A few weeks ago, Josh was gone Saturday and Sunday for an Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Lyon, about 4 hours away. I was pretty cranky about being left alone and barfy for a weekend, so I decided to give myself a fun project. So, I decided to redecorate the apartment and make a mini video documentary, like my own HGTV show!
About 30 seconds into the first video segment, I was interrupted by peacocks, and then I decided I sounded stupid. So, it went back to being a photo documentary. First project: repaint our hideous green "boot bench," shown above. I got this from the ridiculously overpriced second hand furniture shop downtown a loooong while ago, and had been meaning to repaint it ever since. A "weekend redecoration" was the motivation I needed, and it turned out really well! It was technically too cold to be painting (mid-thirties) so the paint congealed a bit, but that left this awesome striated pattern that looks like wood grain:
I didn't get a "before" shot of the corner of the kitchen where this guy lives, but you can look at the "after" and imagine it's back to that retina-blinding seafoam, no picture hung above it, and covered in clutter.
The clutter is now being kept down to fruit, candles, and bottles of wine.
I decided to give myself a budget that was equivalent to what I thought Josh would spend on a Frisbee tournament--gas, food, entry fees, etc. Luckily I didn't ask him beforehand how much this actually was, because for the Lyon tournament, he spent WAY less than the 50 euros I earmarked for my decorating supplies. Still, I figured 50 euros was a reasonable amount to spend decorating an apartment where we might only live for part of a year.
The other room I attacked was the living room, and all I did there was buy a new trashcan, which isn't worth showing, and put up two paintings. That was the big project of the weekend: doing the paintings! The one over the couch took me most of a day. Here's the before (pretty boring, right?):
And here's the "after":
Josh doesn't like the painting--he thinks it looks unfinished. I keep telling him it's not any worse than bad modern art you can get at Target. That's my decorating standard--it's OK to use/display something I made myself as long as I could buy something worse/tackier/uglier in a store.
Josh did, however, really like the other painting in the room, which I did in about 5 minutes on the back of the sheet of paper that came inside the frame. With a stick. A visiting artist who did a workshop with kids at one of my schools last year taught them to paint with sticks instead of brushes for a cool look, and I like the way it turned out. Again, here's the before:
And here's the after:
I kinda need to reorganize the shelves there, too.
The redecoration fulfilled its purpose of keeping me busy until Josh got home. Unfortunately, it also kept me too busy to do any of the dishes that piled up...I saved them up to do as soon as I finished everything else, but as soon as I hung the last picture, I was attacked by the vomitmonster...and Josh came home to a redecorated but very messy house. Sparking a huge fight (for us. our huge fights are actually really lame... maybe 60% us staring off into space trying to think of what to say, 30% laying out logical arguments the other person can agree with, and only 10% mean and underhanded jabs at the other person's feelings/character/habits. We will never have our own reality TV show.) So, the intended "surprise redecoration" did not get the excited "I can't believe it"s and enthusiasm you see during the "big reveals" at the end of Trading Spaces, but I had fun doing it, and that was really the point.