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My Shady Past & Remembering What We Love

by | Mar 14, 2011 | Color, Decorating Inspiration

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My Shady Past & Remembering What We Love

My Shady Past & Remembering What We Love

My Shady Past & Remembering What We Love

I t isn’t just because it is close to spring or almost St. Patrick’s Day…I have always had a thing for the color green. My mom always let me help decorate my room when I was younger, but (as I’ve mentioned to you all before) the first bedroom I really remember doing all by myself was painted a pretty shade of apple green with navy fabric with white polka dots! I was maybe around 13 years old.

I loved that room! I still love green. Remember when I painted two of my dining room chairs? Even if it isn’t the most popular color any given moment in time, I can’t help but smile and remember my childhood bedroom when I see green. Green just makes me happy.

After that bedroom, I went on as a teenager to decorate a room with soft blue walls, and then one that had white walls and gray woodwork, so I haven’t always used green for my rooms. But I’ll never forget that green bedroom with the navy and white polka dot fabric!

When I wrote this post called Everyone Deserves A Lovely Home {but how we get there is up to us}, I had a comment from Jo at To a Pretty Life (I always love her comments!) that struck a chord with me. Here is what she said about her teenage room:

My Shady Past & Remembering What We Love

When I think back to my past, I remember that my love of decorating started when I was very very young. Many of the things I loved then I actually still love now. Sure, I’ve evolved with the times and grown in my style. But I still see so much of what I love now tracing back to things I loved even in my childhood. Except you will be relieved to know I do not have Donny Osmond posters on the back of my bedroom door anymore. {I know, that really dates me.} However, I might point out that the posters were only on the BACK of the door.

Remembering what I used to love makes me happy, and helps me to clarify what decisions I make today.

Do you ever think about your childhood bedrooms? Do you remember a room you really loved from a past home? Do you still like the same styles or shades today or have you evolved to something different? Sometimes evolving with the times is good, and sometimes we evolve so much that we lose ourselves and what we love in the process. Do you ever feel that way?

Here are some great images featuring more shades of Spring Green!


All photos: Country Living, except last one House Beautiful


  1. Deanna

    Hee hee about the Donny Osmond posters – I had those too!

    I have always loved to decorate, but have never had the funds to be trendy….

    I do what I love with what I have!

  2. Jess

    Oh wow! What an intriguing and deep post! I grew up in a very primary colored room as a wee one, and now I am obsessed with doing a bright colored room for my baby! But my first room that I “decorated” myself was done in a dusty blue with cream accents. The actual comforter that I had on my bed was a floral print (which I never totally cared for) but I LOVED those colors together. I still find them popping up in my life all the time!

  3. Terry

    The room that I grew up in was sunshine yellow with these huge navy daisies on the wall. They had to be 18 inches in diameter, lol. Hey, it was a different era then. Anyway, I doubt very much that I have held onto anything from that room. Though, it does still make me smile. :)

  4. Estela

    When I was little I would constantly rearrange my furniture & try to redecorate. I grew up with a blue & pink room. Green is my favorite color though :)

  5. Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

    I love green. In fact I recently painted my laundry room a color called “Corn Husk Green”, which is apropos because we live on the edge of about a million acres of Illinois cornfields!

    I’m certain that green will gain popularity again because it’s a perfect match with the latest hot color….. a deep shade of pink. I forget what they call it.

    As for my teenage rooms, I don’t remember anything beyond taping inspiration photos on my walls. Not the Beatles, but Cher (she was exotically gorgeous back in the day), Twiggy (so cute) and Jean Shrimpton (gorgeous).

  6. Franki Parde

    I STILL luv Donny Osmond…I talked to him once when he did a PBS special..swoon…the nicest guy. :-D franki

  7. Shelley

    I love the green and blue together! When I was growing up I had a blue room (with awful paneling on the walls). I never had money to redecorate but I would constantly move furniture around. My sister and I would switch things from room to room. I used to draw floor plans of my dream house too. I had notebooks full of them!

    • Melissa

      I used to draw floor plans all the time too! I love remembering what I used to do, in simpler days! ;-)

      • Jo

        Me too! I would draw houses and castles. I’m still obsessed with house plans. Especially vintage ones.

