Our first place was a one bedroom apartment in the suburbs. Being that it was our first home together, we were anxious to bring in some of our own personal style (along with our hand me down furniture). This was 1989 and the trend in interior decorating, at that time, was country. Not just any country, but "cutesy" country. If you're too young to remember (or have blocked it out over the years), the look consisted mainly of dried flowers, tiny print fabrics, hearts and farm animals with bows around their necks. Geese were especially popular, and we had tons of them. We had a goose cookie jar, canister set, vegetable bin and kitchen towels, just to name a few. I still have my country geese measuring cup. I'm not sure if I keep it for sentimental reasons or to remind me not to follow decorating trends.
A few years later we moved into our second apartment. By that time, we felt we should buy some new furniture. Our hand me down living room set was still in good condition, but it didn't reflect the current style. We went to a half dozen stores before we found exactly what we were looking for. Believe it or not, these are the pieces we chose (the cats didn't come with the furniture).
It makes me cringe, now, but it was popular at the time. That couch and chair are long gone, but we still have Chester (the cat on the couch). He's twenty, now. Casey (the cat on the chair) died of liver disease shortly after this picture was taken.
We left apartment number two to move into a house. It had been my grandparents' house since the mid 1940's, but after my grandpa died and my grandma could no longer live alone, it sat vacant. We decided to fix it up and move in.
Now that we were in a house instead of an apartment, we had the opportunity to change paint colors and replace flooring, light fixtures and countertops. So we got right to work....
Stripping wood floors after removing carpet
Removing paint from the fireplace mantle (yes, that's my big rockin' 80's hair)
Removing 70's style carpet from the kitchen
It took us several months, but when we were done it was all worth it because we finally had a place for that rug I had always wanted.
Yep, more "country blue" with mauve accents. We had country wallpaper in the kitchen, too. I hate to admit it, but I really loved that wallpaper.
That's my son when he was a baby, I didn't want to crop him out to get a closer shot of the wallpaper.
Eventually, the neighborhood got really bad and we had to move (I know I've told you that story), so we found the house we live in now. It was in terrible shape, but we love a challenge so we bought it, anyway. The renovation/reconstruction stage took a long time and required us to move out temporarily, so it was pretty stressful. We had to make a lot of decisions in a short amount of time. I'd like to say that we didn't make any stupid decorating choices this time, but I'd be lying.
I chose most of the paint colors and did most of the painting, myself. For the majority of the first floor, I chose a color that I would have said was a deep beige. A friend of mine stopped by to see it and loved it. When she went to the paint store to get the same color for her house, she couldn't find the color chip. She later told me she described it to the paint clerk as mauve. Mauve? I don't want anything in my house to be country blue or mauve ever again! I immediately chose a new color and we repainted.
I can't explain why, but I decided wallpaper would be a good idea in the main bathroom. I spent hours and hours looking for just the right pattern on the internet. I found one I liked and ordered it. It was similar to something I saw in a decorating magazine. What on earth was I thinking? I'm making a list of projects to complete over the winter and number one on my list is removing this hideous wallpaper.
I have interior design training now, but I don't think it would have made a difference if I would have had it when I chose the country theme. It was trendy at the time and designers were using it, too. Well, maybe not the geese....
Please feel free to share your worst decorating and design decisions in my comments! If you're really bold, post pictures of them on your blog!