the work’s in progress
hi guys and thank you! i don’t know how to explain what your comments on the last post meant to me. your insights into what a home means, its reflection of the mind of the inhabitant, the feng shui of it giving as much to you as you giving it, the power of a friend who lends a hand…
well, it’s amazing what a difference a few days can make. to recap: sunday night i posted pic of my disasterous apartment, knowing if i did, i’d be forced to do something about it. i took them down a couple hours later, devastated that my home was as one blogger put it, ‘depressing’, but as she also said, i’d outed myself and by then it was too late and i had to make a move. what working on it has done for me is immeasurable and even though it’s not finished, it’s given me a jumpoff to continue my design expression, and a new love for a place i thought i couldn’t stand another day.
the entire incident was prompted simultaneously by liz and the site, design sherpa. liz has been antsy to decorate and DS offered me a chance to go to the next round in a contest if i shot a 3 minute video on design. when i told liz we could do my apartment, she took my minute of motivation and pushed me forward.
she did for me what i can do for others but never seem to do for myself and stuck by me like glue for the past 3 days. to say liz is as busy as i am is an understatement but over the years i’ve helped her and she said she owed me. go figure!
so i took her help and ran with it. our first stop was getting design inspiration. she forced me to go where i would normally not: pottery barn and west elm! the goal was to use what i already had and only add accents. my first purchase and only real splurge was an enormous white lacquer tray for the ottoman at west elm.
we both love white pottery, especially tubs and pitchers, but i never indulge in my own decor. we filed these under ‘wait till ikea’ and headed to home depot.
it’s not officially my apartment so i had to think of it like my guy would and not go too girly so we used natural bark, bamboo, hemp, wovens, dark woods and plants to get started.
my home depot splurge was on two topiaries, going against everything i just said, but how could i resist?
the process has taught me is something i forgot: that your home has to be functional for you as well as nurturing. getting herbs like basil, lavender, rosemary, parsley and tomatoes not only smell great but are inspiring me to cook!
and finding a box of succulents was a cherry on top and prompted me to create my own living wall. our next stop was ikea where we found these great pieces to get it going. it’s on the ‘to do’ list but i’ve got enough covered that projects like this are now a pleasure and i can take my time and tackle it on a rainy day.
the plants have brought instant sunshine and joy into the apartment.
no wonder they say people who have plants live longer. i hope i can keep them happy and tend to each of their delicate demands, like submerging the bonsai to water it…
i really haven’t ‘decorated’, it was enough to just get the lights, floors and windows covered and we took what i already had and tried to work it in. i have the rest of my life to style it!
as for the hard work: we got the plants, paint and palm sander in on sunday night after our home depot run. my first project monday morning was to tackle the table which was the hideous elephant in the room. not only was it orangey wood, but against the pergo floor it was absolutely revolting and the mental block i couldn’t get past to even start this project for so many years. i put on my bikini, took a slug of water and started sanding. i wanted to give up half way into it cause it was exhausting and uneven but somehow pushed through. we chose an ebony stain and now we love the dang thing!
everything after that seemed easy! liz insisted on painting so we did one of the walls dove gray and the kitchen bar in gunmetal.
i did the taping and clean up. go team.
this is one of the pics posted on sunday. it’s not finished (i still have to tackle the front door), but at least i can look at the tv without falling into a deep depression!
the sconces just in from paris will probably move to the bedroom (or sell)! but for now i’m enjoying them and will keep an eye out for something. which leads me to the second revelation i had during this process: the creativity that decorating feeds when you’re out in the world is massive soul food! it’s fun to shop for your home, and a pleasure i haven’t indulged in for many years, always on the go with one foot out the door.
ok shield your eyes, below is the pic from sunday that i had to remove. you can see the orange table and my so called life in all is glorious disarray.
yikes! it’s still unfinished but i can sit in the room without fear and loathing. it’s now a place that’s in development. when jw is here, he sits at the table so the chair has to stay but i got a corner unit for the printer and stereo from ikea that’s waiting to be built by the pros on the 30th. he likes a corner lamp so the halogen is upstairs and replaced by this little number from target. i also got him a giant money tree for good luck which brings me to another point: it’s fun to think of someone else when you’re decorating and do the things you know will inspire them! ps that corner is going to totally transform so don’t look too close or under the table! the chandelier is also just in from paris and although it’s not right for the room, it’s up so i can work on restringing the crystals and bringing it back to life.
the sofa was a little small and not too cute.
but taking off the back pillow, adding sheepskins and the tray to the ottoman, curtains and new pillows, it’s now super cozy!
and to say the kitchen was bleak is being very kind. but the plants, an herb garden window box, new cabinet handles, cutting boards, stainless trash can, clock, and white pitchers to hold dishsoap, paper towels and gasp, flowers! has transformed it completely. liz donated her two stools, painted the bar and got me to bed bath and beyond which led me to my next revelation. she reminded me that i used to be the ‘smoothie queen’ and insisted that if i only got one appliance, it should be a blender. adding things that are commonplace to any kitchen (but not mine) was a real eye opener and i can’t wait to earn my reputation back.
ok well it’s a rainy day so i don’t mind saying i don’t mind staying home to re-pot plants, clean up and see where we are. this may be my longest post ever but now i’m on a roll and am inspired to tackle the bath and boudoir next. thanks again for your insights and support, i wouldn’t be on this path without you!