Nothing like a party with actual guests* to make me realize that it was fucking time to take care of some bizness. Namely, the house.

Now I am not an interior decorator. I don’t even play one on television (I do, however, play a doctor and/or the village idiot, so that’s something). I’ve never sat through a home improvement show – not even the show Home Improvement, but that’s because Tim Allen makes me want to stab out my eyes – nor would I care to. In fact, I’d rather gnaw off several toes than have to sit through one.

I’ve tried, mostly because I figured I could learn about this mysterious “eye for style” which, it turns out, is not something that can be acquired during ten or so minutes of one of those shows. My idea of a pretty room is one that has unicorns, glitter, and/or an Uncrustables machine, which means that my new house, the one I’ve lived in nearly five years, has been decorated in what can only be considered “found by the side of the road” style.

But if I have people over, it’s time to pretend that I may actually be a grown-up…or at least play one for a party. Which meant it was time for some motherfucking home improvements.

Because I am a bad blogger who takes lousy photos (when did being an incredible photog become part of being a blogger?), I did not take any “before” pictures. The room I am currently working in, my dining room, was painted what I liked to call, “Cat Barf Green,” although some of you may find it to be more “Cat Pee on Plasterboard.” Frankly, I’ll be interested to see what you decide upon.

This is the room BEFORE we moved in. Which means this was NOT my furniture.

Fake flowers make me dry heave.

Not sure what you’d call it, besides butt-fugly, but that’s what it was.

For years, I’ve worked in here, gritting my teeth as I looked at the hideous paint (recall also, those of you who love the shade, that I am color-blind)(and those of you who LOVE the fake flowers, it’s like I don’t know you.) and that awful chandelier, but there has always been something – anything – else that prevented us from fixing the room.

It’s the “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” problem. If I painted, I’d want to replace the fug light fixture. If I replaced THAT light fixture, I would also need some new art for the walls.

And so on.

So the room has remained, silently taunting me until last week, when I realized people would be coming by. AND JUDGING MY HORRIFYING TASTE. It’s not like I could put a disclaimer on the walls, like, “Objects In Here Are Not Aunt Becky’s Choice.” Well, I guess I COULD, but that’s weird.

Instead, I decided to strap on a set of balls and get ‘er done. Daver took the kids to his parents this weekend and Ben and I spent about 40 straight hours working on the two rooms (I’ll show you the other room tomorrow. Couldn’t get any decent snaps. Suffice to say, it was painted 2 different shades of white.).


Where the magic happens.

Here’s where I ask for your help, Pranksters: I need some nice, beautiful, colorful pictures to hang on my wall around my desk. I’d go to Etsy, but I get overwhelmed every time I try.

Also: I need an old light box – you know, the thing where they used to hang X-Rays? That.

Any suggestions? Also: how was your weekend? Also also: can you give me a massage? I’m fucking sore. Also also also: apparently ninety-years old.

*Email me if you want an invite – I’m serious. I will insist that you admire my walls, but this is gonna be fucking fun.

100 thoughts on “Martha Stewart, I Ain’t.

  1. Why go with colorful pictures? I’d find some cool black and whites of something and frame them in black and stainless frames. Your walls are so colorful (LOVE them!!) that black and whites would go great and the stainless or black frames would be awesome with the chandelier. Nice job! I think it looks great! Of course, I’m not a decorator either, so what do I know?! lol

  2. I love it! My wife would REALLY love it… Sparkie (said wife) got me some pix of her and the girls blown up on canvas – yeah, like a painting – and something like that would look awesome in there.

    Extra points, BTW, for the owls – my girls LOVE owls…


  3. I’m diggin what I’m seein. And also, I would love an invite but I’m in the South Carolina and you’re….not.
    And also, also, Aleve.

    Also, also, also, if you lived here I would so hook you up with some artwork. We have this really cool place called Old Time Pottery – NO it’s not all pottery shit so I don’t known why it’s named that – but I could literally spend hours in there, days if I’ve been drinking (mostly because I’ve likely passed out in the ladies room and they’ve locked up).
    Enjoy the party and try not to miss me…

  4. I’m guessing you want art around your work area so you don’t lick the walls, b/c purple IS a flavor. 🙂 You ROCK – I adore that color!! I have artless walls as I married an architect and finding something we both like takes forever. Like 8 years to paint the living room forever. And we’ve been here 11 and our bedroom has never been painted although he described it as “locker room blue” when we moved in. Eh. Whatever.

  5. That color is to die for! The purple not the “Cheese Mold Green”. I’ll have to look around for some artwork for you. How about a giant portrait of Grimace as we discussed my being your personal Grimace and he IS purple. Boom!

