Addicted To Decorating

Friday, March 10, 2006

Before I begin what I anticipate to be a long anthology of my decorating quandaries, let me properly introduce myself like a true southern lady should.

I'm 33 years young, married, no kids. My husband and I both work full-time at a major computer corporation that shall remain nameless for obvious reasons. Our friends call us DINKS (Double Income No Kids). It's not like we plan to remain this way--it just hasn't happened for us yet. In the meantime, we have a nice, spacious home waiting on her (or him-- but hopefully her first) when we're blessed to have one.

This is actually our second home. The first was a starter home and a veritable money pit. Every single dime of our income that didn't go toward bills and the mortgage was spent on anything from replacing pipes in the attic over the garage to patching drywall in the bedroom that had been eaten right through by Georgia's finest termites. Suffice it to say that I never actually got around to doing any real decorating in that house. Either there was a constant lack of funds or even more so, a lack of motivation.

It wasn't all bad in starter-home-money-pit. We had some good times in that house. Even though it was smallish in size, we managed to have some really good shin digs (that's southern slang for parties). Our family and friends could never quite see what all our complaining was about. When they came over, they had no idea they might have just passed our "regular" plumber as they were pulling onto our street.

We had a plan, however. Five to seven years and we would move on to bigger and better things. I'm happy to say that is one of the few plans I've properly executed. In six years we were moving on.

We had always had our eye on the neighborhood in which we currently live, from the first day we saw the houses being built. It was just something about the quiet, mature street that it sits on. We would pass this street frequently on our way home from visiting friends that lived just around the corner.

When the homes were initially being built, we weren't quite ready to make the plunge financially, so we had to sit by and watch all 33 homes get bought up like hotcakes. We made regular trips to the neighborhood in the beginning and walked through many of the homes after they were finished. There were many nights spent dreaming of owning one of them. Eventually we came to our senses and stopped torturing ourselves, so the visits and the dreaming came to an end.

About a year later, we were coming back from our friends' place, driving down the same street that our "dream" neighborhood resides on when low and behold we saw a "For Sale" sign in the front entrance. By this time we had started thinking seriously about selling starter-home-money-pit, so we pulled up to the house that was for sale and wrote down the agent's information. Hubby was really excited. It just so happens that the very house that was for sale was the previous model home, so all the upgrades that builders put into model homes to entice buyers were there! For some odd reason, I didn't share in his excitement. To this day, I can't even tell you why. I guess it just wasn't the right time or the right house, because I was not getting good vibes about that house. I didn't call the agent for another 2 weeks. Hubby asked me almost every other day if I had called and couldn't understand why I wasn't doing so (not sure why he just didn't do it himself). When I finally called, the agent said the house was sold. Can't say that I was disappointed. I just figured it wasn't meant to be.

Fast forward to about 4 months later and another visit to our infamous friends. This time we see a sale sign in the yard of one of the homes in the front, but hubby didn't want to stop and get the info. I guess this time he figured my fantasy with the neighborhood had passed and therefore so had his. Little did he know I had my eye on another neighborhood entirely.

I had started talking with a realtor who specialized in finding foreclosures for his clients. I was thinking that we might be able to get a lot more house for a lot less money by going this route. It just so happens that he had found one not far from our desired neighborhood. It was still a little bit out of our price range even though it was a foreclosure. When I told hubby about it, he wasn't at all interested. He didn't want me to get my hopes up about it in case we weren't able to afford it. Well I simply had to see it. After reading the specs on the house, which included a basement, I was completely intrigued. So I made a deal. If hubby would go with me and the realtor to see "my" house, I would have the realtor take us to look at the one that was now up for sale in our beloved neighborhood.

The next day I called the realtor up and he agreed to meet us at "my" house first. Well, let's just say everything was going fine until we got to the basement. There was mold everywhere! I couldn't believe it. We could barely breathe down there. Besides that, the space was configured really oddly. It had been sectioned off into 3 rooms. One had been used as a bedroom and was very small. The other was just a big open space with the plumbing for a bathroom sitting right in the middle, so I guess it was supposed to be the bathroom but it was actually about the size of a large family room. The last room was behind the stairs and was dark and narrow. I'm not sure what it had been used for. We got out of there as quickly as we could. Even still, I coughed for two days following that visit. Leaving that house I knew my battle had been lost before it even began.

Things quickly began to look up, however. We went to "hubby's" house next. Although we had been in some of the homes in this neighborhood, we had never gone in this particular one. It was one of the last homes built and as I said before, we had stopped torturing ourselves by that time. Let's just say we were more than pleased with what we saw. It basically had everything we had written down on our little "wants" list for our next home. Our realtor is good about letting his clients walk through the house on their own while he stands back and waits for questions. He let us roam about upstairs while he roamed downstairs and vice versa. After we had been in the house for about 20 minutes, give or take an hour, we told him we wanted it. He said he completely understood why, as he'd been checking it out and secretly admiring it himself while we looked around.

Everything was a whirlwind after that. Our house sold in a record 2 days! I used what I had learned from watching countless hours of HGTV and "staged" it properly. We were offered full price with only the condition that we include the refrigerator, washer and dryer -- no problem. Within 30 days we were moving into our current home. Thus started my decorating addiction.

Next time...Who said we needed this much space?

Friday, February 10, 2006


Welcome all you decorating divas out there! You know who you are! We're part of a special group of people who simply love to make our surroundings beautiful, even though we sometimes get carried away.

I decided to create this blog to share my tales of decorating triumphs and mishaps, talk about the decorating shows, books, magazines and stores I love (and hate) and everything else I can think of that has to do with decorating and design.

I must confess that I'm also using this blog as a sort of therapy, for somehow my decorating addiction has mutated itself into a shopping addiction as well. I figure if I start to chronicle all the things I buy for my home, I'll realize exactly how much money I'm spending. Now whether or not this will help, who knows? One can only try.

Please take some time to share with me your thoughts and check back often because I always have something new going on!

Lady T