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Paint the Walls, then Deck those Halls

Gregory Vaughan - Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Nothing Like Being on a Holiday House Tour to Expedite Your Home Improvement Projects

Paint the Walls, then Deck those Halls

I still cannot believe I agreed to it. I swore I would never do it again. I would not be persuaded, I would absolutely not let my guard down and give in, no matter how sweetly and politely asked. I had promised myself. And then she called…….

It was Heidi, a friend, neighbor, and fellow member of the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Savannah. I had, in fact, first met Heidi about 10 years ago when I had begrudgingly agreed to volunteer my home to be on the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Holiday Home Tour. Heidi was a docent in my home on that year’s tour and we have been friends ever since. She is charming, intelligent, funny, and can be very persuasive.

Can you guess what her message was on my voicemail? Yep, you know where this is going. “Would you consider doing it again this year? Please?” she purred into my answering machine with her wonderful German accent. “You know it will benefit the organization and it contributes to the good of our community.” Oh, Heidi, it is so hard to say no to you! 

So of course I called her back and said yes. Like I said, she can be very persuasive.

The moment I hung up the phone I went into panic mode. Was I flattered? Well, yes, of course. How nice that someone thinks so highly of my decorating skills that they would ask me to participate on a tour. But when I did it before I nearly had a nervous breakdown in the process. I am working myself into a tizzy now just writing about it.

Many of you would probably assume that since I am an interior designer my house must always be in a tour-ready mode. Uh, not really. Granted, I do have a sense of pride in regard to my home and its decor. But, tour-ready? I don’t think so. I really live in my house and the day-to-day wear and tear shows. The Christmas decorations are the easy part, after all, I would be doing them anyway. But the glittery accoutrements and holiday bling can only truly sparkle if the background they adorn is neat and fresh and clean. Ugh!

The kitchen needs re-painting. Ten years of experimental cooking have left their mark. The front vestibule ceiling needs patching. When a chunk of plaster fell down and hit me on the head a few months ago was my first clue. My admittedly eclectic décor can be described in many ways, but I do not want shabby-chic to be one of them. The rewards of my spring-cleaning back in April have certainly worn-off now that we are past Halloween on the calendar. And then there is the clutter issue; the dead computer monitor and box of old clothes behind the stairs in the foyer have yet to make it to the recycling center and Goodwill.

All of these issues need to be addressed, tour or no tour. So what better motivation for me to get them done than an actual deadline? And if I think about it, it is no different from a client giving me a deadline for an interior design project. Besides, I now know that after the holiday cheer has waned and the decorations put back in their boxes and placed in the attic, I will have some freshly painted walls and spruced-up spaces to enjoy in my home. Can you think of a better way to start the New Year?


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