        • Melissa

          Ha, me too. I loved castles!!

  8. Imperfect

    I distinctly remember being very specific about what color I wanted the first time I was allowed to decorate my own room. I was finally graduating from a small daybed to a full-sized bed, and I felt so grown up. I wanted a grown-up color to go with it. So I chose a mint green and sponged cream over top of it. I thought I was the coolest kid on the block. My next color was drastically different – a deep blue with absolutely no sponging!

  9. Becky K.

    I love green. I have three very soft gray-green walls and one cream wall in my living room. They are very gentle and sweet. Green can be a great color.

  10. Ann

    This is so interesting to think back to our teenage rooms.
    I now have absolutely no green in my house, all navy and camels/creams. However, my first room that I totally got to choose my own style had green carpet and yellow, orange and green daises. I loved that room. Maybe it is time to put some green back into my home.

  11. Lisa

    Shelley, I used to draw floor plans too! That is so funny. Melissa I just bought green pillows for my neutral family room, and they are making me so happy! I think I forgot how cheerful green could be!

    • Melissa

      Yay! Green really is cheerful!!

  12. Missy June

    What? Green isn’t the most popular? I love it, too – apple, sage, moss – it takes me into nature and I just love it!

    When I think back to my teenage room, it was feminine, traditional and and bit funky. Thanks for spurring the thought!

  13. ColleenwithMurals&More

    where to start, where to start? Donny?! Ok, I love following/meeting bloggers who are even close to my age! (I think I use too many references from the ’70’s!)

    Green, next. We just moved back to my childhood home. I KNOW – if that isn’t a post, no book! That’s a BOOK! – anyway, I had painted my mom’s room forest green. Just 3 walls, though. The 4th wall had a hah-uge mural of a mountain stream surrounded by, you guessed it, pine trees. More green!

    Moving on, my favorite childhood memory was my 7th bday. I left with my Brownie troop to plant Daffodils and when I got home Mom had transformed my drab bedroom to a little girls dream (sans canopy bed) in royal blue and white.

    Only problem? It was very matchy-matchy. Fast forward to my early adult years = matchy-matchy. It actually took a stint as a display & floral designer to get out of symmetrical arrangements.

    What is it about you that inspires us to write our life history in the comment section ;)

    • Melissa

      Ha, well I love it when people think a little bit and share their hearts, it opens us up to being more authentic and having homes we love on more levels than just being “pretty.”


  14. Tori

    I absolutely love your blog! I’m a broke college student looking for fresh (and cheap) ways to breath some life into a house of thrift store finds and mismatched furniture. Your blog is so, well, inspiring and your ideas are so affordable. I especially love that you really stress making the house our own,to reflect our own uniqueness. I find myself trying to decorate to fit a certain persona too often, and it’s refreshing to be encouraged to let go of that and decorate according to what’s purely me. I never realized that home renovation could be a method to embracing self. Thanks and keep up the good work!

    • Melissa

      Aw, thank you for this comment! I definitely feel like we make decorating too much about what is current and now …and we make design kind of impersonal. We need to embrace what we REALLY love (not just what we’ve seen everywhere and feel safe with) or everyone’s homes end up looking the same with the same accessories and trends reflected. I love digging around for what I used to love, what makes me happy, what brings back memories…I throw in a few trends if I love them now, but mostly I just like to have fun and try not to stop to think about what all the other bloggers or designers of the world might think. It is more fun to be a rebel ;-)

  15. Jo

    Aw, thanks for posting my comment! I still haven’t written a post on this topic. Before the teenage room I mentioned, the first room I decorated was one I shared with my sister when I was 14. I put up a wallpaper border with horses on it, and painted the walls the perfect colour of palomino golden yellow. Then we stencilled leaves up the corners of the walls. More than 10 years later, I chose a very similar colour of golden yellow (Baklava by CIL) for my living room walls. It was the perfect yellow. Not too yellowey.

