Nap All Day, Sleep All Night

I haven’t had a day like today in a while.

After walking the beaches of Brighton and Hove for a few hours yesterday, then back to our place and an evening of red wine and horror movies, I turned to bed early and slept the sleep of the lighthearted.

I was the first to wake up in the morning, hot sun streaming in from windows on all sides of our flat, like our cosmic coordinates had changed overnight.

I unloaded the dishwater, made coffee, wiped the kitchen counters and sat watching the morning news in the living room for a while. Went online and browsed through the list of furniture pieces I’ve since forever been ogling with our guest bedroom in mind. I put off actually ordering anything, of course. “Add to Basket” is as far as I’m willing to go on my Sunday morning furniture safaris.

V woke up, so I made us scrambled eggs and avocado on toast, and we actually sat down for breakfast like shiny happy people in TV commercials.

After we cleared the table and changed the bedding in our master bedroom, he walked past my two-dozen-furniture-websites-open-at-the-same-time laptop, and bullied me into actually pressing “Checkout” for once. The world will not come to an end if we’ve furnished the last remaining empty room in our flat. My life will not lose its purpose once I’ll have no wood finishes to fantasise about. Things will be all right.

So I caved and finally ordered a bed, mattress, nightstands and a chest of drawers. Oh, and a rug for our living room while I was on it. Sure, we don’t really need one, but hey, who can say no to the absolutely most super-duper-sexy rug in the world? Not me, people.

Then, high on furniture splurging euphoria, I scrubbed our shower clean for the second (third?) time this weekend (Lemon juice did. not. work. But we’ve got a pro coming to look at it tomorrow, triple YAY!), did a bit of ironing, read fifty or so pages from Tracy Chevalier’s Burning Bright, and, wait… for… it… had a nap. As in, sleeping. In the middle of the day. For two and a half hours. Me!

Well, I’m up now and the world feels cosy enough to walk barefooted in. I dug out our tape measure, and measured our guest bedroom walls for the millionth time. It will all fit in perfectly and I can’t help smiling at the thought that a couple of weeks from now, we’ll be functional-guest-bedroom people, and everything will still be all right. More places to nap than ever, as well!

Off I go now, I’ve promised steak and sweet potato wedges for dinner and V’s been moaning he’s hungry enough to eat a horse all throughout me writing this post.

Wishing you all a lovely Sunday evening!

On the Home Front: Dining Room This and That

As it happens, several people our age we hang out with bought their own first homes at roughly the same time as us.

Now, this hasn’t been a bad thing, as we’ve been crying on eachother’s shoulders and comparing notes throughout the process. But now that we’re all somewhat settled into our new digs, I’d expected us to migrate to other, less property centered topics of conversation. How naive of me.

Instead, what we’re doing these days is we’re comparing our homes every chance we get, dutifully keeping track of who’s winning, who’s haggled the best and who’s got the tallest windows, who’s paying less on electricity and who’s hammering nails into the thickest walls.

I get it, you know. You’ve put all your money and most of your future into a place you know for sure was overpriced and now have an inkling it may just not be perfect, never mind it took you years, entire years of your life to find it and fight for it against God knows how many equally desperate people. As have I. It wasn’t easy, I get it. And I get it if you feel the need to confirm to yourself that you’ve made the right choice, when maybe sometimes you fall asleep doubting it nights and nights in a row. As do I sometimes, and yes, it’s scary. So I get it, I really do.

But let’s just try and be friends now.

I don’t care whose dining table sits more people. As far as I’m invited and there’s plenty of wine to go around, I’ll be just fine sitting on the floor.

I don’t want this home buying business to forever scar my life from now on. I’d rather talk about shoes, or work, or how much we hate people who eat fried chicken on the train in the evening, or I don’t know, whatever today’s cool sane people talk about, The X Factor? Let’s do that for a while, I bet we’ll find each other a lot less irritating in time.

OK, rant over, I promise.

But while we’re on dining table controversies, I might as well touch upon another one of my present home decorating challenges, our lovely dining table/room. Nope, I haven’t yet sorted my master bedroom art nemesis, are you kidding me? But it’s not like I’m taking these home front tasks one at a time. More like I’m constantly on the hunt for whatever solution presents itself to me first. So both bedroom and dining room, as well as a heap of other decor related this and that I haven’t even mentioned yet, are always on my mind.

Now, I’ll admit it’s the first time I’ve got my very own, purpose-built dining room. Originally I thought we’d never use it, as I hardly ever cook proper, dining-room-worthy meals, but not only have we been cooking a lot more since we moved in (new sexy kitchen appliances can do that to you!), we’ve actually been eating in the dining room pretty much every day. So obviously I’m obsessed with making it as cozy as possible, especially since it’s not the easiest of rooms to decorate.

