My late friend Mardy, with whom I shared so much for 53 years, had a knack for decorating. Having little money, first as a student and then working with the handicapped, her apartments would have made a great feature in any leading home decorating magazine as beautiful creations filled with warmth and coziness.
How did she do it?
She picked up stuff that people had thrown out and refinished it if necessary. She had an eye on how to make the unloved, loved.
Thus when I moved to Geneva with very few furnishings, I bought the basics from Ikea. I lived near the UN agencies with its transient populations and when people moved, they jettisoned great furniture, working appliances, paintings etc. I remembered Mardy's cozy flats.
I wanted a red rug. Within a week, a red rug was in the pick-up pile. Likewise I found window boxes, which I painted and stenciled. A chair was recovered.
My Czech neighbors at first were shocked at my habits until Anja saw a clothes rack that would be perfect for their home in Prague. She was too shy to get it, but I brought it up in the elevator. They soon joined me in checking out the pick-up pile.
Now with Rick and I looking for a new apartment and all our possessions in Southern France where they will stay, we will be facing setting up a new home that we want it to be that...a home filled with memories.
Yes, we will check out Ikea, and yes we will check out the charity stores, but today he learned about the other way to make a house/flat a home.
Today is big trash pick-up day and as we left the house, I saw the laundry basket in a pretty blue. "Do we want that?" I asked
He did a double take. I explained. No, he didn't want it.
A few minutes later he pointed to my right. "Should we pick up the toilet?" he asked.
He'll get with the program once we find a place. For the fun of it we drove around. There wasn't that much to be had and we aren't ready. But he did brake for a baby foot. It is a start to his conversion of making a home with the memory of the hunt.