Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wildfires Lead to Gray Bedrooms

Each night looks a little different as the winds change

It’s a hot, dry summer here in New Mexico. There are fires in the Pecos Canyon and the Jemez Mountains near Santa Fe. Another fire just started yesterday afternoon in the Pecos Wilderness. We have smoky days and nights that make our eyes burn and evenings spent admonishing the plumes of smoke we see rising up from the mountains. It’s going to be a long summer...

We can see the fire in the Jemez from our back steps, and the smoke billowing from the Pecos looms large over the Sangre de Cristos. Only a few months ago we were skiing up there and looking down on Santa Fe. Now we look up and see the smoke covered mountains.

We’re trying to come to terms with the fact that this summer will involve a lot less time outdoors hiking and fishing in our favorite spots.

We’re stifling our despair and frustration as best as we can and doing something productive - painting the house. Summers like these are always hard in New Mexico. Everyone is hot and edgy and hoping that maybe it will rain today and knowing that it is very unlikely. I’m hoping this will be a good distraction.

The painting is long overdue. When we bought our house, it was right before our wedding and we had zero time to think about repainting. We knew we did not like the colors, but the paint was in good condition and we had no time or energy to think about picking new colors. We considered it quite the accomplishment to have completed the closing on the house without losing our minds, and all of our remaining energy went into planning our wedding. Here we are four years later, and we still haven’t repainted. Working on the house isn’t my favorite way to spend my spare time, but since we can’t do all the things we’d like to be doing this summer, we figured we’d finally work on this project.

Currently the colors in our house are pretty ugly. If Pepto Bismol was blue instead of pink, I think the color of our living room would match perfectly. This is what you see when you enter our house - Pepto Bismol blue accented with a yellow kitchen and red dining room. It looks like a circus tent when you enter our house. Not good! We’re starting with the bedroom, which currently has an inoffensive color, and compared to the circus tent, the color is downright pleasant. But, it seems like a good place to start since it is a smaller project to tackle.

I’ve been dreaming about a charcoal gray bedroom ever since we visited Georgia O’Keefe’s house in Abiquiu a few summers ago. I loved all of the plasters in her house, and the tour guide informed us about which town or region the dirt had come from for each one. The gray plaster in her bedroom is absolute perfection. We weren’t allowed to take photos on the tour, and it’s been a few years since I saw her gray plaster, but I found a charcoal gray that is pretty close in my mind.

Actually, Andrew informed me that gray is a very popular color choice now for bedrooms and rooms. Remember in the movie The Sandlot when the main character realizes that everyone but him knows who Babe Ruth is - including his mom? That’s kind of how I felt when I realized that my husband (who spends his internet time researching handmade bicycles and vintage motorcycles) is more up to date on interior decorating trends than me.

Oh well, trendy or not, we’re finally going to have the charcoal gray bedroom I’ve been wanting. In the meantime, we get to sleep in the dining room. If the kitchen wasn't right there, I'd move right in and stay because this is the loveliest room in the house with lots of natural light and a whole wall of plants.


  1. What a beautiful post, Meghan! I wish we could give you some of our rain, as a state-to-state gift, because we've got plenty. As for the charcoal paint, which one did you pick? The lightest, darkest, or middle? Two of my friends just painted their babies' rooms lightish greys, and I never thought I would like grey walls, but these colors felt so soothing and calm. Nice choice!

    I love the image of your bed right in the middle of the dining room! Just make sure not to cook any ratatouille while you're sleeping there...

  2. Thanks, Rose. I wish you could send some rain our way too!

    We picked the darkest gray on the bottom right. We also tested the light gray in the living room and hallway and it looks really pretty.


Hey, thank you!

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