Thursday, April 17, 2014

Build a Closet

I did it again.

I fell for the American consumeristic "I have to have it all or I won't be happy" attitude.  I felt ungrateful, impatient, and "unhappy" because I don't have the money for lots and lots of things.

And you know the way to fix that attitude?

Build a closet. 

Sand it. Prime it. Paint it. And then put all the things you DO have in it.

You will immediately feel embarrassed, relieved, and whole heartedly grateful for each and everything that you own.  I didn't realize how much I had because half of it was stuffed in boxes or overflowing from baskets scattered in our tiny guest room oasis. But let me tell you, I do not need anything.  All those Jcrew emails that tempt me in my mailbox…no more…you are just a tease that I don't need to please:)

Now that Andrew and I have finally moved into our closet, we are that much closer to finally moving into our finished bedroom. This weekend we plan to move in the dresser and bed. I've been saying all along that Andrew has to finish sanding & staining our hanging bed before we move in. Incentive at its finest. Last night I let in. I agreed that our life is chaotic enough and that it would be nice to move the mattress from the dining room and finally sleep in our room! Turns out I am a push over.

Andrew is finishing up mudding & sanding the office so that we can put in the final push to complete that room in 3 weeks. It will be a squeeze, but the room is being turned over to me in a matter of days. A year ago I wouldn't have dreamed of "turning over a room to me to be finished".  I didn't know the first thing about culling wood, polying floors, priming walls, using an impact driver, cutting sheetrock or properly cleaning a paint brush (see the proof? Andrew says it's because I finally learned how much a paint brush actually cost - there certainly is some truth in that statement!).  It's amazing to see the change and progress a year can bring.

This weekend we took advantage of the Spring Sale at Sherwin Williams  in Middletown. Apparently it is National Paint Week so we decided to jump in. With 40% off paints and 30% of painting supplies, lets just say Sherwin Williams lost A LOT of money this weekend.  Andrew and I decided to hire a contractor for the 3 rooms downstairs - we just don't have the time or the know-how to skim coat the plaster walls. It is a fairly straight forward job and these guys will be in and out in a week, so we decided to go ahead and pick the paint colors for all the rooms so that we could take advantage of the HUGE savings at Sherwin. We basically bought enough paint and supplies for me to paint every day until we get married in September:)

We sampled 5 different navy blues for the front living room and finally decided on "True Navy" with "Pure White" trim. It is exactly what I was envisioning for the nautical, classic look in that room.

We were all over the place for the upstairs office - we sampled a few blues, a "cucumber green", a bottom paint green "Julep"and decided on a darker green called "Surf Green" with "Pure White" trim. (Pictures accidentally got deleted thanks to my faulty card reader, so imagine the paint samples all over the walls)

In order to coordinate with the fabric on the dining room chairs, I chose "Sea Salt" for a cool, crisp look for the dining room and adjoining breakfast room. This light turquoise color should go beautifully with the natural linen curtains I plan to make (in my spare time…insert sigh here).

And finally, I chose "Rainwashed" for the guest room. Andrew plans to demo this room when I am gone in May. I am so grateful for him taking on this task as the thought of gutting another dusty plaster room sends chills up my spine. He is a saint. Truly, I owe him, especially since I will be working in the Caribbean for most of May.

As I resurface in feelings of gratitude and appreciation for what I DO have and not what I don't, I encourage others to read this article about living a successful life without any basis on money.  This quote gives me perspective on WHY we continue to improve this house that is our home - "It seems that great achievement always correlates to money, power, possessions, and impressing other people. Is that it? Is that all we can define success as? When our skin wrinkles around our eyes and our bones grow weary, will money and power alone warm our souls and allow us to think, "I've lived a good life?"

And so the projects continue. The long nights ensue. The attitudes adjust. The joy in building something, creating and making it better transforms our lives.


Happy Spring! 

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