It’s a rather narrow space with a large window on the back wall, and room for little furniture apart from the six seater dining table. Color-wise, we’ve got my go-to shades of white, cream and beige (walls, rug), natural oak, chestnut brown (chair upholstery, curtains, art frames) and pale violet (it all started with a potted African Violet as a centerpiece, and evolved to include some Venetian glassware I had lying around, and some faintly Art Deco vases I’d gotten in Barcelona this October).

The only things lacking are a proper ceiling light (I might have mentioned before how I HATE pretty much all the original lighting fixtures in our place, don’t even get me started!), and maybe a wide mirror on one of the walls, just to make that natural light from the window bounce around a bit and widen up the room.

First and foremost of course, they need to be easy to dust (no million grooves and bumps and dirt sucking materials, you know the deal). We favour clean lines rather than intricately ornate anyway, and clean lines has “clean” in it for a reason!

I’m open to suggestions of course, especially for the ceiling light, because lighting seems to be one of those things where I know exactly what I don’t like, but I’m really not too sure about what I don’t not like.

That’s all I’ve got home-front-wise for you today. I’m hoping to finally do a bit of Christmas decorating in the coming days (yes, I know we’re late, sigh), though we’ve never had room for a Christmas tree before so needless to say we’re not that well stocked in terms of Christmas decorations at the moment. And a trip to the shops to get some sounds rather intimidating if not plain dangerous to me, what with all the holiday shopping crazies going on right now. But I’m sure we’ll figure something out, even if it means we end up decorating our Yucca plant with my tiny collection of LEGO minifigures and some wine bottle corks!

Wishing you all a cozy weekend, wherever you are.

On the Home Front: Master Bedroom This and That

As I might have bragged around here a few thousand times already, we moved into the first place of our own a couple months ago, and for a while I’ve been running exclusively on Decorate-Everything autopilot.

V decided he’s got complete confidence in my artistic eye, and has so far been the most dutiful furniture mover, wall driller and listener to all my home related moaning, daring to complain only once or twice, when I’d picked a fabric or some other nick-knack he found “too girly”. It hasn’t happened often, I’m proud to be only a moderate aficionado of girly elements of decor. No pink hearts and butterflies anywhere around our place so far, can you believe it?

For the past few weeks we’ve had furniture delivered pretty much every weekend, and I’ve spent more time than socially acceptable picking cushions, mantle clocks, vases and whatnot, most of which are now happily residing on various of our new surfaces. At this point, by any standards in the world other than mine, our place is not only liveable but fully furnished and decorated throughout (well, except for our guest bedroom, which we’ll only be looking into furnishing next year). By my standards though, there’s still a million things to do:

  • Replacing the living room curtains, which came with the place and are brand new and really nice fabric, but a dark brown shade that doesn’t go with anything in the room and has been driving me crazy since we moved in.
  • Replacing most of the light fixtures, also new, and also because I hate them so much they’ve been giving me nightmares.
  • Fitting shelves and/or drawers into our hallway and guest bedroom closets.
  • Getting a display unit for our dining room, as our china and dining linens have invaded most of our kitchen cabinets and there’s hardly any room left for my Doritos stash.
  • Cleaning up the balcony, getting some plants and if we’re really lucky (it’s TINY!) some garden furniture in time for lovely London spring weather.
  • Getting a couple of extra blankets/throws. You’d think this is easily done, right? Well, I’ve got the craziest expectations blanket-wise, and apart from a lovely one I got in Edinburgh earlier this year, I’ve yet to find one that’s up to standards.
  • Fresh coats of paint on a few patches of wall our movers haven’t been particularly mindful of.
  • Hanging art, art everywhere!

Believe it or not, it’s just the tip of the iceberg, this.

I can only imagine what this list would look like had we moved into a place needing actual work. I’d probably be drowning in mountains of blueprints and saw dust as we speak!

Happily, this way I’m able to take my time going through my decorating TODOs, and these days I’m digging for bedroom art. Something to hang above the bed in our master bedroom, specifically.

It’s probably the most finished looking room in the flat, and my personal favourite (this could have less to do with the decor and more with me being such a sleeper extraordinaire!).

Only the wall above the headboard is looking a little bland, so I’m thinking either a large framed piece or a couple (three seems to be the number of choice for most bedrooms I’ve seen on the lovely interwebs) of smaller, complementary ones. It needs to fit the colour scheme, which is a mix of whites, creams, very light chocolate, natural oak and rattan. Couldn’t be easier, I know.

