A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Love It, List It, or Laugh About It…

Summer is in full swing here and I’ve been busier than a cross-eyed air traffic controller.

Aside from having the three kids home all the time for summer vacation and being very absorbed with a huge work project for my other home, In The Powder Room.com, I’ve also been overseeing a pretty massive home improvement project. No, it’s not the master bathroom that I still haven’t finished. (Shameful.) We finally bit the bullet and hired professionals to put new siding on our house and do some upgrades to our homely front porch.

We’ve been in this house for 10 years and had never done anything to the exterior other than rip out all the overgrown meatball-shaped foundation shrubs that were covering all the windows on the main level.

Love-It-or-List-It-David-and-HillaryThe time had come for us to Love It or List It. And since Hilary and David probably weren’t going to show up and help me make that decision, I would have to take matters into my own ginormous hands and start making some improvements.

Either way, new siding and paint were a must.

The construction started almost one month ago on May 13th, the day after Mother’s Day. I’ll never forget that date because it was sooner than I was expecting it to start and I was not ready with my color choices.

The pressure! 

I did NOT want to be that house that neighbors walk by and shake their heads about, whispering “Bless her heart. She must have damaged her optic nerves in that tragic snapping turtle incident.”

So I obsessed.

And I spent more time on Pinterest than I did attending to my personal hygiene.

And I consulted experts such as contractors/decorators/friends/family/voices in my head.

And I spent more money and time on sample quarts than I’m prepared to admit.

And after probably way too much deliberation, I finally picked my color scheme!

“Hooray! This is going to be AWESOME!” I thought. After all, I picked the ‘perfect neutral’ according to several reviews on Houzz.com.

Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out the way I had hoped, which has been very disappointing.

Talk about first world problems…

I just had my house painted and don't like the color - waaaaah by The Bearded Iris

The painting is not even done yet, so I can’t show you pictures just yet. Maybe it will all magically come together and I will feel silly for being so upset that I just spent so much money making my house look like a giant nutsack.

At least I’m that much closer to having my next color scheme mapped out for the repainting we’ll have to do five years from now. (#SilverLining)

See? I’m almost to the acceptance phase of the grieving process.

Right now, I’m in the “look for the funny” phase, which is what my people do to survive unspeakable things like tragic loss and decorating mistakes.

So please join me over In The Powder Room today to find out Why I’ll never be hired by Sherwin Williams. Spoiler alert: penis.

See you over there.



  1. Mary Anne

    I’m still trying to figure out that GD Annie Sloan paint….grrrrr….just paint stripes. Which will give your architectural control guy a major coronary.

    • The Bearded Iris

      I do like that that Annie Sloan paint, but I also learned A LOT about it the hard way. I don’t think there is a single color in her palette that can be bad. But that wax really does take 30 days to cure, so if you put it on your bathroom cabinets like I did, don’t be an ass and start using that bathroom immediately, getting your toothpaste splatters and hairspray and water drips all over it the next day. Doy. The longer I live with those black cabinets, the more I want to paint them gray. Not going to happen any time soon though. 🙂

  2. Teresa

    Ha! I live in “that” house!!! We were going for the aged terracotta pot color (our house is Spanish style) but we ended up with pumpkin orange. After a few days it grew on me. After a week I liked it. Now that it has mellowed I love it!!! What has been funny has been our neighbor’s responses. A few women (you know the type) got a bit hissy, as if I was going to run down the street and paint their house orange. Most folks said that once they got used to it (it used to be off-white) they liked it. But the best comments came from the hissy women’s husbands–they LOVED it. It reminded them of a great vacation they had in Mexico. They were going to talk to their wives to see if they could get some color on their houses instead of white. (these folks do everything together) So you may come to love your Flaccid Penis house. ;-D

    • The Bearded Iris

      Pumpkin orange is one of my favorite colors! That really is funny that all the menfolk love it. Sounds like you live in a great neighborhood Teresa! I did get one really sweet email from a neighbor yesterday (she reads my blog) and she said my house looked great and not at all penis-y, so I got that going for me. Sadly, all the other neighbors have been eerily quiet. They are probably tending to the hostages in their basements.

  3. Bernie Bickers

    I’m surprised the meatball shaped shrubs lasted as long as they did….

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh no you DI-INT! (They were too big for any really good pranks. Don’t even go there.)

  4. Famous SpokesGoat Pricilla

    You should have asked the publicist – she can take one look at something, ask two or three questions and have the perfect colors in a snap.
    It’s her only talent.

    Well that and being able to show you the EXACT center of a wall.
    Oh and she can scratch my tail very well.

    • The Bearded Iris

      NOW you tell me. I’m putting her in the rolodex for next round of painting in 5 years.

  5. Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0

    Damn it, you did it again! I’d already read the ITPR article, read this anyway, and lost it when I got to the last sentence.

    • The Bearded Iris

      If you ever do another round of blog tips, you can add my old stand by: “When something is kind of boring and lame, just add the word penis, nutsack, or vagina and it will become infinitely more entertaining!”

  6. lisa thomson

    It sounds like Greige! Greige is actually better than plain old grey. I’m sure it will be great. Please post a picture of it when it’s done so we can all laugh, I mean ADMIRE your color sense 😉 Now for the penis….must head over to ITP

    • The Bearded Iris

      I will…probably. I am still holding out hope that once the shutters go up it will all come together and look less penis-y. Definitely will post an update as soon as they are all done! Thanks Lisa!

  7. L. Hewitt

    I read the other part ITPR first (a little backwards today) and then I had to do some “housework” and was over by my paints, and – not counting my “good paints”, watercolors, pastels, pencils, pens, and inks- I have over 200 various bottles of paint. I believe we have some sort of conspiracy on our hands. I’m a little pissed. (not sunshine yellow, more like banana). I think your house is going to look really good. Suck it Sherman.