    • Melissa

      Thanks for inspiring this topic! ;-)

  16. Gina

    I am soooo happy to read this post – I think a lot of home decor bloggers want us to love the current trends, or hate the ‘outdated’ ones. I say, take from them what appeals to you if you can mesh it in with what you love – ignore the rest. I personally LOVE green, and I know it isn’t the flavor of the month, but it really speaks to me and reminds me of my high school bedroom that I decorated myself – walls painted “Apple Cider”, forest green carpeting, and green and gold comforter. I accessorized with eucalyptus and typical HS stuff, including a green phone! I still have a lot of green in my home and it makes me happy. (:

  17. Samantha

    My high school bedroom was decorated with blue & white toile. I still LOVE it – now 10 years later, my bedroom & bathroom are once again decorated with that lovely fabric!

  18. Mrs. C

    I was in high school the first time my parents asked our opinion about what my sister and I would like for our room. We had, just imagine, yellow and green shag carpet…and so after going through pages and pages of wall-paper books, we decided upon a paper that had a white background with a thin-lined yellow and green plaid design. I started w/ green not by choice but for the sake of not clashing with the “gorgeous” shag carpet, ha ha!

    I have green now, it’s called Crocodile Tears, in our kitchen, sitting room w/ coffee bar (just off the kitchen), our hallway and living room, all the same green and I LOVE IT! It looks beautiful with white trim. The person who started redoing this house started w/ white trim and we’ve continued w/ the white.

    My green is such a refreshing color and I never for a minute thought about what was the trend right now, just what we wanted in our home.

    I’ve made a dent in my gallery wall, using a white shelf, and frames painted white, and it’s looking so pretty against my green Crocodile Tears!

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, I’ve never really thought about what I did at home, ever, I don’t think. And, goodness, about Donny Osmond, as a child I collected Donny Osmond bubble gum cards. Wasn’t he so cute???

    • Melissa

      Oh, Donny Osmond bubble gum cards? I never had those, where was I? I was a member of the Donny & Marie fan club and always tore out Tiger Beat magazine photos for my door. He was adorable.

      • Mrs. C

        The bubble gum cards were before the Donnie and Marie show, so that dates me! ha ha

        Our family never missed a Donnie and Marie show, good, clean entertainment, those were the days!

  19. Kathysue

    Great post Melissa, I have pretty much decorated my homes with the same feel. I have always had yellows, white, greens and black and white somewhere in my home. I have evolved into a bit more of a sophisticated look, but it has to feel comfy and welcoming. I am with you, I have always loved green and white, it is just fresh and Springy. I am a Springtime gal so it is always going to be Spring colors for me. I am pretty in tuned with what I love but do struggle at times with beign a bit more brave in my decor. Bravery is hard for me.
    Our post kind of go together today. I am such an advocate for the home owner staying in tune with what they love!!! Happy Monday,Kathysue

  20. Bekki

    I just had to chuckle when I read this, my first room that I did was green, I have always loved that color, there is somethin so refreshing about it. If fact I still use it today trendy or not. It my younger years I used to hang the posters in the closet, that way they wouldn’t ruin the look of the room but I could see them when got dressed. :)

    I just had this conversation for myself. My husband gifted me the money to purchase a new rug for the living room. I knew that with such an expensive purchase it would have to be something that would stand up to time. So I went back through all of my past decorating and found a common theme. I have always used some elements from the Arts and Craft’s movement, it’s the one thing that has been consistent throught. So I chose a rug that rememinded me of one William Morris would have used. When I brought it home and unrolled it I knew it’s going to last, I just love it! It took me 4 months to come to that decision and I am so glad I took the time to make sure it was something I loved!

  21. Karen

    This was fun…forcing me to remember what my first, official decorating-my-bedroom was like. I did a pretty modern black and white themed room as a teen. My mom was very tolerant, but the herringbone covers for the bed were cool and MOD to me in the late 60’s…talk about dating myself!

  22. teresa

    I never got to “decorate” my room {as far as paint etc goes}, we always lived in a rental. and we moved a lot, like 19 times in 19 years and I shared it with my sisters and one brother. {Crazy} But I remember a Barbie doll set we had….that’s where I would design. Also my sister and I would ask Mom for scraps of things to turn into something we could use for playing house. Perhaps that’s why I love the hunt for treasures and feel more comfortable with old things made over then with brand new things.
    We never really go very far from what we learn in our childhood do we?

