Spring is here! For those of us in Chicagoland, winter 2016 has been relatively mild. But, it’s safe to say we’re ready for warmer weather and the transformation of Spring. Rebirth and renewal is also underway for many of our clients’ interiors too!
Living in the Chicago, like so many other metropolitan areas, we are lucky to be surrounded by cultural diversity. With a large population sharing such varied heritage, it’s a great opportunity to learn about other countries and cultures without having to travel very far from our own front doors.
This past week, we put the final touches on a redesign project in northwest suburban Sleepy Hollow for a grandmother, originally from Bulgaria. While her lifestyle has certainly ‘Americanized’ after living here for so many years, her Bulgarian heritage and pride still shine through! During our consult we decided her current home, where she’d moved to be closer to kids and grandkids, needed updating. We wanted to remove dated decor courtesy of the previous owners and to make it more personalized for her.
We began the transformation by removing the dated wallpaper and borders throughout the house. Next we re-painted those spaces also nixing the 1990’s red accent wall. We picked three warm neutral Sherwin Williams colors: Maison Blanche for the living room, Sand for the dining room and Irish Cream for the home office/tv room. Since the owner’s favorite colors lavender purple and minty green would’ve been overpowering on the walls, we decided to use them instead in accent pillows, dining room window panels and accessories. New window treatments, a few new pieces of furniture, lamps and accessories were all we needed to update the rooms and give them a finished sense of style and cohesiveness, perfect for this grandmother.
During the excited reveal, our grandmother loved all the finishing touches that customized the home especially for her. Noticing every little change included what we removed as much as everything we added. So, she asked what we’d done with the red and white yarn dolls on the back of her front door. I explained that I thought they were leftover Christmas decorations and had put them with the rest of the unused items. Apparently, I was mistaken. She graciously explained that they were for good luck, good health and fortune; part of a uniquely Bulgarian spring celebration called “Baba Marta”. Baba Marta (Bularian: Баба Марта, “Granny March”) is the name of a mythical figure who brings with her the end of the cold winter and the beginning of the spring. Her holiday of the same name is celebrated in Bulgaria on March 1 with the exchange and wearing of martenitsi (red & white bracelets) for the month.
Needless to say, the good luck charm was returned to its place of honor on the front door. And now our team is also proudly sporting our own gifted martenitsi for the month of March. After all, who can’t afford a little more luck and good fortune?
Good interior decorating respects design “rules”. More importantly, it embraces the way real people live in their homes. Learning from our clients and celebrating their cultural diversity is just another way we show our clients how to fall in love with us and their homes all over again.
Happy Diversity and Decorating from Decor Designs, Inc. 815-245-2433