My kitchen was wallpapered ten years ago. It still looks good but there are some nicks and gashes. I was thinking maybe we should do a light renovation in the kitchen – just the walls. It would start out as a ‘diet’ renovation but we all know about scope creep.
We could switch over to paint or textured wallpaper. After all, this would probably be the last time we renovated.
I stopped dead in my tracks and looked over my shoulder expecting to see my mother. This was such a Tess-ism that I couldn’t believe I actually said it out loud.
After my father died, it was just Mom and me. My brothers had already moved out. We painted and papered and carpeted and did whatever needed to be done. From the time my father died, my mother prefaced every renovation as the last one she would do. The inference was that it would last until she died.
We wallpapered the kitchen in the early sixties. I was still in school and it was the first time we used a prepasted paper. I remember getting up the next morning and running down the steps to see if it fell down. It was pale pink venetian blinds with ivy trailing on it. It was my favorite wallpaper. Mom said it was the last time she would redo the kitchen.
Then we wallpapered in the seventies. It was the era of harvest gold and avocado green. Kitchen wallpaper had kitchen-y stuff printed on it like teakettles and mixing spoons and we painted the living room walls golds and greens. Yuk! All of it! Yuk! Of course Mom thought that was her last renovation project. I was hoping it wasn’t and I was right.
She got tired of that fast and we did it again in the seventies with just a small print with a white background for the kitchen. It was much nicer but not as nice as the pink blinds with ivy. The other rooms were wallpapered with dogwood blossoms that fit the style of the house. That was supposed to be my Mom’s last renovation project.
Doggone it! She did the kitchen again in the early eighties. By now it was a big joke but she said it was unlikely she would do it again after all she was 70 now.
Unfortunately, that one was the last one. I remember it well. It was a soft yellow plaid with flowers. Not too bold but it worked well with a lot of colors.
I still liked the blinds with the ivy best. When I wallpapered my kitchen ten years ago I searched for that ivy wallpaper. It no longer existed anywhere.
Sometimes I wonder if it really is the wallpaper I want or the feelings of nostalgia that come with that time of my life.