I love entertaining people but I hate having them in my house.  Does that make me weird?

We bought our place just before we got married.  The plan was to live here for a year, maybe two, then sell and buy a house.  Unfortunately the economy took a downturn five months later and the value of our property decreased so much that selling was no longer a reasonable option.  Combined with the fact that starter houses in our area cost roughly $375 000, with a requirement of at least 5% down - and you have our now expanded family of four (plus a dog) sharing a two bedroom apartment-style condo, 6 1/2 years later, with no immediate plans to move.

I've always been a little bit self conscious about where we live.  Our place is is nice (it's completely renovated!) and I actually love the location (all of our favourite places are walkable!) - but still.  We're in a tiny condo instead of a sprawling house, and we're on the "wrong" side of the Henday.

We've lived here for more than six years but have never really decorated.  We have a forty-year-old hand me down couch (I'm not even exaggerating.  Nathan's mom did the math - she bought it before she married his dad!), a second hand TV stand that goes with absolutely nothing, an Ikea table with mismatched chairs, and a grand total of three pictures on the walls: a canvas from our wedding and two collage frames that I absolutely despise but they were gifts so I felt obligated to display them.  We've always talked about moving and we've always been saving our pennies for something, so decorating was never a real priority.  Besides, Nathan and I are total opposites when it comes to style:  He's all about the neutrals and I like bright colours, he's a packrat and I appreciate a more minimalist look (less stuff means less to clean!).  I've never felt like it was worth the fight!

Now that I'm home all the time, though, the state of our place is starting to get to me.  A few months ago I invested in my first "home decor" book:  The Nesting Place, by Myquillyn Smith (aka The Nester) - and I'm making changes.  They may be small changes, and I may be on an extremely limited budget - but they're changes nonetheless.

Two things I'm learning:

  1. It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.
  2. Focus on the beauty that's there, not the imperfect and undone.

I want our place to be our home.  I want it to be welcoming and comfortable and real.

And I really, really, really want a new couch.