I felt like an alien who had crash landed on a strange planet.
When the door to my first Californian apartment swung open, I felt foreign. The apartment was plain, drab, uncomfortable. I felt swindled. The apartment was supposed to be my salvation, my comfort, my prison. I had no job aligned and the only excitement I could muster was the idea of decorating and making a place a little less foreign for two displaced kids.
Moments in my first apartment melted into days. As boxes began to disappear so did the feelings of emptiness. Within a week, it felt like a home, a place where the chaos of everyday life would hopefully cease. It was our castle; our fortress. After eight months, it has become a mausoleum to my imagination and conversation starter with the neighbors.
It was the personal touches that made the place familiar, which goes simply beyond hanging a poster or some frames on the wall. Taking the time to pay attention to details is what made our apartment stand out and feel like home. These crafts also break me away from boring and allow me to feel at peace with my inner demons.
We turned a ladder into a chandelier. I made a pillow out of a vibrant pillowcase. I artfully hung wedding photos on the walls. I made monogram letters out of yarn and wood that now stand proudly on a shelf above the bed. I reupholstered and painted my kitchen chairs. I purchased an old desk and painted it into a unique sewing table. My colors are bold and my fabrics are exotic but somehow, they come together to form one cohesive experience.
These crafts and projects are my sanity. They're my inspiration. At times, it's daunting to spend so much time and effort on a few simple details, knowing you may not be in the same apartment, city or even state for long, but it's comforting. To come home and be wrapped in love and attention from the objects and knick-knacks that hang and stand proudly, that's why I paint my furniture. That's why I will never stop making my apartment feel welcoming and a one-of-a-kind fortress.
You can do anything with a few cans of spray paint, a sprinkle of imagination, painter's tape, fabric, glue, old furniture and a lot of patience. (Just you wait until I get my hands on an old wood door...)