I will begin by saying that I have very little fashion and design sense, and I cannot walk into a room and see how I can transform it into a vision of my own style. I cannot just slap a coat of paint on something and magically transform a room for under $700. Anyone who comes into my home or sees how I dress can see that right away.
The downside is that I am sometimes embarrassed by the mismatched nature of my home furnishings. The upside is that I am not spending thousands and thousands of dollars updating my home to the latest and greatest style.
|My mismatched floors after an old dishwasher broke, leaked,|
and damaged the flooring. Thank goodness for kind neighbours
who help source replacement boards and install for me.
Recently I moved some furnishings from my grandmother's home to mine. She is in a seniors care home now and in need of downsizing her belongings as we prepare to sell her condo. Walking around her home is like being in an 80s and 90s time warp. We decided to take some of her furniture because it is good quality. I knew that I wouldn't be able to sell or give away the furniture, despite the quality, and this was confirmed to me when the caretaker popped in for a visit while I was packing and moving. He mentioned another elderly resident in the same situation as my grandmother. Her family knew of someone whose entire home had been consumed by a fire and they needed to start completely over. The elderly resident's children offered everything to this family, who rejected what they saw because it wasn't to their taste and looked like it belonged to an old lady.
When we moved everything into my home and I started unpacking, I started to cry, and not just because of all the memories of my grandmother in better days (she has dementia and Parkinson's). I was also sad because the furniture is darker than I prefer, some of it faded. Looking around my home, I once again felt frustrated that I am always making do with what I have.
Over a few weeks I adjusted and I am actually now quite fond of the furniture in my home. Now I see the positives: we have more seating space for everyone; the furniture is more comfortable than the old stuff we inherited from the previous owners; I have more storage space; the move prompted me to donate of over 30 bags and boxes of stuff; we have some excellent quality pieces that I believe are timeless. I could slap a coat of paint on things, replace hardware, and buy slipcovers, which perhaps down the road I might do (or knowing me, probably not).
I realize that popular media needs to create tension and drama for people to watch, to sell a better life for people to aspire to have (Home and garden channels, Pinterest boards, you name it). But sometimes we just need to be happy with making do. It's not the end of the world if our home isn't perfect, our clothes aren't the latest fast fashion, or our lawn and gardens aren't magazine worthy. I won't be taking the online quizzes to determine my personal style anymore. I have decided that my style is comfortable.
I have saved some great pieces from most likely the landfill, and I have saved not only money but also resources in not purchasing new furniture. Sometimes this is called recycling, or the new upcycing, I would like to start a Making Do Movement. I am proud that I am making do.
|This isn't just a poor quality photo; the furniture really does|
make the room look this dark. Note the 90s style faux
tribal pattern on the left.
|This armchair sat in an east facing window and|
is very faded as a result, but it is so
|I could replace the handles, but I think I like them now.|
The bonus is that I have a home for all my gardening books
and knitting supplies that were all over the room before.
|This is my favourite piece. This china hutch,|
and all the amazing White Dogwood Royal
Albert china is now mine.