I don’t know when the bug hit me, but a long time ago I decided that it was taking too long for me to build my dream house and I needed to create a unique living space.
The idea was noble, but as some friends were kind enough not to point out, something was missing.
Some of my walls were bold and colourful, my appliances were a sleek silver, my rugs were hand woven and expensive but the House just wasn’t coming together for some reason.
It wasn’t ugly. I liked each item individually but gave only a fleeting thought about whether the things I liked, liked each other.
When I got retrenched in 2017 (still not used to saying that), I was lucky enough to get a part time job almost immediately. This job required me to work from home and walking up and down the stairs each day I couldn’t stop dreaming about what I wanted my house to look like.
My dream home.
So I took the chance. And that’s what made the difference. Risking it all.
I didn’t play safe. I did exactly what I thought I wanted, however out there it seemed.
Dark cloudy grey walls, a painted brick design, suede orange seats, blue cushions, a yellow dining table with benches all made from wood pallets… it worked. And the joy was akin to tasting some really good soup that you’re preparing in your kitchen.
So, here’s some five tips that may help you put together your dream home:
Some sites and apps that I found really helpful were Houzz and Pinterest. Houzz helped me know which of the many beautiful designs and styles I was most attracted to. Pinterest helped me see if my colours could actually come together, especially where the cushions were concerned. The latter is excellent for colour schemes while the former helps you identify what style it is you would like to replicate for yourself. Other than that, you never know what decor you might stumble onto on your favourite show. Like the coffee table on Ellen? Yeah!
Soak It In
Give your tastes and ideas some space to breathe. Step back. Quell your excitement a little bit. Keep looking at the images and see if you change your mind, or if the thought of being in a home that looks like that becomes much more appealing. If you do change your mind, go back to option one and repeat the process.
I mean something else when I say this. Get down to the nitty gritty. Be detailed about what you want. For instance, for your fancy table – do you want a dark wood or a light wood? Do you fancy black lights, LED or Edison bulbs. Do you want solar powered fairy lights or those that connect to the plug in doors. Get into exactly how you want your new decor or look to morph. Then at this point, rub your hands together cause you can smell your new look house at this particular juncture.
This is important. And as with the first two steps, it takes patience. Go to the different shops that sell fabric and curtains, and see if you can find any deals. Do you have the exact fabric you pictured? Will there be a sale in the next two months? What’s the closest shade of brown for instance that you wanted for the carpet. If curtain rings will push up your budget by 20k, what’s a clever alternative to use? This. Requires. Time. Please.
Draw a plan and make it happen. I started with the seats and curtains, before moving to the painting and finally the dining table and cushions. For me it was merely the order in which the money and fundis were available to me. I did find it dramatic however how the paint just brought everything together. It’s good to note however that in case you are removing your curtain boxes, it would be wise to paint after the fact so that your painter can also fill the gaping holes on the wall.
An extra tip I would suggest would be to reuse and recycle. If you are upholstering your seats, use an old mattress to buff it up and make it more comfortable. As you replace things like curtain boxes, what can you do with them? Can they make up a book shelf? I used mine to create a stage for my metal frogs, so I have a nice little mini band in my garden. I also used the extra wood pallets to create a pattern and cover the drainage at the back of the house. Heck, I used an old jiko to block the fence and keep my puppy from running off to terrify the neighbours. It almost worked.
It’s really exciting stuff, when it comes together. In fact, would like to try it again so if you’re my peeps holler at me if you would like me to help you create your space.
If not, I also know a few good designers who’ve done more than one house. 🙂
Go on. Create your space.