I'll admit it, I'm a consumer whore. I wasn't always. Growing up, money was tight. Any money we had was reinvested into the family businesses. In college, all of my summer internship monies were hoarded to pay for tuition, rent, and food for the following 9 months. I graduated with a M.S. debt free and with $300 to my name.
Then Massachusetts has changed me; as does having a full time well paying job. Rent is higher, the cost of food is higher (I used to pay $0.94 for a loaf of bread in college), etc. At some point I realized that it was OK to treat myself. Bills were paid and I had a little in the bank, so why not? It's a great theory, but over the years, that's kind of snowballed. I splurged and lived in Fenway for 2 years. I knew it was just beyond my means, but if I figured that if I moved 3,000 miles away from home, I should live it up and try urban living for year. Instead of buying a nice sofa, I bought myself a really expensive designer coat that I love, but only wear a few times a year. Slowly, big ticket items turned into constant smaller purchases. What's $20 here and there? Well, that shit adds up if you aren't careful.
I didn't think we'd be making as many purchases as we have with the new house. I mean, I was selling items prior to moving. But as we've settled in, there are nooks and crannies that don't need to be filled, but look so much better when they are. I tried to be good, especially when it was announced that I'd be losing my job in a year. I worried about the future and about spending money, acquiring things and then having to move them (or sell them). But Jake assured me that I shouldn't worry and that we should make our house a home. Within reason of course. Still trying to be good and focus on functional purchases, I'm thinking I need to slow down. Let's take a look at 2014:
Ikea Besta cabinets:
|Besta shelf unit and Besta Vassabo doors trimmed with gold washi tape.|
Without this cabinet, our living room would not be balanced; there's a tv on the other side of the fireplace.
|Besta shelf unit and Besta height extension unit.|
The desk and drawers were old purchases.
I could have saved our old bookshelves and used them, but then it wouldn't be so pretty. Is it functional? Yes, the cabinet in the living room holds most of Jake's board games. And as you can see from the picture above, the one in my craft room is bursting with fabric.
|Hovet mirror via Ikea|
This mirror is GIANT, but comes with a small price tag. It totally makes our place look deceivingly bigger. One of our friends almost walked into the mirror thinking that there was another room to explore.
Our first Elfa investment - Laundry closet:
|Home Improvement: Laundry closet|
I'm still loving our shelves, but I'm going to be honest, they're still mostly bare. I've got more pressing things to work on then upacking boxes. Clearly, if it's still in a box at this point, it can stay there just a little bit longer. I will say that the closet rod gets a lot of use.
Front hallway bench:
|Dylan Bench via CB2|
Was it necessary? Nope, especially since we don't use the front door. Is it functional? Yes, if someone does come visit through the front door, they have a place to sit and remove their shoes. (We have a no shoes in the house policy.) Do I love it? Absolutely. The warm wood, mixed with the raw steel legs, giving it that modern-industrial feel without being over the top. Oh and it fits so perfectly in our entry, it's like it was custom measured.
|Rustic counter stool via West Elm|
Lordy, I could write a novel about the saga involved in finding the perfect counter stools for our kitchen, but I'll save it for another day. Jake and I have polar opposite schedules. When I come home from work, I've developed a routine of eating my dinner over the kitchen island while I watch tv. Before we found this, I would either stand or use a dining chair. As you can imagine, neither are the correct height. The seat height on this stool couldn't be more perfect, at least for me. Our super tall friend might disagree. Now we just need to get a second one before they discontinue it. We could probably just get away with a single stool, but have you ever seen a stand alone kitchen stool? I swear they come in 2's, 3's, or 4's, never just 1.
Elfa #2 - Mudroom:
I even surprised myself with this second Elfa purchase. I thought for sure that we would go a whole year after the first one. But I lucked out since the Elfa sale was extended. We took full advantage of it and Jake helped pick out the finishes for shelves that I will try to install in the mudroom myself when the weather warms up. Our mudroom is not heated, and with 2 concrete walls, it's effing cold. Pictures to come!
Moral of this story, owning a house is spendy. We've got one more large purchase to make this year and then I think I'll put a myself on a spending diet. In the mean time, I should really curb all the personal spending. But that new pair of shoes and new clothes might come in handy for my next job, right? At least one can dream =)