Saturday, March 05, 2005

Dumpster Design

After reading some of our home renovation tales, you might think I’m the kind of girl who’s glued to HGTV the way others watch soaps. I only wish! We have the five basic TV channels, and I’m lucky to catch even a few minutes of home shows here and there. We have chosen to live without cable primarily because of the cost, but we realize we’re imposing an extreme form of self-control. We don’t trust our ability to limit cable TV consumption at home!

When we travel overnight, I actually check at each hotel’s front desk first to make sure they have HGTV and History. The strangest thing is that, as excited as I am about treating ourselves to a night of luxurious TV, the programs always seem to be a repeat of something we watched on the last trip, or the projects are something I would never, ever do. Ironically, these cable TV retreats reinforce our decision to keep the channels out of our home. I would eventually like to wean off TV completely, but my husband isn’t game for that level of extreme simplicity…yet.

Oh, I should also point out that while I don’t watch the home shows, I am a design magazine fanatic! My mom’s city has many magazine recycling centers, and she will fish out a stack of Southern Accents, Veranda, and Country Livings every once in a while to surprise me. I pore through the pages and rip out the photos I want to keep for inspiration, then return the magazines to the bin when I’m finished. That’s recycling at its best! I have four files I keep going at all times. What I don’t use in this house may spark an idea for the next.

It’s amazing how “priming” your eyes with examples of good design, art, and furniture will prepare you to recognize bargains. I bought two pairs of oak-leaf printed draperies at the Salvation Army. They were too short, but I just couldn’t let them go. Later I found the fabric used prominently in a Southern Accents feature article. When I finally decided not to use them, I attached my copy of the article to the curtains and sold them at a consignment store for $650. Later I bought yet another beautiful set of custom curtains for $5. That week I was filing something when I realized it was the exact same fabric used in my “dream bedroom” clipping! I must have been drawn to it on a subconscious level.

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