Tuesday, January 3, 2017

mending quite nicely

I'm on the brink of re-entering my life, which is a happy place and also a little scary. I'm starting physical therapy today and going back to work on Monday. And of course, I have to start getting ready to move.

The packing is not so onerous, but the throwing-away is. I am determined not to have clutter, I will certainly have boxes of cluttering stuff stowed away in my many closets (box of family photos, yarn, jewelry materials), but a lot needs to be thrown out on this end.

I arranged some time back for my good friend John to pick up all books, CDs, DVDs and clothing that we don't want, and that was done a couple of weeks before I fell. The clothing has been donated, and John will keep the rest for his occasional garage sales. John may be pressed into duty again, as the kitchen counter I've decided on is from Ikea, which will require a car and a cool head. I always hear that shopping at Ikea is a horror, but maybe going to buy one thing and one thing alone will make it easier.

A lot of essential things are already in place at the new apartment. I have two rugs (one still needs to be rolled out), my bed and mattress and dresser, and a dining table and chairs that still need to be assembled. Barry arranged for some larger items to be brought over there: my blender and microwave, TV, and my dishes, flatware, comforter, sheets and towels, and shower curtain. That's a lot of what I'll need to get started.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've bought some more things online, like a sink drainer, kitchen canisters, ice cube trays, a salad spinner and such, Shopping is so much easier than packing!

I have my laptop and have to go on Carbonite and get my files downloaded to it. It's my first-ever laptop, which is pretty exciting. My tech plan is to cut the cable, get wifi and stream everything to the TV; I did a little research and got a Sharp-Roku TV. Barry bought one for himself (he's renting a room, and wanted a new TV for it), which we set up here, so I've been able to get acquainted with it. I'm figuring on doing Sling TV, HBO and Showtime, and I already have Netflix and Hulu. At some point, I'll buy some speakers for playing music, which is almost entirely on my hard drive. (I'm looking forward to getting the music and photo files onto my laptop, and deleting all of Barry's stuff.)

Somewhere along the way, I bought a new phone, upgrading from a refurbished Galaxy S4 to a brand new Galaxy S7. It's my first-ever brand-new top-of-the-line smartphone. I got a pretty cheap price buying it from Samsung instead of from my carrier. I had been dithering about it for a couple of months, but began to realize that, since I had the money to do it, I ought to spend as much on my phone as I did on my laptop and my TV - I use the phone just as much as the other electronics, probably more. (I am a fierce online bargain shopper, and each of those items cost me a little over $500.)  I am in love with my phone - it's the first one I've fond to be really well-organized and intuitive. And it's so fast!

And speaking of dithering...I've had a really hard time pulling the trigger on any high-ticket items. The first one was my bed, which is why it didn't arrive until around three weeks after my original move date. The bed and the mattress were quite expensive, but I knew for sure that this was one place not to go cheap. (My dining set was really cheap.) The second pricey item that was killing me was a sofa. I've never bought one before.

Once I decided on a color scheme for the living room (earth tones), I started looking at mid-century-styled sofas. I was trying to keep it under $1,000, and was having a bitch of a time trying to find a style I liked in a color I liked in that price range. I decided to relax the minimum price a bit, and found some I liked more. I had fifty sofas on my Pinterest, and looked at them over and over. I even requested a fabric swatch for one, but it seemed too scratchy. I thought if I was going to buy online, I'd either need to buy velvet or chenille, or else get swatches. (When I was a little kid, we had a great sofa that was scratchy. It didn't make any sense to me to buy a brand-new sofa and then have to put a throw on it because the fabric was uncomfortable.)

Then yesterday, lo and behold, I went to the Gothic Cabinet website (which was where I bought my bed). They don't have a lot of upholstered furniture, but they did have a comfy-looking dark brown leather sofa reduced to $599. I ordered it almost immediately. It's not a mid-century style, but the apartment certainly will not me all mid-century modern, and this sofa will certainly never be too precious-looking. Like the bed, the sofa must be comfy and well-made. So I'll have my sofa in 5-6 weeks. Choosing chairs should be less traumatic.

