Colors of My Dreams

By Kim Seeley

I do not live in a fancy house; in fact, the original half of my house is as modest as they come. The front half of my house is nothing more than a factory-made, three bedroom, two-bath modular home. It was in this house that we raised our girls until the youngest one was twelve years old.

For twenty years, we lived in this original house, with brown paneled walls in every single room, varying only in the intensity of the hues of brown. The kitchens, the bedrooms, the living room, even the bathrooms, were brown. We were not poverty-stricken, but my husband is a simple man with simple needs, and he had no problem with brown. The girls and I were the ones who longed for change; possibly I more than they, longed for color. They simply asked for more space. They wanted a den to entertain their friends; I wanted a bathroom of my own.

After years of begging my husband to move to a larger house, miracle of miracles, he finally agreed to compromise by building an addition to our home. The plans for our new addition were drawn up, and the addition would double the size of our home. We would have a large den, a larger master bedroom, a new laundry room, and yes, I would have my own private bath. We would even have an attic to help with storage space. I was thrilled when the builders began work.

Nothing thrilled me as much; however, as the moment that my husband gave me carte blanche to choose all the colors for each room. “Really?” I asked him. “Are you sure you will be happy with whatever colors I choose?” He assured me that the decisions were all mine. I looked at paint samples with the same delight as a child choosing the flavors of Jelly Bellies. (O.K. I still like doing that, too.) It brought me hours of joy to peruse the various colors in the paint strips.

Some of my final choices surprised my contractor, but he dutifully ordered and applied my selections. Now instead of waking in a brown bedroom, I wake in a creamy yellow aura which reminds me of the sun. My favorite time of the year is the time when I am able to wake with the sun, streaming through the windows and blending in a golden haze throughout my bedroom.

My bathroom is a light cream color, which I chose so I could change the accessories as often as I liked. Right now, there is a shower curtain which shows children playing by the seashore, with hints of aqua and beige in the pattern of sea shells scattered about the children on the shore. My towels are aqua and beige, as are my sink accessories.

My laundry room is an almost indescribable shade of green. It is light, but not mint. It has a bit of zing to it. I chose it because it makes me happy, and doing laundry does not make me happy. My logic was that if I have to be in the laundry room, at least the color will make me smile.

My favorite room in our addition is my den. This is the choice my contractor questioned because this room is pink. It is not a shocking pink, nor is it pale. I chose it because in my mind’s eye, it is the color of the sunset on the beach. This is my beach room. In this room, I have my shell collection, my sea shell rug, shell candles, and various beach scenes on the walls. My lamp shades are a darker mauve, and the carpet is gray. My sofa and loveseat are patterned with grey, pink and cream.

On my entertainment center above the television, I showcase my lighthouse collection. In one corner is a birdbath surrounded by green plants and sea shells. This is the room where my youngest daughter had her first big sleep-over, because we finally had the floor space for several friends to spend the night. This is the room where we place the largest Christmas tree; all decorated with gold, pink and cream ornaments. This is the room where my husband and I spend most of our time, reading, snacking and watching T.V.

When I was a librarian, I read my third graders a book called, The Big Orange Splot, by Daniel Pinkwater. In it, the main character paints his house unusual colors and shapes. This had been a very orderly neighborhood, with all the houses looking very much the same. One by one, the neighbors come to complain to him, and one by one, he sends them away by telling them, “My house is me, and it looks like all my dreams.”

Soon, the whole neighborhood changes shape as each neighbor spins his house into his dream house. Houses are transformed into castles and pirate ships. People are transfixed by the changes. While my house remains largely unchanged on the outside, other than the size, the changes that color has brought into my life with simple paint on the walls has transformed my home. When I am sitting in my pink den, I can truly say, “My house is me, and it looks like all my dreams.”

About this writer

  • Kim Seeley Kim Seeley, a former librarian and English teacher, lives with her husband, Wayne, in Wakefield, Virginia. She is a frequent contributor to Sasee and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her most recent story, “Amanda’s Jonquils,” can be found in Chicken Soup: Messages from Heaven. She loves to read, play the piano, travel and spend time with her grandson, Evan.

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2 Responses to “Colors of My Dreams”

  1. jane says:

    Do you realize just what a “colorful”person you are? Love your writing and thanks, dear friend, for coloring my world.

  2. Kim’s article is so refreshing and Kim is a woman after my own heart. I also love “colors” and how they depict our favorite things. And, what I really love too, is the beach!! My house is full of shells, sea glass and smooth beach rocks from beaches all over the country as I moved many times, growing up. Until I moved to Greensboro, NC in 1975, my family lived near a beach somewhere in the USA. My home is also full of hand made crafts from wonderful, friendly people like Kim who take pride in their craft and love what they do, These things, along with our family, make a house a home!! Great writing, Kim!!

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