Room 911: Fifty Shades of Purple

This time when I drove up to Troublesome Road, only Mrs.Bickerson came out to greet me.{{more}}

Inquiring about her husband, she mentioned that he was not available at this time and perhaps I would see him later.

“No time like the present,” I stated to Mrs. B, “let’s look at the other rooms in your house.”

Murray had warned me that I would need sunglasses upon entering the living room which was his wife’s decorating realm.

He was right. Fuschia and magenta walls jumped out at me, as did the piano, which was done in French Provincial white. The end tables had wood Sequoia tree bases and glass tops.

The coffee table had a herringbone pattern of black and white tiles and two big wingback chairs covered in a flame stitch in various shades of purple.

Some fairly nice art work lined the walls of the living room but they were overpowered by shelves that held massive collections of figurines in shades of purples, pinks, lime, chartreuse and puce.

Her draperies were heavy billowing masses of floral chintz that puddled on the floor.

A tall tangerine orange planter occupied one end of the living room and housed a huge fern plant.

The other end of the living room had a dollhouse (also painted magenta) that had miniature elephant statuettes inside—this time in various shades of mustard yellow, buttercup, sunflower, etc.

What’s more amazing were those were the names she had given the figurines that resided in the kitchen and bedrooms of the doll house.

“Isn’t this room fantastic,?” crowed Phyllis.

I no sooner had a chance to express my opinion when Murray walked in.

“Do you see what I have to live with,?” he smirked.

“Well, it’s a helluva lot better than your Lionel train set and junk in the entryway,” retorted Mrs.B.

“You see, I’m wearing sunglasses because the color of the walls are just putrid. I think my wife should write a book called“ Fifty Shades of Purple.”

“Why don’t you get back to counting your argyle socks and while you’re at it, why don’t you number your floss sticks in the medicine cabinet, too” roared Mrs. B.

“Why don’t you take a course in color coordination and while you’re at it, why don’t you seat all your figurines on the two wingback chairs because they are the only ones I would allow to be guests in my house,” said her husband. “I’m just too ashamed of your poor taste.”

“By the way, what makes this your house?” inquired Phyllis.

“That’s a good question!” said her disgruntled husband.

“Stop, stop, stop this bickering right now,” I demanded. “I will not work in this environment. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion but it must be done in a civilized, respectful way. No put downs. No one upmanship. No name calling. I am leaving now and I will wait to hear from you when, and only when, you are ready to make some substantial improvements to your home by conducting yourselves in a mature, constructive fashion.”

I left quickly and backed down the driveway. In the rearview mirror, I saw them on the terrace with their mouths open in disbelief. Out of eyesight, I began to laugh, for surely, the new name for this project would be” Fifty Shades of Purple.”

Tedra Schneider is the founder of reStage, a division of Tedra Associates, Inc. She has worked in residential/commercial interior decorating and design and can be reached with questions or comments through her website,