Satisfaction

When we bought our house we were determined not to be those people. You know the ones I mean. The ones that buy a house and promptly spend all kinds of money filling it with new furniture, changing things, decorating... It's not that we didn't want to decorate or change things. In order to that we'd have had to lay it out on credit. We were doing our best to avoid that.

That's not to say we did nothing. We replace the 20 year old carpet on the upper level of the house with hardwood. We also replaced the furnace, which was equally as old. We did both within the first six weeks and it was expensive.  So we did things like not getting new baseboards installed when we had the floor done. We'll have to do those at some point. For now we've lived without baseboards on the upper level for over a year. I can't say it's been a hardship.

We bought things like a table and chair of the kitchen. A lawnmower. Shovels. We ripped down the burgundy blinds in the living room and replaced them with white curtains. We de-fairy-stickered and repainted the spare bedroom (it was a shade of what I call "pepto princess pink"). We replaced a couple of faucets. All fairly minor changes done slowly over the course of the year and a bit we've been here.

We didn't add much and we didn't remove much either. Shelves that were up stayed up. Curtains that were up mostly stayed up. We knew we'd take down most of the stuff eventually. Some day.

Some day arrived for our kitchen this weekend. When we were started looking for a house we told our friend and real estate agent that we had fairly simple demands. We didn't want to share a wall, floor or ceiling with anyone. We wanted at least 1 and a 1/2 baths. We wanted a garage. We're not fixer-uppers. And I wanted a real kitchen -- one that allowed you room to move, had ample workspace, had space for a table and please for the love do not show me a galley kitchen. There were other things we wanted, of course, but these were the things that we were really looking for.

Our kitchen met our criteria. It's not a perfect kitchen. It's a bit dated. I could use an upgrade. But it's functional and big.

My dream kitchen would have built-in bookshelves. Not just a single shelf but room for a pretty decent cookbook library. What's not given to us, we create. We stuck an older bookcase in the corner of the kitchen and promptly overfilled it. We've been meaning to replace it. It was never the most sturdy of bookcases and the movers damaged it when they brought it in.

So this weekend we braved the messed up Ottawa Ikea parking lot. We grabbed a Billy bookcase. We did a traditional impulse purchase (at Ikea it's not so much whether or not we'll do an impulse purchase but what it will be and how much will it cost) and grabbed curtains. We came home and Lee put together the bookcase while I did a bit of work. Then the two of us curse and swore our way through the shortening of the curtains. (I swear, the bottom of those damn things aren't straight). We had to take down a shelf that was here when we moved in.

But we got it done. And now when I walk downstairs in the morning the light coming in through the new curtains on the patio doors lights up my bookcase in a soft glow.

It feels right. It feels like ours.

And who knows, maybe some day we'll put art on the walls. Stranger things have happened.