  6. I feel a little like an advertising spammer, which really sucks, because I’m actually a real live person, but FWIW, I *am* a photographer (and a pretty good one, if I say so myself – and I better say it, because I’m too impatient to wait around for someone else to say it). And my photos are available online. If anyone’s crazy enough to want to take a look, I’ll be glad to point you the right direction.

    (I guess I’m not totally an ad spammer – I didn’t just post the website and scream “Go buy these! They cure small boobs and erectile dysfunction!”)

      1. I suppose if I could cure small boobs, maybe the ED cure would follow? (Since I don’t fall into the small boobs category – yes, I’m bragging – I’m just guessing.)

        Anyway, I’ve got pictures in two places. They’re at and at (well, and there are pics posted at random sites all over the place, but everything ends up on these sites). I alternate between wanting everyone in the world to see them, and then worry that everyone will see them – and think they stink….

  7. Dude! I LOVE that purple. It’s gorgeous. I can’t wait to see it (and you and Dawnie and Ben and your family) in person. TWO weeks from this Friday! Woooo! <3

  8. I decorate by hanging the shit I made in art school on the walls, and the stuff the kid paints…. so I may not be the best to ask. But if you want some random art I can mail you whatever photos I have lying around. You can toss whatever you don’t want. 🙂

  9. I’ve got nothing BUT colorful, crazy photos. That’s what I do. Email me and tell me what kind of pic-shaws you want and I’ll send you something to compliment those *awesome* purrr-ple flavored walls.

  10. Please go to, I think it would be perfect for you, your style, and your needs. BEST THING EVER! They make wall decals, essentially giant pretty, arty, stickers and designs for your walls, no framing needed. There are reusable ones, which I loved in college because they move with me when I move. They now have wall tiles, aka giant (re-useable) wallpaper stickers, aka awesome. I am a devotee. They also have beautiful single use designs. All sorts of styles, anyone can find something they like. Go there, find pretty things! They aren’t horribly expensive, all art considered, and if you get sick of them in a year or three, no problem! Peel it off and slap on the new one!

  11. You have kids. Buy a black frame, and white artsy paper, give Amelia some paint, glitter, glue, and markers, and let ‘er go crazy. Trim paper to fit frame, voila! Likewise with other children. You will have the most amazing art that way, and your kids will love it. Even better, start with a frame with pre-cut matting, and it will really look professional.

  12. AB, if you can’t find a good affordable (not the size of a full body scan) light box, you can make one. Buy a shadow box from the craft store. Insert a light from Ikea through the back (they sell the light cords with bulb to do just this). Have home depot cut a piece of frosted plexiglass to fit in the front. Turn on the light, and boom, should work as a light box. Or you know, look up better instructions online. Then you could be all “I MADE THAT, NOW ADMIRE IT” when people come over.

  13. I fucking love you Becky, As far as the photog’s go, you can print an image you like and take to any print shop to have it enlarged and frame those. It’s cheap and awesome at the same time… Sorta like you my dear 🙂 hehe

  14. cheap and awesome wall art fix is scrapbooking paper … go to the clearance section for super cheap (like $0.39 a piece) Glue that on a shoe box top or put it in a cheapo frame. Also if you find cheap cute fabric in the scrap box at your local craft store you can throw that in a cheap embroidery hoop. Hope that helps ya out … those always saved me a bundle. I’ve also gone to online giftwrapping to do the same thing with the scrapbooking paper but scrapping is much cheaper.

  15. I would do a black & white. You can get reprints of Ansel Adams photos at I love the purple 🙂

  16. I really really love that color. But I agree with some. That purple has so much color that black and whites would look awesome

  17. I LOVE the color of your walls!!! I wish I had some art help for you, but I don’t. The only painting I have is one my sister did, the rest are pictures of my kid. 🙂

  18. Very pretty!! What a Happy Room! I’d go with black and white photos…..or wall decals. But it is very awesome just as it is.

  19. WOW! That is a truly awesome shade of purple!! I LOVE that color. Also I like the new light fixture. And you have balls woman to go with a color that bold. I’m apparently a wimp and also my husband has put a moratorium on dark wall colors in place (he whines that they make him depressive) so I get to try to do the balance of I love COLOR but it can’t be DARK. *sigh*.

    Either way I’m jealous of the gorgeous purple! Carry on! I love to see what you do with it!

  20. Purples are so soothing good choice! When I finally live somewhere I’m allowed to paint the walls I’m going to do indigo in my bedroom and maybe earth colors in the rest of the house. But right now every wall, door, and trim in my rental house is flat muted gray. So the whole house looks dirty.

