In every room, the furniture reflects you larger than life, or dwindling.
– Adrienne Rich
I’ve become obsessed with creating the perfect house. Everything needs to be matching, and creative, and full of color (right on down to the garbage can in my kitchen). I have a vision of what my house could be, and I will stop at nothing to bring it to life. Well maybe not nothing, my bank account does have a say in the matter. I partially blame the design game I started playing a couple months ago. My colleague introduced me to it, and I have not been able to put it down. Essentially it gives you a room with perimeters to fill, and you create your dream living room, dining room, bedroom etc. However, my design game uses fake money, and I get rewarded every time I design something. In the real world no one’s going to give me $500 just because I bought myself a new couch. Which, by the way, I did four weeks ago, but sadly did not take into account delivery time. As a result, this blog entry is coming at you straight from the lawn chair I have come to inhabit for the next six to eight weeks (or more because everyone has been telling me about their horror stories with furniture delivery. I am now convinced it’ll be years before my new couch materializes).
I have been wanting to get “real” furniture for years. By real furniture I mean something I picked out because I liked it, and not because I was a broke university student who could only afford the $500 brown velvet couch on Kijiji. Now don’t get me wrong, those couches served me well for five years, but I really hated them. Brown is not a color that I love, I’m more of a bright, vibrant type of person, so the brown really brought me down. I am also the type of person who wants what she wants, and will not be deterred once I set my mind to it. As a result I now have my “singleness” pantry in the corner of my dining room (read my blog on impulse shopping to get the full scoop on that one). So six months ago I finally decided I was ready for a new look. I put my couches on VarageSale and waited in anticipation for the day I would be rid of them. Now because I am stubborn, and also wanted to use the money made off the couches to purchase a new one, I waited about five months before they actually sold. I refused to drop the price even when my roommate asked me to. As a result I eventually sold them for what I wanted.
The next step was to buy my sectional which would replace the two 7ft couches we used to have in the living room. My roommate and I had agreed on a sectional awhile back. It was from Jysk, which meant it was medium quality and not too expensive. Except when I finally was able to go and purchase the sectional I didn’t want it anymore. I looked at it, and it was just ok. I didn’t love it, and I knew that if I bought that particular piece of furniture in four years I’d be back looking for something to replace it. Thus began my search for the perfect sectional. I had a price point in mind, and after the first furniture store I looked at realized I was in way over my head. If I wanted a really good sectional that I loved, I was going to have to sink a good amount of money into it (I think I heard my bank account let out a whimper when it got to this point). So I spent the day going to every single furniture store in the city. Comparing color, price, comfort (my roommate and I have very different ideas on what makes a couch comfortable so we both had to compromise on that one). Finally I found one. It wasn’t the most expensive sectional I looked at, but it also wasn’t the cheapest, but it was mine!
I should mention that this is the first time I have shopped for furniture from an actual store. I have never had brand new furniture, and before that day I honestly couldn’t understand why my mom used to get so mad at me for wearing shoes on her area rug or spilling on the sofa. It didn’t seem like such a big deal. Mom, I will now apologize for all the times I messed up or ruined your perfectly nice and expensive furniture…I get it now. So there I was standing in front of my new sectional, envisioning just how great it would look in my living room when I heard the sales associate say “It should be ready for you in March.” March?! But it’s January! Why would it possibly take so long to get it to me, and more importantly what were we going to sit on for the next two months until it arrived?! That wasn’t even the worst of it, after resigning to the fact that I would have to wait two months for the perfect couch, I had so many other decisions to contemplate. Do I go with financing, do I want delivery, do I want warranty and on and on it went. My head was spinning, so I did what I always do when I realize that I’m in over my head with adult decisions. I phoned my dad. I honestly don’t know how many bad life decisions I may have made if I didn’t have my parents to call. I just started asking him everything about how best to handle this purchase (like when I did become concerned about my credit score)? An hour later I walked out of the store a proud owner of a new grey sectional which will match the navy coffee and end table my roommate purchased perfectly. She also bought a cuddle chair, which I have yet to inform her will be my new unofficial blogging/reading chair (I’m waiting for the first time she kicks me off of it because she owns it, however two can play that game, and my sectional is way bigger and conducive for napping).
My sectional was half impulse shopping, and half thought out, which is pretty much the story of my life. I get to a point where I know I want to make a change, and I’m gearing up for it, and then suddenly one day it just happens. I buy a new sectional or I take a new job or finally replace the battery in my car (I was really hoping to hold off on buying a new one till next winter, but my car had other ideas). I refuse to settle for something I don’t want. I think it’s because I’ve been in situations before where I’ve made an impulsive move because it looked good at the time only to realize that I was better off waiting it out and going for what I really wanted. So at times it may seem like I make incredibly rash decisions, but in reality I’ve been mulling them over for months before I actually make a move. And sure, some of these things really shouldn’t take me that long to take action on. My garbage can for instance did not need to be a two month decision. It really should have been as simple as my plastic one smells, I should get a metal one, o crap they’re like sixty bucks, o well I need it. Done. Instead I wavered for two months in a smelly kitchen on whether or not I should replace it. And then I couldn’t just get any garbage can, because let’s face it why would you buy a plain metal one when you can get a matching sea foam green one?! The sea foam green was my first choice, however it was sold out at all the locations I went to (yes I spent an entire afternoon scouting out garbage cans), and so I had to settle for a bright red one. To which my roommate asked me “why does everything we own have to be in color? What’s wrong with a plain garbage can?” My life just has to be colorful. I have no other explanation for it.
So my kitchen no longer smells, and my living room will soon (hopefully) look like adults live in it, and not two broke university students, but now I need to start mulling over where I’m going next. And I mean beyond the chalk painted TV stand I’m going to invest in (which I cannot wait to get). The planner in me will never stop planning, but I also realize it’s a good thing, because I’m not naturally impulsive. If I never thought ahead then I would never get anywhere because I would be too afraid to make the big decisions when they came around. My roommate is very impulsive, she listens to her gut, and for the most part it turns out great for her, because she knows when her gut is telling her to do something that’s right for her. I don’t get that. I need time to hem and haw, to look at my pros and cons list, and you don’t always have time for that in the moment of the decision. So pre-planning is how I prepare myself for the big choices I have to make. And it’s not like I can pin point it down to the very scenario I have to decide on, but I start to think about what changes I want in my life. Where do I want to be in a year? Five years? Ten years? What do I actually want to accomplish? What color should my living room walls be? I need to think about these things now, so I know that I’m headed somewhere, so I don’t allow myself to get stuck. It may be something as little as picking a paint color or as big as changing jobs or getting into a new relationship, whatever the decision is I want to ensure that I’ve taken the time to really know what I want so that I don’t wind up settling for less. So I don’t look at my life and only see the ugly brown couches that don’t inspire me at all. I want to see all the colors and pieces of my life that have made me love the design I have chosen to create.