Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Brown: Swedish for change


I am surrounded by it.

I blame my in-laws…and Ikea.

We all experience different phases in life and my wife is no different. But, there is one particular phase that she seems to have cycled through our little world, more often than any other.

I call it the “We desperately need to bring immediate change to the entire colour scheme of our house, or any chance of us living happy and fulfilled lives will be rendered completely impossible” Phase.

Oh, how I dread this phase.

It’s just that I’m a simple guy, who adapts easily. I’d be more than comfortable sitting in a blue chair, on an orange carpet, in a room with lime green walls. In fact, if I needed to, I could stay there, at peace, for years while maintaining a high level of sanity.

My wife, on the other hand…15 minutes. Tops! I’m pretty sure any longer, in a room like that, would bring on a seizure.

Okay, maybe lime green and orange will bring about a seizure in almost anyone, but you get my point. My wife and I are very different in regards to our environmental comfort thresholds.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a big supporter of things like change and colour co-ordination. It’s just that the frequency of this phase with its immediate, all-encompassing, dire nature is causing me to hate…Ikea.

I have nothing against the Swedes. It’s just that, although, my dream vacation would still include a visit to their beautiful country, I have definitely scratched their, convenient and affordable, furniture shop, off my desired destination list.

It is because of Ikea that I find myself sitting in this, brand new, brown living room. They were also responsible for my, previously, red living room…and the blue one, before that.

And the green, beige and flower print ones.

My home is travelling around the colour wheel at a feverish rate. Round and round it goes, where it’ll stop nobody knows. What I do know is that when it does stop…it won’t be for long.

However, I will acknowledge that I can’t blame all of this on Sweden’s number two import (ABBA being number one…obviously).

No, Ikea is just a symptom. The problem really rests in my wife’s deeply rooted need for fresh home décor, every three months.

That fragile emotional state, which is directly connected to the length of time between wall papering and new seat cushions, falls squarely on the shoulders of her parents.

You see, growing up, my wife slept on a pink bunk bed, in a room with pink curtains, dressers and carpeting…for years. One day, she just snapped!

Tearing a Barbie decal off the wall, she approached her parents and demanded a different colour scheme. When they rebuffed her request, she packed her bags and left.

She was 27.

My in-laws have recently told me that they had hoped my wife would have gotten the hint a lot earlier. Of course, what they didn’t realize was that their little plan would have a long-term impact.

My wife hasn’t had a meaningful relationship with any living room, that has lasted more than six months. I think that’s sad.

When it comes to furniture and home decoration, too much change causes just that. Change! No bills…just a pocket full of change.

However, things are starting to look up. As a result of my in-laws confession, I have since told them that they need to start paying for a portion of our decorating costs. After all, if they had just painted their daughter’s bedroom blue, at some point, she might not have developed her decorating complex.

And…they’ve agreed. Theyll be writing their contribution off as “therapy” expenses.

So, for now…it’s brown. Everywhere! But, the new Ikea catalogue has just arrived and my father-in-law has given me their half in advance.

It’s only a matter of time.

For everything there is a season. A time for war, a time for peace…and a time to change the colour of your seats.

Have a good one,


  1. Mmm...brown. I don't think you can go wrong with brown. We just got brown couches and I LOVE them. Go Heidi! :)

  2. It's not so much the brown as it is the fact that it won't be brown for much longer...and it will come back around to brown again. In due time.


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