Design Trends and Reality

First of all, probably the most important information, is just how the pumpkin patch is doing this year. I have an early pumpkin this year! So early I’m afraid it won’t be around for Halloween and there are no other baby pumpkins yet.

About the size of a soccer ball

The plant itself is doing very well. It has big, beautiful leaves and flowers. The pumpkin patch started the year after I composted my pumpkins in a hole left by an unfortunate pond the previous homeowner put in right by the front door.

You need a pretty big spot for these, they expand out a lot

I compost my pumpkins every year but one year I forgot that I had not carved the pumpkin so I was composting it seeds and all. This turned out fine since the garden bed by my front door is rather bare and pumpkins are actually pretty plants until right before Halloween, so I love having it and watching the pumpkins grow. Last year I had about eight pumpkins for decorations. I couldn’t eat last year’s because an exterminator had to put poison in the ground to get rid of a yellow jacket nest. (I did check with my local bee folks who said they didn’t want yellow jackets and it was OK to kill them)

This year I hope I have some for eatin’.

I haven’t found any other pumpkins yet but they do kind of hide and surprise you later

Important pumpkin update aside:

This weekend, I went to another home show event. The Street of Dreams is in an upscale neighborhood just outside Portland. The other home show event I went to last month was the Parade of Homes. I’m starting to get confused about what events I’m going to and why. The Parade of Homes had a lot of lovely homes but was more modest than the Street of Dreams.

I’ve been going to the Street of Dream events for a few years now but they are starting to irritate me. I don’t know if the events are changing or if I’m wanting a different experience from these because I am in the midst of changing things in my home. I want concrete information and ideas I can use rather than just to admire and walk away.

I think my biggest gripe about this year was that several of the homes were pre-sold. That’s great, but when they are sold, the owners don’t really want you in their homes so most of the rooms get roped off and all you can do is stick your head through the doorway to take a look around from there. The trouble is, you are doing this with 10 other people at the same time so you don’t really get to see much or take the time to absorb the details of the room and design. I felt like much of the show were different ways of being told, “This place is too nice for the likes of you.”

Blurry because you are walking through with 4 million people and you can’t hold things up by stopping and looking at stuff. Keep it moving people!

You have to take your shoes off at the door, which is no problem until I remember I need a pedicure (For the record, this year I remembered to do my toes. There is a first time for everything.). Some houses won’t even allow bare feet. You must wear the booties over your shoes or over your bare feet if you want in the house. I watched one woman who was so confused by this that she put the booties on her shoes that she was carrying and tried to walk in the door barefoot. I saw another guy walking down the street and in the houses with his shoes in booties the whole time. Clearly he didn’t understand what the booties were supposed to do. This is a man who has never vacuumed a room in his life.

Also, they were very bossy how you toured the house. “Go left” “Tour main floor first” What if I was only interested in the kitchen? What if I was sick of seeing wine cellars?

I did not get as many ideas or solid design information as I’ve gotten in the past either. The design tended to be very upscale which is a lot of fun to look at but you aren’t likely to execute (kind of like a haute couture fashion show).

I’m not generally a fan of wallpaper but I loved this stuff in the 300 sq. foot laundry room of one of the houses. I really like it paired with that tile that has a texture like bark. My laundry room is a closet so my design consists of cobwebs and boxes of light bulbs. It’s a slightly different look than this.

Another theme I noticed with the designs is the lack of livability. Stunning to look at but not practical for the daily schlub. There was a beautiful shower with a big, black rock in the corner. It was very cool but I noticed that it was pointy at the top so all I could think was, “That rock was not selected by anyone that has ever had to sit down to shave their legs.”

Door hardware I decided to fall in love with. The closest facsimile I can find online is over $50 each. That’s not quite in my budget. Unless my mortgage company is cool with me skipping a payment this month.

Yeah, I was taking the fun out of things a bit.

The color palettes were incredibly consistent across all the homes so they must be the trendy colors. A seafoamy/tealish green/gray, pewter, black and white, and taupes. Absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful but honestly, I don’t think anyone that lives in Oregon wants to live with that palette year-round. Most of our year is spent in gray and dark. There is a point in winter when you just need to have color around you. I think the design was strictly for impact and not livability so that kind of annoyed me.


I’m not sure I’ll go back next year. I can appreciate dress up but I think I’m so mired in reality right now that it just didn’t do it for me. Plus, there was a point in the second house (there are 9 to go through) when I hit full saturation and I just wasn’t sure I could even get through the whole tour. The saturation wasn’t from the tour itself. I think it was home stuff in general. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in everything home and decorating.

On that note, I should share that I actually made some real progress on the kitchen. Cabinets have been procured! I’m so relieved that an actual forward step has been taken I could weep. Behold the handles. Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?

These do not cost anywhere near $50 each. They didn’t even cost $50 for all of them.


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