Something I really wanted for the patio this season was to bring in more plants and greenery. While I had been working on the landscaping in the adjacent bed for a bit, the patio itself needed a splash of life. I remembered seeing a product called Woolly Pocket some time ago. It is a really neat product made from recycled plastic bottles that is meant to be hung on the wall and used as a planter. They come in several different sizes ranging in price from $18 for a mini to $150 for on that is 112″ and five pockets long. You can even buy an irrigation system for it. Unfortunately, for the scale that I wanted, they just were not in the budget. I decided to get resourceful and figure out how I could make something similar for I price I could handle.
With spring here and warm dry weather hopefully around the corner I have had the patio on my mind. Every year I like to make it just a bit better of a place to hangout and this year will be no different. I have a substantial list this year that includes planting installations, painting the awning frame, and creating custom cushions for the new patio chairs. The chairs we had been using the past couple years were starting to look rather hit, and to be honest, they were never really that comfortable anyway. Last November, on one of my thrifting excursions, I found a set of four wrought iron patio chairs that were just perfect. They were in great condition and just needed a little cleaning and paint.
Whenever we show someone around that has never been to our house before their favorite room always seems to be the guest bedroom up on the 3rd floor. I totally get it, you go up the back stairs and at the top are greeted by the sunlight pouring in through the skylight on the landing and then turn into the door to find this cozy little hideaway of a room. The ceiling is low and, part of the room being inside a dormer, not much of it is even flat. The two side-by-side windows peek out into the tree tops. It is the kind of room that makes you look forward to rainy days so you can cozy up and get into a good book while listening to the rain tapping on the skylight.
We assume that the room was originally for a live-in maid or servant of some sort. I feel bad for whoever had to live up there before window AC units were invented though because, boy, does it get hot up there in the summer. In the winter it is cold but is still usable with the assistance of a space heater and heated mattress pad. Despite the rooms shortcomings, however, it is still absolutely charming.
Our most recent housemate moved out rather suddenly recently. It wasn’t because anything bad happened. He had stumbled across an opportunity that was just too good to pass up so we sent him off with our well wishes. With the room newly vacated I decided it was a good opportunity to restore the windows in there. This wasn’t originally on my to-do list for the spring, but, once we fill the room again I don’t know when I will get another chance.
I haven’t really been working on anything too big recently, but I have been chipping away at several small projects focused mainly in the den. I am REALLY trying to get at least one room done. I need a room where I can go and not have to look at all the things that I want to do. Someplace where my brain can take a rest. While I realize that in reality this will never happen because I am indecisive and my tastes are always changing, I at least want to get as close as I can for now.
I had been saving up for a bit and it was finally time. This past weekend J, A, and I put on our comfy shoes, dressed in appropriate layers, piled into the Danger Ranger and made the trek to our local Ikea. It isn’t really that far (just half an hour away) but going to Ikea always feels like embarking on a journey of self discipline. There are many victories but you always end up regretting a couple of things that make it into your cart. It is shocking how much you can end up spending there. We were not, however, going just to go. We were going to get the sofa-bed for the den that I had been wanting.
We had always been unhappy with the furniture situation in the den. We had one long sofa in there and a couple lounge chairs (one of them is heated and has vibrating massage, it is pretty sweet). J and I would have a hard time being comfortable on the sofa together; J had this habit of expanding like those long skinny balloons that they make the animals out of until I was pushed into the corner with my knees up against my chest. There was also no practical way that more than three people could watch a movie or show in there together. The solution that I saw to this issue was getting us a nice sectional with a chaise. They had the perfect one at Ikea.
I had been having trouble getting motivated to work on the house recently. It was feeling like a futile effort. None of the rooms in this place were feeling done (well, at least done enough). I would look at each room and think, "Someday". Someday we will get the right furniture for this space. Someday we will fix the ceiling in this room. Someday we will get around to refinishing these floors. Someday we will get this bathroom working. I could go on and on. But I needed a room that I could feel good about NOW.
One of the rooms that was really getting me down was our bedroom. It felt like I had randomly just thrown things in there because that is what we had, not because it was what I wanted. I didn't like where the bed was, the artwork felt out of place, I couldn't tolerate the curtains, and overall nothing tied together in any cohesive way. I had to do something about it.