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Who lies awake at 3:30 a.m. debating side-by-side vs. bottom-freezer refrigerators? I’m not saying. But I do believe that choosing a new fridge is just one of the decision-making projects that can keep homeowners awake at night. Some of us – er, them – anyway.

This is especially true when there are space limitations to take into account, fancy features to consider, other appliances with which to blend, reviews to read, family votes to count and, of course, price.

Decisions come big and small around the house. Add on or move? Paper or paint? Queen size or king? Restore or replace? Pull up the carpet? Knock down a wall? Slipcover the couch? And so on.

If I’m looking for a little drama in my day, all I have to do is bring up the subject of paint colors to a friend of mind. “How’s the painting going?” I’ll ask with a big smile.

If she’s sitting in her chair, she’ll jump right up to discuss shades of green or beige. She carries around paint chips. She splashes samples of paints all over her walls. She is always searching for the perfect shade of this or that and, from what I can tell, rather enjoys it.

Of course there are professionals to call on for all this and more – and there are times when we should consult them or simply must.

But another thing I have learned is that some creative ideas can pop into our heads in the middle of the night. It can be as simple as thinking of a new place to store the wine glasses to as ambitious as fixing up the basement.

Through the years, I have dreamed up ideas for window valances, table settings, guest rooms and pillows for a window seat – all with my eyes shut after midnight.

I’m not the only one. I have lost count of the number of times that my mother, who ran a decorating business, has called me with a new idea for my house. One time it was an idea for bookshelves in our living room. Another, draperies in the den. Most recently, she wondered why I didn’t consider switching the lamp on the piano with the one in the front hall.

For several summers, our backyard landed on her list of spaces to think about at all hours of the day or night.

And when it did, my phone would ring before I had my second sip of coffee. The conversation would go something like this:

“I came up with a new furniture layout for your deck during the night,” she’d tell me.

“Mom, we don’t have a deck,” I’d point out.

“You do now,” she’d respond, adding she would have a sketch for me later in the day.

Well, we don’t have a deck, and I refuse to move the lamp from the piano, but we do have something new in our house after a great deal of deliberation.

So if anyone is looking for the Panda Paws ice cream, it can be found in the bottom freezer of our new refrigerator.

email: smartin@buffnews.com.