    You transformed the house from an old lady house to a modern comfy chic!

  21. I’ll email her and get a link, because I have an artist friend who is AMAZING. She also happens to run an after-school program, called the ArtMobile, where she teaches art classes after school to kids whose art programs have been cut. Her name is Heather Wirth, and if you look on my facebook page (cuz, we’re like totally friends, yo), you can see examples of her work. Wow, this is turning into a lot of work for you. Perhaps I should go find that link now.

  22. Not to pimp myself out, but I do macro photography in bright colors that would look AWESOME on that color paint. I’d be happy to send you a few prints.

  23. I have absolutely no ability to decorate. At all. I can’t even really match colors, which is why my entire wardrobe is basic black. My husband, however, is an artist, which sounds more interesting than it really is, since he basically worked in commercial art and now does caricatures for parties and stuff, but it does mean he can help me match up stuff to wear out of the house so I don’t end up on people of Walmart. Also, when we wanted some art to decorate our newly painted kitchen walls, he decided he could also paint and he created some absolutely beautiful sort of modern color pieces. If I knew what I was doing, I would post pics of them here and then you could totally recreate them with some small canvasses and lots of bright paints. Not me. I couldn’t. But I’ll bet you could.

    OK, since I’m too feeble to figure out how to post pics in here, I’ll try linking to a blog post I wrote with video of the paintings. Maybe.

    1. Toni,
      Go to the Home Depot and look at the swatches. There are millions of them and they’re in a kind of coordinating order. Another funny thing, I am a CM scrapbooking consultant and our company designs all of our paper in palettes designed to be used as coordinating colors. Since I have always been mad at matching anything outside the realm of pairing your most basic colors together, this has opened a whole new world for me. Also, my friend often goes to stores like NY & Co and picks outfits she likes from the mannequin. Just some suggestions for giving you confidence without having your hubs along. Although dependable, maybe his style is different from yours.:) My hubs is colorblind and even though I’m no fashionista, I have to direct him to CHANGE his clothes sometimes!

  24. I’m loving SO much the color on your walls, the light fixture, and the owl pic that is already hanging up.

    Can I come live in your dining room? (I’ll bring glitter and uncrustables)

    1. I think you should bring the glitter sprinkles to kind of bedazzle the uncrustables. They’d make a dazzling centerpiece in Aunt Becky’s new room – a perfect housewarming focal point. 🙂 Imagine the loveliness.

  25. Dearest Aunt Becky, thank you. I have a house that has awful paint and you have inspired me to not be afraid any longer. My kitchen is halloween orange and sun yellow. My bathroom is fuschia. The rest of my house is dingy “a smoker lived here” white.
    I absolutely love the color! It makes me think I should be brave and use bright colors (assuming of course the hubs will allow bright colors).

  26. LOOOOOOOOOVE it! Can’t wait to see more. I’m also currently in the “If you give a mouse a cookie,” mode of redecorating (add lack of time & money) to that. My vote for artwork is A) Blow up your best pics of your kids in b&w or color and put posters of them on the wall in inexpensive frames (something I’ve been dying to do forevahhh) – and wouldn’t you know – like most of your friends – I have a website for that :)? And B)I love the idea of letting your kids make some cool wall art. I don’t think they can create anything that won’t go with purple. (Also their photos will go with the room in b&w or sepia or purple). Go to Michael’s or AC Moore and get some inexpensive mats for it. I think it will look awesome. You will look and see their art and feel happy. Or see their faces and feel happy. That is seroiusly depression ass-kicking purple. You go Woman!

  27. Love, love, love that color! Also, will you and Ben come paint my dining room? I’ll give you cookies. Lots of them.

  28. My son used to say (with his tongue sticking out) “Gotta Lick It”. Thats how I feel about your wall.
    What about three different but brightly painted canvases, like 3 12X12 or something so you can put the vertical and have each kids do their handprints or something. Like a bright blue, Bright green and Magenta with one of the other colors as the handprints. kids get a kick out of helping too. Or paint the canvasses in blackboard paint and but them right by the computer.

  29. That room is eye of the fucking tiger AB. Question and sorry if you answered it already, cause like I suck and didn’t read all the comments, but where did you find the who-who ch-choo owl print? Damn that’s a run on sentence.

  30. Tim Allen makes me want to stab my eyes out as well. NOTHING pisses me off more than when I wake up in the middle of the night, and ‘Home Improvement” has leeched it’s way back into the Nick at Nite lineup… My family pays for it the next day

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