Many of you probably already know that E and I revamped our living room this weekend. Coincidentally, yesterday was our four year anniversary in the house. We didn’t plan to redo a room because of the anniversary, but, the new room does feel like an anniversary present. I consider that a very happy accident.
I have wanted to paint the living room for a very long time; this all started because I signed up to participate in Apartment Therapy’s Style Cure for the month of August. The daily emails very quickly stressed me out because I always felt behind, and, not-surprisingly, I unsubscribed about a week in. Still, we decided to move forward. E was resistant at first since neither of us had ever painted a room, but he quickly adopted the challenge as his own. I am incredibly thankful for that. E was invested in every step I’m about to describe. He contributed many opinions and ideas, and that level of engagement in what started as my project made all the difference in both our moods throughout the process as well as the final outcome. And you guys, I am so relieved he likes mid-century modern furniture.
So, painting takes a long time. And, of course, you have to move everything first. Then you have to move it back. We went shopping for a new rug, we found a vintage coffee table at this wonderful store in Oakley, and we bought a vintage chair out of our friend Tonya’s shed. For each win, we struck out approximately three times-- lots of hopping in and out of stores. We bought a big house plant, and a white pot with a red base to put it in. We spent time organizing the new room and hiding the things that didn’t seem to fit anymore upstairs (the upstairs is now terrible and hilarious...there is a lamp graveyard on the third floor and stacks and stacks of framed artwork on the stair landing). Finally, everything needed to be cleaned.
We had E’s folks over for dinner last night to celebrate the anniversary and show off the new room, and I was really glad to have that deadline to motivate us.
Somewhere in the middle of everything, I don’t remember what I was doing—clearing the dining room table? Somewhere in the middle, we were talking about how proud we felt of our progress. Then I said something like, “you know, I think anyone can do this stuff if they allow enough time, and try to be kind.” Then E said something like, “That’s going to turn into a blog. Home Projects = Time + Kindness.” He might have been mocking me, but I am working on letting things go.
So, here we are (and a big thank you to those who are still reading!).
I think that the above equation was definitely important for us. We are both people with opinions on how things should be done, but we tried to keep the passive aggressive language to a minimum. Also, we tried not to rush. We knew we both wanted the room done well, and we tried to keep that in mind by allowing enough time for both the thinking and doing parts of each task. Is it perfect? No. But we did our best. We learned some lessons, and I think we both feel empowered to take on this kind of thing in the future. The I CAN DO attitude that follows successful DIY projects is a benefit that must not be overlooked.
Now, our living room is calming. It is a representation of both of us, since we collaboratively chose the color, rug, and furniture, and we designed the layout together. Before, all of our stuff from our separate lives in previous houses and apartments just hung out together in the same space. The new room is purposeful, and all items were chosen with us and each other in mind.
And it shows.
I really want to do my living in our room.