Monday, August 2, 2010

Decorating With One Eye Open

I was absolutely thrilled to finally get some comments and advice on my redecoration education . Living with a schizophrenic son --whose condition hasn't been stabilized yet --has caused an additional strain on our emotional budgets.  He simply cannot tolerate very much intrusion into his world and that includes company --- even family.  So I am out here all alone, trying to find my decorator way.  All things considered, we are okay.  The biggest bother being that I have to rely on the good folks out there reading my blog for advice and opinions.  A big highlight of my day is checking the blog for comments.  Thank you so much to each and every one of you who take the time to read my postings and an additional thank you for those who take time to comment.  

Last night, the consensus seemed to be that there are a lot of things scattered about in my bathroom.  Hugz for being so gentle. I got the message loud and clear -- there needs to less, instead of more.  Thanks for the restraint in not saying, "Lady, how many friggin candles do you need in  that tiny bathroom?"  After I got over the 25 seconds of bristling, I took another look.  I stood in the bathroom and tried to see what you see.

After a few minutes, it became clear to me what the problem is.  Take a look at this picture.

And now take a look at the picture as seen by those of us who are nearsighted:

That is what one of my eyes sees without my glasses.

Now this is what the the other eye sees:

Retinal artery stroke about six years ago left me with one eye that is almost useless.  I have no central vision in the eye and damaged peripheral vision.  In fact, where you see dots, I see dots in motion due to varying degrees of damage.

As a result, my brain tends to ignore completely what is coming from that eye.  Consequently, I tend to see rooms in blocks of vision as opposed to the whole room.  I see the left upper, the left middle, the right lower, the middle, etc.  It is how my brain has adjusted to the loss of vision and the loss of depth perception. 
(Arrrrr, thee be saucy wenches!)

sorry, I couldn't resist.

I stood in the bathroom for 5 minutes trying to get a better whole picture.  No dice.  My brain has adjusted in order to help me walk without tripping, drive within the line and go down  stairs without falling.  Depth perception correction has its own problems.  Even looking at a picture of the room isn't much help as my brain still cuts the picture into blocks.

This all goes on in the matter of a second or two.  It's difficult to explain -- It's like looking into a room through a very lacy curtain for a split second, then more of a tunnel vision view.

I asked my son to take a look.  He stood there for a couple of minutes and then said, "Mom, she's talking again.  The voice is telling me to cut myself."  Sigh.  SIGH!  "Well, tell her to shut up unless she has a decorator degree."   Ignoring the bitchy voice, I kept pointing out things to him.  "Mom, if it makes you happy, then leave the things where they are, do you know where the Ativan its?"  All in one breath.  Small sigh.  Son wanders off.

After awhile, and because Leverage was about to start, I gave up looking and headed for the kitchen. One must have a snack when one watches Timothy Hutton for a whole hour across the small screen.  For the rest of the night, I considered the issue but didn't take another look.

This morning the situation remains the same.  Because of the "blocking" going on, it is difficult for me to see that a room is "busy" or cluttered.  Due to the same depth perception issues, it's why I have less white and more blue than I really want.  It's why I switched to silver accessories from gold before everyone else did - silver catches the light and lets you know it's there. It's why there are necklaces in my bathroom and not in my jewelry box. 

For now, I can only take your word for it.  And compromise.  The shelf stays up but knickknacks will be minimized a little.  The yellowing paint will be painted over with as bright a white as I can acquire and the cabinet will be painted the same color.

After I paint the walls and cabinet, I will retake the photos and ask for your thoughts again.  Now that you know the problem, it may make it easier to voice your ideas and suggestions.  I have a tough skin and my feathers only ruffle for a  few seconds so feel free to suggest away.

I have a brother-in-law who is a true hoarder. In fact, his hoarding is so extreme, their house was considered for that show on A&E.  Every time I go to their house, I come home and start putting things away, while chanting the two rules I used to live by: If it can be replaced for under ten dollars, throw it out and if you can't pack your two bedroom condo in one day, then you have too much stuff.

Maybe it's time for a trip over there...