CABINETS: I'm going to leave all the cabinets the way they are (except two little shelf ones) and just paint them white. I will also be adding in two wood shelves on either side of the range.
BACKSPLASH: My plan for the backsplash is to do a white tile with a white grout. Currently my favorites are Calcite or White Gloss by Clayfire Tile. The biggest decision is going to be which pattern to choose. My husband likes the herringbone the best, and I'm partial to the hexagons. Part me wants to do something different that hasn't been so done in the past like the triangles or something.
ISLAND: At first I wanted to do an interesting tile pattern with a black grout for the island cabinets, but that got vetoed pretty quick. I switched gears a bit and decided on painting the island a light gray with a light wood butcher block for the countertop. I don't love the combination of dark colors with the wood counters, so thinking of doing something along the lines of the top left image.
LIGHTING: I love the idea of this style of lighting but haven't done too much research into other options. My favorite are the black options but my husband likes the gold with clear glass option best. I'm not married to this concept, so there is room to go in a completely different direction.
STOOLS: I love the white stools best, and think those would pair well with the gray paint on the island, but I'm definitely open to other ideas.
There you go! Next I get to visit all the tile places, pick the paint colors and get everything lined up to ACTUALLY get this done. Should be a fun next couple of months.
I've slowly started purging and de-cluttering each and every room in my home. I'm generally an organized person, but when I run out of time, organization is the first thing to go. Over the course of the past year, I've gone through every room 2 or 3 times, each time letting go of more and more things I don't need. It has been a lesson in awareness of surroundings, and creating intention for each and every item that is in my home. It is the closest I'll ever come to minimalism, and it is something I truly enjoy.
When it comes to decorating, the story is a little different. I have defined my personal home style for the most part, but have a hard time figuring out the need/desire to buy every pretty thing I see and use it as a decorative object, and having only things I love/need/use in my home. I've purchased the exact items from a photo only to find out I don't truly connect with the items on my own. This is where I get lost!
In the midst of my confusing purging and purchasing habits, I started reading "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and sort of feel in love instantly. About 100 pages in, and my views have already shifted on many of the principles I have previously used to organize, de-clutter and purge. (This is the first time where I feel like I'm not a walking example of all the worst-case scenarios....which is nice!)
I thought I'd share one very interesting experiment I did while I was reading this book. Before getting started with the tidying portion of the book, you're asked to describe your "dream lifestyle" and "reasons for tidying" until you really feel like you understand why you are doing this. She goes into much more detail, but for the purposes of this post, that will suffice. Here is what I wrote down:
Visualize the ideal lifestyle you dream of:
Striking the balance between beauty, comfort and usability in everyday life.
A schedule that allows for focus on hobbies/interests/personal growth
Freedom from all toxic relationships, people, topics, etc.
Continually building an inner-confidence
Not focusing on regret or guilt
Intention over frivolousness
What do you hope to gain through tidying:
A home that feels “done”.
Why? I hate excess, waste and clutter. A space that is free of all those things will relieve the guilt I feel for not having a perfectly clean home at all times (no where to put things) or for having things I don’t use which constantly remind me of the money I wasted (or try to use them, even if I don’t like them.) In contrast, I’ll be surrounded by things I love, and therefore be inspired to use my home the way I want to use it without the attention on an incomplete home. This also eliminates the need to buy something to decorate the space.
Why? I’ll be inspired by my surroundings and free my mind from the distraction of the things around me.
Why? Everything has a place which eliminates the need to spend extra time organizing.
Why? Efficiency will allow me to keep up my ideal lifestyle.
After doing this exercise I clearly understood the type of home I wanted. So I took a look at my Pinterest boards and put together some images that went along with the dream lifestyle. I have a fairly distinct style, but I still find myself looking at my Pinterest boards and trying to decipher why I love a few very different styles all on the same board. This time around, the lens I was looking through was instantly different, I could feel it. Here we go:
In contrast, here are some of the images that I have pinned (and loved/considered decorating inspiration) that I now see don't define my "dream lifestyle".
It seems incredibly obvious from the way these images are arranged what my dream lifestyle looks like (clean lines, no distractions, no cluttered decor), but in many ways the styles and colors are similar throughout (take a look at the first set of images, which combines images from both sets). I pinned all these thinking they fell into the same category. I still love and appreciate a variety of styles, but now I better understand my personal vision versus what I just find aesthetically pleasing.
Next step - purge! I currently have a little bit more time in my week to dedicate toward purging my home and I have to say, I'm very excited to focus on my home and creating a space that I love. I'll likely share some periodical updates on my progress. And if I ever figure out a way to take photos and list the room full of things I'm giving away, I'll try to make those available! (help?!)
I don't consider myself design-challenged, until I step into my house.
I know what I like, but in my experience sometimes heading outside your comfort zone can prove to be a good thing. So I start to question my instincts and everything I thought I knew heads out the window!
I know what I want the end result to be, but getting there is a whole different story! Though there are endless options, finding something that is just right is basically impossible.
I'm quick to make decisions, which has sometimes been the problem. I start to get impatient and want it all to be complete!
And then there is the situation of not owning the house we are living in. And not only do I not own it, I doubt I'll ever live in something so design-challenged ever again (super long and narrow. Damn you beautiful old San Francisco victorian homes). So do I invest in good pieces that then won't work next time around?!
I'm starting with the living room. We have never really had a very good/comfortable living room and I'm on a mission to change that! This is the "before". I'm the first to judge it, don't worry.
Furniture-wise, here is the low down:
Leather chair: keeping and keeping in the same spot. I'll likely put an end table next to it and a big plant in the corner.
TV: I love the location of the TV symmetrically, but it is a tiny bit too high. If we move it, we will move it to where one of the bookshelves is, which will throw off the whole look I was going for. But that is ok. Comfort over design. I must remember that.
Bookshelves: Right now the bookshelves are too full. I'll figure that out one we decide what we are doing with the TV.
Couch: Oh man oh man, I'm ready for a new couch ASAP. The color is my major problem with it. I want something white (ivory). Although maybe grey, blue, or TEAL, would be cool? I don't know. Husband is being really picky on this one. Wants a chaise badly (and so do I) but I just don't see how our living room can even close to fit one?! So I don't know.
Rug: I like this rug but it is a little too big for the space (and it is only a 5x8!!! See my problem?!). It won't be hard to put somewhere else. I just ordered two runners that I wanted to try. One is a black + white print and the other is a navajo pink pattern. Trying to figure out if I should keep the big pieces neutral or throw in some color for a statement. We will see when I try them both out!
Coffee Table: As you can see, we don't have one. And there isn't much room for one either. I'm planning on getting a tufted ottoman style. This might help alleviate the whole chaise debacle (in the couch section).
I'm starting with a couch. I really want to try every single couch in the whole world before making a decision, but alas, that can't happen. I've narrowed it down to three (although I'm still constantly looking for others to throw into the hat).
I've been loving the Bernhardt Morris Sofa for a long long time. Part of me worries about it going out of style, not being modern enough for the space, etc. I freaking love it though. I haven't sat in it, but it is just so beautiful!
I stumbled upon the Jonathan Adler Malibu while in Portland. We sat in it and I loved it. It was soft and comfy, but it was a little low to the ground. This is something I'd like to avoid, but it is pretty and comfy, so it stays in the running.
Then there is always this!
This is where things stand. I'm going a little crazy thinking all of this through in my mind, so I'm glad to have some organized thoughts written down here.