A Magpie Longs for Milquetoast

Neutral Nelly or to be a Milquetoast
‘Never.’  I should just banish that word from my lexicon.  Say it all the time.  Not only do I come from a long line of women who eat their young, we are a judgy bunch too.  I say ‘Never’ a lot.  Whenever I see neutral spaces, my first instinct is to judge the space away as being too boring, too restrained, as not having any frisson.  ‘Never!’  I say.  ‘Not for me!’ I say.  I am a frustrated artist, so my heart naturally sings with color.  But I have to admit that lately I am drawn to tonal spaces that are devoid of riotous pattern and color.  This is noteworthy coming from the magpie who’s favorite color is pink-glitter-shiny-bright-with-a-side-of-spots.

Sally Wheat via Joni Webb/Cote de Texas

If done right, with textures, layers, metallics, and a limited palette, tone on tone is anything but bland.  That milquetoast can be magnificent.  Which is my ineloquent way of saying milquetoast can be alluring.  I am seriously contemplating going in an entirely different direction with Chez V aka the Postage Stamp – one that involves a layered Out-of-Africa tonal canvas.  Think natural fiber rugs layered with hides, slip covered upholstery, metallic accents, lots of linen, creams, and canvas, unpainted wood, and some blue and white for that waspy shot of colonial color but grounded with smart doses of black.  And probably a smidge of animal print – which I consider a neutral, Kassey!

Timothy Whelan via Arch Digest

Ashley Goforth Design

Joni Webb via Cote de Texas

Megan Megas via Antique Shops & Designers

Lindsey Reid via House Beautiful

Mark D. Sikes via House Beautiful

via Simply Seleta

Stephen Shubel via House Beautiful

Bettina Nuschei via Nuevo Estilo

Kathleen Clements Design/Briggs Edward Solomon Design

Lynn Morgan via House Beautiful
via pinterest via Scot Meacham Wood

Heather Bullard

via pinterest via Erika Powell

the McGrath ladies via Good Bones Great Pieces

The irony here is that I did the whole natural fiber rug/layered hide thing 6 years ago.  I started out with a huge jute rug that I thought would be ideal for a huge dog.  WRONG!  Mega wrong!  Sure it was durable, but it showed every muddy paw print, slobber stain, and wine spill.  Then I layered a hide rug over the stained jute.  Brilliant!  Hid the stains on the jute not to mention miraculously repelling any new stains.  Super easy to clean off – let a spill dry and brush it right off.  The problem was that it was major beige-y browntown in a north facing dark room.  Boo.  Similarly, I tried sisal, and then seagrass in various different spots all to the same results.  Stain City Sweatheart.  Plus the sisal and seagrass showed wear pretty quickly.  Boo too. So I swore off natural rugs in favor of patterned spot hiders.  Plus, I had just had a little and needed something soft and plush for her to roll about on.  So the hide has been in hibernation for 4 years.  But now I am OVER the patterned rugs – excepting of course if they are of the antique persian variety - so I am ready to pull the hide back out.  And a natural rug.  So here I am again, saying NEVER SAY NEVER to natural rugs again.  And neutral nelly milquetoast spaces.  When our over large beast leaves for greener pastures, I am so doing the tonal Out-of-Africa thing.  With a side of bling.

Oh who am I kidding?  I will likely have 3 new patterns and a gold-leafed ceiling in this house by next week.

ps - Listen, animal lovers, I love my dog, but he is sick and old and his quality of life isn’t good.  No judging.  There is only room for one Judgy McJudger around here and that role is taken.  I am simply making light of a sad thing.

and pps - I'm tired - I will attach links later

kisses, mrs. V


Three Sisterz said...

i wish i could write like you and i love all things neutral!

mrs. V | Chez V said...

You can. As you can attest, I write exactly as if I were speaking to you over a glass of wine. In other words, when I sit down to write a post, I simply write as if I were talking to my sister. So, do the same, just imagine you are sitting down to your Friday night clinks with your sasses and capture that authentic voice that is reserved for them b/c you know they love ya no matter what you say!

alison giese Interiors said...

We are kindred spirits.
But you're a more hilarious and clever writer!
I wanna SEE some of that Out of Africa + Bling thang!!

Patty Day @Pattys Epiphanies said...

Hi, Stopped by with Linda's suggestion. Have to add. I have discovered cowhide rugs this year. Can't afford the Zebras! I have two, mostly black with a little white. I named them Lulu and Honey Bell! Tell everyone they are the Bell sisters. I have them in our very open floor plan in the foyer and hall over a light wood floor "reaching" across to the twist light carpet in the dining room and great room. My family thinks I'm crazy! My home is very black, white, mirrors, mirror surround fireplace, glass, and lots of gold accents! They are waiting for the moose head to arrive! They just don't get it....but we do!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a fantastic web site. On what other blog could anyone get this kind of information written in such an insightful way? I have a presentation that I am just now working on, and I have been looking for such info.

mrs. V | Chez V said...

I get it Patty!