I miss all of my past homes. I mourn them in part because it takes so long to get a new place looking just so. I live in a lovely place now, but though I've been there nearly a year, it still doesn't look quite the way I'd like it to. In fact, some of my moving boxes are still waiting to be unpacked. Some times, I peek into the (still-in-shambles) office/guest room and despair. WHY? Why is it taking so long?
I guess it's taking so long because I plan to stay awhile. When I moved back to Toronto in 2007 (from Vancouver, where I had been for five years), I took an apartment that felt temporary. I had very little money and furnished the place in less than a month for less than $1000. I just wanted it done. It was thrown together, but fun and functional and in two years, I came to love it. And though I'm into the more permanent now, I still think that apartment was a great lesson in budget living. Here, some of the key expenditures show in the living room (with apologies for the picture being a little dark):
1. Yellow vinyl sofa: $100 on Craigslist, plus a $30 delivery fee. I bought it without seeing it in person, and it was a great gamble. I'm still using it.
2. Orange love seat: $75 on Craigslist. Unfortunately, though this piece was comfy, the fabric was sun-damaged and kept ripping. It also had a rather large footprint and I when I moved, I gave it to Goodwill.
3. Coffee table: $10 at a thrift store. It wobbled, but I loved it.
4. Blue mid-century arm chair: $30 on Craigslist. I had to drive out to Rexdale to pick this badboy out of someone's basement, but it was worth it. This chair is comfortable and fabulous. Unfortunately, it's also really big and as a result, it my new place, it lives in the basement, but I'm hanging on to it.
5. Shelving: $15 each unit from Ikea. These are galvanized gardening shelving units. I bought 4. They worked great and I still have them.
I bought the TV for $20 and found my DVD player in the trash. I nicked accessories from my parents and bought a few more from Value Village, the Sally Anne and Goodwill.
Anyway, it just goes to show that you can make a lovely home for yourself, even if you have almost no cash. And even if you never planned to stay, that doesn't mean you won't miss it.