In the unending saga of desire to make a nest and call it home to fill with approximately two munchkins, I’ve decided that if I can’t have a real nest at least maybe I can have a half nest and fill it with pretty things to help me pretend I have a real nest.
I recently visited a friend who lives with her husband in an apartment in San Francisco. It’s a two-bedroom, but they’ve decorated with nice furniture. Furnishing we call adult furniture. Not college furniture. Not the fossilized hand-me-downs from parents. Not the Back-To-School sale items from Linens N’ Things, and definitely not the lumpy old couch filled with beer stains, old farts, and that one sticky spot that nobody can quite identify (‘Cuz really, does anyone even remember what happened that one night?).
I bought a townhouse when the market was good and I had a well-paying job, and I remember being overwhelmed with how much it would cost to furnish the townhouse with nice things. It seemed practically empty. But when I made the decision to go to grad school (what was I thinking?), I had to rent that one out, turn it in for a shoebox room in a (crazy) house, shared with other (crazy) people. Enter boyfriend-now-husband, I’ve upgraded to shoebox apartment. And now I’m stuck in a tiny space, with furniture crammed in without an inch to spare.
But the nesting pains are hitting hard, with no end in sight for the foreseeable future. And when it does come time to buy a house, I don’t want to be quite so overwhelmed with all the stuff we’d have to get to fill it properly.
So I figure, in the meantime, it would be worthwhile to at least UPGRADE the stuff we do have. We can exchange the college things we have just because we have to have something to sit on/eat at/cook with, and turn them in for nice things in an aesthetic we actually enjoy (the wedding went a long way towards helping with this). We have nice dishes, stemware, and bedding we adore. We have a big ass flat screen TV (and pretty much everything Apple has come out with). I can’t control the fact that we live in a shoebox, but I can control what a lot of our stuff looks like. With a few low-cost touches, I think we can make our place much nicer, much more OUR OWN, spread out the financial pain of getting stuff to fill a real home, and also try out different aesthetics to get a feel for what we like and what we’ll tire of before committing whole-hog.
Upgrade the bathroom. Now, some of you might remember the fiasco that was our shower tile remodeling. For those who don’t, you really ought to read this post: Construction Madness.
There’s still not much I can do about the navy blue tile, but at least I can hide it behind a shower curtain. And not this one:
This curtain was a gift from Toby’s stepmom (and I’m pretty sure she purchased it with an inordinate amount of glee from Ikea). The little dancing stick animal figures are not entirely my aesthetic, but it was a gift, kind of cute, and it has served us well for several years now. That rug has definitely served its time, having come from my old college roommate, Katie, back in oh-naught. Somehow, move after move, it has ended up in my possession, and I am very ready to retire it.
I saw a gorgeous satin teal and brown shower curtain (honestly, the picture doesn’t do it justice) and had to snap it up immediately.
I got towels and mat to match, and am very pleased with the results. For a full two days afterward, I kept walking by the bathroom just to bask in the glow of excitement for pretty, new decor. (Yes, I am this domestic. Bite me.) I plan to add a couple more accents, but that is for a later post.
Renovate coffee table. We don’t have a dining room; all we have is this coffee table that serves simultaneously as a work station, TV viewing spot, and dining table. It is a hand-me-down from my parents. I’m pretty sure it’s approximately 20 years old, and given perhaps another 10 years, it might actually come back in style. But it is still a perfectly good table, and I think combined with our current living room furniture, would serve really well in a future office, den or game room. It’s worth holding on to, but after 20 years, it definitely collected some dust, grime, and gunk.
So last night I spent a couple of hours scrubbing and sanding it down. I really wish I had the forethought to take a Before picture. But even just cleaning it was a marked improvement. It looked quite pretty.
But this morning, we hauled it out onto the front lawn and I whipped out my trusty little brushes and stained it.
And now it’s all pretty. And shiny! Who knew it could shine? Not me. It just needs to dry a couple more hours, I’ll slip the glass back on and ba-da-bing! Brand new old table. I’ll cover it with this table runner, and our living room will have a much needed face lift.
Steps 3 & 4 will involve painting our living room walls and kitchen cabinets. True, our landlord would have a hissy fit if he found out, but we plan to paint it back when we move out. And I have officially decided I Say No to swiss coffee. I am so tired of that stupid wall paint. From henceforth, my walls shall have color! We have visitors coming this weekend, so next weekend I will continue the decorating extravaganza. So stay tuned! Same bat time. Same bat channel.