Thursday, May 26, 2011

Finding Our Feather

Almost one year ago, we finished remodeling our house.  It was a big ordeal that took about 3-4 months of planning followed by 7 months of construction.  The results are great.  Each kid has their own room, we have a bigger kitchen, better storage space.  All in all very happy with the results.  The only problem is our house is still very much a house.  We have nice furniture, things on all the walls (mostly framed posters no real art, but at least they're not bare), but the window treatments still haven't been done in the new space, and it just doesn't feel homey yet.

Admittedly, I have no one to blame for this but myself.  The fact is though, I'm not a good shopper.  I could just go out and buy a bunch of stuff and fill in the empty spaces, but I don't want to do that.  I want to get things that mean something (at least for the small stuff).  And the bigger stuff is such a commitment I have a hard time doing it.  My husband and I have pretty similar taste, so he trusts me to just buy things and he says as long as I like it he'll be fine, and something is better than nothing as we're not married to it.  If we find a better picture a year from now, just change it.  As much as I love stores like Costplus and Pottery Barn and used to love Restoration Hardware before they changed everything to look like it came off some sunken ship, they are hard stores to shop in with a 7 year old, 5 year old and 2 year old, or some combination of those, depending on the time and day.  So yes I've kind of given up due to feeling overwhelmed.  Some people just have a knack for these things, I don't.

We have a designer that we work with when we buy furniture and she's great and I love everything she has picked, even some stuff I was hesitant about in the beginning.  She has offered to help us with the smaller stuff, but I really feel like I should do it myself for the little things to be special.

The title of this post is based on a Oprah show I saw ages ago when Nate was doing a makeover on someone's house.  He had been given hardly any direction, but wanted to make this family's home reflect who they were.  He came across a feather that the woman had saved and while I can't remember the significance of the feather to her, I know it had one and he incorporated that feather into his decorating and they loved it. Oprah made some off the cuff remark about them homeowners "finding their feather" and that phrase has stuck with me.  Now I just need to find my feather.  What is it?  Certainly putting up photographs makes a house more homey, plants help too (although I have a horribly brown thumb).

My idea for getting something on the walls in our bedroom is one that I read in a magazine recently.  I bought 3 small canvases and I am going to have my kids paint on them for me.  I told them that I don't want realistic looking pictures of a house and a tree or whatever.  I want interesting designs/patterns/whatever something abstract using the colors in our room.  Our wall color is Restoration Hardware silver sage that is so popular, so I'm going to get little sample jars of that and complimentary colors and just let the kids go for it.  They are excited about the idea, and I'm looking forward to see how they turn out. 

I wish I enjoyed antiquing or thrift stores but I just don't.  I walk into most of those stores and I just feel overwhelmed.  It's all hodge podge due to the nature of the selection and while something may catch my eye, it's usually not in a good way - more like why would anyone want that?  I have friends who have found great things at flea markets, garage sales, antique stores, but once again I have trouble seeing the trees for the forest.  Finding that diamond in the rough.  To me most of it just looks like junk even though it may not be. Although this is the summer of new beginnings and new habits, so to add to the ones I listed in previous posts, I plan on checking out a few of these kinds of stores when I don't have the kids with me and can really take the time to look around, and find my feather.

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