Thursday, October 21, 2010

existential crisis mode

My living room bothers me to no end.  If I had all the money in the world, I know exactly how I would decorate it.  Farrow & Ball, Jonathan Adler, Horchow, Madeline Weinrib, 1st Dibs, Rejuvenation.  But I'm on a Salvation Army & Ikea budget.  Which in theory, I don't mind.  I loooove that my orange chair was only $40 and I rescued it from a quiet corner of Salvation Army.  The Ikea bookcase in my spare room is so perfect I can't imagine anything else in its place.  My bed is a dream.  Has held up for over twelve years and the rails are narrow enough that I can hang hangers of clothes to dry, unlike Pottery Barn's version.  Or, you know, onesies for a baby shower banner.

Why spend gobs when I can get something better for less?  And that's more unique to boot?  I like furniture with character, even if it also comes with a few bumps and scrapes.  I grew up with antiques that were only old mostly because no one in my mom's family could ever afford to buy new.

But it takes time to find the diamonds in the rough.  One has to spend just about every weekend looking at the new inventory at thrift stores, whereas I can check what's new at 1st Dibs while on hold here at work.  Love multitasking.  Heck, I don't even like shopping for clothes in person.  Let me check out your selection online and try it on in the comfort of my own home.  Though buying furniture on line is hard.  I fell in love with several couches online from Mitchell Gold and Macy's only to hate them in person.  And it's a heck of a lot harder to return a bureau than a blouse. 

And then, of course, the thrift store finds often need a little TLC once they're home.  Paint, new hardware, new wiring, reupholstering.  Which takes time and I have precious little of that.

It's the reupholstering that has me in existential crisis mode right now.  After taking the pictures for Apartment Therapy and really examining my living room, I've come the to the realization - again - that I need to do something about it.  Rehang my gallery wall.  Get some new curtains.  Put SOMETHING above the little dresser in the entry.  And reupholster the orange chair.

I don't like blue and orange together.  One, it makes me think of Miami.  Not just the Dolphins, but the whole Florida decorating theme of the 80's. 

And then even with shades as strong as mine, I still think of rainbow sherbet.  So even though it's a really hot combination right now, I just can't do it.  It's not me.

But reupholstering the chair means I have to really pick a color scheme.  Really decide on a direction for my living room. 

Do I go with a print?  Get a matching pillow for the wicker chair?  Then I could keep my couch neutral.  But will a pattern be too much of a jolt since this is what one first sees upon entering my house.

Do I go with a solid?  Maybe a taupe-y burlap-y sort of thing to go with the cushion that's currently on the wicker chair.  Then I could either go with a neutral couch OR a patterned one.  I would love a patterned couch.

But then if I want to eventually have a patterned couch, what sort of pattern?  What color?  If I go too brown or too gray with the color for the chair, will that limit me? 

What if I do olive green velvet?  Like a kind of light-medium shade.  I always feel like green is neutral and multiple shades blend nicely together.  And velvet would be so nice and contrast nicely with the linen on the wicker chair.

But then would it be too dark of a shade and block the flow into the room?  I try to be all about the feng shui even if I only vaguely remember the tenets.  But would a lighter shade get dirty too quickly?  Though I don't sit in this chair on a regular basis.  It's more used when I have multiple people over and that doesn't happen often. 

But what if I get a boyfriend and the two of us decide to entertain often?  And what if said boyfriend then becomes a husband and moves in and hates the color of the chair yet we don't have enough money to reupholster again?  Or we move into a new place together and my decorating style doesn't go with the house?

You see where this is going.

And the only way I can talk myself off the ledge is to go all the way back to ground zero, back to doing nothing.  And then I'm fine for a while, until I buy some new pillows.  Or take more pictures of my house.  Or something.  And I'm back in existential crisis mode and spend days at work doing nothing but searching for a new couch, a new pattern that will be PERFECT and solve all of my problems.  But they never are.  Or if they are, they're $1,000/yd.  Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating.  But only a little.

I do think I figured out a solution.  My mom recently had a couch reupholstered and is really happy with the results.  I'm going to pay them a visit and flip through some fabric books, see things in real life.  And finally make a decision instead of having the decisions make themselves. Take control of my life.  Get some courage.

But that didn't stop me from spending half the day online window shopping.  Or planning out a trip to Salvation Army for this Saturday.  Though when I do remember it, I am able to quiet the storm inside me.  At least for a little bit...


Allie said...

I like the olive idea, it's actually going to stand out and cause less of an energy block than the orange... and olive (at least IMO) goes with pink. And I know you love pink...

Debbie said...

I do love pink. But as an accent. I think I need to stick with a blue, white and green color scheme for the whole house. It's what makes me happy.

Debbie said...

And you know where I get the olive green chair idea, right? Ted & Laura's pleather wing chair. In my fantasy decorating schemes, an olive leather wingback recliner often plays a prominent role