Monday, April 22, 2013

I bought things

Which I need to STOP doing, by the way.  It's scary how much money I've spent on the weirdest, least formal, most useless room in the house.  (I have embarked on other causes economically.  I swear.) 

Granted, most of that wasn't exactly a cocaine-fueled spending spree.  Insulation for the walls was $20.  Sheet rock was $30.  Lumber was another $35 or so.  Drywall screws cost some more.  And spackle.  And spray insulation.  Oh, and then $72 for plants and plant pots.  (That did not seem like that much, one purchase at a time.  I mostly reused pots I already had.  It's not even as many plants as you're thinking.  And they're not some sort of endangered species of rainforest flora.  And I'm probably going to kill all of them by July.  And even if I don't, I want more.)  Then it was $35 for trim molding.  And that doesn't include $156 for the flooring, $30 for the varnish, about $100 for the air compressor and nail gun, $45 for the pressure-treated subfloor panel, and $60 for a reciprocating saw to get the $%#& rotten original subfloor all the way out.  I'm not counting the (many) supplies and materials I already had.  I think I've already spent $600.  Even when I was complaining I had not realized it was that bad.  That is insane

And...that's just for four walls (and some plants).  It doesn't touch the things that are in the room.  Regarding which I have tried to be really restrained.  My funky wood-and-leather chairs:

Will not be included.  I finally made a direct examination of one to see what I'd need to do to repair the leather on the arms, and realized that the leather on the whole chair was ridiculously brittle.  It wasn't that way when I bought them, but if I was supposed to condition them, I certainly didn't know.  I paid $50 for the pair from craigslist and I think I can count on one hand the number of times anyone has sat on either of them.  And I'm not shelling out for enough leather to redo them entirely.  They also need repairs to the frame, and leather-work is not something I currently do.  It would be throwing good money after bad.  What a stupid waste. 

I do, however, have a nice verdigris-type folding cafe table and two chairs.  They have been living outside, and doing quite well although they are metal.  (They were only $35 for all three on craigslist, and they have been used constantly and are easy to store.  An example of good shopping judgment.)  They look like moderately like this, except with all sorts of leaves:

(Apparently you can buy a set here, for $270.  I guess I got a steal.) 

Now I think it is time to bring them inside, and put the table in the corner where that right-hand leather chair is sitting in the photo above.  The other corner (where the leather chair on the left is) is home to my indoor lemon tree ($25) and its new pot ($9).  It would be decades before it grew enough lemons to be cheaper than buying lemons at the store, and I'll probably spend that much in fertilizer for it every year anyway.  But somehow the idea of growing my own lemons seemed totally irresistible, and I didn't do the math until I had clicked "purchase."  (I am starting to worry that I suffer from some sort of disorder.) 

I already have a perfect cloth for the little verdigris table - an oversized scarf I bought in Warsaw with the traditional Polish floral print - it looks a lot like what the woman (a folk dancer) is wearing here:

Then, as discussed, I have my mother's library table:

I have a navy and white floral table cloth that I'm going to drape over it cross-wise - I bought the cloth at thrift store before we got our current dining table (for which the cloth is much too small).  And, as you can see behind the library table, I also have two ladder-back Ikea chairs inherited from my sister, who painted them.  I plan to paint them again, the same color as this room:

I think the pillows I made are going out here, too.  And I'm buying a bench for under the table.  I wanted something like this:

I'm telling you.  Something humble.  I figured I'd find dozens for sale for $25.  I was even willing to spend up to $50 for something that was really cute.  Instead I found nothing.  Either it was over 50 miles from my house or it was the wrong length to fit under my library table or it was $150.  (I will never understand the things craigslist sellers think are worth over $100.)  I have just found one for a great price that I will pick up on Thursday (I hope).  It is not remotely like my original goal, but I think it will look nice, and be transport-able to the dining room to seat two more at the end of the table for dinner.  But it is metal, so it probably needs cushions.  If I buy outdoor cushions (what would fit best), they should only cost...three times as much as the table. 

(I think my brain is overheating.) 

Oh, and I felt the space needed a rug.  Because of its super-skinny shape, it requires a runner.  We have one more from my DH's travels to far-flung lands (and unauthorized home decor purchases), but is a fancy-fancy hand-knotted one that I am not willing to subject to Life on the Porch, which is guaranteed to be rough.  Ideally, I wanted something like this:

(For just $2000, it can be yours. It's quite large, too.) But I found myself looking at things like this: was on sale?  And don't get me wrong, that's a cute rug.  But I am traveling into the land of "spend too much money and don't get what you really want," and that's not a good place to spend a lot of time.  Then over the weekend I came across this little number:


For $50.  With free shipping.  And after running it past my DH (who is much more low-key about purchasing decisions than I am, so although I try to use him as a check on my impulses, it doesn't really work that way), I bought it - the same day I found it.  I think this is an error in and of itself.  It's a "Mad Mat," which Oprah apparently made famous, and I do think it's fascinating that recycled plastic bottles can be made to look like Oriental rugs - at least, from a distance.  It's not the same weaving technique as real rugs, though (for some reason the close-up is a .gif, so I can't display it here) - it's flat-woven, and the "fibers" are a little more exposed. 

So you can just take a hose to it, but is it sturdy enough for regular foot traffic?  And why did I not think about this before I purchased it? 

I need to get this project finished so I can move on to spending more money on zucchini plants than I would on actual zucchini, and then buying all my zucchini anyway because my plants don't produce anything (and yes this happens to me - don't tell me nobody can plant zucchini without it yielding a bumper crop.  I have powers of which you do not know). 

1 comment:

  1. Even though I rarely comment on these, I love reading your home improvement comments. I love all the stuff you've been working on, and reading about your thought process! It's going to be an amazing space!