Out With the Old; In With the New

When my parents divorced, my mom elected to stay in the house so that I could continue to live in the same neighborhood and attend the same school. It may have been the same house, but it sure experienced a transformation after my dad moved out. The dark wood was painted white. Old wallpaper was removed and replaced with pastel print. Out went the heavy and masculine and in came the flowers and fancy scrollwork. When pink floral pillows were placed on the pale blue sofa, I think I even made the comment, “It looks like Laura Ashley threw up in here.”

At the time, the redecoration seemed a bit extreme to me. I didn’t comprehend the obsession with change or the drive to find the perfect painting. I didn’t understand it then. But I do now.

My situation was different than my mom’s. I left the marital house behind along with everything it contained. For a year, redecorating was the furthest thing from my mind as I lived in a rented room with borrowed supplies. That green flannel comforter may not have to my taste, but it soaked up my tears without complaint.

That spring, I was looking forward to moving into my new space, an apartment down the road from my new boyfriend.

And that’s when the decorating bug hit. I fell in lust with a colorful woven throw from Cost Plus and, after much debate, purchased it even though I did not yet have a place to put it (or even the funds to buy it). I soon started making lists (and spreadsheets) of what I wanted to fill my new space. My list had to be practical; when you don’t even own a towel, you can’t spend too much money on decorations. But it was still my list. My space.

And, like my mom many years before, I grew obsessed. My status had changed. My heart had changed. My life had changed.

And my home needed to reflect that change.

Even though I had loved the oversized, dark furniture in my old home, I gravitated towards smaller-scale white pieces this time around. I introduced some floral prints, although not quite to the Laura Ashley puke standard.

It was sparse. It was clean. It was new.

It was uncluttered of stuff and of memories.

And it was mine.


Change begets change.

And divorce begets redecorating.

Whether it be our homes, our hair, our wardrobes or our lives.

Out with the old and in with the new.

Thank you for sharing!

8 thoughts on “Out With the Old; In With the New

  1. Reblogged this on SMALLTOWNGIRLBIGTIMELIFE and commented:
    One of the first things I did when I moved out of our marital home and into a rental property I had purchased ten years prior was catch the decorating bug. My husband had never allowed me to participate much in the decorating process of our home as I could never get the picture hung quite right or my sentimental photograph or artifact did not match the sterile perfection of the decor. So up went the pictures. Out came the paint. And here I am ten months later still working on my house. It gives me pride, and it makes me smile.

  2. Jennifer – Albuquerque, New Mexico – First off, I am not very funny. Secondly, I am a full-blown geek; I like chess (it is my favorite game), I enjoyed writing research papers in college, I enjoyed statistics and any other kind of math. But, in my old age (47), I have learned to own my geekdom, it is uniquely mine. Third, I have manic-depressive illness which can make life a bit rocky sometimes, like when the medications are not strong enough to treat the illness, then it bites me in the ass…..hard. Most of the time, though, I ride the sine wave that are normal moods. It is an interesting disease to have though. You do a lot of self reflecting and exploration which can be rough, but you can see where you have made mistakes and you can take action to prevent that behavior in the future. Fourth, I have learned how not to settle for anything; bad medical care, toxic and angry people, bad food, bad relationships. I just will not settle anymore. I have already been there and done that. Fifth, I have learned over the years it is not cool to puke through your nose because you drank too much at a party or a bar. Sixth, I love to read everything from fiction to non-fiction to school textbooks. I do not remember learning to read. My mom says when I was about 3 or 4 years old, I picked up National Geographic and began to read it. Who knew? Seventh, and possibly last, I love music of all types except Rap. My favorite music to relax to is classical preferably of the Baroque period like Amadeus Mozart and Beethoven. I love going to the movies by myself. If you go on a Monday afternoon matinée, there is usually no one there so it is like having your own private theater. I am also a Nichiren Buddhist by way of spiritual belief. I am basically just a normal person who happens to be not funny :) .
    songtothesirens says:

    Interesting post. After I left the marital home in which my belongings had no place, and moved into my apartment, one of the first things I set about doing was decorating with the stuff I already had. Granted my rug is a little threadbare and could stand to be replaced, but it is mine and to my taste. Fortunately, Laura Ashley did not puke all over my apartment. I like some floral stuff, but my style tends toward the “shabby chic” mode of decorating. Nothing I own really goes together, but somehow, it all works as a whole. I also cut my very long hair into a very short bob. Sometimes change while scary can be good, and it’ll grow back if I want it to.

    My mother upon getting divorced took out a second mortgage, and remodeled the house I grew up in. She got rid of all the old furniture, and replaced it with beautiful Mission style pieces and overstuffed chairs and couches. That’s how she reclaimed the house our family had lived in for about 25 years. She had wanted to sell the house, but my sister and I wouldn’t let her. So, she did the next best thing and claimed it as hers.

  3. I bought a new house and move on the 31st! I am so excited about making this place my own and making my bedroom a rustic shabby chic, with white chippy paint everywhere (definite no-nos for my ex)!

  4. Girlonthegrove – Mom, wife, friend. Writer, photog, gym enthusiast. Foodie & wine-o, preferably both at the same time. I love books, music, and my dog, but not in that order.
    Brittany says:

    I looooove this! I did the same thing. I decorated with lots of PINK! Why? BECAUSE I COULD. When else in my life am I ever going to be able to live in a house of pink? My daughter and I love it. We even have pink twinkle lights in our kitchen because “it’s a guhl kitchen” as she says 🙂

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