~ Dear readers, I hope that this post finds you and your loved ones well and safe. Please be careful and good citizens. Be courageous, which is feeling the fear and acting out of love.
We have been in the apartment a little over a year. I think I have the living space arranged to my liking for now.
This cabinet holds the wireless router, the laptop when it is not is use and a bamboo caddy with office supplies.
I have been holding onto these chairs and table since I downsized from my house in Springfield. My daughter wants them and sometime this summer she is moving to a larger place where she will finally have room for them. I’m sure I will be rearranging everything after they go.
A few months back, I was looking for green 100% linen fabric for an art project and could not find any in the local stores (second-hand and crafting.) I did find this beautiful brown linen for only $26 a yard and I bought it, with no clue what I was going to use it for.
I’ve been wanting a pillow for lumbar support when I sit in the living room chairs for a long time, like when I’m sewing. But of course, I want it to be beautiful when I am looking at it and not leaning into it!
Fabric and craft stores are for hobbyists and their prices reflect that this is perceived to be a creative, leisure activity and not something people do to save money. An 18″ pillow insert costs between $15-$50 USD, depending on if it is synthetic or filled with feathers and probably some other factors that I am not even aware of. An 18″ zipper is $3-4 USD. And a local tailor/alterations-place told me that the cost of sewing the zipper I have into the fabric I have would cost $44 USD.
So when I found the above holiday pillow marked down to $7.50 USD, I snatched it up.
I sewed the beautiful linen into an appropriate-sized square using a classic back stitch.
And here is the finished product, nestled into one of the living room chairs.
Bonus: I have enough fabric to make another 18″ pillowcase when I find another sad pillow on sale.
Let’s see- That towel bar was actually useable when there was a pedestal sink in the bath. When it was replaced by this cabinet model the towel bar became unusable and worse, protrudes into the space over the countertop, making it awkward to use that space as well. And don’t get me started on the recessed soap dish/cup/toothbrush holder. This poor design should never have been manufactured. If you put a cup and toothbrushes in it, you can’t reach the soap!
Remember the QuakerStylist methods of interior design? First we declutter, then we clean, and then we add some nature. I shook things up this time.
I started this project by spraying the toothbrush/cup holder with vinegar and scrubbing to get the calcium and ick deposits off. Then I removed the plastic soap tray, because I was never going to use that thing. Pump soaps are less likely to harbor the bacteria from the hands of previous users, so I prefer those for handwashing sinks. I tried multiple products to clean the portion of the metal recess underneath the plastic tray. Turns out that was a waste of time, as the silver finish has been worn/corroded away leaving the brass underneath poking through. Lucky for me, I like this mottled metal patina. Once I got the nasty thing cleaned up, I tried to decorate it.
Forgot to mention: After I removed the towel bar, there were some holes in the tile (about 0.5cm x 2cm) that I filled in with black silicone caulk. Black does not reflect light, so the caulked areas are not very noticeable. If they really bug me in the future, I have a plan for them.
Both of the “pretty-it-up” efforts above left me uninspired as they felt like I was just putting lipstick on a pig. Sooooo- I pulled the whole she-bang out of the wall-
And then I removed the offending cup/toothbrush tray [which should never have been manufactured in the first place] and put the metal recessed thing back in the wall. To me, it looked like a tiny grotto. So I found a tiny Buddha to enshrine there.
It may seem disrespectful to place a sculpture of a holy person in a bathroom to some persons. I think that the Joyful Buddha would find it amusing. And if he does not, he can let me know in meditation that I need to reform.
I may not leave his Holiness there indefinitely. If I find a fake cactus or Ganesh sculpture that I think fits the space better, I will retire him to a more venerated location.
Here is my holiday décor for December. When the rest of your space is simple, it doesn’t take over-the-top flash to make it feel cared about and fresh.
The plate was in my kitchen. The cedar branches with berries came from a tree in the apartment complex’s yard. I was careful to trim from a side where the branches were not desirable (rubbing on cars in the parking lot.) The candle was .99 USD at IKEA.
After the holidays, the plate will go back into the kitchen, the cedar will be composted and the candle will either make it’s way to my meditation space or to the household emergency kit. Frugal, stylish and sustainable. Exactly what QuakerStylist is all about.
And I need a dose of restrained style, because this is our front door for the next two weeks.