Sistah Parish is in the House

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Of course we’re decorating: we’re gay men, we own our house, can renovating ever be far off? My bedroom and bathroom are the current projects, and all I have to say is it’s about damn time. We painted every thing when we moved in ten years ago and fabulosity only lasts so long. The bathroom especially needs to be rescued from sadness. It’s huge, 15 feet long with an 8 foot long vanity, complete with a mirrored wall above it. Lighting is one of those glamour strips with little round bulbs every few inches. The whole thing was probably the last word in style when Jimmy Carter was president and it still looks like Jan Brady might pop in at any minute to freshen up her do. Which is why it must die.

My plans started with my fascination with Bollywood. Naturally, I picked a pink and orange theme for my boudoir, more specifically, hot pink and tangerine. I though it would be kicky. To balance that, I thought I would go with severe gray for the bath, concrete colored tiles for the floor, dark slate surrounding the tub shower, and charcoal gray on the walls. The whole thing was to be accented with gilt to counteract the severity of it all. You know, subdued, masculine, brutal. With a rococo mirror.

Yesterday (it was a Monday, maybe you remember?) I staggered from bed, walked into the bath and suddenly understood that what I had envisioned was the Huntsville State Men’s Penitentiary. Maybe a dark gray room is not the very thing to get you up and going on a foggy, cold San Francisco morning.

So I completely discarded that idea (except the rococo mirror, because, you know, I need it.) Obviously the pink needed to be in the bathroom. If you’re going to be Barbie, do so in a room with mirrors and grooming products, I say. Black and white tiles, white glass mosaic tiles around the shower, bright, bright, bright. And that damn rococo mirror.

My bedroom? Embracing my schizophrenia, I’ve moved onto verdigris and taupe, turquoise and old gold. From a Bollywood whorehouse to Versailles. It’s easy, my one real strength in decorating is arbitrary decisions.

That’s why I’m baffled when decorating shows natter on about “What’s your style?” as if people only have one method of expressing themselves open to them. What they really mean is “Which page in the Pottery Barn catalogue do you want?” I like everything. Mid-century Judy Jetson modernity? Love it. Crunchy arts and crafts hand woven earnestness? Bring it. Barbara Pym inspired chintzy English rose country? Okey dokey. As long as it’s not that stupid Tuscan. If I never see a fake grape vine draped over a curtain rod again, it’ll be too soon.

When R Man first met me, he accused me of decorating in a style he described as “Pee Wee Herman’s Playhouse.” Who knows, it could come back again. It all depends what’s at the thrift store.

About mrpeenee

A former bon vivant and terror of a number of New Orleans bars in the mad, gay 1980s, I'm now quietly retired and widowed in San Francisco. I have a crooked nose due to an unfortunate Frisbee accident.

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