update on the update

The Westville remodel is proceeding, but–early days–I’m not sure this project can be salvaged. It’s definitely getting more “cheerful,” which was the goal, but it’s just not clicking. It might would have been better to scrap the whole thing and invest in something new.

I began by painting walls and dark stained wood white. It was a good start and it felt like I was moving in the right direction. The next step was a sure thing: my favorite part, choosing wallpaper.

For the new look I turned to old favorites: Katrina Ward NZ and Jessica Cloe Minis. The two designers have totally different aesthetics, and I love them both. Katrina Ward designs the most wonderful mini wallpapers (and art prints), many of which are joyously bright. Her work was my go-to for the Rye.

Jessica Cloe is farmhouse modern. I discovered her in the course of my first project, the Beachside Bungalow. Jessica Cloe patterns cover both the walls and the floors. (I also credit her with turning me on to downloadable wallpaper. While I don’t have a suitable printer, I submit jobs to FedEx Office and pick them up in a couple of hours. It’s the most glorious solution for the impatient.)

But even as the wallpaper cheered me up, I faced more challenges. One was furniture, and this was a two-faceted problem. The first impediment was my “cornerstone” piece for the original Westville, which was a couch from Tiny Dollhouse NYC. I loved it like crazy, but when it arrived, I found I couldn’t make it work. It looked like such an “easy” piece, but I couldn’t find a complementary wallpaper, or furniture pieces, or rugs. Nothing clicked.

The other furniture challenge was I made a lot of bad choices with my original purchases. I mostly dislike everything from the kitchen to the bathroom to the bedroom to the living room. My choices were just plain depressing. I bought “antiques” on purpose, and I’ve seen some remarkably gorgeous homes full of them, but my choices just looked old and tired.

When I began this project, buying new furniture was not part of the plan. I thought once I got some bright, pretty wallpaper, the rest would take care of itself, but it became apparent this wasn’t going to happen. I ordered several new pieces, rearranged rooms, and culled furniture. I’ll make some final choices when I arrive at that point, but I have a feeling a lot of the original furniture will end up in the Westville’s attic.

Ugh and double ugh. I find the whole thing so depressing that I’ve even had a hard time writing these posts for the past couple of weeks. This is the sow’s ear from which a silk purse cannot be made.

But I’m going to power through and hope for the best. After all, miracles happen.

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