  23. Pat

    I have always loved blue. I painted a desk and chair turquoise blue and the walls were covered with wallpaper with a white white background and turguoise blue, lime green and yellow flowers. Until this post I had not thought about it. I was 13 when I had this room and it was the 1st bedroom that was my own. Also, many years later Mom insisted that a proper woman needs china when she gets married. I did not see the point, but selected a pattern. Guess what color it was? Pale light blue green and yes, with pretty peonia flowers (Japanese maker). The funny part about this is that I love Japanese decorating and their beautiful textiles and paper. This was not something I was aware when I chose that pattern. I also love white white and oh that Japanese indigo blue. Wow!

  24. laney

    ..oh yes indeed…i did love my room…and i was forever rearranging the furniture…my parents soon learned being sent to my room was no punishment for me…there was no television…and no phone…but there was furniture…books and pictures…which meant i could stay there for hours…finally i was told…i had to go the my room…leave the door open…and sit without moving a thing…complete misery…and i am afraid i was even a middle of the night rearranger…i lived in this room all my life until college…my parents moved when i was a freshman in college…i wrote a note on the inside wall of the closet asking saying it was “a happy room and to love and take care of it for me”…many many years later all the houses in the neighborhood were to be moved for the expansion of the atlanta airport…with my two little boys in tow i went into my old home…in my room i found my note safely there…i hope some other little girl loved the “happy room” as much as i… if so she was blessed to have a room of her own…to live her life… and dream her dreams…and maybe even rearrange furniture in the middle of the night…

  25. Luciane at

    Your posts always teach me something new or make me remember of something I shouldn’t have forgotten.

    Bravo, Melissa!

    Have a great week!


    Luciane at

    Post of the Day: Restored Chateau in South of France

  26. jimi ann path of life

    Yes, I totally remember my childhood bedrooms! All red and yellow, with red and yellow shag carpet. My mom let us pick out our own colors, complete with a bright yellow beanbag chair. I picked a yellow sofa for our current home, with reddish orangish flowers (sounds yucky, but it’s really pretty). It cheers me up whenever I see the colors. Great post as always — thanks!

  27. Dana

    Donny Osmond! lol
    Mine was Shaun Cassidy and the Bay City Rollers!

    And, I had a wall of magazine covers – 16, Teen Beat, etc. If I remember correctly, I started on the ceiling, too.

    I really didn’t get to decorate my room. As a junior high kid, I would have told you my dream was to paint one wall pastel pink, another blue, purple and the past a wallpaper of the 3. Shrug.

    My dorm room was country. Then I migrated through Country cottage. And, I’m currently at Rustic Vintage. *grin*

    Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane!

  28. Mimi

    I love green. Especially pale sage green. I don’t recall having a green room, but I wear it and love it all the time. I find myself using it alot when I decorate.

  29. Diane

    Hi Melissa-

    I didn’t have Donny Osmond on my walls, but all his 45’s were in my very cool record case carrier!! And they called it – puppy looveeeeee….I had Bobby Sherman on my walls and the 3 guys from America.

    I shared my room with my twin sister – we had similar taste, but I got to do what I wanted on my side and she on hers. At one point we had raindrop wallpaper. We loved it, but it showed up on an episode of the Brady Bunch when Jan, Marsha, and Cindy got to decorate their room. They were looking through wallpaper books and there was our raindrop wallpaper – they all made faces and held their noses that they thought it was just awful. My sister and I thought that was pretty funny since we were living with it.
    Thanks for featuring my ottoman. xo.
    My best- Diane

  30. Margaret

    we rented until I was 18 but when my parents bought a house my room was mint green. I have a green bedroom now and green has always been my favorite color. Unfortunately, I missed being able to buy a green toile set from Williamsburg. We just put wood floors down after taking up the 19 years of burgandy/rose carpet. Now I can get any color for our room and I am looking until I find the perfect quilt for our room. Now to get a rug for the living room. I like to move furniture but my husband and my youngest grand likes it to stay put.

  31. Glenda Childers

    My freshman college dorm room (in 1971) was lime green and white, with navy blue accents. My living room in my new apartment in Chicago (2011) . . . lime green, white and navy blue. I think you are on to something here!