But. I don’t want a mirror. Got a rather large one already above the vanity table, and the thought of mirrors facing each other and reflecting and re-reflecting things infinitely into the abyss makes my brain hurt. I also don’t want a wall clock, frieze or anything with a million tiny grooves I’d have to dust and polish with a special magical fabric soaked in my own tears every Saturday morning. That’s when I do most of my dusting by the way and, coincidentally, most of my swearing. Oh, and no wall stickers, framed slogans, our names, or anything with letters and digits on it, really. Nor photos of ourselves, family, pets or favourite pairs of shoes.

So that’s that.

I’m spending these days ogling a million beige themed, lovely art accented bedrooms and figuring out what I like in terms of paintings and prints on artfinder, all the while trying to juggle leaving my job (and settling into a new one the very next day!), Christmas shopping, holiday bookings and eventually managing to get some dye in my half blonde half mousy hair. Fun and games.

That’s all I’ve got for you guys today, but before I leave you here’s a bedroom themed photo. Quite a random one, as it looks absolutely nothing like our own bedroom, but it’s got pretty colours and prints and quite a bit of art so that’s reason enough for me!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Tectonic Plates

Things are beginning to settle.

I wait for a while, fingers resting on the keyboard, letting the words sink in. Beginning to settle. Things are. 

It’s taken me a long time to identify it, this unfamiliar feeling of everything eventually falling into place, and to realize it’s not something to be afraid of. And now I am, I guess, at peace. I never saw it coming.

I took Friday off to wait for our furniture deliveries. As it always seems to happen when I plan things in advance, I overslept and woke up panicked I’d missed the mattress people, the thought of yet another night on a blow up bed bringing tears to my eyes.

London traffic finally on my side, they were an hour or so late, plenty of time to brew a cup of coffee and tinker with the remote control. I’ve been working in Broadcasting for years now but this is our first TV set since we moved to London, and I’m pushing myself to turn it on every once in a while, if only to then numbly stare at it for a few minutes’ worth of commercials, just enjoying the fact that it’s ours.

It’s what will be defining our relationship for a while now, I think. A collection of objects we jointly own, under a roof we bought together. Our mattress. Our remote control. Our kitchen sink. It does make one feel a bit profane, this living-life-permanently-high-on-furniture-shopping-euphoria, but I’ve decided to just embrace it, like I have all embarrassing phases we’ve gone through so far.

Our mattress, by the way, is a thing of wonder.

The delivery guys eventually squeezed it through the narrow hallway, fitted it into the bed frame, tore the plastic wrapper off and there it was, an island of white in the middle of a room I still wake up confused in, before I remember it’s ours, really ours, and grin to the ceiling like a silly weirdo.

Hours later, the bed was made, the shelves were freshly waxed and filled with books, and I was again sitting in front of the TV screen, watching people cook dinner for strangers for a thousand pounds prize. There’s little left to worry about. Our guest bedroom is still sporting the one-table-lamp-and-no-other-furniture-to-speak-of look, but I’m keeping it that way on purpose, the thought of a decorating project at hand whenever I’m feeling down making me feel all tingly inside. Because apart from that little room, everywhere else is liveable, guest friendly, and slowly becoming beautiful. My work is done, or more done than not, and contrary to what you’d normally expect from me, that doesn’t sadden me in the least.

I’ll admit it, it’s strange, not having things to stress about. It takes practice, being carefree, and I sometimes find myself looking for things to fix or worry over, just to get that familiar high back. It only lasts a minute or two, and then I’m back to my peaceful, happy, I guess, state of affairs.

So don’t say I didn’t warn you: my life these days, it’s pretty boring.

We spend most nights in, making friends with our kitchen appliances, setting and clearing our dinner table, then bumping our controllers into one another as we shoot zombies, aliens and each other on our new TV. Hardly blogging material, I know. But things, if of little consequence, are happening.

London feels like spring and for the first time ever this time of year, I don’t crave for Romania’s snows. Instead, I put on a skirt and stuff my scarf in my handbag. I don’t read much, I don’t talk much, I don’t listen to music. It’s quiet and it smells like something you can’t really pinpoint, something good.

We’re meeting in Waterloo Station tonight, to test a game V’s been working on live on the big screens. Games and dinner in the city on a Monday night, what else can a girl wish for. Well, pumpkins. V doesn’t know it, of course, but I plan to drag him into a Tesco on our way back, to buy some carving pumpkins. This weekend, there will be bowls of candy on our coffee table. We’ve got lots of children in the neighborhood and are expecting Trick-or-Treaters, an exciting and somewhat scary first for us strangers to Halloween. Then, there’s a house-warming party in the making. And plans to drive to a nearby Christmas fair one of these weekends. And that’s it, that’s really it because finally, things are beginning to settle.