Hosting a social occasion in one's home, however humble, is oft reason to quickly pull your place together. I had been putting off this "pulling together" for weeks since I moved into my new digs in June. I was exhausted from having moved twice within a year, feeling rather uninspired in the new space and was generally not really excited about the prospect of it since it will likely only be another temporary accommodation before I move again into a more permanent home.
What I failed to realize was that the very off-putting of this task was what was bringing me down more than the seeming futility of it. Why bother I thought, I will be gone before long. But this attitude and present state of my home was having a much larger impact on my general state of mind than I realized. It is not like me to be so accepting of clutter and disarray, so facing it daily was subliminally affecting my usual energy. It was time to hop to it.
I do tend to dive into these zones of creativity with an almost obsessive compulsive approach. Ideas fire up in my brain and I become completely focused on the task at hand...a woman on a mission. I needed to address the entry first. The tiny box-like space between the first and second door leading to a set of 17 stairs that were a blank hollow echo chamber leading to the living space. What to do? Bear in mind that whatever I do, it has to be able to be accomplished quickly, inexpensively and result in something unique and expressive of moi.
Painting was out of the question time-wise and I did not want the mess of it. I wanted the stairway to have some personality. I wanted to draw the eye away from the ugliness of the steps with their aluminum step caps and plain white risers topped with cork flooring. The banister was equally uninspired in a wood stain with high gloss varathane coating - ugh! I need to paint it black at the very least, but again, no time for that. I started playing with letters in my head. Turn the steps into a phrase. Something welcoming...but not "welcome" That would be too banal. Steps. Stairs. Arrows leading people up. Clever architectural words. The French words for enter, stairway, think, think, think.
That's when it came to me. Stairway to heaven. Ugh, no, how stupid. Believe me, this place is nice enough, but heaven it is not. Wait, it does have some merit. I counted the steps again. Seventeen of them. GOT IT! S T A I R W A Y 2 H A V E N (all my homes are havens in a way I thought). I got in the car and went on a search for stick on letters and numbers. Gotta love Canadian Tire. This was the result. I had to take the photos in 2 pieces but you get the idea.
Next was the living room which I had pretty much done but it needed a bit of attention, so I moved a few things around and that took very little time and I was happy with the result. I used to take myself way too seriously with my decorating. I was pretty traditional. The new me is all about fun and colour and if it speaks to me, don't try to over think it. I go with my gut now and just let feeling dictate more than practicality or even function sometimes. I want to like looking at it. That is my new rule of thumb. (Love my Dudeman!)
There was another unaddressed space in the hall leading to the bedrooms from the living room and I had zero budget for a console table but I did have some assorted art that was stacked in my daughter's room with no where to call home and a small demi-lune outdoor table that needed to be protected from the winter. It was coming inside and it is really a bit too deep for the space, but it works for now and I think the hall looks less like an empty shell now and the vignette I created cost me twenty bucks worth of candles and some elbow grease to clean the table after a summer outside on the deck. (Thanks Cindy for the Cape Breton folk art - I love her!)
I am always re-energized when I like my surroundings. This recent spurt of creativity was just what I needed heading into the dreary month of November and as we spend so much time inside in the winter months, a necessary balm for any pending S.A.D. that may creep up unexpectedly. It is even more gratifying having done it for next to nothing.
Glass Waterfall Coffee Table: Shelter
Sofa: MGBW, Elte
Raspberry Chair: Shelter
Green Chair: Shelter
Kitchen Table and Chairs: Shelter
Media Stand: Ikea
Carpet: End of the Roll
Floor Mirror: Custom Designed
Stiletto Art: Dudeman, (Nicholas Sinclair)
Floral Framed Photography: Paul Causie
Surveyors Floor Lamp: Ethan Allen
Gingham Ottoman: Ethan Allen
Table Lamp and End Table: Home Sense
Accessories: Muskoka Living, Artifacts, Home Sense