Posts Tagged With: home

Luckily, Our Apartment is Missing the Self-Destruct Switch

We moved into our apartment on August 1.  That was 77 days ago, and I still don’t know which light switch works what.

It’s really a 50/50 shot every time I try to turn on the fan.

I’m having trouble settling into our new home.  Don’t get me wrong; I love our apartment and I love living here.  I’m just having trouble transitioning.  In our old house, it only took me a few hours before it felt like home, a safe place, a happy place.  Our apartment doesn’t feel like that quite yet.

It could be that our apartment isn’t the “friend hub” our college house was.  In college, our house always hosted social gatherings: birthday parties, Halo nights (for Sam), board game nights, etc.  It wasn’t at all unusual for friends to just stop by unannounced at odd hours of the night.  It was always exciting, and I loved keeping our house looking clean and cute for everyone to see.

Here, we’ve faced a big change.  Now, having friends over is a special occasion, one usually planned at least a week in advance.  Our house is quiet.  It’s strange to say, but having house guests is part of what made our old house feel so homey.  It was always full of people to share it with.  Here, it’s harder to settle in because we’re in a town with few acquaintances (I literally know one friend who lives here).  In our college town, we knew everyone.

Another reason why I’m having trouble feeling at home is this town.  It’s a beautiful town– nothing against it at all.  It’s full of beautiful ponds and lakes and I’ve enjoyed going for walks and seeing all the ducks and birds.  The problem is, I’ve never lived here, or anywhere close to here, before.  The entire area is new to me, and I haven’t done much exploring.  I only know where the grocery store, major fast food joints, the library, and the bank are.  Maybe I can fix that tomorrow when I browse some of the downtown thrift stores.

Finally, this isn’t home yet because we haven’t put down roots.  We’re renting our apartment, and our lease is only for a year.  We’re not sure how long we want to stay, and I don’t have a job I’m committed to yet.  All this uncertainty means I still get lost driving around, and I still can’t tell all of our light switches apart.

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Categories: My Life | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

I Fought My Ugly, Mismatched Furniture and Won!

That’s what my living room looked like this morning.  I’ve been hating on our living room furniture for a while now, but we don’t have the money to go out and buy a fancy living room set.  So, I’ve long since adopted the British mantra, “Make Do and Mend.”  I can make do with our ripped garage sale couch and mend our hand-me-down furniture.  No problem.  Today, I took on a huge project by gathering all of our mismatched living room furniture and painting it all a pretty matching green.  Why green?  Well, green is my favorite color, if you can’t tell from my blog.  When we moved into our first house, I promised Sam he could have his favorite colors (red and black) in the bedroom if I could have some green in the living room.

As you can see, I upheld my end of the bargain quite nicely.  So, this morning I made a 7:30 a.m. trip to Lowe’s and went to work!  Here are the culprits:

Exhibit A.  This is a record cabinet Sam’s dad made in the seventies.  It used to have a record player that’s long gone.  It was used and abused and, frankly, sort of sad looking.  It sat in Sam’s garage for a long time before it began acting as extra kitchen storage in our old house.  Now, it acts as a shelf behind the couch to catch all kinds of knick-knacks we leave lying around.  It was in desperate need of a makeover.

Exhibit B.  This is a table I bought at a thrift store a few years ago for $8.00.  As I began painting it, I realized how much I just didn’t like this table.  It’s wobbly, and I’m currently sporting a huge goose egg on my leg from when I ran into it.  It just clutters up our house, and after I realized how hard it would be to paint with all those nooks and crannies, I had no problem hauling it to the dumpster.  This one didn’t survive the war.

Exhibit C.  This is a nice cabinet that was in Sam’s room when he was a teenager.  It holds our board games and Sam’s Xbox games.  I wasn’t ready to part with it, but it was very scratched and needed some help.

Exhibit D.  In my first photo, you can see our TV stand.  It’s your very basic stand-on-wheels, nothing fancy.  The wood didn’t match anything in our house, and I figure if you’re going to stare at something so much while watching TV, you might as well make it pretty.

So, the battle began.  First, I cleaned each piece with a rag and Windex, and then I sanded everything with regular sandpaper.

I took the sliding doors off of the cabinet to make it less bulky and a little more modern.

Next, I applied a coat of primer.  I tried the kind in a spray can this time, but I didn’t like it as much as the regular brush-on kind.  This coat didn’t have to be perfect; just enough to create a surface for the paint to stick to.

Next came the first coat.  Honestly, I was pretty freaked out at this point.  The paint was looking much brighter than I anticipated, and it reminded me a lot of astroturf.  I wasn’t looking forward to explaining to Sam how I ruined all of our furniture while he was at work.

Sam calls this color “Putt-Putt Green.”

Although the color was a far cry from the “Shady Knoll” I was promised in the paint’s name, I took a deep breath and plowed on.  After three more coats, I had the color I wanted.

I sprayed the tops with a protective top coat because I knew they would be scratched easily.  That’s why they look a little shiny in some of these pictures.

Ignore the dust! It was still a work in progress.

And finally… voila!  My furniture has found new life, and they are forever grateful.

And they look like they belong together!

The cabinet ended up being my favorite.  I love the way the bronze hardware looks against the dark green!

Yay!  Brand new pretty living room!  :)

Here’s a before/after shot, just for fun:

This project took a full day’s work, but it was so worth it!  I hope you enjoyed the transformation as much as I do!

Categories: DIY | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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