I had been in Seattle 33 years - my entire adult life.
The only memories I had of living anywhere else were childhood memories of growing up in rural Wisconsin.
But I decided at one point in the past two years that I needed something new, something challenging.
After my last relationship ended, it became clear I didn't have the heart to continue to do what needed to be done to make ends meet in the expensive housing market Seattle had become.
I had tried hosting students, roommates, working 2 or 3 jobs at the same time - all had benefits but also major drawbacks.
Then I realized it wasn't just the high cost of living in Seattle that was making my eye wander, but the fact that I was actually bored there too.
I know, its still a beautiful landscape nestled between 2 stunning mountain ranges, on the Puget Sound. And the city, growing in leaps and bounds, has become way more exciting.
But I never was a coniferous tree person, I rarely took the ferries or hiked the deep wood. The ocean was a long ways away, it rains all the time (the grey drizzle does get to you!) and I rarely got downtown where the excitement was happening.
I seemed to have either outgrown the city or it grew away from me.
My romantic, floral art seemed to be passed over for industrial, retro coldness and lack of soft colors.
I enjoyed participating in art studio tours in my neighborhood and developed friendships within the art community I really cherish. But my style was more traditional, southern and romantic.
So the day came when I decided to be brave, courageous and adventuress and take that leap - sell my cottage and move on to new experiences.
Leaving behind friends (whom I still text/chat with frequently, as I did when still there), and a job that was not always comfortable or guaranteed, but had become boring an tedious.
And leaving behind familiarity of how the PNW worked, the people interacted and the weather patterns.
But also leaving behind a dull pattern of living my days had fallen into.
Time for a change before I got too old. Time to sell before the housing market bubble burst!
After considerable looking, reading and exploring online, I decided Richmond, VA was my target.
Its central to so many cool places on the east coast, has a ton of historical sites to explore, and is still a very affordable place to live. The housing market is just taking off (so perhaps within 5-7 years I can again sell my house for a good profit).
But buying a house outright would give me stability and ease of mind, too. No longer would I need to entertain foreign students who take 2 hour showers and belch at the dinner table, or roommates who treat my expensive antique china like paper plates, or work 2 to 3 jobs to make ends meet with a burdensome high mortgage and property taxes.
So, long story short, a 3000 mile road trip, a great experience with PODS, and a tiny cottage all my own in a soon-to-be, up-and-coming neighborhood in Richmond, I have made the change I so needed to make, to try and spark some new enthusiasm in my life and art.
Of course my first thought was to decorate! LOL
So here are choices I have made thus far, regarding wallpapering my new cottage.
All blue & white, but faded and soft colors that won't overpower the small rooms.
There's a bit of work needed to the house - the yard needs to be fenced and landscaped and the majority of my boxes still need to be unpacked and put away into IKEA furniture I have been busy building. (woe to my right hand's palm, with the hole worn in the skin from using a screw driver, lol)
I took screenshots of the papers I will use for each room.
They are all available in my LilyOake shop on the Spoonflower website.
(Fabrics, wallpapers and gift wrap!)
As I decorate, I will be posting more images but first the house needs to be unpacked, furniture built and my studio set up - its always the last thing to be completed, for some reason, even though its first on my mind every day when I wake up!
|The same lovely print i used in my last bedroom will now grace the walls and windows of my new compact living/dining room|
|A fun way to bring some color and brightness to a small kitchen.|
|My art studio needs to be beautiful and inspiring and I can't think of a better way to do that then wallpaper in Olivia in faded blueberry. Flowers are the essence of my design and train of thought.|
|The north facing bathroom needs some life and light so Aylen in faded blueberry is a newer pattern I designed. I thought it needed showcasing so my own bathroom will be papered in this soft but lively pattern.|