Wow. It’s hard to believe that it’s been two months since I moved into what I now refer to as “the best birthday present I gave myself (with the bank’s help).”
It has been a busy two months, with work and trying to make this house (condo) into a home. It’s coming along and I definitely feel very at home here now. And I guess that means I’m ready to take back this blog after a brief hiatus? It’s been a few weeks (err, months) and I’m excited to be heading into the summer in a new neighbourhood, I’m downtown now which means more inspiration for blog posts and warmer weather to get out and explore.
I thought I’d start back on this blog with a showcase of my new home, with a few stories about adventures in decorating a new place.
One of the most nerve-wracking things about buying my own place was decorating it. I understand I’m the owner now, so I can nail shit in walls and screw things in without having to worry about not getting my damage deposit back. Yet still, the only holes I’ve made are in my storage closet where I hung up my broom. I haven’t been able to find art or anything I want to put up. So right now, the walls are pretty bare.
I left the wall colour as it was when I purchased the place, it’s a light grey/white and goes well with the grey floors. Despite my absolute hatred for grey clothing (seriously, I can’t wear it and if I do my day is ruined until I’m able to change), I loved having grey as my baseline for the condo. Because if there’s anything I hate more than grey clothes, it’s beige clothes. The reasoning behind this is that grey clothes look like faded black or dirty white. Beige clothes just look boring, maybe like you washed your clothes in dirty dishwater, but mostly they’re the clothing equivalent of a yawn. When it comes to paint colours, at least with grey you can experiment with almost anything else to accessorize, whereas with beige you have to stick with browns and various other sorts of beige. Yawn.
As soon as my offer was accepted on my place I went out couch hunting. Originally I was going to go with something cheap from The Brick or Ikea, but after looking at and sitting on approximately one million couches I thought it would be better to put down some real money on a couch and invest in something good. Plus my original idea of a grey couch in a grey room would’ve probably made me slit my wrists by now.
Side note: furniture shopping is awful. I mean, it’s fun in that you get to look at furniture, but the sales people are awful. They follow you around the store ready to pounce. The absolute worst is The Brick. They are literally lined up at the front door as you walk in, the next guy in line sees you come in and welcomes you, hands you a flyer and when you say you’re “just looking” he leaves you alone but follows about 10 paces behind you. When you sit on a piece of furniture he’s right there to talk you into buying it. You say you’re going to keep looking and move on to the next piece of furniture, this process repeats until you’re so annoyed you just walk out of the store.
I’ve been to The Brick three times in the past three months and god help me if I ever go in there again. I’ve always thought a stalker would be kinda cool to have, but this made me want to rethink that.
Anyways, I ended up ordering a couch at La-Z-Boy. I loved that they had options for the colour and fabric of the couch, plus I could choose any one of hundreds of throw pillow materials. They also have a great warranty and with the warranty they will come clean it anytime I want for the next seven years. The saleslady was very very clear on the warranty and cleaning, saying that I could literally have them come weekly if I wanted (she shouldn’t test me like this) and that they clean everything from bodily fluids, food, animal hair, liquids, bodily fluids, wine, animal fluids, bodily fluids and did she mention bodily fluids (she really did say bodily fluids to me about 10 times, which I get, but it was a bit weird).
Only a 6-8 week wait (“but it could be faster!” the sales lady said to me almost as much as she said bodily fluids), I got my couch in 10 weeks. Actually 11. But I’m jumping ahead here. You know what, we don’t have a picture in this post yet, so lets look at this couch first…
So this couch. This couch will be sold with the condo should I ever move. At week 10 I was called to say they would be delivering it that Sunday. I was so excited. I was literally sitting on one of those blow up “couches” in my place for the past month (I attempted to use a lawn chair for the first two weeks but it soon broke after I dropped it while cleaning one day). It was one of these, as I lovingly referred to it as the vagina couch (you don’t need to use much imagination to figure out where that name came from)
Except it was black because for some reason I thought maybe black would make it look like it belonged in a living room. Also now that I wrote that line about it being a vagina couch I’m really glad I did not buy it in pink.
If you ever passed the kiosk in the mall and thought maybe you’d like one for yourself I have a tip: DON’T EVER BUY ONE. You have to re-inflate it at least once every couple hours and unless you roll it up super tight, your ass is on the floor within half an hour. The problem with rolling it up super tight is that over time this causes stress on the fabric and balloons inside the fabric, and it pops and the next thing you know you’re on the floor a bit confused about what just happened. I may speak from experience.
Luckily, when that happened was the day before the couch was due to be delivered. That Sunday I cleaned up, steam-cleaned the floors, laid down the rug I was so excited about, it had been sitting in my storage closet for a month and a half, and waited for them to show up with the couch. They came, carried it up three flights of stairs to my door on the third floor and proceeded to try for almost an hour to get it in as I stood by with my stomach getting more and more tied up in knots as the minutes passed by
Side note: it’s always awkward while people are doing work and you’re just standing by, so while it was hard for them to carry this huge couch up three flights and they try and figure out the real life Tetris that was my doorway, feel my pain as I stood there watching, internally freaking out and simultaneously wanting to vomit and cry but also wanting them to leave so I could do it in private.
