Sunday, September 12, 2010

Simple Swedish Style

I have a horrible habit of over-doing things sometimes (...okay all the time). I'm constantly taking on three projects more than I can handle, under-estimating the time it may take me to complete each project and over estimating my ability to remain unaffected by it. I always add just a little too much to a room in a constant attempt to get it "just right" before dismantling it entirely and beginning again. I have big ideas on small time lines and end up running around at the last minute. It's not that I'm unorganized, because I'm fairly organized. And, it's not that I hate finishing things. It's simple really; I get distracted. My husband makes fun of me all the time for this, but, it's not something I can help. I can be in the middle of one thing when all of the sudden I have this grand idea for another. My brain just doesn't stop, and sometimes, it's too much for the rest of me.

Take my redecorating situation. I just finished the huge project of redecorating my basement. It too me a long time to finish, which was something I planned on. What I wasn't planning for, was the fact that before the paint's even dry, it seems, I've moved on to my living room and dining room upstairs. This is why:

The couches in my living room upstairs were more relaxed and comfy, whereas the couches downstairs where more formal, structured love seats. To me, that was backward. I want to live in my comfy couches downstairs where we spend our time as a family, and I want the formal love seats in my living area upstairs, making it a more formal space. So, I switched them. But, now I have rusty orange (my husband's pre-marriage) couches in a beige room - yuck! The solution? I bought slipcovers in a natural sailcloth. So now the old couches are out of the room and I'm about to move in the new ones, and I think to myself - if everything is already out, why not just throw a coat of paint on the walls? (Because it always seems like such a casual affair) Before I know it I've completely redecorated my living room/dining area! So you see how this works? A leads to B which leads to C and so on. But, I'm always happy in the end - for a few seconds before I start the next thing.

Ultimately though, I want a more simple lifestyle. I spend a lot of time at auctions and estate sales and I have quite the collection of stuff piled up. I'm constantly bringing in new findings and after a while, it just gets to be a lot. My goal for this redecorating was to incorporate some of my fabulous vintage finds into the room, without adding the clutter.

Last night, my in laws all came over for coffee on Sunday evening. This was my deadline. No one had really seen what the rooms liked like (except for my sister-in-law, who saw them at the peak of chaos) and I wanted as much to be done as possible when they got there.

This meant that all day Saturday, and all afternoon Sunday was spent organizing, cleaning and setting everything up. Hours and hours of it! But, by the time 7 o'clock hit, and they walked in the door, I had just put the vacuum away (thrown it in our bedroom) and was lighting candles.

The entire night I just kept looking at it and getting almost giddy with excitement over how much I loved the transformation. There were so many times when I saw it all unfinished and doubted how it would look when it was complete. The colour was out of my "typical range" and at times I was unsure if I would really love it or just have to put up with it because it's done. But, once every little piece was in it's place (at times, this took a dozen different tries to get it to where I was satisfied), the flowers were arranged and the candles were all lit, it really did look better than I could have hoped. I'd like to say I planned it all that way, but I didn't. I had an idea of what I was going for and knew what I wanted to do, but getting there still seemed like a surprise.

Anyway, it's almost finished. Obviously I couldn't have it completely finished before they came because it just wasn't humanly possible. And I didn't worry about it. They don't care if my throw pillows aren't complete, or my slip covers aren't fitted perfectly, or even if there are some paint spots that need to be touched up. There will be lots of time to do all that this coming week. For now, it just feels good to be able to actually move in the room!

So... photos. Obviously, I want to do the big reveal when it's completely done. So you don't get to see it just yet. I will however post a couple little sneak previews later today!

Until then, enjoy this fantastic home tour! This is the home of David Weiss, restaurant chef, and Martina Arfwidson, co-owner of Face Stockholm by the Hudson. It's "Swedish tradition meets casual American style".

I always love the look of a few industrial bits in a room - something like this step stool or the chairs.

Talk about refreshing! This space just seems to go on forever. It's clean, it's airy but it's still homey.

Again, super bright (which the mirrors only enhance) but still relaxing. It's easy, neutral colours and very simple pieces but it's still very elegant.

This is my favourite piece in this entire house - it's just so fantastic! It's a breezy entrance way that's fresh and full of light.
I think the reason I was drawn to this house was because of it's simplicity. There's not clutter and it's not over done. It's minimal without being cold and it's open without being distant. And, it's just comfortable! I love it. It really inspired me this week!


  1. i am the same way. my mind is always a step ahead of me and i get over excited when i have an aha moment lest i lose it. everything happens in a if you don;t seize it, well it metamorphosizes and puf, it's gone. i think girls like us are like this becasue if every we DID think everything was finished we'd die of boredom. We are creators by nature, giving life. that's how i see it anyway. you blog, as always, enchanting.

  2. I would love to see what you did to your basement. Your dog looks like a lot of fun to walk although he or she would probably walk me.


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