The dresser was a whole other story. It was the first piece of furniture I bought. I spent a lot of time looking at the website chairish.com, which has a ton of actual vintage mid-century stuff. I spotted a Danish teak dresser, dead simple, and it kind of put me in a trance...I just jumped on it. Chairish, something like eBay or Etsy, has items sold by individuals, so you pair through Chairish but end up dealing with the individual seller as far as delivery and shipping. They have stuff all over the country so you can end up paying hundreds of dollars for shipping. But you can also sort it by city, so I was able to look only at NYC-area items. My dresser was in New Jersey, owned by an actual Danish person named Lars, and he couldn't have been nicer to deal with. When the dresser came, Lars had included some information about the piece, a bottle of oil and instructions about oiling the piece, and a tin of Danish butter cookies for good measure. This is where you can find Lars' Lovely Danish Modern furmiture: Lanoba

The dresser:
And here are some more pictures. This is the bedroom rug - the bedroom will feature blue.

It's a fake faded Oriental. The sheets and duvet cover are dark blue.

Living room rug:
Also new and not expensive.

The sofa:
Two crazy vintage chairs I'm considering for the living room:

These are both vintage and I'll probably get one or the other. I love the second one, though not the metal legs. The first one looks like it sits very low, so I'll have to double-check the measurements.

Dining table and chairs - the actual chairs I ordered are white, not blue:

For china, I'd had my heart set on vintage Iroquois Informal, Garland pattern, designed by Ben Seibel. I've actually owned four bread plates and the sugar and creamer for some years now. Here's Garland:

But the pattern was simply too hard to find. The dinner plates were impossible.

I was thinking of doing a mash-up of different Ben Seibel Iroquois Informal patterns, but then I discovered - Canonsberg Temporama! Still vintage, still mid-century modern, but way cheaper and more available. So I bought plates and shallow bowls and deep bowls:

It's hard to see the detail from this photo. Here's another:
Last picture is of bathroom towels. I decided to do the bathroom in green.
So things are starting to shape up.

I'm still trying to decide where a few things will go. I want a desk and file cabinet for my bedroom, and possibly also a reading chair. I'm hoping to finish the living room with two chairs, a coffee table and probably an end table or two, maybe an ottoman; some sort of credenza or cabinet for the TV (and to store DVDs etc.), and a bookcase (for books and also various vases and tchochkes). One of the chairs will certainly be a recliner.

There is a dinette right in front of the kitchen, but a table and chairs there may hinder access to the kitchen! So there's a chance that the dining area may be in a corner of the living room. Barry has offered a suggestion that I put the desk in the dinette, but I kind of hate that. Still, it may end up there, or in the living room (if the dining table lands in the dinette). I think I'd prefer to having the bedroom double as a den, with the desk and a chair with reading lamp. (A reading lamp sounds a little weird, considering that I do 95% of my reading on a tablet, but I like the idea anyway.)

I still need shades. I am dithering about shades. I think I want wood or faux-wood blinds for the living room, and lightish blue mini-blinds for the bedroom. I have not been able to find blue mini-blinds anywhere, even though I had them when I lived in Brighton Beach. And installing them seems a daunting task, although I guess that's a job for the super, or a friend with a drill.

And the kitchen - not enough counter space, needs an island. And I'm buying as much kitchenware in red as possible. I have a red microwave and blender and dishtowels and a dish rack and canisters. The kitchen will eventually have little red curtains and a hanging pot of herbs.

The reason I'm thinking about blinds is that I want to be able to have some privacy but also light for plants. I'm thinking hard about orchids for the bedroom (Robin suggested yellow, as an accent for the blue). Since I have good light, I may try cacti for the living room, and/or African violets.

So this is the state of home decor. Lots of ideas, many good purchases so far, still some head-scratching.

But first, I need to sort, throw away, and pack.

No comments:

Post a Comment