Green is the new me.

The latest issue of House Beautiful just hit the stands and it’s all green and all me.

I’m not talking about green, where green equals eco-friendly. I’m talking about green, where green equals the newest neutral. I’m talking about the green that is everywhere in home decor, in every lovely shade from moss to aqua to chartreuse to mint.

I’ve always been a green girl. I painted my kitchen cabinets Celadon long before Martha. I painted Parker’s bedroom pine needle when he was just a wee lad. In the ’90s, I was all over the hunter green phase, which then evolved into my sage phase. And just a few years ago, I helped Kate paint her bedroom the brightest grass green you’ve ever seen.

When we moved to our new home not long ago, I discovered my predecessor was a blue lady. I walked through our soon-to-be-home and groaned loudly. “I don’t do blue” I told the realtor.  There were blue Formica counter-tops everywhere and blue shades in the kitchen and dining room. I took a deep breath and figured I could remake the place in my own image.

The kitchen and master bath counter-tops were banished immediately, in favor of marble. But I got busy and never got around to taking down the blue shades. Funny, though, how when I mixed in all my green, the blue didn’t look so bad. In fact, I started liking touches of it here and there.

I started looking back through home photos I’ve taken since we moved in, and I was surprised just how “green” our home is.

Take a look. There’s green in pillows . . .

and more pillows . . .

and in pottery . . .

and in a side table . . .

and in the pantry . . .

and on my formal tables . . .

and on my casual tables . . .

and in my draperies . . .

and in my art . . .

and in more art . . .

and on my dressing vanity . . .

and all over my kitchen . . .

including my stovetop . . .

and my counters . . .

and my bookshelf . . .

and more counters . . .

and my kitchen desk mail tray . . .

and my keeping room . . .

and on plates and mixers . . .

and on bedding and rugs  . . .

and, whew, I think you get the point. Green and me got it going on.

And isn’t it funny how touches of blue worked their way into my life? I mean, there’s as much blue in this area as green.

And, somehow, I love it all.

One of these days when I get the time, I want to show you the kids’ bathroom. It had a hideous aquamarine counter-top that I couldn’t afford to replace after I spent all my money on marble for the kitchen and the master bath. Aquamarine counters with white walls (remember, every darn wall in this house was white when I moved in) was just too hideous for me to take. So I immediately wallpapered the bath to tone down the blue, and I was amazed at the transformation.

And here’s a teaser until I get the time to photograph it all . . . the wallpaper is predominantly red. I know — sounds like a clash. Bet you’ll be surprised how well it works.

Go get yourself your some green. You’ll feel instantly springy and oh-so house-beautiful.


Making it mine.

The house we just moved into couldn’t be farther “off the map” from my comfort zone.

It’s new (relatively speaking at 10 years old), contemporary, and single-story.  It’s the fourth home I’ve owned as a adult and a real youngster compared to the ’70s  clapboard box, ’40s brick cottage, and ’20s stucco mansion I have called home.

It’s also the most light-filled house I’ve ever owned and there’s nothing like light to perk up your decor. And your mood.  There’s also scads of storage and a layout that, though simple, is deceptively livable.

My favorite room is the kitchen.  It’s large, features plenty of windows, and offers a well-designed work space.

It wasn’t much to look at, though, when we first walked in.

The blue Formica was hard to swallow and the large expanse of oak cabinets was both overwhelming and boring. The florescent light and cold white walls cast an antiseptic pallor on what I knew could be a warm and inviting space.  While the rest of the house offered more to recommend it, the kitchen was about as alluring as a newly fabricated mobile home.

Still, it didn’t take much to make it mine.

I added some paint, new hardware, an apron sink and a faucet with vintage appeal, an expanse of admittedly luxe marble countertops, and a few of my personal items — and suddenly, I was home.

Fifteen years ago I lived in a drywall box with about as much charm as a ’70s suburban tract home could offer.  The kitchen was a very Brady shade of Harvest Gold. I had more elbow grease than savings back then, so I transformed the whole place with paint — in celadon, white and taupe, much like this Jadite/white/grey combination. I painted the gold Formica to look like marble and dreamed of the day I could afford the real thing.

So I guess this is my “full circle” kitchen.

I still need to ditch the blue shades and switch out the florescent light for a pendant of some sort, but I’m almost there.

Here’s a view of the keeping room, which sits at the north end of the kitchen.  We’re a family of four and we fight over the two chairs. I’m still searching for a seamstress to sew a couple of slipcovers in a cheery green and grey floral. I can imagine that the slipcovers will really tie the room together, man.

It was a blank slate before, albeit a blank slate with the cheesiest light fixtures Lowe’s offers.

The handiest spot in the kitchen is the built-in desk.  It’s a prefect place to pay bills and research internet recipes. I heart my kitchen desk.

More than the desk, though, I heart the little touches that make this kitchen mine.

All mine.

This is what I’ve been waiting on. All my life.

Okay, so maybe not all my life.

But at least the last 20 years of my working-adult life, which, you know, is a long time to a woman who until recently was in the middle of a mid-life rut.

And it’s probably a sad commentary on my shallow nature.

That, uh, I’ve been waiting all my life on this.

I'm a shallow woman indeed that a little marble should make me so happy.

But it’s pretty, huh?

There’s nothing as splendid as Carrara Marble, especially in the kitchen.  I’ve wanted marble countertops all my life.  The naysayers tried to thwart me, predicting doom and gloom because it’s so soft and porous.

Phooey, I said.

A couple of years ago I bought a sizable slab and put it smack dab in the middle of my island. I cut on it. I rolled pastry on it. I spilled all kinds of food on it. In short, I lived on it.

You may say it looks worn now. Imperfect. Stained.

I say it has a patina of love, timeworn by a woman who gets her biggest thrills in the kitchen.

So when we moved recently, I did what I’d been wanting to do for a very long time. I laid down my stash of mad money and bought marble countertops.

And — geeeeeeeeesh — do I LOVE them!

You might notice from the photo I’m still waiting on cabinet doors. And hardware. And a maple butcher-block island top.  Things are still in a bit of disarray right now after only seven days of unpacking in this house. But I don’t care. I could stand for hours and admire this marble. Even the act of making toast brings me joy in this kitchen.

And what more can you want out of life?