This post is alternately titled: How Ikea Contributes to Divorce OR
The Magic of Photography in Making Things Look Way More Awesome Than They Ever Were
Don’t be alarmed, Eric and I are doing fine! But I’ll talk about Ikea and how it leads to divorce later.
To start this post I’d like to share some pictures from 2010 of our home shortly after we refinished the floors and I thought I could refinish vintage furniture to be awesome. These pictures were taken by THE FABULOUS Diana Palmer of Yan Photography.
I got the table and the chairs off of Craigslist when we were first married in 2008. I thought yellow was a good idea, but I used the wrong paint. So it was impossible to eat off of. The table is now totally ruined and in the shed. I recovered the cushions on the chairs, but they were SO OLD to start with that now they are FILTHY with gunk in every corner, the staples I used to recover the seats tear your clothing (I’m serious) and the joints are super rickety. They are more of a cream than their original white. Haha. The rainbow organized bookcase was a BATTLE with Eric but remains to this day!
That couch is now grey and those legs broke. To see what this room looked like post-Gigi pre taking over our basement…go here. We bought a new cover about 2 months after these pictures, but it’s now covered in stains, and the sidearms are broken …the rug was demolished and too dirty to keep past a year. The gold lamp was a wedding gift we didn’t register for…we still have it, and I made that skirt! Haha. If I could fit into it I’d give myself an award. Unrelated but worth mentioning.
For the full journey READ ON!
When Eric and I were first married I became OBSESSED with interior design. I read Design*Sponge and Decor8 everyday, and scoured the Internet for what we “needed” to compose our dream apartment. The perfect items that would define us as a couple and impress ANYONE who came over.
Then I realized we didn’t have any money, and instead of waiting and saving up for the things I really wanted, Eric insisted we needed to just buy cheaper stuff. So we took a trip to Ikea. In fact I wrote all about that first trip, and how I realized how many divorces Ikea is the catalyst of, and you can read about it here, and see a picture of our first place. Haha.
In short, I had to compromise. And as I’ve mentioned before, I’m an ALL OR NOTHING woman. That’s also about the time I started teaching myself to sew and got into Gocco screen printing, and I became obsessed with that and stopped noticing my surroundings as much. And that’s how my home turned from EVERYTHING I thought about, to something I just noticed every once in a while and got annoyed with.
In the past 5 years I’ve kind of given up trying to convince Eric that, “Yes, you CAN get a couch for $600, but that couch will be crap in a few years and we’ll have to spend another $600.” Because there’s always the promise that in the future you’ll just have the ethereal “more!” So you spend the $600 on the stupid couch and 5 years later you curse it, but don’t necessarily have the “more” you thought you might. Or you do, but you have to spend it on things like children and new computers for work.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there have been bursts of “I’m gonna make this place something we’re proud of!” every so often. Of course I loved getting Gigi’s room ready, and when we moved into our house (the one pictured, and that my husband had bought before we were married) there were a lot of needed updates. Not wanted, needed. 6 college-age men had lived in the house for 4 years, so you can only imagine how disgusting things were.
But we did the basics (refinished floors, painted rooms) and then I get distracted by something else, or discouraged that I’d have to settle, and I’d move on to another project.
Then we took over our basement, that we had been renting to college students (it can be a completely separate dwelling) and I was excited once again! We had DOUBLE the space!
In fact I boasted all about “The Great Basement Facelift!” I was about to embark on, but you can see how long that lasted. About 2 posts. We basically painted the walls, got new carpet, and put our old furniture in the space. There’s nothing on the walls, and there’s a full length mirror sitting on the ground in our bedroom that Gigi kisses daily and I never clean.
And that brings us today! Are you still awake? Still enthralled? Is this story similar to your own? Want some more pictures?!
Here are those DAMN chairs again. I seriously never liked the fabric to start with. I was peer pressured by the people I worked with at the time to buy it. Haha. But it’s not that it’s the worst fabric ever, it’s just it’s really not me. Eric and his dad ripped up our carpet and got us those AWESOME floors. However, we never touched up the base boards we splashed with varnish. I know. WE ROCK! That dish cabinet was AWESOME, but again, very dirty and non-functioning in person. It needed new paint, but I sold it as Gigi was learning to crawl because it was a total hazard and we had no space for it.
Another side note, I cannot fit that dress over my giant post-baby knockers. Or my hips. But I did look good, huh?! The bedspread…cough, Ikea, got some bleach stains, but we still have that Malm bed! The Ikea frames I painted have mostly all broken. Haha, I swear I don’t hate Ikea! It’s just the facts people.
Now that we are working from home, and we are in our house ALL the time, I’ve started getting obsessed with vamping things up again. And with a tax return around the corner (I know I said I don’t care about money, and “stuff is just stuff” but that doesn’t mean if I have some money I don’t want to BUY some STUFF!!) There is the promise that I MIGHT be able to save for a few things here and there.
And I want to do it right this time! I’m not saying NOTHING in my home can be from Ikea, but I don’t want everything I own to be bust. Because when I’ve found when I take the time to care about my space and create something I love, I am more inclined to keep that space clean and it does bring a sincere sense of joy.
I’d also like to note I HATE PAINTING. I hate painting furniture and walls, and I don’t really like updating vintage things. My actual HOUSE is old and decaying, and I’ve done this quite a few times (yellow table, those chairs) and I just end up annoyed and slightly disgusted with the finished product. Some people are SO GOOD at that stuff, but it’s just not me. I’m not saying I NEVER buy anything from the thrift store or a consignment store. I totally do! But I’m kind of over it for now. I’m not the Craigslist savant that I’m sure many of you are. And I’d rather sew my own shirt than refinish my own cabinets. Does that make sense?
So all of this is a long way of saying I’m going to try again, and I’d like to share the journey with you. But who knows. I’m hormonal and fickle.
But I’d love to hear if you have taken the time to make your house a home?! Do you have pictures, a blog post for me to look at? Have you actually revamped a piece of vintage furniture YOURSELF that you adore and cherish?
This was a really long post and I’m sure if it was interesting to anyone but me. I actually started writing this post about some children’s rooms I’ve been loving. But somehow this happened?
Either way, happy Tuesday!
Love you all,