Originally created 05/05/02

Wall-to-wall wild

Leta Paleschic says people often don't know what to think when they step into her Martinez home.

Every inch of the living room is filled with animal accents. The black-leather furniture is accented with zebra prints in everything from wall posters to hanging mobiles. Shelves are filled with sculptures of the animals and candles in zebra print. Even picture frames carry the pattern.

Responses have run the gamut from "Wow!" to "Hold on a minute, I'm trying to take it all in."

Each room in the 1,700-square-foot home has a theme - the kitchen is fruits and vegetables, the bedroom is filled with American flag memorabilia, including a flag comforter for the bed.

Mrs. Paleschic admits that she decorates with a fill-every-possible-space mentality. But she says that clutter is not her style.

"I prefer the term saturated," Mrs. Paleschic said. "When people hear about (the house) they think it will be messy. It's actually very neat."

Her accessories come mostly from catalogs - she subscribes to more than 200. She estimates that she spends anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 per year on her habit.

Her husband, Ron, has learned to stay out of the decorating. He doesn't even mind when the delivery truck stops at their house at least twice a week.

"He'll maybe tell me something doesn't look right here or there," Mrs. Paleschic said. "But he really doesn't bother me."

The dining room is a virtual Mexican fiesta, complete with a chili pepper ceiling fan. A floor mat adorned with twin chilis hangs on the wall alongside R.C. Gorman and Downe Burns prints. Chili pepper lights line the ceiling and even the dishes and glasses carry a Mexican theme.

"Sometimes a theme can start as easily as a print for me," Mrs. Paleschic said. "I use a lot of things that are meant to be used one way a different way."

Her theme decorating has made the Paleschic home the popular destination for office Christmas parties. But they suspect that not everyone is a fan of their decorating style.

"When all the lights are off, the neon art we have creates a different color glow from every window," Mr. Paleschic said. "I'm sure some of our neighbors think we're devil worshipers."

The guest bathroom is done in a dolphin motif but she regularly changes it from dolphins to tropical fish. And she doesn't mind pulling from other rooms to add to it.

"I can raid from any of the rooms to decorate the bathroom without you even noticing that anything is missing," she said.

Even the hall that leads to the bedrooms is not exempt from theme decorating. It houses hundreds of pictures of family cats.

One might think that Mrs. Paleschic's career as a registered nurse would keep her too busy to redecorate that often. But that's not the case.

"I'm really a homebody," she said. "I can find joy in just staying home on the weekends and rearranging things. I never really know when I'm done."

Reach Jennifer Hilliard at (706) 823-3220 or jennifer.hilliard@augustachronicle.com.


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