  32. Tracy

    The first room I ever really “decorated” was my dorm room in college when I was 18, and that was just a bed in a bag and coordinated posters and a little area rug! Until that time, I had always just used my imagination. We didn’t really have the resources or the ability to decorate in most of the rentals that I grew up in, but whenever I had trouble sleeping at night for any reason, I’d imagine painting, decorating, and buying and rearranging furniture the whole house over. It gave me something to think about and certainly helped me to fall asleep.

    Now, I get to decorate things for real, and I do it endlessly!

  33. Debbie

    Hey Melissa! First of all thanks so much for the birthday wish on facebook. That just got to me …in a good way. I’m trying to remember my room as a teenager…I think I had childhood furniture that I hadn’t grown out of yet…the white french provincial bedroom set with a canopy…hahaha.
    Oh my anyhow…I’m enjoying reading everyone elses comments!

  34. Ang

    The first color that I can remember wanting in my bedroom was grey. My mom thought it was odd, but she did have my walls painted grey. I still love grey w/ pops of color here and there. I also had horses everywhere-on the walls, pillows, etc. My daughter has followed in my footsteps w/ the love of horses. Interesting post…quite inspiring.

  35. Ever - The red house by the lake

    The first room I designed myself had a quite expensive pink and white wallpaper, pink curtains and pink bed cover. I wouldnt chose pink today, but I still like the white/neutral base and then adding color on top of that.

    Love the first picture though. Green is really a nice color and sometimes I think it’s sad that everything is about white these days.

  36. Jody

    I remember when I got to pick my new bedspread/window curtains when I was about 14. I chose a black & white quilt with matching curtains. I had an old metal bed and an antique dresser with mirror that matched. I hung a twiggy branch in between my mirror and post to hang my necklaces and jewelry on. I loved it. I am still very partial to B&W and branches.

    Love the green touches in the photos.
    Donny Osmond AND Bobby Sherman forever!


  37. Fiona's Mosaic

    I’m not ashamed to admit that I listened to LOTS of Donny Osmond with my best friend Krista!

    That being said, I always dreamed of a blue and white girly room with a canopy bed. Still working on the blue and white part (I’ll get there eventually) and I’m doing a tulle canopy attached to the ceiling.

  38. Kim at Bluebirds and Butteflies

    I am new to the blogging world and was visiting Kim at Dear Daisy Cottage and discovered your beautiful site. What a small world—I am in the Northwest Seattle area as well! You have a lot of information that is very helpful to all who love decorating in The Inspired Room. I am looking forward to reading more of your postings and seeing more of your beautiful photos! Have a “bluebird day” today! xoxo Kim

  39. Paula Gonzales Rohrbacher

    I love Apple Green! I painted our wooden dish drainer that color for a pop in our otherwise chili pepper red and adobe-ish yellow kitchen – looks great!

  40. SillyJaime

    The first time you posted pictures of the Green Room, I fell in love with it!

    I can’t wait to own my own home.

  41. Holly Rhodes

    this makes me sad. i had such a rough childhood i do not remember a single thing from my rooms! i dont remember how i decorated them! i seen a therapist later on in life once i got married and she said because it was so rough i have blocked out that part of my life even the good parts!

    i dont know who donny osmond is though??

    • Melissa

      I’m sorry about your past :-( Time to make new great memories, right?

  42. Lauren

    My bedroom as a teen was red, black and white. My current bedroom is navy blue, black and white.
    Obviously, I still love high contrast and saturated colors. The interesting part is that I only like those things in MY room. For the rest of the house I like browns, reds, oranges, wood, copper – what I like to call “saturated earthy”. Why? I have no idea, but I go with it because it is what feels right to me.

  43. Susan

    When I was a teenager, I got to pick the color of my bedroom, with the proviso that I had to keep the green carpet. I had my walls painted a lavender color, and picked a bedspread with a floral lavender & green pattern.

    My two younger sisters shared a room that had orange carpet (yes, it was the 70’s). They picked a lime green paint, and bedspreads that were orange and green floral. I still remember those bedrooms!

    I love the living room in this blog post :)


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