I've been hard at work all weekend. My apartment is transformed! Well, sort of.
It's no secret that I haven't been loving the living room. Even though our furniture looked fantastic in our little Hamburg apartment it seemed downright lackluster in the new one. Take a look.
The entire room bothered me. There didn't seem to be enough color, or pattern and everything seemed colorless and somehow dark? Even though all our furniture is white? I just didn't understand it. The room frustrated me.
Two weeks ago I decided we needed new throw pillow covers. We went to IKEA but everything was neutral colors. That was the first trip to IKEA where I only bought a coffee mug and a flower pot. I quizzed H on other stores that sold home decor but he didn't know. I went home and got all teary eyed over how much I miss Target and the Pottery Barn. Do you remember Linen n' Things? There used to be a big one right by my parents house. Half my friends back home AND my sister have the same chartreuse throw pillows from Target. I love Target, but alas, Germans don't like hypermarkets. Target doesn't stand a chance in this country.
H suggested I look on Amazon.
A quick search provided thousands of pillows. I had no idea that Esprit makes home furnishings. They do and I'm happy to say that their home furnishings are a lot better than their clothing line.
With my pillow problem solved I turned to our guest bedroom/office/clothes drying room/someday possibly a baby's room if we manage to fit anymore furniture in there.
Sadly, I was out of money. I'd pretty much spent my entire decorating budget on pillows. I still have to buy a crib someday, and a stroller and a car seat and everything else a baby needs in life. I don't know enough people around here to throw a descent party, let alone a baby shower. There is also the fact that most expats I know are on shoe string budgets. I'd feel like a grifter if I asked anyone to come to a party whose sole purpose is giving me stuff.
My biggest problem was pictures. Our apartment in Malente is much bigger than the Hamburg apartment. There is a lot of empty wall space. Pictures are also really, really expensive. I didn't see anything at IKEA that I liked. I was already sick of IKEA anyway. I thought and thought and thought and finally decided to try printing my own pictures, matting and framing them myself. Considering each of the pictures I hung cost an average of 4€, the results weren't too bad. I spent most of Saturday and Sunday cleaning, organizing and trying to find the right place for our limited wall hangings. Voila!
And for no particular reason, I think I finally found a plant that can survive the extreme humidity in our bathroom. These African violets appear to be, dare I say, happy?
Here is our room, in case anyone was curious. The half green, half white walls were H's idea. It's a popular decorating method in Germany and I actually ended up loving it. H picked out all the paint colors in our apartment.
There are few more things to do this week. My Hubs has declared that he will mop the kitchen and entry way this weekend. The linens on the extra bed smell like dust and need to washed before my Mom comes but everything else is finished.
Sometimes I feel like my decorating efforts fall flat compared to my friends and family in the US. They have so many options and everything seems to be more affordable. My 'big' apartment in Malente is just average sized or even small compared to apartments in Chicagoland. Nevertheless, I'm proud of how it's turned out! We built our little home together and I love everything, IKEA or no IKEA.