A lesson in focusing on the matter already in hand

Interior design
Interior design (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like going to the hairdressers. It’s a treat to have someone fix your hair and look presentable for once. I also get to indulge in reading magazines, which is something I don’t do very often. I’m not a big magazine reader or buyer, so it is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. Even the fact that they are way out of date doesn’t detract from my enjoyment. It’s also pot luck what magazines I’ll get to read as my hairdresser has a variety of different genres. Usually, it’s the celebrity gossip magazines she gives me so I get to spend time reading about the mundane going-ons of people who, for the most part, I’ve never heard of. Sometimes I’m given the Sunday Times magazine, which means I get to spend time reading about the latest big shot designer, artist or writer who, for the most part, I’ve never heard of. However, this time I got a completely different one. One I’d never been given before or even read. I can’t remember its exact title but it was one of those ‘Gosh look how perfect my home is’ magazines.

I’d seen these sorts of magazines in the newsagent but had never picked one up and flicked through it. I thought they would be a bit showy and pretentious, and make me feel sad and inadequate that my home was nowhere near as fantastic as the people’s they showcased. Also, how interesting could an interior design magazine actually be? How many superlatives could you use about someone’s bathroom? Quite a lot is the answer. Much to my surprise, I found I enjoyed reading about people’s bathroom or bedroom or kitchen projects. This was a shock because normally looking at pictures of perfect rooms and reading interviews with gloating owners’ bragging about the obscene amounts of money they have spent would be enough to make me feel irate and gloomy at the same time.

I realised that the reason I was not screwing the thing up and throwing it at the wall is because none of it seemed real. I couldn’t comprehend the amounts of money these people had spent on a toilet roll holder or new cushion. Also, I didn’t know anyone with such a perfect house. It all seemed like fiction to me. I consoled myself with the fact that the must spend a lot of time cleaning and tidying their spotless homes. And, who would want to live in a house where you were in fear of putting your cup on the polished, walnut coffee table? Not me! Either that or their homes did not normally look like this, and they had spent hours running around like headless chickens getting the thing just right for the magazine photographers visit. I think this is more likely.

The other thing about these magazines is they give you tips and ideas of how to improve your own home. Now, I liked these. They sucked me in with their promises of oh how so easy it was and how foolish you’d be not to try out these on trend projects. The issue I was reading was from June 2012 so had a Jubilee theme to it. This meant the first project I convinced myself I was going to carry out was a vintage Jubilee tea party.

All I had to do was buy some vintage plates and cups from charity shops and vintage fayres, dress the table with pieces of old lace and vintage fabrics, and put on a 1950s inspired tea party menu. “Genius,” I thought, “what a great idea!” But of course it wasn’t. It is December and people are not really interested in summer tea parties, vintage Jubilee themed or other. Besides which, the Jubilee was six months ago.

After dismissing this project as woefully too late, I turned my attention to the next one that grabbed my attention. This was making your own dip-dyed cushion covers. They looked fab and it seemed so easy. All I had to do was buy some clothes dye, mix it up in a bucket, slowly place the first bit of my cushion cover in, after ten minutes add the next bit, and so on until the whole thing was completed. Simple! I imagined myself with a plethora of cushions in an array of colours. I was the envy of my friends who all wanted me to make one for them. Except, the thought of me not getting into a complete pickle and dying everything else in a five metre radius is laughable.

Never mind, there was one my project left that had caught my eye and this was something that not only could I probably do, but also would be relevant to my own project of decorating my bedroom. For this, I had to find an old bamboo headrest from a car boot sale or the like, sand it down and then spray paint it in any colour that I wanted. Now this, I was sure I could do. It was not beyond the realm of possibility. I was going to recover my old headrest with some new fabric but I could do this instead. It was then I realised that actually what I needed to do was get on with the DIY project I had started a couple of weeks ago. So far I have painted one drawer. At this rate the Queen will be celebrating another Jubilee before I have finished.


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