I have always been in love with my little cottage: it’s not really mine, I’m on rent, but it always felt like mine. It’s the place where I have felt most at home after the house where I grew up in Milan. This cottage is also the house where I have lived for the longest. It’s been 16 years since I moved here, I can’t believe it… Time really flies!
So much has happened, especially in the last eight years, and I have to confess that I have neglected my house extensively. When I first moved here this place looked sad and unloved, but it had so much potential! I couldn’t believe how no one saw what this house could have become with just a touch of color here and there. It took me more than a year to repaint everything and turn it around because I did it all by myself, but in the end, it became a house that everyone liked and tried to copy. Without succeeding, haha. I’ve seen such disasters and horrifying color combinations in the houses that friends were trying to make look like mine, you have no idea.
But I look around now and I don’t recognize my once happy, colorful and so full of personality little home. To put it simply, it looks like shit. Like a dump. The level of discomfort that this causes me is deep, and I am quite sure that one of the reasons why it’s often hard for me to sit down and create, is because of how my house looks and feels. It brings my energy level down.
In my defense, there are reasons why this happened. I’ve had a shop for four years which drained all my energy and my money, leaving me with no time or funds to keep my home up. And then my mother came to live with me. We had to squeeze her apartment, which was a larger place than this, into this house, furniture and all. The problem is that my mom doesn’t really like living in the country and hoped to be able to move to another place. And she has some issues about letting go of things. She’s not a compulsive hoarder, but she owns more stuff than anybody I know, and it’s mostly stuff that she does never use, and that has no purpose. She’s that kind of person that stores things that ‘could be useful someday’. Only that that day never comes! I am not a minimalist by any means, but I don’t like clutter and I don’t hold on to things I don’t use. Seeing my place so stuffed has been highly demotivating and uninspiring.
My cottage is about 63sq mt: it has a large kitchen/living room on the first floor, and two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second. The smallest bedroom used to be my studio, and now it’s my mom’s room. My studio has been a tiny corner in my bedroom for the last five years.
I was hoping that the situation could change, that my mom could have had her own place again, but it hasn’t been possible until now, and it looks like it won’t be possible in the nearest future. And while I waited for the situation to improve, therefore not working on the house as it looked like wasting time and energy, everything kept on deteriorating more and more.
But Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Visnù, Shiva… I’m a designer!! I made people’s house looking pretty for half of my life, I designed shops, clothes, bags…
Time is up. I want to be happy, and you can’t be happy while living in a dump. I need to redecorate, I need to feel at home again. And since I am spending most of the time in my little studio corner in my bedroom, I will start from here. Gee, this will take a long time.
As always, when I start designing, I begin from a color. Colors are super important in a home, especially to me. And when you are on a strict budget there is nothing like color to decorate a room cheaply.
My favorite color is turquoise and all shades of blues, but I also love pink. Pink is a highly underestimated color. Not as girly girly as in almost everyone’s mind is, it can be very elegant and adult. Not to mention that if you get a good shade it’s also incredibly easy and fun to match with so many other colors.
Pantone has decided that Coral is the color of the year, and I agree. To me, it’s actually the color of my life, along with turquoise. My mom used to knit me sweaters, and when she asked me to choose colors…it was always turquoise or coral. So nice job, Pantone, you have my vote.
My house faces north. At an incredible ZERO DEGREES. This means a lot of things: positive energy flowing right through the door (if you believe these things, I do), having an indoor temperature as if the AC is on when outside there is 35C°, but also freezing to death if the heating is off during the winter and living half of the days with a north wind so strong that could cut me in two. Oh, and also, very little light. I always hated dark houses, but here it’s different. It makes the place relaxing and cozy.
A dark house needs lots of white, you’ll say. I could agree on basic standards, if not that when I came here everything was white. And the result was really sad. This house screams for colors.
Apart from cans of colors, there is only one thing that I am going to buy: a new closet. Years ago the house got flooded and the closet I currently have was damaged. It kept up for a while, but its time has come, now it’s really falling apart. And I don’t want a large, long and tall closet that I can’t move anymore once assembled, I want something I can move if my necessity changes. I am not a big Ikea fan, but when you are on a budget it’s the only place to go.
This is the HEMNES closet and I like it. Also pretty in yellow, but I think I’ll stick with white. I like that it got legs and it’s not directly on the floor. I like that it isn’t too tall and too heavy and I can move it around if I want to rearrange the space. Or, most likely, to clean. Hi Virgos of the world, I know you can understand me.
These are the color codes. I’m going to start repainting little things, like my drawer: this way I’ll have the time to change a bit the shades if needed and I’ll be able to follow my feelings. Color is about feelings, most of all. So I’m currently thinking about painting my drawer turquoise, but maybe as I’ll go I’ll discover I have the need for a touch of yellow somewhere. Or light green. Color to me is like eating food, I decided which one to use based on my desire and need.
It’s going to be a lot of work, but I know I ‘ll have fun. Also, I won’t rush it. I want to do things with love and care…but I can’t wait to dip the brushes into those colors!! Turquoise!! Coral!! Squeee!