So, as a jump start, I'm going to try the best of 2009 blog challenge (discovered via Mennogirl's post), which immediately intrigued me. I'm a little bit behind (there is a post for each day in December), but here goes:
December 13 What's the best change you made to the place you live?
I'm so happy to be back in my little suite at King's (for anyone who isn't aware of this, I have a job that I love in residence at a small university in Halifax. The only downside is I don't have my own kitchen. Oh yeah, and I can't have a pet. Oh - and people can be really loud when they drink.). I have just enough space for me, with a big window that looks out onto the quad where I can watch the leaves change and the snow fall and the magnolia tree bloom. It came fully furnished , and the furniture I have is not what I would call my style. A big maroon couch and a maroon and gold chair, with mismatched wood shelves and drawers and cabinets. Still, it feels homey and bright and comfy, which is most important to me.
Being that I am a grad student, and that most of my money goes to school related expenses (tuition, coffee, beer, thai food), and also that Halifax is most likely not my permanent home base, I haven't spent a lot of time or money on decor. I also really appreciate... sparseness. Not in a cold, clinical way - it's just that I don't go for things that aren't perfect (according to my sensibilities). I want one perfect thing, not a bunch of random things I think are pretty cute. This year I decided that I needed to inject slightly more of my personality into my home, but in a way that would go with my inherited furniture. I managed to find two pieces (don't I sound professional?) that go well with the current feel, but make it feel more like home and a little more me.
I lived without cushions for the first year I spent here. I couldn't find anything that went well with this weird maroon and gold theme, so despite the fact that I love cushions (especially for cuddling when I watch movies), I went without. This year I decided that had to change. Wandering through the Superstore (my favourite store ever, although I can never actually find clothes I want to buy), I came across a set of red and purple graphic print cushions for... $15 I think? It was one of the best finds ever. They wouldn't necessarily be what I would choose if I were starting from scratch, but they are actually quite suited to my style, and they go with the rest of the stuff in my living room. Yay. Plus, they make perfect laptop perches when I am sitting on my couch (a la now).
I also bought a framed Tree/Buddha print from Winners for $20 that now sits on my bookshelf and adds some interest/texture.
And probably my favourite change to my home is not actually one I made. It is thanks to one of my favourite people, who knew I was in love with a ridiculously expensive candle from Aveda (apparently they only sell them over the winter holidays), and surprised me with it for no good reason. It was the best, most surprising gift, and I was giddy for days. Honestly, it smells so good. I'm addicted. I light it and my whole room smells like warmth and love and spice. Pretty much everyone who comes in comments on how good it smells, even hours after the candle has been put out. I was never much of a candle person before, but this candle makes my home feel so much more... homey. Ha. Sensuous. Warm. Relaxed. All of the best things.
Despite the fact that it is nothing like the home I would create with unlimited (or even slightly less limited) time and funds, it is my perfect little nest for now. I love being here. That feels so good to say.