Okay, here’s a puzzle to get your brain going this rainy Monday morning. A friend of mine and her husband recently went to a paint-it-yourself studio and had a wonderful time. My friend claims that neither she nor her husband are artistic but they had so much fun learning how to create these paintings. Here’s the puzzle: Can you guess which one my friend did and which one her husband did? She says that everybody who knows them can instantly identify the correct paintings, but I’m not so sure it’s immediately apparent who did which. Here are some clues: My friend is a pharmacist and businesswoman whose style can best be described as casual and relaxed. Does that help? Also, one of these paintings is titled “Plain Simple” and the other “Extreme Normal.” No prizes — just the satisfaction of knowing you’re intuitive and smart. Good job!


Bedroom furnitureWhenever we’re someplace where there’s a furniture store and we’ve got a few minutes to kill — which happens maybe every other year or so — my husband and I go in and wander around and  pick out things we both like for when we (hope to) get a new house together and start from scratch. Right now we’re in the house I bought with my ex-husband years ago and raised my two daughters in as a single mom. It has a definite girly vibe with ex leftovers. My Sofehusband is a good sport and says he doesn’t mind for now but it’ll be good to have our own house together with our own things together. So on a recent weekend visit to Nashville, Tennessee, we did some furniture “shopping” and as always, I was surprised by some of my husband’s picks. For instance, I would have thought he’d dismiss this bedding set as too shiny, but he liked the sophisticated sleekness of it, I think. Sort of upscale hotel meets big-city loft — or at least what my small-Alabama-town imagination thinks that marriage would look like! He also approved of this white sofa with the blue and black pillows. Again, he said he was drawn by the simple yet substantial lines and peacefully quiet colors. Of course, my maternal inner housewife thinks, “White? Are you kidding?” And I’m thinking of myself here, since I can’t eat or drink anything without making a mess. I guess I’d have to sit on the floor. Or switch to white wine.

Interior Decorating


After my husband and I got married five years ago at the ripe old ages of 46, he just sort of moved his toothbrush and sock drawer into the house where I’d lived for a decade as a single mom raising two daughters. As a couple, he and I never have created a household together from scratch and I’m constantly trying to figure out what his “style” is before we do that. We’re probably distinct opposites — on everything. For instance, he’s a newspaper sports editor who watches “CSI,” listens to Rush Limbaugh and says his favorite movie is “Roadhouse.” I’m a freelance writer who watches “Survivor,” listens to NPR and adores the original “Sabrina,” although we both like “Good Eats,” REM and “Raising Arizona.” Hmmm. You see my dilemma. I can’t figure out how all that translates to one unifying home decor.  But I keep trying. On a recent meander through a furniture store, I asked him which — if either — of these two candle fixtures he liked better. Naturally, it wasn’t the one I liked. However, there is hope because we both said the one we didn’t pick wasn’t all that bad. Maybe after five years of marriage, we’re becoming more alike than different. Crazy!!! But in a good way.