Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How Do You Decorate Military Housing?

My step dad was recalled into the US Army during the Cuban Crisis. It threw our family into upheaval and adventure. There were six children then, two of them a set of twins still in diapers. And there was the family beagle. My mother piled us all in an old two tone (black and yellow) Mercury and drove us cross country to a new home on an army base in Texas. My dad traveled by train with his German shepherd (issued by the army). He was in the Canine Corps and the men were always with their assigned dogs.
We lived in military housing. Small concrete block boxes. But my mother had spunk and style, and she soon decorated our dreary digs with color and cleverness.

The photos below are not of my mother's handiwork, but of a young woman who was stationed in Germany in 2006. I found them and her story at Apartment Therapy, and I offer it to you today in honor of Veterans Day.

Like many, I thank everyone in the military, and their families too, for their service - today and everyday.

Name: Francesca
Location: Mannheim, Germany, US Army Base
Type: 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment on a US military base in Germany. We do not rent or own, we live in Military issued housing.

Why I use color:

I live on a military base, everything is brown, gray, army green or white, there is no choice of apartments they are issued like the uniforms. Using color helps me forget what is outside my apartment, it is welcoming, exciting and inspiring. I am a happy colorful person and my home reflects my personality.

2 Good color tips:

1. When using lots of bright colors try to keep clutter to a minimum, otherwise it may end up just looking messy. You don't want all those people who don't use color to leave your house and say "See, that's why our house is beige!", they should leave thinking they need to add a bit of color to their world.

2. My entrance/hallway is bright yellow, it is happy and inviting but what was discovered last Halloween is if you put a black light in a yellow room the walls look orange. We had a huge party and everyone thought we had painted our hallway orange for Halloween.

2 good color resources:

1. Different countries, I travel a lot and I have picked up things from around the world for my house. Look for color ideas in picture books about different places. Greek islands, tulip fields in Holland, flamenco dresses from Spain, embroidered saris from India, the medinas in Morocco, ancient mosaics in Italy, oh I could go on forever!

2. Art, check out different color combinations in artwork. Van Gogh, Matisse, Miro, Picasso, Klimt, Toulouse-Lautrec, Botticelli and so many more.


Kwana said...

What a nice job on the military housing. Big shout out and honor to all the military and our Veterans.

Visual Vamp said...

Amen sister Kwana!
xo xo

Renae said...

I have LIVED in base housing and everything IS painted the same generic white...uggggh. I did fun window treatments and added color with interesting fabrics. If you paint, you have to paint back and come moving time, no one wants to do that.

Bloom where you're planted was always my motto.

AND we DO celebrate our men and women and honor them this day (and everyday) for their commitment, dedication and sacrifice.


sarah @ realestatestyle said...

I just wanted to tell you I just found your blog. I don't even remember what I googled to find it. The post on scrapbooking{blogging} from '08 came up. As a new blogger, this caught my eye. I appreciate your candor on the subject of design/lifestyle blogging. I am with you, it's fun, and who cares if we're not professionals. Anyway, I am/was in a bad mood, and went one to read some of your other posts, and you cheered me up. thanks. I'll be back.

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Perfect post Valorie. I so admire woman than can haul their families around the states & the globe with their military husbands (& vice versa). You'd have a lot in common with my mother who lived all over the U.S., incl. Denton, Texas because of her Army father. Like you though, my mom always spoke of my grandmothers capabilities with glowing compliments & adoration. I think that military families sacrifice more than most of us ever realize. Bravo to you xx

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