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Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Need to Nest

Personal Musings .... 

As I sit here in the new to us apartment, the scent of a candle by the name of Falling Leaves filling the air with the smell of Autumn, warm and crisp with a hint of spice, and nothing but the soft snoring of our cat Bitty in the background, and a cup of hot cinnamon spice tea sitting on the table next to me, I can not help but reflect upon all the changes that have happened in the last few months. We have had two daughters married, made offers on four homes and lost all of them, made a huge miss step of judgement breaking lease in our last apartment, became homeless for a few days, living out of a suitcase and a storage unit and once again landing on our feet and in another apartment. Exhausts me on every level to consider it all. 

When we moved into the current residence last Friday, nearly a week ago now, not that long ago, but nearly seems as if it was the long distance past, I was in a state of mind that we might get into another home very soon and was reluctant to live with more than a mattress on the floor, two chairs,perhaps a tv tray or two, the television and computer and what few daily necessities we would require. My husband knowing me better than I know myself at times said he felt I needed to nest. I needed to feel at home, feel comforted and feel some sort of temporary permanence.  I argued and reasoned otherwise, but he was correct. We had gotten rid of all our hand me downs, all our Goodwill finds and the couch that I had hated from the start, but worked well for my husband to sleep  or myself when snoring and tossing and turning won out; which was often. What was I to nest with? It seemed overwhelming and my frugal mind would not allow buying of furniture when I knew not what size home we might land in. My husband and even my daughters pushed till I caved and agreed we needed to spend some money on new items, after all we no longer needed to put new windows in a home or remodel a kitchen. 

While in the process of the last two months of being in escrow with the house, I had decided on a new look I wanted to create once we had moved, I had accumulated a few items and had them packed away in various boxes and shopping bags, they were in storage, and so they were the first to get unpacked and brought to the apartment to lay a foundation from which to jump from and leading to what I would buy to fill in blanks. Living in an apartment for the last three years, I had gotten used to a beige and brown box. I used to fight it, in fact nearly till the end of leaving the last place I had done just that, going with a black and white theme with pops of pink and a soft green. However, in the last month when realizing that the house we thought we were to move into was painted in the same beige, had the same golden beige carpet on the floors and had many touches of brown all about, I decided to embrace it and see it for what it was, a neutral background that indeed lent itself to a peaceful backdrop for how I wished to now decorate.

I was once told that we are drawn to colors that our body and soul need at the time, from what we wear, to those colors we are attracted to in paint chips and in nature. I have always been addicted to color and to decorating. I have done nearly everything you can think of color and style wise. So much so it is a family joke of how fickle I am and how many houses I actually need. If I was to be honest with myself it is a bit of an obsession of a creative mind. Just the way I change what is in my closet style wise, the style and often the color of my hair, it is indeed true that my decor reflects what my body and soul do need at the time. I suppose right now, after all the stress and upheaval and the toll it has taken I need calm. I need to relax and I need peace in my life. I have embraced that, or am trying to.. I HAVE to. 

When in this process I found myself being drawn to certain images as well when "trolling" Pinterest and the photos of decor that my middle daughter would post of her own likes and submission to a neutral surrounding. As we went shopping together, I started to notice that instead of Zgalleries we were leaning towards places like Pottery Barn and Anthropologie. When catalogs would come, Ballard Designs with it's French influence all in neutral tones with pops of soft colors as accents made me get giddy and the prospect of using burlap made me smile. World Market/Cost Plus with it's mix of industrial chic and worldly warmth drew me in even more so. I knew what I wanted to create and set about to do so on a very small budget. I looked for sales, discounts and hounded places like Home Goods, Ross and Target and even Hobby Lobby for look a likes at a price I could afford. I tore photos out of magazines and catalogs and "pinned" images and searched blogs that had a look that I was desiring. 

Fast forward back to the here and now and being told to nest, I already had as I said the foundation and knew where to continue to build on that. I headed to IKEA and bought an Ektrope love seat with a linen cover, new to the store, but very Pottery Barn, right down to the brown stitching and the button kick pleat details. I managed to also find a gray-brown stained pine coffee table, that later I plan to tweak to make it look less from a box store and more custom, and for a price that was perfectly in budget. Before that I had also gone to World Market and scored an  tv stand that reminded me of the ones they have at Restoration Hardware, but with a sale going on and a coupon in hand, bought it for much less. In storage from World Market as well, I had two brown leather dining chairs that could act as modern versions of wing backs and together with various accessories from all the haunts mentioned above, I have feathered our new to us nest quite nicely. It is still a work in progress and will be in need of tweaks as time goes on and of course when eventually we finally can get into a house and make it a home, but I think I have a very good start. 

Below I thought I would share a few images and notes on what I have done so far.....

The view as I saw it the first night we
moved into the new apartment.(back porch)

From the front door. 

Miss Bitty making herself at home. 

Hubby and youngest putting together
my finds.

Our new little arrangement, complete
with soft and cozy blanket,and scented
candle. (sorry its slightly blurry)
A work in progress,the
frame awaits for me to find a
family photo to pop inside, or perhaps
an inspiring quote. The blank
spot next to it awaits the unpacking
of candle stick holders and the basket,
a find from Target perhaps will
remain empty and act as simple

It is all in the details
when nesting. Lamp is similar
to one seen in a Pottery Barn
catalog, but found for much less at
Home Goods, the urn the same, and found
for a steal at Pier One. The
sunflowers add a touch of color and brightness. 
A simple place mat, some silk
Fall leaves and a scented candle
was all that was needed to add a
homey touch... the stone coaster is for
that glass of wine each evening. 

Chairs for occasional guests,
temporary as Living Room chairs,
will one day be replaced by comfy club style chairs.
A touch of animal print and linen pillows along
with the new entertainment stand complete the
look. Oh and no worries plan to buy a
cord cover to wrangle those pesky cords from
the electronics.
A find at Ross adds a Ballard Designs
touch to the leather chairs. 

Nothing is perfect, there is no
where to put a trash can, and
I have no desk so use the dining
room table when not in use for eating. 

This was a freebie our daughter grabbed
from her work when a promotion had ended...
PERFECT to sit at and sip on wine or a cuppa
tea and wait for another sunset to happen. 

The view during the late afternoon beckons
that cup of tea that sits beside me on the table to
be sipped while soaking up the warmth the sun is
providing before promised cloudy skies arrive. 

To be continued. 


  1. I've been keeping fingers crossed for you !
    I'm just crushed that you couldnt get into the house you so wanted.
    Chin up ole girl, something else is bound to catch your eye. If you need candles lit at church let your fans know !!
    Sierra Sue

  2. Thank you so much for the support Sue!<3 Candles lit are always a good thing. I know that no prayers go un answered, they are are often just not the answers that we want.

  3. Hi Ruby, I also am so sorry your plans didn't work out, but keep moving forward. I have to say I love that view from your porch and your new apartment looks lovely. I know it's not what you want, but I agree you have to make it feel homey. I think it would be too depressing to live anywhere and not make it homey and cozy. It's just another stepping stone. Always thinking of you and keep you in my prayers.
    Dee xoxo

  4. It certainly has been a rough time for you and I can understand your husband knowing your need to feel "nested." You've made a great start and this can always become an extra sitting room in your new house.
    Ruby, could you please resend your last email to me? I got a new phone and I think I hit "delete" instead of Save because I was in the car. Thanks.


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