Way back when, I wanted to be an interior designer. I spent a lot of time filling up papers with notes and drawings about all my cool ideas for rooms for both people and Barbie dolls. Probably for the better, I eventually left that dream by the wayside and set my overly ambitious heart on medical school. On a totally unrelated note, if anyone ever wants to have a penguin-themed room in their house, let me know because I know an inner 8-year-old who could hook you up.
Even though interior designer is nowhere near the list of current career aspirations, I’m still sort of enjoying the process of making our apartment homey. We’ve been here for two and a half years and would like to stay here until I graduate school, (moving sucks and our couch is bigger than our door) so we have no excuse for not settling in.
We may have made a little too much headway, in the form of accumulating lots of stuff. I’ve recently made some headway with this, though, thanks to a really awesome book I discovered through Apartment Therapy: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Mari Kondo. After I read this I immediately got rid of so much stuff. It was AMAZING. I didn’t follow her (kind of extreme) method to the letter, because I’m a student and I don’t have a huge quantity of time to devote to disposal of all the possessions that don’t bring me joy (every pair of work slacks I own, I’m looking at you), but I still do feel lighter and happier.
My proudest achievement in the living room is probably the gallery wall, inspired by the how-to post on A Beautiful Mess. Theirs might be much more chic than mine, but incorporation of my dad’s original “TURDIS” artwork means that my wall is still pretty darn cool. Something about picture frames makes me feel like an adult in ways that I cannot describe.
A lot of these things weren’t purchased by me, or were purchased so long ago that I have no idea where I got them. I did include links to some things below in case you are interested.
One of my favorite elements was a DIY collaboration between my mom and me. I recently discovered a large stash of needle threaders in a sewing basket that used to belong to my great grandma, and even though I don’t use them I couldn’t help but keep them (hoarder alert). I wanted to find a way to display them, so I asked my mom (who is very talented at repurposing books) to make me a cool sewing-themed shadow box. This is what she came up with! I just hot glued the needle threaders on.
Next up? Tackling that ugly, sad lampshade. I’ve had this lamp for four years and it never fails to garner interesting comments from visitors. It started like this:
Then became this:
I painted it green, partially because those little pinprick eyes scared the shit out of me. But I left the horrid lampshade as is (that is, after I very unsuccessfully tried to rip one of the flowers off the edge of the lampshade). I thought about buying a new one, but then I actually looked to see what lampshades cost. Highway robbery, people. And I couldn’t get one that would go with the lime green cats, which I obviously was unwilling to change. Then I saw a post somewhere about using tights to recover a lampshade: genius! I bought the biggest pair of tights I could find on Amazon, and they of course just happened to be a ridiculously loud color. It has a bit of an ombre effect due to the conelike nature of the lampshade, but whatever, I’m counting that as a design element.
Oh man. This was a long post, and a long time coming. Let’s not talk about how long I’ve been working on this gallery wall. If you made it through then hooray!