Sunday, June 14, 2015

Reinventions

Esther Rogoway artist, "Life is Full of Fun", 30x32
Not only has my wardrobe changed dramatically but so has my home dec style.  For newer readers, I used to live in a 1940s Cape Cod style home in Oregon-lovely home, lots of nice architectural detail and I'd been there 30 years.   My current home is in the desert and is a slump block home-flat roof, very plain, easy to maintain and clean.  I love the changes I have made and am excited to see that I can still use a few of my old pieces in this casita while adopting a bit of Southwest style in a sophisticated way.    

The landscape colors and light really affect what the interior of the house looks like.  Because we have temps above 100F in the summer, I hung accordian shades and sun screens.  It is very dark in the house so my photos are enhanced a bit so you can see some detail.  Furthermore, as the sun shines in, the paint on the walls shows very yellow or green.   The UV here is super strong-the paint in the front of the house is whitish tan (sailcloth) with a HINT of yellow.  The bedrooms are not yet painted and will likely get cooler neutrals.  

Here is your tour:

living rm with my old green couch, old blanket, old chair :-)
bedrm with a bedspread from Oaxaca, furniture from Oregon, pillows from Bed Bath and Beyond Tucson, pillowcases by me.
guest rm and sewing studio with buildityourself tables, bed from Oregon company, thrifted mirror painted in deep maroon by me.  oh, and pillowcases courtesy of me and Mexican shawl which I haggled for.  
...and here is the Arizona room-a place which was filthy when we moved in and I am so happy with the changes I made.  I cleaned and polished as much as I could, removed spiders and a snake skin, painted some thrifted pieces we hauled from Oregon, and hung a poem near the back door in memory of my father.  This is a wonderful spot in the morning for coffee but is far too hot other times during the summer.  We use it as a dining room sometimes during other times of the year.  Hi little Nick!

This little house is becoming my home...I am continuing to paint and to renovate and upgrade plumbing and lighting. Once that is done, I will have my shower re-tiled and a new door.  For now, it's fine.
Anne Balentine artist
Besides the landscaping we did and the repairs so far, the biggest expense has been art.
Charles Huckeba, mixed media, from the Cosos formation in CA
The pieces we had in our old home complemented an older plaster home.  They got lost in this house.  My casita needed drama, color, and to reflect the desert environment.  We looked online and in galleries, and went to shows.  It is very easy to find Southwest kitsch but not so easy to find Southwest art which is affordable.  This blog entry highlights the pieces we have added in-you will see a range of styles as I am eclectic in my decorating.
thrifted mirror, massive, motif found in Mexican folk art
 
Tucson artist, weatherproof!



metal bulls from Mexico  


Brenda Peo artist, "Lena", giclee   


Esther Rogoway artist, "Fun and Games", 36x36

Here is the main point of today's blog: retirement gives us a chance to reinvent ourselves and take some risks.  I embraced the idea of moving to the desert, and knew I would be able to find beauty here.  I didn't realize how far-ranging or deep the changes would be and as I reflect on the colors and drama of the art in my home, I see that my spirit is emerging around me.  







24 comments:

  1. You seem to have adjusted/adapted very well - jobs well done!

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    1. Thanks Mrs K, still getting the hang of this climate.

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  2. Your art is spot on and I love love love the mirror!
    OMG for removing a snake skin from the porch!

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    1. Kyle, thanks and the mirror makes me proud. It had been painted a chalky white when I found it. Very wrong :-)

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  3. I am so glad you are up to the challenge of finding art that makes su casa, su nuevo casa. (my really bad spanglish)
    I love the haggled scarf!
    I have spent time in Alaska and bought my first piece of art there. Subsequent pieces were added but 99% do not work in my Oregon home. I absolutely love art and on one of our trips to Hawaii, we spent numerous hours in search of 'authentic hawaiian' art that would fit our Oregon home without being touristy. Some of my other travel pieces work but most of the art I own were bought and made in Oregon to fit an Oregon home.
    I look forwards to your posts as you discover new things that fit your new lifestyle.

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    1. hi kathy, isn't it odd how art takes on a different feel depending upon here it is? I love Northwest native art and Asian art. I have a small drawing bought in Tokyo which I hung here...it is out of place.

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  4. Sounds like a wonderful journey. I'm looking forward to reading all your new adventures. Congrats on retirement and a new beginning.

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  5. So beautiful.. and such a change.. So happy for you.. Sending best wishes for a lovely retirement..
    Hubby and I are , putting our house up for sale. Remodeling an older house..Downsizing and moving about 8 miles from our home..but in the country. So our retirement is changing too.ha

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    1. Judy, you will keep us all updated? Exciting!

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  6. Quite a change in lifestyle. But you have made a very lovely new home. Your desert home reminds me of the desert house I bought when I lived in Alice Springs - summer temperatures always over 100 - my thermometer was always 105 at 830 in the morning - I was sure it was stuck. You do have to live quite differently, as you are discovering. The desert is also very healing, I found.

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    1. Sarah Liz, our thermometer in the garage reads 80...I am sure that is wrong.

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  7. Love the artwork. My favourite room is your bedroom the blue looks very cooling.

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    1. thanks Louise, we like the blue also.

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  8. Very interesting post, Mary! I loved the house tour...and your art is gorgeous!
    I'm glad you're settling in so nicely.

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    1. Thanks Margy, I added the artist name in case you or your husband were interested in looking them up.

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  9. Thank you for the tour Mary. I love the cool blue bedroom and the Arizona room too. It must be so pleasant when the temperature is a bit cooler. Retirement is great and so freeing. Nobody to tell you when to get up (apart from your horses of course) and when to just do nothing. It took me awhile but now I don't feel at all guilty if I am wasting my time because that is the point - it is my time and nobody else's. Have fun collecting your art and making your home your own.

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    1. I think owning your own time is the hardest part of adjusting to retirement.

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  10. I love all of your artwork! I'm glad you're settling in. The environments sound so different from each other! It's interesting that art that fitted previously doesn't now. We've postponed downsizing until after my youngest daughter's wedding next year; also we haven't seen where we want to go. If our current house suddenly shrunk, we'd stay here!

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    1. You will love having a smaller home I think. Yesterday I did all the trimming in the back yard...in 10 minutes.

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  11. I love all of your artwork! I'm glad you're settling in. The environments sound so different from each other! It's interesting that art that fitted previously doesn't now. We've postponed downsizing until after my youngest daughter's wedding next year; also we haven't seen where we want to go. If our current house suddenly shrunk, we'd stay here!

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  12. You have collected some wonderful artwork. When I was visiting my sis in Tucson. we visited art galleries and home dec fabric stores. I really loved some of the items I saw, but most would have looked out of place in my VA home.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, art needs it's special environment. :-)

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  13. Thanks for the lovely house tour! Glad you're settling into your new environment. I especially love the petroglyphs and pictographs. We've hunted down a lot of those in real life and they're always amazing to me.

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