Tuesday, March 4, 2014

making a house a home

It was a Saturday like most others. I wanted to sleep in, but Andrew was up early. After we finally decided to get moving - we had to get out of the house because it was a beautiful 75 degrees - I talked him into a trip to HomeGoods to spend a gift card I've managed to hold on to since Christmas (how? I have no idea...).

Walking through HomeGoods, I pick up everything metal/rustic/unfinished wood that I see and mention that it will look good in our "someday kitchen." We started talking about someday and how it is going to stay... someday. For now. The plans we had a year ago of selling our house for newer construction and possibly a new suburb need to stay paused. Houston, unlike a lot of other cities, is doing well economically and houses are selling fast. That's great for us as sellers, but not so much as buyers. What we could have gotten for our money last year is dramatically different this year, and to be frank, our income hasn't jumped enough to raise our budget substantially. So, while criss-crossing the aisles of HomeGoods, going from gourmet sauces to dish towels to pet supplies, we decided to bring a part of our someday house to our house now.

All of this buildup to say - I AM GETTING A NEW COUCH AND I AM THRILLED.

By now you know that Andrew bought our house when we had been dating for six months. He also furnished it then, with my help, and the help of the kind Swedes at Ikea. It was a lot of starter furniture, which was great for a 25 year old bachelor with a roommate. Shortly after our engagement, his dad's company's contract in NYC was cancelled, so his dad went back to working overseas and had an apartment full of furniture and no one to use it... except us. So we inherited his basically brand-new stuff. It was very nice but not at all my taste - very large and brown and oak-y.

When you don't have a ton of friends, you don't entertain often. You don't see your home as much beyond where your butt rests on the couch and what collects clean laundry when you are too lazy to fold (that would be the table, for me). But as I now have friends and might want to invite them over, we have both been looking at our house more critically. It's time to make some decisions, and time to make it our home. Finally.

So, long story even longer, we bought a couch. A sectional - no more both trying to lay on one that's regular-sized. I figure if we are going to commit to our sloth-like lifestyle then we might as well do it as comfortably as possible. Of course there was a sale so we got a table, too. My ability to make a decision on these large purchases with no outward signs of panic should be noted.

This will be me when it finally arrives.

I have no design skills and no idea what I am doing, so I have turned to my archenemy, pinterest, for some guidance. Would you be surprised to know that my favorite restaurant, Underbelly, is the inspiration for everything? And let me be clear - it's not that I am ditching all my old knick-knacks and stuff; it's that we don't have much! I am so indecisive that we have very little with which to decorate. It's almost an empty canvas. It's fun. It's hard. It's challenging when your husband wants everything to look awesome right away and you are a slow decision-maker who wants everything to look found and collected and be personal. Oh, and also? I'm still cheap.

If you see somewhat-vague tweets (how old is too old for your house to be all-Target? Because really, I love everything) or know what you are doing when it comes to decor or if I disappear for a few days (likely napping on the new couch...) that's what's going on. It feels good. And adult. But it's time to make this house a home.

Anyone have any tips on decorating or favorite resources? I have been to most of the usual places and still need a ton of stuff! Do you just want to shop for me? I'd be happy to show you some inspiration and just let you go... Besides the people in it, what makes a house feel home-y?

Glossy Blonde

26 comments:

  1. we have a sectional and the chaise part is MINE. all mine!

    i have zero decorating skills; i leave that all to my husband who loves that shit so much that i secretly think he might be gay LOL

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

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  2. I have a sectional too. I love that everyone can spread out. I look to Home Goods a lot. Overstock is good for certain items. Also Etsy for handmade art pieces.

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  3. Yay for sectionals! I have been dying for a new couch but we are going to wait to buy one until we move because we don't want to have to move it twice plus we don't know what will fit in our new house, but I cannot wait!

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  4. I am doing this too! Although we are renters now we hope to buy in the next few years. I live at the beach, people are going to visit, so I don't want to wait a few years to make my house a home.

    I am a mix of you and Andrew, I want found items I love right now!

    I like to look at HGTV magazine for inspiration, they have things I can actually afford and do. Also thrift stores are some of my favorite places to find unique but adult furniture. Last but not least Wayfair.com has TONS of stuff if you don't mind online shopping.

