In the neighborhood where I grew up, all the houses for miles were almost identical. Each served as blank canvas for the woman of the house to express her individuality. It just so happened that every woman expressed her unique individuality in a manner almost identical to her neighbor. They painted living room walls beige or sea foam green. They bought heavy pinch pleat drapes for the picture windows. They favored Sears furniture for quality, price, and no-nonsense design.
So it caused some buzz on the block when my mother wallpapered her kitchen with a pattern of pink cows jumping over smiling moons. The paper also featured a fiddling cat and a dish eloping with an eating utensil. Even at age ten, I recognized that my mother's choice of wallpaper was intended for a baby’s room. And I was mortified.
I understood that there were basic rules to decorating. You didn’t put beds in living rooms, or shag carpeting in bathrooms, and you sure as heck didn’t put nursery rhyme wallpaper in a kitchen for all my friends to point and laugh.
Mom knew the rules too but she just didn't give a rat's tail. She was practically the Lady Gaga of 17th Avenue. And like Lady G, she was also the Mother of Reinvention. In less than a year the cow-jumping-over-the-moon wallpaper was replaced by a sensible and universally accepted as appropriate for a kitchen, wallpaper.
Maybe it had roosters. I forget.