Never seek decorating advice from an engineer.
Especially one who's very literal-minded.
See, I have this step-dad. And he's a great person. He's helpful, generous, intelligent and he's great with my kids. He will jump waves for hours with my twins. He'll patiently watch as they fling themselves off the end of the pool a million times yelling "Look at this cannonball, GF!" (GF equals Grand Father, by the way. They have two Papas and two Grandaddies and it gets a little confusing.) He will play checkers with a kid over and over and over...never letting them win, but always teaching them how to plan and think and strategize. He invites us over for dinner, makes us feel at home, listens to us talk about ourselves and our kids and seems genuinely interested in what we have to say. All in all, he's a swell guy.
But he isn't exactly what you'd call a "Think outside the box" kind of person.
He came over earlier in the week to bring a grill for my hubby. And before he and I unloaded the grill from the back of his truck, I asked him to come in and see the projects I'd been working on. I've refinished a desk and reorganized and redecorated a little in the Living Room, and was excited to have someone other than my kids take a look at what I've done. Only...
Well, the desk I refinished is against a wall in the Living Room. Without a chair. Sort of being used as a table, I guess. First of all, I didn't have a chair to go with it. Secondly, I didn't really want to use it as a desk anyway.
So, I asked him what he thought.
And he told me. (Insert giggles here. From me. Not him.)
"Well, I don't know why you'd put a desk here in the middle of the room where the coffee table belongs? Really, you should move it over there and...it should have a chair. It is a desk. A desk should have a chair. How will you write?"
I'm not going to write at it. I'm going to stick things on it.
"It's a desk."
Yes, I know that. But I'm thinking of it more as a sofa table type thing. For a lamp and some picture frames and that kind of stuff.
"But...it's a desk. A desk should have a chair."
I don't have a chair.
"It didn't come with a chair?"
It probably did come with a chair 65 years ago when it was bought, but it's been passed down a dozen times and now...no chair.
"Wait. That's an antique desk? Is it solid wood furniture?" (His father made fine furniture...beautifully hand-crafted wood furniture of great quality. He knows furniture. Oops...I'm in trouble.)
Yes, it certainly is. Pulling out a drawer for him to inspect... see...here's the company that made it.
"And what made you decide to paint it black??"
Because...I umm...wanted to? I painted the nightstand white.
"Nightstand? So the desk belongs to a bedroom suite?"
Yep. I have the chest of drawers and dresser, too.
"And you painted the desk black and put it in the Living Room? The desk that was a mahogany wood and belongs in a bedroom with a chair? And you've painted the nightstand white...why?"
Because I'm not going to put it in the Living Room with the desk?
"What are you going to do with it?"
I'm going to put a beach glass mosaic of a sail boat on the top, grout it, but a funky glass knob for the drawer and stick it in the kitchen!
Shaking his head in dismay..."Let's go get the grill."