a peek inside the fishbowl

08 Apr, 2005

Living Room Revival – day four

Posted by andrea in: Misc. life

I admit. I was nervous. I wasn’t nervous at first. I’d say I was more excited than anything, but I think Mark made me more nervous. And I think he was even more nervous than he let on.

I didn’t start to get *really* nervous until the night before. Oh man, did I toss and turn. I had dreams of stepping in buckets of paint, getting tangled in wall paper and painter’s tape coming alive and wrapping itself around my ankles…. making me fall, and giving the evil laser level a way to burn my retinas out.

The day started out a little shakey. Emma was running a fever of 101C that lasted almost all day. She watched TV while I did laundry and tidied a bit.

Oh, and although I felt very dumb doing it, I actually worried about what to wear. What article of clothing sums me up? What does a plain white T-shirt say? Do I want them to think that this represents my design taste? What if I wore my red T-shirt with the deco-looking smokestacks on it? Jeans or something more dressy? ARGH!

The Team arrived on time. As I brewed coffee in the minutes before their arrival I fleetingly wondered what kind of people they would be. I imagined a team of 84-year old babushkas. Former interior designer to the Kremlin, the kind of people who would bully me into painting our dusty rose walls into a nice shade of stoney pink.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about. The Team was friendly and young. Unfortunately I know very little about them because I talked a blue streak from the moment they stepped in the door to the moment the door closed behind them when they left. I am fairly certain I was still talking as I watched their van pull out of the driveway.

Maybe my chatter was spurred by the coffee and shortbread. Or maybe it was just nerves. Or maybe it was the fact that I was desperate for them to get to know me. If they didn’t get to know me and my tastes, how on earth will they pick the right colours and style for the room?

I felt it was important to walk around the house, pointing out things that I like. Collectively, these objects should sum up my personality, right? My cat faced mary janes, my Salvation Army chair, some of the frames on the mantle, the yellow/black/white bathroom, the bright orange salt and pepper shakers. I have a feeling I overdid it and that by the time I got around to the salt and pepper they were just nodding their heads.

I was a loss for words when it came to describing our style. It’s simple really, Sherri from Chika Design said it looked like we wanted some fun elements in the design. FUN! That was it. Yes, fun!

I also want to reassure you all that our living room is not the UGLIEST in all of Ottawa. I was a little worried. Who wants to go down in history as the family with the ugliest living room? Ten generations from now, when our ancestors are researching their Ottawa family roots, they will stumble upon the contest in the newspaper archives. And then their dorky great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother Andrea, who pointed to salt and pepper shakers and an egg cosy she made and said “this is me” will become a chapter in a some book. Great. That’s all I need.

They told us that our living room had the most potential, and that the updating could fit within the allotted budget. And my witty entry cinched it. Of course.

We I talked for nearly an hour. I’m not sure where it’s all going to go, but they said a few things that made me happy:

– part of the prize includes electrical services, not just lighting. To me, that translates into some cool lighting, and something built-in, like pot lights (!)
– roman blinds and draperies instead of blinds and sheers
– although they were too polite to say otherwise, they have a similar loathing of our carpeting, and agreed that it had to go. We might see that hardwood underneath after all!
– they might have some neat ideas about the fireplace-that-isn’t-really-a-fireplace
– they like our cove ceilings
– they said they could do something with the couch. Did you know that upholsterers can completely reshape a couch? Even split it in two?

More importantly, they shared our concern about letting our families collective personality shine through.

I feel confident that they’re going to do a great job. They’re coming back, with plans in hand, on Thursday.

Now, for your entertainment. Here’s one of the pics I submitted with my entry.

[image removed]

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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