June 12, 2011

Making House a Home - in progress

Operation making house a home is in progress. It's a slow project, that I know will never really be finished. It will always be a work in progress as tastes change, styles evolve and design transforms.

One of the things we are most proud of and most challenged by, was our decision to move with only our clothes. We considered options of storing our furniture, bringing it with us, or selling it. Selling made the best sense, as it would provide us extra cash for the move. Plus, since we hope to be overseas for a few years, we weren't sure our stored items would still be something we enjoyed. We planned on renting a furnished place to help on cost, and to avoid the buy and sell pattern we started, but even with someone else's furnishings, it still needs a bit of us infused to make it just right.

When we sold our belongings, we were sad to see so many of our little treasures go. Like our home gnome that stood at our front door (tacky yes, but hilarious, especially when neighbours put him in funny places, that wandering gnome!) or my $4 solid as a rock coral piece that fit in anywhere and everywhere making everything look fabulous. Or our chocolate brown serving tray that sat atop our microsuede ottoman acting as our dinner table, and also Turkey's preferred seat to watch tv. Or the 6 foot Christmas tree that I worked so hard to make look like a model tree, that I shopped for hours, abandoning carts of decorations that just weren't "it", or how my first attempt at decorating it 5 years ago, looked like a mardi gras party gone wrong. Or the extremely discounted champagne flutes I scored at a Hollywood store closing, that lasted right until our move to Vancouver, where I had to leave them behind. Those flutes have been a part of every celebration in our relationship. From birthdays and holidays, to work visas, new jobs, or even as a high-five to finishing up a house project.

Ah, but looking back, these were just things. And I get to keep the memories from them and looking forward to creating new ones. Operation making house a home is very dear to me, I really want to make our wandering adventures more comfortable and homey. And we are sitting on the sidelines of let's-not-sell-everything-next-time. Not that we have regret, but we'd really like to have more of our sentiments with us. The furniture, not-so-much, but the trinkets and things that make us smile, most definitely.

A few new things added to our home:

A collection of saucers, trays, cups and bowls to create my vintage inspired beauty bar. This is just small portion of my collection, as I channel my inner Martha to create a girly home for my make-up and baubles.

A sample of our collection of frames. They will all be spray painted satin black to recreate a tv/memory wall, inspired by Emily A. Clark's black and white vision. (Oh and that $10 sticker? Pshh, scored it for $3, part of the fun has been thrifting and finding discounted deals!)

A new porcelain vase to hold my weekly weakness for the $5 flower bin at the local market. Anything goes as long as it's under $5. This vase makes them look like a million dollars in my mind. Small things.

A recent find in Sydney, Australia at the Bondi Market last Saturday. Notice the theme in this? Ok, Sydney might throw you off, but hopefully in a few years we will call it home too just like the others. Of course, need to add Wellington, I may have to order a custom one, or get a little crafty!

A quick peek at one of my biggest design challenges in operation making house a home, the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. And the bigger goal of only buying things that have sentimental memories or will be coming with us on our next adventure. So books are out of the question! Ah dilema dilema.

What say you? What's your most treasured home item? Any design tips for this bare area that's a major focal point in our lounge (living room)? What do you do to make your house a home? I'd love to know your secrets!


  1. omg so i literally just asked you in an email if yall brought anything with you on your move...and now i know the answer ;-)

    i really can say i have no treasured house items anymore. i have gotten rid of most everything except some of my clothes. sooo crazy to think about!!!!

  2. I love the things that you bought! We wouldn't have brought our furniture or the majority of our belongings were it not included in our relocation package. Even so, there were a lot of things that I got rid of while still in the States in order to de-clutter. I think it's important to have a few sentimental items, but clean out the junk. I think that, for me, the things that make our house a home is the artwork - stuff that I've picked up here and there during our travels. I love to look at it and be reminded of all the places that we've been :-)

  3. @Megan you're in for a big treat for the move, it really is just stuff. can't wait to hear all about it, I think you are going to love the change and to be reunited with your lover!

  4. @Jenny @ Practically Perfect... Ooh and artwork from travels, how cool! I imagine some really funky cool pieces that are conversation starters or have some funny memory attached. Now that I think of it, I do have one piece we brought along, I'll have to post it :) Our relocation package was cash so we could decide how to use it, turns out two cats are quite the budget eater, bah! I'm glad you were able to bring along things you love and set up home.

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog! This is a great post - my favorite home item would have to be the standing jewelry box my dad made for me. He passed away several years ago, and it's the only piece of his furniture that can actually fit into our apartment. It's really the only piece I have any strong emotional attachment to. You are right - most of our belongings are just "stuff."

  6. @Kim That must be an amazing piece to have, and such a lovely keepsake of him, from him. I'm glad you are able to have it with you, I sure don't miss our "closet" apartment back in SF, but I sure do miss that city :)

  7. Those bookshelves look amazing, so many possibilities! And those saucers are adorable, I love vintage finds like that.

    I have a problem where just about everything in our house is treasured, for one reason or another! I was really good at justifying keeping a ton of stuff when we moved, even though my husband wanted to go by the rule "if you haven't used it in 4 years, toss it."


So glad you wandered by!