Friday, August 03, 2007

Creating A Home

Since moving to our new house in December, I've quickly compiled a "To Buy" list as long as my arm. The "To Do" list isn't much shorter. Every day, it seems we need more *new* things than you can shake a stick at.

We need rugs for various rooms since the house has mostly hardwood floors. I love wool rugs, but they can be crazy expensive and I can't seem to find any that are "just right".

We need furniture for rooms that never existed in our former apartment-dwelling lives, including spare bedrooms, a large family room, a proper home office, a laundry room! Who knew finding a great old-fashioned laundry basket could be such work?

We've consolidated our furniture collections. Some of it is amazing and some of it is junk! Some things need a coat of paint to rejuvenate them, and to help fit them in with other pieces, but in many cases, there are gaps that just need filled with something *new* (to us) and wonderful!

We need mirrors, more art(!), new picture frames. We have blankets and bedding as old as the hills, and need some good-quality replacements. I have hunted all of Calgary for a nice tablecloth and have resigned myself to Williams-Sonoma's prices. Isn't she a beauty?
The long list of cosmetic work makes my head spin. All the light fixtures but one need replaced. Traditional window coverings left by the previous owners need changed, and several rooms still must be painted, single-handedly by me, as I struggle with my ever-fickle heart as it tries to settle on a colour scheme that reflects how truly rare and amazing I am! Is there a colour for that? Yes, it is called Perfection and it doesn't exist. Okay, "Silver Sage" by Restoration Hardware, as Linda showcased on her "Restyled Home" blog, is close to perfect!

Have we discussed brass? There are brass kitchen knobs (50 in total!) to replace, ugly brass light fixtures to remove (and destroy). And did I mention that all the switchplates, register covers, and door knobs in the entire house are brass? Those all need changed, now!!!

Architecturally, I simply must replace all the trim work in the house, as well as upgrading all the doors and their knobs. I want to remove the popcorn ceiling. Yes, we have a popcorn infestation. And floral wallpaper borders in the master bath are killing me softly.

In the furniture department, we need to replace David's old sofa and chair in the family room. I need office furniture (and did I mention, a new iMac?), a spare bed for the small guest bedroom, a new bed frame for the large spare bed (see iron bed frame above). I want a new console table for the living room (not this one, but isn't it hotel chic?!)We need a new armchair for the living room too, and new draperies, did I mention? And I want to re-upholster my brand new sofa! Ok, so I will work around it...
But I do have several chairs that will be re-upholstered, either because they are flea-market finds that I left for just such an occasion, or because they simply clash in my new colour scheme daydreams. I have 12 turn-of-the-century dining room chairs that need their pink and green pinstripes (as bought) replaced.

Did I mention we need lamps?

The list IS endless and we're only at the beginning.

I've always loved home decor, but living in small spaces and frequently moving cities (five in 10 or so years), I managed to restrict myself to a small collection of good-quality furniture and a small-ish collection of flea-market finds for the day when I would have an actual honest-to-goodness home. I have tons of small objects trouves (found objects), and a nice little art collection, but it all needs to be slowly coordinated with David's things, edited, and so on.

This takes time! Shopping time! Rumination time! And sadly, I must go to the office at least 40 hours per week, and spend another 10h per week commuting, which cuts dramatically into my decorating time.

Deciding where to spend my money has been my pastime for the last 7 months. I've finally visited most of the hip and cool and many uncool design stores in Calgary. I've been to the upscale ones, the downscale ones, the antique stores, the boutiques, and the flea markets. I've found the fabrics and the upholsterers and even a lovely decorator who gives me free counsel when I drop by her store. Now, it's time to start spending, to start putting it all together.

I am both excited and terrified....


  1. Wow! You have a lot of projects to tackle. It is helpful to do an inventory, though, isn't it?

    I have the same brass doorknob issue. I have lived with them for years, and they are about to be banished!

    Sometimes things look particularly bad when you first analyze everything and notice each detail. Then, you settle in, and realize what you can live with and what must be fixed immediately. I wonder which project will be at the top of your list?

  2. Hi Terri

    Thank you for stoping on my blog.
    I understand a little bit of english, so you haven't to try write in german ;o)

    I love this pink sofa on the picture...
    I'll come again...
    Love greetings from germany to Canada (¯`v´¯)

  3. Don't be terrified. And remember not everything has to happen today! Have you done any mood boards with your boyfriend? It might be helpful for both of you if you both pull out pictures of things you like and then compare and then connect the dots. I'm sure you have done this already, but he probably hasn't. This type of activity can help when merging two peoples tastes and styles.

  4. Hi Terri,
    I'm a little dizzy from your to-do and to-buy list!! Wow, but you're going to have fun during the shopping process!! I hope you will do before and after pictures so we can see the transformations...

    I, too, need a rug (for my living room) and struggle with the high price it looks like I'm going to have to spend. I can't find what I want either. Eerything seems so modern or flowery/fussy. I want, I don't know what I want. I can't articulate it because I haven't seen it!!

    Have fun with your home renovation, and don't be like me and rush and do it all at once (unless you're going to be selling it soon). Although you don't have a lot of time on your hands after work, it will still get boring (decoratively speaking)eventually if you finish your lists too quickly!! Not to mention, your tastes will change even in a short amount of time and they are always coming up with better and better!!


  5. I know the feeling of so many projects! And decorating can be so expensive, I mean, all the parts can really add up! Makes it hard (for me anyways) to decide just where to start when you have a limited budget to work with. It will feel good once you start checking items off your list though!

  6. I was searching for sofas on google and your pick one showed up. Where's it from?