In Style

Dragonfly radiator in our living room. Creation and picture both fully copyrighted by Winold from winold.com

Our house has been for sale for 10 weeks or so. And, as perhaps to be expected in this market, interest has been virtually non-existent. Beloved and I had hoped that a competitive price would bring in people who would put some love into this house, but the one potential buyer that has come to look at the house so far, only expressed disappointment about how they felt the house was not move-in ready.

Eh. The house is well over a century old. It is structurally sound and has been updated to contain modern amenities,such as central heating, running water on all stories and a full bathroom with jacuzzi alongside the standard ‘three-quarter bath’ that houses of this sort typically have. It is currently inhabited by book-loving minimalists who, while maintaining the house well, do have a penchant for painting walls bright green or deep purple and for commissioning things such as a four-feet-high dragon fly-shaped radiator to stick on the wall of the living room. Yes, they also brought in an artist friend to outfit one bedroom in such a way that it resembles a hobbit house more than a 21st century human dwelling. Yes, they have a collection of 1200 books (or so) that need shelving by language, by subject or genre and by name of the author.

This is supposedly an objection when you want to sell a house. Apparently one sells a house by making it look like an Ikea catalogue. Our realtor cautioned us about this, recommended we priced the house competitively (we did) and, when things stayed quiet and no potential buyers came to view the house, she recommended we hire a stylist in order to have new pictures taken. So, we did that too.

The stylist showed up, cracked a few (ha? haha? ehhh..) jokes about minimalists, then started pointing out things to paint, things that needed removing or replacing, things that needed suches or so-es or.. well.. Things to turn our home into a catalogue-esque dwelling. Hence, these last few weeks, when not been picking up dog poop or hosing down kennels, I’ve been painting woodwork and walls (white, mind you), taking down Russian propaganda posters, and boxing up books. 200 books have been donated to charity. Another 300 have been sent to live in someone’s attic. The remaining ones have been crammed into fewer bookshelves. I even bought a plant. Which died. And got replaced. And replaced again. Three plants in three weeks. There were certain recommendations of this stylist that I did not have the time or willpower to follow up on, but I’ve only felt moderately guilty about not obeying all orders. Go me.

After all that, the stylist came back and brought in an intern and six boxes full of.. things. Thank (deity of choice) that she brought plastic plants, because all this rotting/drying/otherwise disintegrating vegetation was getting on my nerves. Without exaggeration, our house now contains the following additional materials:

one white, fluffy carpet (.. because.. you know.. it really ties the room together);

three white, fluffy throw rugs;

one white fluffy bathmat plus additional decorative white fluffy towel;

ten (!!) white, fluffy throw pillows (to complement the six other-coloured ones we already had);

four large pots with a total of 8 plastic plants;

ten additional plastic plants (green and white only), strewn around in a whimsical fashion (have I ever talked about my deep, seething hatred for the word ‘whimsical’? No? Try planning a wedding.. You’ll see what I mean);

two large glass vases, to be used empty;

four small glass containers, to be used empty or with candles;

one small serving tray.

It also contains a very disgruntled Beloved and me. Have you ever tried sitting (let alone snuggling or comfortably gaming) on a couch that has nine throw pillows on it, half of which are only rented and need to be returned in pristine condition? No? Go try. You’d be disgruntled too.

I know this post needs before and after needs pictures. I don’t have any ‘afters’, right now, but I happen to have two photo’s that our artist friend took when he first built the awesomeness into our house.

Our bedroom. Creation and picture fully copyrighted by Winold from winold.com

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3 Responses to “In Style”


  1. 1 Amanda February 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Oh wow that dragonfly. I love dragonflies. They might be my daemon. So magic and primitive, and colorful. And that hobbit room ! It’s lovely. Also, can you please show us some pictures of your Russian propaganda posters? How cool! We also tend to paint walls in color, I find white, gray, and beige boring. We have a lime green couch, an apple green kitchen, turquoise doors, a minty-aqua bedroom, a teal bookshelf, a yellow commode and a light yellow room. When we were trying to sell the boy’s father’s house we were told to have cinammon tea / candles in the house, to add to the “gezelligheid”, you know to make believe that there’s a 50s housewife baking apple pie. And plants… why do they always have to die?
    And that’s a lot of pillows. Good that you did not get that dog, because those fluffy carpets are paradise for fleas and very difficult to clean . And the fleas you see are 1-5 %, the rest are eggs, to be found in carpets and the such.

    • 2 thesmittenimmigrant February 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Yeah, fleas and carpets really do not go together well. Back when Moodypuss was still alive he once came home with a bad infestation (we’d inadvertently switched him to a brand of flea-drops that had a different effect and before we knew it they were _everywhere). Took us three weeks of hardcore poisonous warfare to get the worst of it and we had to do preventative spraying of all carpeted areas for well over a year, too.

      In the end I think it’s good that there is no full-time fur producer here while we have this rented stuff around. Just try explaining to a stylist that their rug was barfed on by a dog.. no fun..

      I’ll see if I can take some pictures of the propaganda posters 🙂 There is only one poster of which I sort of know what it says, but the imagery is really strong. I wonder if we’ll keep them when we move..

      You can’t really see it but the dragonfly’s wings are filled up with milky glass. It looks very ethereal, for all its size.. We tend to put caps and hats on its head – it’s a radiator, so in winter it gives you lovely pre-warmed hats.

  2. 3 WeeHermione February 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I would buy that house SO FAST. AHHHH HOBBIT BEDROOM! And my husband and I totally organize our huge book collection that way too.


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