Sunday Sunshine 01.03.10

Wow!  My first Sunday Sunshine of the new year!  And it’s a doozy!

I’ve loved decorating and interior design for as long as I can remember.  I went to school for architecture, but I often felt that I was missing out on something that the interior design students experienced.

The first couple of places Husband and I lived (in Fargo, ND) were not ideal for decorating, but I made do.  The first was a 400 s.f., 2-room apartment in the upstairs of a house.  It was warm, sunny (7 windows in that small of a space!), and fairly neutral.  Almost all of our furniture was hand-me-down or taken from the curb on throw-away day, except for our lovely kitchen table and our bed, both gifts from my parents.  The kitchen had an ugly apple border, but at that point in our lives we didn’t really care.  We were still college kids, and our home was no different from that of our friends’.

Our second apartment was almost double the size (two baths, two bedrooms–a complete luxury!), but it had stark white renter’s walls, newly painted before we moved in.  I added some things to give it at least minimal architectural interest, such as a balustrade and some hung artwork and mirrors.  We got a “new to us” sofa and slipcovered it in cream canvas and even a texture-y futon for the office/guest bedroom.

In summer of 2006, we moved to the Twin Cities, into our current home that is quadruple the size of the unit we started our marriage in.  I was amazed at how quickly we filled the space.  We had purchased a new couch and chair to be delivered, inherited a huge dining table (seen at its smallest in background here) and a gigantic desk and a piano, and bought a couple of wicker chairs to be used in the living room and on the balcony as we saw fit.

Later in 2006, I found out I was pregnant, and everything but Baby took a backseat.  The room where I got to keep “my things” became Anja’s room, and my stuff got thrown out/stored elsewhere/relegated to closets.  That stale period in my decorating life lasted until this summer, when the decorating bug has bitten me again.  Hard.

We had never really planned to be in this home for longer than three or four years, but the economy took a huge dive, and here we still are.  As a result of thinking I would be moving at any moment, I have never really turned this house into my home.  I’ve thought of it as a rental.  The home was only 3 years old when we moved in, and the original owners had done a good job of keeping most rooms neutral (except Anja’s current room, which is dark orange, as pictured in the two photos below, be-still-my-beating-heart).  When we first arrived, we took wallpaper out of the guest bath and removed an ugly fish border from the laundry room and painted both rooms (thanks, Mom!).  I also steamed away a border that was over the kitchen wallpaper.  That said, there is still a TON of wallpaper.  Almost every room has it.  And I’m not a wallpaper kind of girl, for the most part.  Thankfully most of it is neutral, so it’s livable.

Anja 8 021108

Anja 092208

After three and a half years of “livable,” I’m ready to begin the process of making this place ours.

I face my own obstacles in turning this house into a home.  I don’t have a set “style” to my decorating; it’s very eclectic.  Traditional Cottage Farmhouse Modern, if that’s a style.  🙂  So making all the things I love work together is challenging.  I find pieces here and there that really catch my eye, but rarely does it all synthesize beautifully like in a magazine.  Enter Cindy and her great tutorial.  I spent time this week paging through some of the decorating books I own, and I’ve discovered they have very little in them I even like anymore!  Time to visit the library!  And of course there are tons of great resources online nowadays where I can browse to my little heart’s content.

If money were no object, I would hire Layla in an instant to help me re-think my design goals, what will work together and what needs to go.  Her style is so similar to what I like, except the beach-y look only works so well in Minnesota.  🙂

A couple of small steps have been made.  We got rid of the gigantic dining table, which, as fabulous as it was for hosting large parties, was not my style at all, and had a black farmhouse table custom-built (with Windsor chairs still being finished).  I made plans for converting the current office/TV room into a room that will house both Anja and her sibling-to-be.  Nothing has been moved yet, but I think I’ve made a workable arrangement.  And then her room will have to be painted, since dark orange walls aren’t exactly conducive to color-correcting images, which is a large part of my business.

I have a whole list of things I want to do to this house, but I have a feeling a lot of it will have to be put on hold yet again since there is a much more important imminent event…

So to pacify me in the meantime, I ask:

Do you have any favorite design websites?
What is your style?
How often do you get the itch to re-do things in your house?
Would you consider your house “complete” or are there things you would like to change?  If so, what?

Thanks for sticking with me in this lengthy post!

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