There used to be a day when the annual Ikea catalog would arrive on my doorstep and I would get excited.
Couldn't wait to open the pages- like a kid on Christmas morning excited.
That glossy little booklet held inspiration, possibility and fuel for my poorly channeled design eye. It also represented my need for order and to have beauty around me.
There's nothing more dreamy in my mind than returning home to a sanctuary after spending a day in a dirty beige office tower. We're stuck with dingy carpets and dated furniture. All day we're surrounded by walls that have seen better days, and better wall treatments or paint selections. Right now I'm gazing at a wall that has been papered, textured yet beige, in an effort to not feel industrial, but just generic enough that it is neutral and coordinates with the off white trim on doors, beige-y wall dividers and commercial carpet that contains jaunty red accents.
The blessing is that we are surrounded by windows. The only saving grace to the space is the glimpses of green from tree tops we get from the 15th floor and the abundant natural light.
I suppose it could be much worse. I fight the urge to launch sharpened pencils into the beige ceiling tiles above my head and see how many I can get to stick.
This year the Ikea catalog arrived and I was not as anxious to peek inside. Just glimpsing the cover made me feel defeated. It still sits unopened on my kitchen counter waiting for me to have a spare minute to flip through.
You see, my home is being renovated.
Well, let me rephrase that, renovated gives the wrong impression, renovated implies that work is getting completed and jobs finished.
My home is in a constant state of 'renovation' and it has been since we bought it 11 years ago. The dreams I had for the place are in danger of me letting go. I'm tired, too tired to fight for my ideas and designs. I'm kind of like my poor little house. The cracks are showing.
Currently my home is in a state that might give the impression that it's a drug den or perhaps we're squatters. Our intentions were good when we purchased it, we knew it was a 'fixer upper' our neighbourhood is full of 'handy man specials'.
But after 11 years I tire of the cracks, bumpy ceilings, half removed wood paneling and the latest eye sore an enormous hole in my wall that I view constantly from my seat at our kitchen table - a hole that was the idea of Spouse while I was out running errands one day. "we're opening it up" he stated, and the task left incomplete.
When I took a break from work two years ago and was able to spend the time on and in my little house that it deserved, I fell back in love with it. It truly is a jem and a comfortable home. I was able to organise the tiny closets, properly clean the mid century hardwood floors, keep the windows clear so the sun was able to stream in and warm floors. Fresh paint and curtains- a little lipstick for the old gal.
My kids never complain, their rooms are warm and clean and decorated to their tastes. In the end isn't that all that really matters? It should be, but I'm craving my own 'space'.
Now that I'm back to work full time, I again see the love my little house needs and deserves. The list of tasks is overwhelming to bring the old gal back to where she should be. I need this more than I realized. I need to bring her to back to where I can be proud and feel like it is a place I want to live and 'be'.
Like one of those rooms they set up in an Ikea catalog.
So as summer winds down and we are slowly forced back to living inside my task begins. How do I prioritize room by room the work that needs to be done, and pay for it I might add. How do I prioritize the time required to slap some lipstick on this pig and keep up with daily chores and schedules. How do I make this building a space that I can finally feel really happy about, live in share with those I love and 'be'. I suppose the answer is room by room.
Like in the Ikea catalog.