I can live with this.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

"How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants,
rather than to create it herself." 
- Anais Nin

Personally, I find nothing wrong with a man and woman building a world together; if you have that, you are very lucky and I am sincerely happy for you. But for someone like me who isn't quite at that stage, there's no reason to sit around waiting for a man to give me the life that I want. With some supportive friends, a few trusty tools, and a lot of cold beer, a girl can build her own little piece of heaven—and enjoy it, too!

The day after I got the keys to my kingdom, I undertook a project that still has the unusual ability to make me simultaneously shudder and glow with pride to think of: painting the apartment.
While I thankfully had help for the more tedious parts like taping up the molding and laying out drop cloths, every inch of those walls was covered in two coats of Benjamin Moore Classic Gray with pure Celine muscle power. The exhaustion penetrated deep into my bones, but the feeling of accomplishment I got after I pulled off the blue tape and saw my home transformed made all the effort totally worth it. Nothing says "new beginnings" like a fresh coat of paint.
After the paint job, it was time to build. For what felt like an eternity, my days looked like this:
Turning boxes of planks and screws into furniture was difficult but incredibly gratifying. You know how some parents love to show pictures of their kids, whether you ask to see them or not? Well, I've been like that with the furniture I built. After hours of battling with screws, puzzling over assembly instructions, and lugging around furniture that weighs almost as much as I do, you'd better believe I'd like to show off my handiwork. So without further ado, here are my "children" ...
My hands and forearms hated me for what I put them through making that fabric-covered pinboard and putting together those Ikea Helmer drawer units, but the lovely splash of color and extra storage made the pain worthwhile.
I'm especially proud of my Ikea Norden table, which required some heavy lifting and loud hammering to build, but was totally worth the hard work. My baby does such cool tricks!
It's not easy building a world on my own. But it is supremely satisfying to look around, see that everything is just the way I want it to be, and think, "Yes, I can definitely live with this."

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21 comments

  1. Love the color scheme...I love gray right now too, and just got a gray sofa. Love the hardwood color too! It looks like it is coming together quite well.

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    1. Thanks Cece! It's coming along, slowly but surely. The hardwood floor's one of my favorite things about the apartment, definitely. Hope you're loving that gray sofa as much as I am!

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  2. Great work Celine! Girls rule :-) I love the folding table. It is a cool space saving piece of furniture.

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    1. Thanks! It's definitely one I my favorite pieces of furniture. So hardworking and useful! Girls rock :-)

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  3. our blog is very inspiring ..How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself." I liked this quote . Having being dumped yesterday and on the verge of an emotional outpour and suiscidal thoughts , Reading your blog was a welcome relief. I grew up thinking Prince charming will come and every man I met I was looking for that Prince Charming , But finally when I fell in love and the other person walked out without saying anything bu choosing to ignore my text and calls , making me a laughing stock , emabarassing situation at home .,I just have myself to blame for choosing the wrong guy as my prince charming , I have not been more sad ever in my life . Thanks for this cheery blog

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    1. I'm so sorry you're going through this right now! I know just what that feels like. I've made an effort, through the years, to try to turn the bitter into the sweet and it's made my life far more productive and happy as a whole. I had always hoped that this blog would help people see the good in the lives they're leading, even if it wasn't what they expected. You will get through this. Knowing that I've helped cheer you up even just a little bit makes me more motivated to blog more! Thanks dear!

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  4. Your world is exactly how it's supposed to be right now. It never stays the same (and that's a good thing); so, enjoy every moment, as I'm sure you'll look back and miss these times. I think you might relate to this particular post on my blog (below). Best Wishes.

    http://agedadages.blogspot.com/2011/09/opinions-are-getting-like-flat-tires.html

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    1. Thanks for that little snippet of wisdom! Every now and then, when I see couples who are truly happy and in love, I do find myself wishing I had that, too. But I also love the life that I have and I know that everything is as it should be right now. I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the ride!

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  5. Wow, fantastic! I dream of that someday, that I can have a cozy flat that I can really call my own and design it with little trademarks that is me. Well, until then I will just doodle in my architecture class. I'm happy for you that you can achieve this since I think it's a big deal. Keep up the good work! :)

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    1. Someday you will get there and you will love it! In the meantime, enjoy being young, carefree and able to doodle at leisure. Thank you so much!

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  6. I just found your blog and especially this post makes me love it so much! Last year I put together my own furniture as well and re-decorated my bedroom which involved moving a huge and heavy wardrobe on my own. After that I was so proud of myself but when I told my friends, they smiled but didn't really understand that feeling. I'm really happy to find out that I'm not crazy and others feel this way as well ;)

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    1. Thank you so much, Pi! It is so fulfilling to build something with your hands -- especially something that you actually have to live with and use on a daily basis! I, for one, am proud of you for doing that work all by yourself!

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  7. O my love you are sooo inspiring -just doing it for yourself inspire me as a women and even as person to reach higher heights and dream bigger dreams love what you did deco wise -just love every thing about this post love always shavonne aka ladylovebug

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  8. I love the quote at the top of the page. So true! It's a helpful reminder every once in awhile.

    I love the colors- it looks so crisp and clean, but comfortable simultaneously. Hard to pull of with white :)

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    1. One of the benefits of being a single lady is being able to indulge in white furniture! It's a bit tricky keeping the place from looking like a dollhouse (especially with my penchant for pink) but I think I'm getting away with it so far ...

      Yes, one of my favorite quotes for sure! Glad you enjoyed this.

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  9. AH-MAZ-ING post Celine, I admire any woman who is willing to get her hands dirty. My sister and i recently tackled a shelving unit, which we though we would never manage and BOOM we did it, no problem, think it was mind over matter, but it was so empowering! Go on the girls.
    Keep shining, love & light,
    Bon x

    PS, the place looks amazing

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    1. Thanks Bon! I still have a few handywoman hurdles to overcome (i.e. a strange aversion to power drills) but it is very liberating to get things done around the home! Glad you girls had an awesome shelf-building experience yourselves. You go girls!

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  10. Very purdy! I love your decorating style. I have none. Luckily my house came furnished. I don't really like the furnishings, but if left to my own devices, I would probably not have any. I know what I don't like more than I know what I like would be the best way to describe my style or lack thereof.

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    1. Thanks Carolyn! I'm sure you've got your own style hiding in there; you've just got to prod it out! If you're really keen to discover it, read a shelter blog like Apartment Therapy (there's a link on my blog roll). As you see one well-decorated home after another, you'll notice that some styles call out to you more than others. Slowly, you'll figure out how you'd want your surroundings to look like. I'm no design expert; I just really enjoy tinkering around my home. It is a seemingly endless (but really fun) process that I hope you'll get to experience soon!

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