The title of this post has been the story of my week – lots of plans/ideas, not a lot of actualization. We had to spend two nights cleaning the old apartment instead of one, and last night my husband and I spent a couple of hours talking instead of doing stuff. I would not trade our conversation for all the progress in the world, but sooner or later I’ve got to get rid of the boxes in our living room! I’ve seen other friends lose the momentum to finish unpacking, and I do not want that to happen in our lovely new apartment.
In the absence of physical home improvements, my brain has been working overtime to figure out how to finish decorating on a rapidly shrinking budget. It’s kind of unnerving how most of the money I made working overtime has vanished…quickly…into stuff for the apartment. The thing that I find most annoying about nearly all home decorating magazines is the way that they cavalierly recommend buying $3000 sofas, $1200 coffee tables, and $50 cans of paint to “achieve this look.” Um, okay – how many people reading the magazine does that actually apply to? (How many women who read Vogue can afford one of the dresses from the trends-of-next-fall photoshoots?) I really appreciate mags like Domino trying to keep an eye on affordability, but the article from the recent holiday issue about throwing a nice little party on a budget included a $600 fake tree.
I suppose that the point of “high living” publications is to provide examples what the average person should try to find/buy/make cheaply instead of assuming that he or she will run out and buy the real thing, but I would appreciate a little working-world help sometimes. If I decided to start a second blog (you know, because I like to post so frequently), it would feature ideas and examples of clever things that people can do in REAL apartments where they couldn’t remodel, remove the ugly stove, put up some fashionable wallpaper, or (sometimes) even paint. I used to think that Apartment Therapy existed for that purpose, but I’ve started reading the comments under their “post your baby” examples and some of them are pretty vicious. One woman(?) informed the person submitting photos of her bedroom that her bedroom was, “…ugly. Its not eclectic its a mish-mash of cast off flea market ‘finds’ and Ikea cast offs. If you don’t have the money, just get a better job or save up until you do.” Hey, nothing like a little friendly online encouragement. Not that posting your pics online doesn’t leave you open to this, but it would be nice if the snobbier among us would recognize that we can’t all afford to buy the furniture we’d love to own.
This has turned into a real rant, hasn’t it? All that to say, I’ve got to finish decorating my new place very, very cheaply and I wish there were more examples of good taste at bargain-basement prices.
So, back to the problems at hand. Current ideas for the large space of blank wall in the living room include a big piece of fabric wrapped around a canvas. I need something really tall and wide, because our ceilings are high and our new couch is quite long. I really wanted something by Marimekko, but my fav piece is still kind of pricey. Yesterday’s bright thought was to buy a bedspread or two from Urban Outfitters, which I think are a really a good deal for a piece of fabric that big. Current contenders include this or this for the wall, and this to go around the bed headboard. (Husband, if you’re reading this will you click on the links and tell me what you think?) Any extra fabric that I have can be turned into matching pillows or hung in small pieces in other rooms.
I’m also not quite happy with the hodge-podge of furniture in our living room, but I realized last night that I can swap out the cd shelf (which has a darker wood finish than the rest of our furniture) for a credenza that I already own and am storing at my parents’ house. Hah! Furniture situation = fixed, parents’ house = emptier, money spent = 0. Will post pics of living room after the swap is made.
Lunch break is almost over, but I’m going to squeeze in two last ideas/plans that I have. First, I’m dying to try making one (or two or three) of these “invisible” bookshelves around Josh’s desk. Second, I was checking out a site that sells rolls of (fairly expensive) wallpaper in (fairly expensive) sets of two and noticed that you can get 2-ft paper samples for $5 each. Even the really, really nice stuff is only $5 per sample! It’s not a good bargain per square foot of wallpaper, but I think that a piece of this, this or this would look really nice framed and $5 is pretty cheap for a piece of art. The frame wouldn’t need to have glass, either – the flocked or metallic types would look even better that way.
Very, very last thought: I don’t think I’m going to paint my dining room brown anymore (at least, not the brown I already bought). This is what I get for being too impatient…the more I look at the color, more I think it’s too green. Am currently considering the same blue as in the bedroom but a few shades darker (which would look very nice with the mahogany-esque table, chairs, buffet, and grandfather clock), but also considering something different like gold or a dark orange.