Saturday, March 23, 2013

I Have Hope!

I've told you before that I have been slightly frustrated with how to decorate the main living areas of our home.  There has been lots of 'making do' with things we've had for years and years, or hand-me-downs from various generous relatives, making for disjointed and cluttery surroundings.

We've had a lot of busy years, and a lot of needs, and never any extra money, so this making-do thing is just what we did for anything we couldn't make ourselves.  Decorative items were just destined to be in the way and get dirty, and, of course, were secondary to things like paying bills and putting food on the table.

But recently I've yearned for a better look to our home.  Now that we belong to a small group Bible study again, for which every couple or member takes turn hosting, we entertain more than immediate family and teenaged friends.  We also see the homes of others, as examples of how others live.  It's not at all about keeping up with the Joneses.. But it's about wanting to create a more "grown-up" and gracious atmosphere here.

Hubby suggested I consult an interior designer.  But, I had no idea how to find one whose design style might match mine in our semi-rural area, that I could likely afford, and who wouldn't pressure me to buy certain brands of items they represented.  We still don't have money to spend unless I could be certain of a positive outcome, and there seemed no way to guarantee that.

My blue-tape rug experiment.  I decided not only would
a rug be hard to keep clean, but it might overwhelm the room.

I was considering options the other day, like whether or not to put a rug under the dining room table, what fabric to put on our dining chairs, and what decor I might be able to make to tie our house into one, intentional look.  I turned to Google images to look for inspiration.  

After finding beautiful photos of living rooms and dining rooms, but in fantastic homes like I'd never seen in 'real life,' I did a search for "interior design normal house."

This search led me to the blog, It's Great to be Home.  In a fun and interesting way, Liz shares changes to their own home, as well as other (normal) houses they've bought, remodeled wonderfully, and 'flipped.'  I spent quite awhile reading and looking at her great pics.  The blog is nominated for the 2013 Best Remodeling Blog in the JDR Annual Industry Blogger Awards, so I followed the link to vote.  

On the voting page, there were also lists of blogs in different disciplines, including architecture and interior design, so I started checking out each of those blogs, too, looking for photos of a style and feel with which I could connect.

Nominated in the Interior Design category was Live the Life you Dream About, the blog of Sarah Sarna, a New York interior designer.  Her blog is like a cool, beautiful magazine, with lots to look at and read, so it drew me in.

In that day's post, she mentioned that another blog, Life in Sketch, was offering her services, a 'virtual interior design consultation,' as a prize in a drawing. So off I linked to that blog. Life in Sketch is written by Tina, also an interior designer and, like Sarah's and Liz's blogs, she writes in an approachable and interesting way, and features rooms, styles, and decor items in colorful and eye-catching photos.

To win the consultation with Sarah Sarna, readers were asked to comment on that day's blog post at Life in Sketch.  This was my comment, not that it really mattered what I said, since the winner was to be picked at random:

We have been married 28 years and finally, 5 yrs ago, realized our 2-decade dream of building our own home.. About 95% DIY with our 8 kids helping. It was a great project, and I love our modern day American Foursquare home, but feel like the decor is one step up from “College Apartment,” and I’m past ready for grown-up surroundings. I need help! Was just researching for inspiration and ideas, and wondering how to find a designer when I happened upon your contest. It could be my answer! :-) If nothing else, I’ve found yours and Sarah Sarna’s blogs through this, so that could help me find my answers, too.

As I stated in that comment, I was just happy to have found such fun and wonderful blogs that might help me in my endeavor. I didn't really entertain the thought of winning--- past the few minutes of thinking it would be such a perfect answer to following Hubby's advice, without running into the problems I was concerned about. I might have some help and some hope, in moving toward what I want for our home.

When I finally figured out how to access the wireless internet in our hotel while on our get-away in Wenatchee last weekend, I was overjoyed to see an email that began this way:
"Congrats! You won this week's giveaway, for a free consultation with designer Sarah Sarna." 

Thanks so much Tina, of Life in Sketch, and Sarah Sarna!!  
I'm so excited to see where the adventure leads, and how it might help me improve our home.

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