Lately, I've been doing some studying about the paradoxes we find when we study truth and the principles that attend it; for example, humility brings strength, meekness is actually controlled power, those who are last shall be first, etc. Now that I'm noticing the principle of opposition, I'm seeing it everywhere.
Including in my kitchen.
Right after Steve and I bought the home that we currently live in (8 years ago, guys!), we made a goal to paint/decorate one room per month until we liked the paint job in every room.
The color I chose for our kitchen? A dark, rich, warmly inviting red.
And I loved the red, truly, I did--but after 8 years of the same thing (and after realizing that one sliding glass door just didn't lighten the room in a way that I wanted), I decided I needed a change.
Note the mismatched table and chairs--the 6 black chairs came with our original dining set, the table was a Craigslist treasure that Steve found after our Ikea one bit the dust, and the two end chairs I found at our local thrift store when we realized that we had no extra seating for visitors. For months, I'd been planning on doing something about them and never yet had.
Our white accent wall--it brought a little more light into the room.
However, the problem with any creative venture?
It usually entails a little chaos at first.
Or maybe a lot.
Sanding a full-sized dining table inside one's actual dining room results in a LOT of dust. Even when you lay down tarps underneath.
But, because I knew this table would get a LOT of wear and tear, I wanted to do it right, so I did the filling putty inside all of the scratches, and we sanded, sanded, SANDED.
It got super messy, and with the "help" of my four children, for a while I wondered if I had made a mistake.
After sanding the old black chairs a bit, I actually really liked the scuffed rustic look that it gave them, so I left the backs and legs black and then painted the wooden chairs to match; I painted all of the seats blue so it gave some unity to the "set."
I'm super in love with how it turned out.
I wasn't, however, foolish enough to even consider painting my kitchen on my own, so I waited until Steve was home to start that project.
This is where the chaos got rather intense:
I love how much counter space my kitchen has. The only issue with lots of counter space means that it can hold a LOT of mess....because keeping things on the floor is no longer an option when you have a toddler who loves nothing more than getting into stuff.
We maaaay or may not have kept Calvin placated with a lot of chocolate and TV time during this endeavor.
He didn't seem to mind.
But, as with nearly any creative attempt, the effect is one that I'm grateful for. My kitchen feels much lighter, more open and airy, and I like having a dining set that looks as though it all belongs together rather than like the yard sale special it really was.
I also kept two dried flower bouquets--my wedding bouquet (below) and a dozen yellow roses Steve gave me (above, in the red glass jar).
It's interesting how long I put off this project. I had been wanting a change in my kitchen for over a year now, and had never attempted this project because I thought it would be too hard, I stressed about the fact that I would make too many mistakes, or I was worried about the cost (Really, other than the cost of the paint and some sandpaper, the rest of the stuff was stuff we already owned).
How often do I let fear hold me back from what I really want?
The piece that I'm proudest of--I decided to paint some ivy and flowers around the door freehand. I love painting, and although the only formal training I've had was the zero-hour art class I took in 7th grade, I'm liking how it turned out--kind of like my life: imperfect but sweet.
Yeah, I know--the counters are still messy and the fridge still looks cluttered, but hey--we live here. And my children apparently think that "Clean up the dining room" is code for "Put everything in the dining room onto the kitchen counter."
But this is a kitchen I'm proud of.
Yet another paradox of creation--we can see the faults and flaws of our creations clearly (more clearly than most, I'm sure) and yet still experience joy in what we've created.