I think it also helped nudge me along to get help from the hubster by posting about this on the blog. We do what we have to do to get things done. Truth be told, I was the one that kept digging my heels in, shocking, I know. I wanted to be able to continue to complain and not be satisfied. I was worried that the new table wouldn't be absolutely perfect. (I'm working on my need for perfection. Perfectionism can't continue to live in my life as we use Kijiji and VarageSale to renovate our home. It's impossible to be a perfectionist when we live a life of that'll do. Don't worry, our house matches... sort of... in its own way... I think.)
I went to a therapist not too long ago and we started talking about my house. I thought, wow we've run out of things to talk about if she's asking about the state of my house.
The hubster and I often joke that we are in a constant state of renovation. It’s true. Our first house together was a flip. Then we built a house and feverishly worked to finish the basement to sell it. Then we moved into a house where minimal renovations had been done and started demolition before we even moved in. We had the asbestos sucked out of our attic because we knew we would inevitably move walls.
I explained this to my therapist. At that time we had a lot of projects on the go. She said, “hmm, that’s a lot of chaos”.
I was like, “meh that’s just how we roll”.
She took a breath and said, “Your house and how you live is often a physical manifestation of what’s going on inside.”
So my insides were in a chaotic, messy, unfinished upheaval. That’s quite the fun conversation to come home and have with your husband: Oh by the way babe, we are out of sorts and need to get some things sorted. While at the same time eagerly wanting to do all the things and upgrade our 60s bungalow. Not the easiest convo to have but necessary. Part of why we didn't have a new coffee table was because after this conversation we (read:ME) decided: NO NEW PROJECTS. We had to finish the ones that we had started.
That Christmas I asked for trim around the windows that he had installed that summer. I showed everyone who came into our house. They all stifled their giggles at my excitement, but they didn't fully understand that this was a huge step for us, we were getting things sorted. We were tackling some big projects, an ensuite bathroom, a main-floor laundry room, more new windows, new flooring at the entry, the list goes on, and here I sat crying over a coffee table while the hubster brought our house into the 21st century. I had to bring the coffee table back up the priority list. Well, in actuality, I had to take it off my list and put it on his. This was not a project that fell within my interests or skillset.
After I published the blog post about the coffee table we had a good chat and he explained how easily he could make one. He said that this project would be a fun, off the side of his desk type deal (our whole house is off the side of his desk as he works for a telecommunications company - not in renovation).
He went to work sourcing an old dining table on our beloved VarageSale. He found a large oval rubber tree dining table. We drew on and cut out a piece of paper in the shape of a bean and did a shadow tracing á la 1980s silhouette art project - the ones with the overhead projector. He used his jigsaw to cut along the traced line then took the router to the edges to smooth them out. He sanded it, treated it, pickled it, and sealed it in three days and we let it off-gas for a day in the garage (I would recommend longer the next time around). In the meantime the table legs arrived from a Rusty Design Canada and when the sealant was set we simply screwed the legs on. We went with three legs instead of 4 because I like odd numbers and it is structurally sound, just don't sit on it.
All in, this table comes in at under $100, but if you had to pay someone to do it the time required would probably triple the cost. I like to add that perspective in because you'll often watch those home shows and be like wow they did that for $20K but they don't factor in the cost of labour because that's part of the show's cost, so don't believe everything you see on TV, people.
We had friends over the other week and I got the best compliment I could have ever wished for. A girl friend said that our house was so calm and peaceful. This was with an air compressor and a thousand golf balls at my front door (a story for another time). We still have many things unfinished but we are working at starting less and finishing more. I say this with our siding ripped off our house with spray foam to come in and I have to paint our shiplap that went up about a year ago. I use these things as a barometer, whenever things start piling up I get a little introspective and have a conversation first with myself, then with the hubster. It's quite the tool to have a quick look around and have a check-in in such a visual way. Yet with all that we have on the go, it doesn't feel as chaotic having a place to set your drink or put your feet up.
*PS this is not an ad for Rusty Design, but you should go check them out for great options and inexpensive, well-designed table legs, they are a great company!