options to set around the room so you can see how a specific shade will look in various hours of lighting. We did our master bedroom in a deep purple (my husband’s idea, I swear) but I didn’t test the shades in our lighting and am not thrilled with the end result as it skews too grape for my taste (hubby was worried about it looking too grey or brown and kept pushing for the over saturated shades). Test canvases would have made our options easier to differentiate.

  • Nikki
    March 11, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    My son’s favorite color is red too. I don’t think it’s such a terrible choice. Everyone had red dining rooms for a while and they looked great! I like that you’re letting son your son lead tho. Good momma.

  • Melanie
    March 13, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Can’t wait to see your design plan as my 5 yo son has been requesting a red room too and I’m totally confused how to pull it off! He’s not impressed with my plans for greige walls and having the red be in the framed Tintin posters he already has. :)

  • Antonia
    March 16, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Can’t wait to see what shade of red you pick! My 6 year old wants a red room too (we’ve agreed on an accent wall for now). Trying to find a nice cheery orangey-red has not been easy.