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  5. You had me giggling throughout this - the gif, the sloth like lifestyle, the comment about you still being cheap.
    Oh, and I also hold on to gift cards forever. (Chuy's this weekend was paid for with a TWO YEAR old gift card!) What the?!
    I really like http://www.gallerydirect.com/ for wall art/canvas. :)

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  6. Once you go sectional you never go back! LOL it's the best kind of couch to have. I do the same thing with decorating. I can never decide where to put something so I end up not buying a lot of things. Someplace you should go look - High Fashion Home. Not the full price stuff (that would break the bank) but go up to their clearance section on the top floor. They've got good clearance plus tons of good prints for wall hangings. It's worth a trip on your lunch hour at the very least to see if it's worth it :)

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  7. Ok so much to comment on here. First of all, how in the HELL do you still have gift card for Homegoods from two months ago? No, really?! Seriously>?!

    Two. Heck yes for a new couch! We have a sectional and I love it!

    So, basically you are finding yourself in the same place that Chris and I are in. Are you surprised? Not likely. I have a blank canvas in my house too. The funny thing is, I LOVE to decorate. I love putting rooms together and coming up with color schemes or themes or a certain look to achieve. For other people. I don't know why, but I am terrified to do it for my own house. I just cant seem to commit to any one design because I have so many ideas floating around in my head and then stuff costs money and then it takes time and I have to make decisions and ughhhhh!

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  8. I can't wait until I am out of my apartment and have a house I can make a home with my very own sectional too :) Yay!

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  9. You guys are not alone. I think many people are in the same buy-sell boat-- across the nation, actually. :) And I love the couch buying. We invested in a nice leather reclining couch and two leather recliners and we have NEVER LOOKED BACK! :)

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  10. Yeah how exciting!!! I can't wait to have a home that I can furnish that still doesn't have my leftover college apartment furniture in it..... ;-)

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  11. I'm glad you decided to go for it and make your place your own while you're still there. We are in the process of buying a house right now and I am so overwhelmed with the decoration aspect. It's just NOT MY THINH and I like EVERYTHING so it's been difficult to narrow it down.

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  12. Congrats on the couch. I really want a sectional.

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  13. I wanted a sectional for my new apartment, but then my living room would have been all couch! So, I did the sensible thing and got a regular couch.

    I LOVE decorating! But I am like you in that I like everything to look found and collected. My favorite places to look are antique stores, consignment shops, and estate sales. I have found a ton of great deals that way.

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  14. I kinda want a sectional.

    Home Goods is my decorating inspiration, so I'm afraid I'm not much help. :)

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  15. Ahhh. Pinterest got you. Congrats on the couch diving coming your way.

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  16. please tell me that your fav place to eat and vision for your kitchen and home is industrial with touches of wood?! because that is my fav.

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  17. Sectional is totally the way to go! I've got a house full of furniture that was inherited from my brother so I've never really had to do the shopping thing - just find pieces that you love and don't feel pressure to do it all at once! :)

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  18. We have hand me down stuff now, but when we buy new stuff... it's gonna be a sectional for SURE! Those are the way to go!

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  19. I moved into my boyfriend's previously bought house. So there's alot of ugly bachelor dude stuff that we are saying goodbye to. Fella has a hard time with change, lol.

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  20. How exciting! Um...I know the things I like, but our pad is a hodgepodge of mis-match furniture, that Jason and I each brought once we moved in together. I love having people over, but hopefully once we buy we'll have some nicer stuff! Though, you know I love Target, so I dont think you can do wrong!

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  21. How exciting! I've only recently gotten into decorating our house myself. We have a mix of investment pieces and cheaper pieces. I love Etsy for home decor. We got our dining room table from Etsy and I love, love it but I got the chairs from Overstock. Wayfair has some good inexpensive items, I have stools for our kitchen from there that look much more expensive than what I paid for them...people ask me all the time about those. Best of luck in your house decorating endeavors :)

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  22. Oh goodness, this is so exciting! I would love to re-decorate our home! (Read: I actually do re-decorate it WAY more often than I should!) I love your arch enemy Pinterest (hehe), and I recently bought the Young House Love book, which has a lot of great ideas for decorating in general. Also, you're never too old for an all Target home :-)

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  23. This post has me longing for two things: a sectional, and a Home Goods spree of epic proportions. For me, a house feels homey when it has that lived in look. Flowers on the table, throw pillows, fruit in the bowl, some dog or baby toys perhaps, a full banana hanger...

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  24. If I see something I love, I buy it. I will work it in somewhere, even if I move it seven or eight times before figuring out where it should go.

    Buy what you love, you can make it work.

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  25. Yay! How exciting!!! Making your house more "you" is always so much fun!!! :-)

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  26. I'm so excited for your new couch! Yay!I can't wait to see it when I finally get to come over ;)

    Also, I don't know much about decorating, but if you want to stay cheap, maybe another swing through the second-hand shops we visited a few months ago would be good? Perhaps with someone who knows things about decorating and has an eye for all that stuff (not me!)? Just a thought!

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