They couldn’t get it in.
The couch is a bit longer than most couches, plus since my door is right besides the stairs I have an Exit sign just outside the door. And the hallways are narrow. I had everything working against me. If they could only take down the exit sign they could get it in the doorway (we tried, the sign don’t move). Or if my front door was only one more foot down the hallway we could get it in (we didn’t try this, the garbage chute is in that spot and seemed like too much work for us).
So I did what anyone would do as they took the couch away and drove off. I cried. Not like, a lone tear rolling down my face, I full on sobbed as I called my mom. I had a gut feeling earlier that day that the couch wouldn’t fit, but when I bought it I mentioned that maybe I should measure first, but the lady said that it fits in most places and the delivery guys are really good at getting them in places. So I took her word for it.
I cried for most of the evening, as I sat on my floor because I didn’t even have a vagina couch to sit in anymore. I knew the next day I’d have to go find something new, either at La-Z-Boy or somewhere else. The idea of finding something new was daunting and the wait for another 6-8 weeks (but really 10) was enough to make me cry even more. I considered going back to The Brick or Ikea to get something that I could have within days.
Instead I went back to La-Z-Boy and decided to get the other couch I loved, I had originally almost went with it because it’s almost the exact same but slightly shorter due to smaller arms. I wanted my eggplant couch goddammit! And if it meant me sitting in a folding chair in my living room for 6-8 weeks (but really 10) then I would do that.
So they were going to place the order for the new couch when I spoke to the head of the warehouse and delivery crew. He told me that he could get the first couch in, he was so sure of it. Or at least he wanted the chance to try. As the world’s most stubborn human being, I appreciated him not wanting to give up on this couch and his voice made it seem like he was willing to give me a run for my money in the world’s most stubborn person department. You may not know that I’m also one of the world’s most impatient people, so if they could somehow get this first couch in my place it meant I wouldn’t wait another 6-8 weeks (but really 10) for another couch. So I let him try.
He didn’t actually show up on the delivery date, instead he sent his two most tenured and competent dudes and they took one look at the doors and the exit sign and said they probably wouldn’t be able to do it.
And then I just wanted them to leave so I could cry in peace. Instead they said they’d go get the couch and give it a shot.
What a shot they gave. I didn’t watch it all go down, but as you can see from the picture above, they got it in. Once it was in I declared that I loved them and they made me the happiest human on the planet. Then they were a bit weirded out.
Didn’t matter, I have a couch. And they got breakfast (to be clear, I did not make them breakfast, they had a bet with the other delivery guys that they couldn’t get it in. The got the couch in my place, so the other guys would buy them breakfast).
I wish I had watched them, this way I could try to figure out how to instruct others on how to get this thing out should I have to move, because it’s very comfortable and I love it.
A few other things you might notice…
This armchair was bought two days before I got the couch in here. I figured if I was waiting 6-8 weeks for another couch (but really 10 weeks), I needed something more comfortable. But I could never find anything to fit the aesthetic I wanted, at a reasonable price and that was comfortable. So I was passing by a HomeSense and on a whim decided to go in. And this beauty was there.
I lied when I said I hadn’t found anything to put on the walls, I do have that painting that I made based on something I saw on Pinterest and seemed simple enough for someone as bad at art as me. I’m still on the lookout for something else, but I’m okay with it as a placeholder until I come across something.
It’s also not nailed or screwed in, instead I kept with the Command Velcro Strips because in my mind I’m not a homeowner.
That rug is the Stockholm rug from Ikea that you see all over Pinterest. I love it and I love how it clashes but works beautifully with the armchair.
You can see my dining area in the background, I finally got rid of the table and chairs that were handed down to me that I took with me to Alberta from BC. They didn’t really fit in the spot and the paint job I had tried to do to freshen them up was just chipping all the time. I got this table and the chairs from Structube (who I highly recommend for your well-priced, non-Ikea furniture needs).
The old table and chairs will go down in history as the fastest I’ve ever gotten rid of something in the Free section of Kijiji. From the time I posted the set to the time it was on the truck of their new owner, it was 20 minutes.
And finally, my favourite part of the living room is my coffee table. I was originally going to use this as a temporary solution as I looked for a coffee table (because apparently I’m very picky about coffee tables, which is odd since I used the Ikea Lack table for years before). Instead once it was in place I loved it, plus it’s got a great story. This was actually the trunk my dad and his family brought over from Italy when they moved to Canada in the late-1950s. Last summer when we were cleaning up and moving things out of my Nonna’s house so we could sell it, my dad had me help him get this from under the stairs where it was probably sitting since they moved into the house. Originally he told me to try to sell it on Craigslist, and I did have it up there for a day or two. Luckily there were no bites and I decided to keep it for myself. It’s a great conversation piece, a fine place to put a beverage and I love the family history behind it.