Home Cure: Week 1–Creating Your Own Vision
After seven years of living in this house, I’m getting tired of the half-decorated, disconnected feeling it gives me. I’m not much of a decorator, we’ve gradually accumulated some very nice furniture but we lived here 5 years before I got any art hung on the walls and we still have silly rainbow-shaded octopus-arm lamps from Target in most places, or no lighting at all. I managed to complete a couple of large projects, like painting most rooms and getting a new roof and solar arrays, but there is also a long list of nagging repairs, like the fact that we no longer have any functional screens at all (thanks kitties), the (old) roof leaked and wrinkled the dining room drywall, one of the toilets is functionally impaired, etc…etc…etc…ad infinitum, it feels.
Enter Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure. It remains to be seen what I can actually do in 8 weeks, given a 3-bedroom house and not an apartment, but a triage is in order, at the very least.
- Make a complete list of repairs and solutions: Yikes! See here. (I know, there are no solutions noted. But the first couple I plan to tackle are ‘call the roofer’ and ‘call the termite guy’.) Every time I look at this list I have to lay down on the floor and take some deep breaths. This isn’t new, I’ve had this list for probably a couple years now. I need to think about a strategy to address the list while preventing panic attacks.
- Vacuum and mop floors: This is why I haven’t worked through this book before–I see words like ‘vacuum’ and think ‘rent a steam cleaner’ and see ‘mop’ and think ‘strip and refinish’. But this time, I stuck to ‘vacuum’ and ‘mop’. No more. No less. Addressing the condition of the wood floors and the grout and the fraying carpet edges are projects in themselves.
- Remove one item and put it outside: I am the queen of throwing things away, so I dragged a huge box of clothing down to Goodwill.
- Buy fresh flowers: Ahhh, freesia. Another easy one.
- Sit for 10 minutes in a part of your home that you never sit in: The family room is open to the kitchen and dining room, has two huge comfy chairs, but we never ever use it. The TV is in the other room, and it has no lamps for reading–not new insights, but I did remind myself what a shame it is that those fantastic chairs are only used by one of the cats.
- Look into earth-friendly cleaning products: Phew–already got that one covered.
- Choose one room: The patio. We have new furniture, but I want to finish it. For it to be an extension of the house.
- Gather pictures of rooms you love. Start a Style Tray: New Pinterest board.
- Visit your favorite home store: Wait, people have favorite home stores? I recall really liking West Elm’s catalog…so a virtual store visit it is. Hint: look through the online catalog, not just through the online store. The full-page catalog spreads are where the decorating ideas are…
- Set your budget: Hmm. However much a heat lamp and some potted plants cost, I guess. And maybe some lighting. And possibly some fake patio decking…what’s a budget?