    • The Bearded Iris

      OMG, you know what? I do believe you are onto something there, m’lady! It’s like the “Anti-Fade Shampoo” I bought that one time from L’Oreal that smells like paint thinner. Of course they WANT my hair to fade so I have to buy new hair color! Sounds like the paint companies are tricking us into buying all those sample quarts because the colors “change” based on lighting and direction. Well played, Sherwin. Well played. DAMMIT!

  8. Menopausal Mother

    If it will make you feel any better, my kitchen is nut sack color as well. Not even gonna say how that makes me feel when I’m in there cooking…..

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh snap! I assume you don’t bake a lot of cream-filled pastries, Marcia. Kitchens definitely need to be an appetizing color like “Chocolate Cupcake” or “Blueberry Cobbler” or “Lemon Bars.” Mmmmm…now I’m hungry again.

  9. Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

    I came here from ITPR specifically to see a picture. Where’s the picture?? Ellen

    • The Bearded Iris

      I’m waiting to see if the shutters help tone down the penisness. Please stand by for (hopeful) de-genitalization.

      • Rebecca

        I’m dying for an update…are the shutters up? Did they help the situation?!

        • The Bearded Iris

          Hi Rebecca! Yes – the shutters actually helped A LOT! And my friend Lisa helped me pick a door color that counteracts the flesh tones of the beige. I put a pic of the door on Instagram. It’s turquoise blue and very pretty! You are so sweet to check back and ask. Thanks for thinking of me!

  10. MotherhoodADIM

    Guurrrl, I’m right there with you. We’re buying our first house and in the THICK of packing and prepping for the new place and I’m pretty sure I’ve gone insane. Or wait.. do crazy people know they’re insane? This post made me even more scared to paint the interior because WHAT IF IT LOOKS LIKE A VAGINA OR BABY PUKE IN THE END?

    Well, good luck with your nutsack. Just paint some squiggly black lines in a patch near the top… that’s REALLY looking for the funny! 😉

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thank you! Well at least on the interior, it is a really easy fix. The exterior, not so much. Good luck! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that your move and paint choosing goes well and that everything looks vagina/baby puke free!

  11. whencrazymeetsexhaustion

    A giant nut sack! I say paint the roof pink and live and let die.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Funny you should mention, but my “weathered wood” asphalt roof shingles actually do have a bit of a flesh tone going on in certain light. And yes, I said “weathered wood”…the irony is not lost on me.

      • Danielle

        I think that must be an American standard. Our entire neighborhood is required to have “weathered wood” shingles. It’s a phallic conspiracy!

  12. deborah quinn

    I about had a nervous breakdown choosing three bedrooms worth of curtains and you had to choose a color for the exterior of an entire house? I would need to be sedated. Or move. You’re a brave, brave woman.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oooh, sedation! Yes! That would actually help a lot. Or moving. Moving would work too. But it will be hard to pack and clean if I’m sedated. More choices! Oy.

  13. Mom's New Stage

    I think we need a whole line of colors like nut sack grey, engorged pink, areola purple. Maybe then folks would know what paints NOT to buy!

  14. Lisa

    Okay as the wife of a house painter I feel your pain. We have been through this with many customers. What I will tell you is if you don’t have the trim painted yet do up some sample boards with different trim paint and hold them against the house. The right trim paint can make a huge difference with a not-so-great body color. Good luck. (And no, your painter cannot repaint it free of charge because you don’t like the color you picked.)(Yes, we actually get asked to do that.)

  15. Lisa Newlin

    Although I appreciate your willingness to approve your home’s curb appeal, I’m a bit disappointed in how you went about it. If you want to make a huge improvement, and ensure the neighbors love whatever color you choose, you need to do something drastic.

    Let the house go. Chip off some of the paint, let your overgrown bush sway in the breeze, and don’t trim any of the surrounding hedges.

    That way, it will look so bad that when you decide to fix it up and paint, the neighbors (and you) won’t care what color the paint is…as long as it’s painted. So grab that Flacid Penis color and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

    And then go get a wax. For real. Those bushes shouldn’t be overgrown.

    I will now refer to your home lovingly as “The Nut Sack.”

    • Lisa Newlin

      Improve. IMPROVE your home’s curb appeal. Not approve. frisking iPad.

      • Lisa Newlin

        FRICKING, not frisking. It keeps wanting to change it to frisking and I have to change it back. Maybe the iPad is telling me something.

        It’s telling me not to comment on blogs at 1:00 in the morning.

  16. Cortne @ Coco in Magnolia

    Ohh…you can never look back! I told my munchkins yesterday, once you make up your mind, don’t look back, because you’ll always find something you think is better than what you decided on. I’m a nutsicle, that’s how I know.

    • The Bearded Iris

      “Nutsicle”!! OMG, I love that word. Definitely have to find a way to use that in a sentence today. 🙂

  17. Kelley

    You make me laugh! What’s wrong with nutsack beige??

  18. Terrie

    Okay, Leslie (and all other women struggling with phallic, pudendum, breast, or baby puke colored paint samples), I have the solution: Be Bold! Stand Tall & Erect With Your Choices! You are now artistic trend-setters, a.k.a. Lena Dunham. No, seriously; truly LIKE Lena Dunham, of “Girls” fame, et al. Her dad, Carroll Dunham, is quite the famous artist ~ all we have to do is hang a work or two of his, and I GUARANTEE your paint choices will complement what he is expressing. I can’t exactly post a sample on this site, although the searchword “Beard” may ge a few hits. Instead, check him out for yourself:


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