04 April 2013

On scratching an itch and rediscovering my confidence

Over the past couple of months, I’ve had an itch that I’ve really, really wanted to scratch. The itch is the guest bedroom, and the scratch is the overwhelming desire to redecorate it.

Which is a little funny considering I don’t feel like I actually finished decorating it in the first place. Isn’t that how it always goes?


There were several reasons why I was resisting the urge to scratch the itch. First, it’s one of the few semi-finished-looking rooms in our place – why not focus mental and physical energy on the office, which still has mismatched furniture everywhere (including a china cabinet, let’s not forget, held up with cardboard)? Second, the items in the guest room that I was becoming obsessed with replacing – mostly the duvet and the curtains – are not old, nor out of style. I’m allowed to change my tastes but I need to do it in a thrifty way.

And the third reason is the most personal, and the most embarrassing to admit. I was willing to ignore the first and the second reasons, but... only when it came time to welcome a new member into the family. Please understand, we are not currently expecting, and that is fine by me! But I’m a planner. I’m always thinking five years into the future, and if/when Baby P is a reality, the guest room would serve double duty as a nursery. Goodness knows that will spur a redecorating frenzy. Why not wait until then instead of redecorating it twice?

I’ll tell you why. Two words: Turquoise curtains.


I cannot abide, y’all. I really tried, even taking them time to hem them properly, and I’m glad I took a decorating risk... but it did not pay off. Rather than making me happy, they stuck out like a sore thumb, and I refuse to decorate the rest of the apartment in a bolder style just because of some ten-dollar experimental turquoise curtains.

So they needed to come down. And I thought that would be enough to scratch the itch... until I saw this.


Oh holy macaroni that is very nearly my long-beloved ticking stripe duvet and it is made by IKEA. It is inexpensive. It is MINE.

(Question: is NYPONROS Swedish for “Pottery Barn knockoff”? Just wondering.)

And... that was it. Resistance gone. All bets were off. As soon as I found the duvet, I suddenly had so much creative energy and visions that the guest room was getting a makeover, by golly.

But most importantly, for the very first time since we moved in to this apartment, I could see the end goal before I even started. In other words, I could make decisions with something I’ve been missing since moving in to the apartment: confidence. You guys, I think I’d totally forgotten what decorating with confidence felt like, it had been so long. And it feels so amazing to feel like I know what I’m doing again. Hallelujah!

I spent some time working on the room last weekend, and it’s nowhere near done (because now I know what “done” is! For the first time since moving here! So excited! Exclamation point!). But I thought I’d give you a few sneak peeks while I continue to work on it behind the scenes...





So while the turquoise curtains may seem like money wasted, I assure you, they weren’t. A ten-dollar risk that teaches me what I really like, that gives me the confidence to purchase what I really want, is truly a bargain in the end.

Unfortunately, I’m traveling a lot this month, so it may take me a while to get it all together. But I think those peeks can give you a sense of where this is going. If you look carefully, nearly every change thus far is in those photos... not to mention many of the things still on the to-do list!

You know how awesome it feels to have someone scratch that impossible-to-reach place in your back so you can finally relax and feel at peace? Yes. That. Ahhhhh.

7 comments:

Janice said...

Kudos! I wish I could say I feel the same but I'm still mired in the lack of confidence stage. Need to update and the canvas is blank...worst possible situation because I stand there thinking, "I could go with this... or that... or... or... or..." and consequently end up with zip, nada, zilch getting done. sigh. I live vicariously through your efforts! :) Keep up the great work!! It'll all come together!

Rachel said...

Ahhhh! I love ticking stripe! And it fits your personality.

Rachel C said...

OMG! The teaser pictures are killing me. I'm already drooling over the guest room and wishing you would come make mine match. The color combos are amazing, and very elegant. Plus, mad props for realizing the bright blue curtains weren't working and being ok with changing them. We painted our bedroom a year ago and the color ended up too bright. I complain about it but I'm frozen and can't work up the courage to repaint.

Tina said...

I LOVE THAT MIRROR! And trying to figure out where it came from... I do not remember the detailing or it being white... ?

Sarah said...

@Janice, indeed! Options are dangerous! It doesn't help when you like more than one style (hence my buying the turquoise curtains to begin with... they'd totally fit into a completely differently styled apartment that I'd ALSO love)! Do you use Pinterest? I find it helps me keep my style cohesive and that, in turn, helps me make decisions.

@Rachel, I love that you think ticking stripe fits my personality! I want to be a ticking stripe sort of person, so that's a high compliment :)

@Rachel C, ugh, I know the feeling. Failing once makes you afraid of failing twice :( Maybe you can find something else to change up (new pillows or linens) that would create a snowball that leads to the perfect paint color? I always find fabric inspiring... maybe stop by Tonic Living's website?

@Tina, I've only shown the mirror on the house tour video! It hasn't gotten a full post here because I'm planning to paint it (eventually). And goodness knows I have enough incomplete DIY-to-do posts here already! I'll show it off when it's in its prime.

Sarah said...

@Tina, I forgot to mention - I found it at Hobby Lobby, back in one of the clearance corners (and yet, nothing was broken)! It was something like 70% off, and it was still $60-something dollars... boo. But it's a quality standing mirror so I thought it was worth it!

Shanna said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the finished room!