I’m good at lots of things.
I can identify nearly any actor just by their voice. I can bake bread without a fuss. I am a stain-removal savant. I’ve fixed the internal working of the toilet tank on more than one occasion. I’ve even revived goldfish won at a street fair from the brink of death.
I am not, however, good at interior decorating.
A big part of this is my inherent cheapness; I have a very hard time justifying spending our money on decorative throw pillows and dust ruffles when we could use that money for something like, oh, I don’t know, food or rent. Even if I had no thought for the cost of things, I would still have almost no idea how to put things together and arrange a space in a way I like.
It doesn’t help that I’ve got incredibly little patience for design magazines or blogs, particularly when “small space” living entails apartments that are at least twice the size of my own, that are then remodeled by an architect and filled with $25K of cabinetry and furniture. (That’s right; I’m looking at you, dwell magazine. You can suck it.)
So, I’ve got decor ineptitude, congenital frugality, and some virulent anti-consumerist feelings about design resources. This is how I end up with an apartment that’s not exactly spartan, but relatively modest and simple — and with a perpetual feeling of the room being half-finished.
I want this apartment to feel DONE, like we really live here, seriously, for good this time, no joke… and I don’t really know how to do that. I don’t even know where to start to know how to do that.
Ideas? Suggestions for books/magazines/blogs that won’t sent me into fits of smash-the-capitalist-state rage?
I am a compulsive recycler. If something can possibly be used again, by god, I have to at least try — and if it keeps me from having to buy something new, I am equally delighted by my ingenuity and my single-handed environment-savingness.
At the same time, I also really love a good household purge. When you live with another adult and a kid (as well as three cats) in less than 650 square feet, there is really no room for anything you not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
So, what happens when you have something still beautiful but not useful? For example, what to do with a shirt that shrunk in the wash just enough to be too small on my husband while still too big for me?
Recycle it and make it into something beautiful, like so:
More photos and details behind the jump…