Sunday, May 17, 2015

Designing From Afar

If you've been keeping up with this blog, you may have come to wonder how it is that I've been home shopping with accuracy, when most of my belongings have been in storage for a year now. And, how on earth I've managed to be designing for a piece of real estate in which I don't yet have the keys?!

Two words: Pinterest and Fotor.

If you're not familiar with the website, Pinterest, get off your lazy keister and check it out. (Actually, you'd be perfectly safe attempting this while staying on your lazy keister. As a matter of fact, some might argue that your keister will become even lazier once discovering the site... but, I digress.)

Pinterest is a photo-sharing site in which you can develop virtual inspiration boards about anything your little heart desires. It's usually used for sharing hilarious memes, inspirational quotes, pop culture references, fashion ideas, recipes and the like.

But, I've also found it handy for piecing together home decor ideas as I was leading up to my home purchase. 

I created a private board to save every piece of artwork, furniture and DIY idea I thought I might be interested in purchasing or using because---let's face it---if I don't pin it now, I'm never going to remember where I saw it later!

Then, comes in my favorite photo app, Fotor. (You can use any app of your choosing that has a collage feature.)

I had already uploaded pictures of my existing furniture, artwork and recently acquired goods. I then grouped these pictures into a separate collage for each room that I'm working on.

I've always designed any room that I'm decorating around the artwork. If you have art pieces that you love and you place them into a room you want to spend time in, you already have a built-in color palette! This simplifies matters significantly and this method has never done me wrong.

I'm moving into a mid-century building. So, I was excited at the chance to mix some modern and pop art into my existing collection of vintage advertising, Norman Rockwell and Edward Hopper pieces.

Next, I made a collage of the existing prints that I already own and slid in images of pieces that I might want to add to my collection. Seeing them grouped together in one place gave me the opportunity to slide them back out if it turned out a piece clashed with my working color story. (Which means, sorry to Banksy's "Yankee Stadium Tiger". You just didn't fit!) Planning ahead in this way is priceless in the form of not having to make returns on regretted purchases.

From there, I ordered what I needed and had a completed collage for that room. (Above, is the collection of what will be my living room art.)

Now that I have my color story, I can start adding in pictures of furniture pieces, before purchasing, to make sure the picture in my head makes sense in real life.

This is also handy in having one place to hold up carpet and paint samples to before making huge and regretful purchases.

Well, that's how I'm pulling things off! I'm not the type to want to sit around with an empty floor plan and bare walls on move-in day, so I think I'm off to a healthy start.

I'm sure I have boxes of extra artwork in my storage unit that I've forgotten to include, but I haven't even started on the bedroom or kitchen yet, so they'll find their place.

The countdown now stands at 3 weeks and 6 days. I'm sure you'll be hearing from me again soon!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Now, You Shall Wait... And Shop!

Today is exactly one month 'til my closing date.  Tick tock, tick tock...

My bid was accepted. My inspection and appraisal have been completed. My loan documents are all in order. I'm now at the stage where a team of underwriters, whom I have never met, sift through my personal business and scrutinize every financial decision I have made as of late. But, I am assured by my mortgage officer that my situation is a no-brainer of one and I have nothing to worry about.

Basically, this means that I have now reached the point where it's finally safe to go shopping!

I've had my whole design plan in my head for months. I had mentally committed to colors, layouts and furniture design before even setting foot in a store.

It's been both exhilarating and overwhelming. Especially once I've come to realize that not everything I am looking for actually exists. (I may soon be found Googling "how to forge your own curtain rod".)

This was the mood swing I encountered after today's trip to Home Depot:

Carpet stress aside; I did manage to procure two ceiling fans, a spray paint nozzle (but not the actual spray paint) and some face masks intended equally for assistance in said spray-painting and for looking hilariously creepy in future blog posts.

I'm also learning alot about myself during these trips.

First off, for being someone who has always thought of herself as a "planner", I'm awfully impulsive!

I almost snatched up this TV console solely on the grounds that it's the same shade of yellow as two pieces of artwork I own and because it was shiny. (Am I part pigeon now? What is up?!) 

Is anything else I own shiny? No. Is it the right size for the space I'm filling? No. Was I even looking for a TV console today? No. But, oooh, it has customized DVD storage!

Ikea fever. That's the only explanation.

Of course, most of the furniture pieces I fall in love (lust?) with in stores are the pieces that I'm not even shopping for. I have a running mental dialogue that sounds something like, "You already have three bookcases! Step away from the headboards! You're refinishing your dining set, don't even look at those tables!" on a constant loop.

I may have found a couch, though, which actually was on the mission list. I just can't purchase it yet, due to lack of storage space and lack of keys to my future home.

It looks like this:

And, speaking as someone who's 25% Swedish... I can't say I understand if this is some strange Nordic stereotype pictured in the ad. I am equally offended for my kind and jealous that I'm lacking in the Swedish sex appeal of the hot momma pictured on the right.

Either way, it's fun to finally allow myself to touch the savings I'd been hoarding all these years. And, no matter how exhausting home shopping can be... least there will always be a home-cooked meal waiting for me at Ikea.

Saturday, May 9, 2015


How to fall in love with something you thought you hated:
  • Take some time away.
  • Put the one who rejected you out of your mind.
  • Ponder how things could be.
  • Begin to daydream about it so much that you begin to wonder "Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?"
  • Throw some logic into the equation.
  • Convince your audience that your talking about real estate and not men.
  • Take one all-important test selfie in the bathroom mirror. (See above.)

Yes. If your powers of deduction are as great as my knack for double entendres, you'll have deduced by now that... I'm buying the Poopy Carpet Palace!

I made a smart bid to a "motivated seller" that was actually accepted! I've laid down my earnest money and my inspection is completed. Once the bank finishes up with the underwriting and their appraisal... barring unseen events, disaster or acts of God ... I'll have a set of keys in my hand by mid-June!

A set of keys to a door that sits only a couple of buildings down from the "dream place" I lost out on this past fall.

Am I bummed? No. This twist of fate has saved me five figures for the swap of about 100 less square feet and a not-as-great view. (Although, my new view faces directly into the Florida room of the drunken host I dealt with this past summer in another viewing at the same complex. Free entertainment anyone? I'll provide the pizza and patio chairs!)

I'm not focusing on what this place lacks. I'm just ready to put an end to all the address-changing that's been going on for almost a year now. (Fourth time's the charm!)

So instead of dwelling on:

The nasty carpet that I'll be replacing anyhow.

The decade old mayo, Manwich, beets and sauerkraut left in the cupboards.

The fact that the current owner "fixed" the broken door buzzer we complained about with scotch tape. (Spoiler alert... It still doesn't work!)

And, the creepy red robe that's still hanging in the bedroom closet.

I'm choosing to get excited about:

Floor-to-ceiling natural light!

Reacquainting myself with the concept of not having to share a bathroom.

Kicking my storage unit lease to the curb!

A possible adoption in the works. (Do I look like a fit "mother" here?)

 And, daily brushings with Batman and Catwoman. 
(Uh huh. They're already purchased, packed and ready to be hung.)

Most importantly, I'm looking forward to moving this blog out of the House Hunting chapter and into the "Watch How I Mess up a Renovation" one.

I aim to please, people. I simply aim to please.

Well, the goal was to own property by the time I was forty. If my closing date doesn't change, I'll be 40.75.  That's not yet 41! Mission accomplished?

Holy, property cherry, Batman.... I'd say mission complete!