Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I love having a project. I always have. If I don't have some kind of crafty endeavor going on, I get antsy and cranky. For many years, my living space was my project. In my early twenties I discovered http://www.digsmagazine.com/, a home and living website for people just starting out on their own. It inspired me in many ways as I turned my teeny little upper duplex apartment into a cozy home. I revamped two apartments with my husband before buying our condo, which was an all encompassing project for quite some time. But once we settled in, the projects kind of dried up. There were no more walls to paint, no more cabinets to refinish, no more artwork to create. There were many small projects after that - scrapbooks and parties - and one big one - having a baby! - but right now I'm in a project rut, and going a little stir crazy.
Which is why I started a mini-makeover of our bedroom, a revamp of our dining "hutch" and various reorganizations of different pockets of our home. Each one of these in-progress projects will be a post of its own soon, but here's what we're working on right now in the bedroom (because what do I love even more than projects? Lists!)
The goal of the bedroom mini-makeover was to lighten the space and phase out the Moroccan theme.
So far we have:
- changed the bedding from dark purple sheets and a red comforter to a cream, rust and brown duvet with a botanical print. The sheets are now a slate blue.
- purchased king sized pillows and shams that match the new bedding. The effect is so much more luxurious. The pillows are perky, the comforter fluffy and inviting, and it looks like a fancy hotel bed now.
- swapped out the larger end tables in dark wood for smaller, lighter wood tables for our bedside.
- changed some accessories. We had lots of heavy candleholders in dark jewel tones, and an oversized, dark wood and gold picture frame on the dresser. I replaced them with a clear glass candleholder, a small, cream colored vase from Ikea (for $1.99!) and a cream colored photo frame (also from Ikea).
- added a pretty mug from Pier One to the desk area for pens.
Still to do are:
- replacing the heavy, jewel toned drapes.
- recovering the window seat, which is currently upholstered in a thick, cordory-like fabric in olive green.
- finding or creating some kind of artwork for over the bed. I want something that incorporates the new color scheme, and is grander in scale to better anchor our large, king-sized bed.
We've changed the color palette pretty significantly with these small changes (and changes on the horizon), without having to repaint the rust orange walls. Here's an example of our new versus old color palette.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Simple Living

A couple of weeks ago, I was telling Matt about how practically every drop side crib out there has been recalled. We breathed a sigh of relief that drop sides never appealed to us much, and when I got pregnant we purchased a simple, stationary crib from Ikea. This got me thinking about my previous post about our vacuum shopping, and about how we employ this approach to a lot of our buying decisions. Simpler, for us, is better. We tend to look for things without a lot of fancy buttons, features and tricks. We want our camera to take pictures, or vacuum to pick up dirt, our cell to make phone calls and our crib to house a sleeping infant.
Then, a few days after that, we watched the film Food Inc. Now, I wouldn't necessarily spend a supposed-to-be-relaxing Friday night curled up with this movie for fun (like we did), since it is really intense, but I do think it made some extremely important points. And, really, it boiled down to this: simpler eating is better. Instead of prepacked, convenience foods and processed meats, a healthier, more humane and environmentally-friendly diet is one made up of vegetables and meat - locally grown or organic. So we've decided to really change our habits in this arena and think twice about what we eat. We've been shopping at the farmer's market more, buying grass-fed beef and trying to make simpler choices.
And THAT, got me to thinking about our lifestyle in general, and what values we hold. We both joke about how we're not very career-oriented people, but that just fits into this same philosophy, I think. We value doing a good job, but we hold in higher priority our family and friends. A good day to us is a walk to the park with our son and a home-cooked meal shared with friends. We have no desire to work tons of hours to make a lot of money to buy the latest high-tech gadgets or go on fancy vacations. I don't enjoy having a packed schedule, always being busy. I just want simple, calm living.
This last weekend was a testament to that. My son turned 1, and we had a big party planned. We had rented out the park near our condo, but in true midwest-spring fashion, it was wickedly cold. So, we threw it indoors. There were 37 people crammed into our small space, but it was so much fun. We ate delectable cupcakes homebaked by my talented sister-in-law, blew bubbles and put party hats on the toddlers, caught up with old friends and held new babies. There is no simpler pleasure than seeing the smile on my son's face as he experiences new things.