Some are obvious. Our bathroom, which we started redoing before Christmas 2012, is still not finished. Our sofa was covered in sticky Marmite fingers, and the Marmite didn't seem to want to budge, even when challenged by Johnson's babywipes, which can usually clean anything. The ceilings need painting. The bathroom needs finishing. The bathroom and ceiling painting are Andrew's jobs, which makes me extra-specially irritable as I can't control when he does them, and the more I mention it, the longer they'll be put off.
Whatever the case with the bathroom and the ceilings, I did not expect Andrew to use decorating as major procrastination to the extent that I tend to. I went out for nearly all of Saturday, with the children, to allow Andrew 'to work', though he did say that he might 'have a bit of a tidy up' (I thought he meant to do the washing up, and put the lego away.) I got back to discover that not only had he rearranged all the furniture in the sitting room, he had utterly disastrously dyed the sofa covers. The sofa now looks like this:
I think there's nothing for it but to start saving up for this:
The Yanna three-seater sofa in olive green pure cotton matt velvet from sofa.com, £1,345 - I really hope that the cat comes with it. (I so want a cat. To scratch the sofa.)
It's heaven, right? I keep looking at the picture over and over again, and it was, to be honest, part of the inspiration behind the colour I chose for the disastrous dye job. And speaking of decorating disasters, did I mention the furniture rearranging?
We differ somewhat, Andrew and I, in our approach to space. I like symmetry: pairs of lamps, pairs of cushions, pairs of tables. Andrew likes to see a lot of floor. To that end, he had put all the furniture around the walls, and, when he ran out of walls, he simply stacked it. Think oversized giraffe on top of Esmeralda's doll's cradle on top of a pile of books on top of a bookshelf. All our paintings looked wrongly hung, and the overall effect was student house - lived in by student parents - that had just got ready to host a party. i.e. Awful. And he couldn't see it. Suffice to say, it's all back as it was . . .
However, there was some positive to his endeavour: he agreed that we need a better system for storing the toys. A toy box is something I've been lusting after for a while; specifically, I'd like the Indian Dowry Box that is on the loaf.com website:
Beautiful, no? It also comes in black and white and grey and white, and is currently on sale for £245.
Andrew suggested that my enthusiasm might outweigh my abilities. He has no faith.
The thing is, it's occurred to me that the exquisite chest sold for less than the sofa.com sofa costs. Seriously. And, if I had a spare grand and a half, I know which I'd prefer. I've got a feeling that we might be living with our Amazing Green decorating disaster sofa for a while. Fortunately, I know where to go for throws.
The theoretical holy grail (perhaps slightly dull?): The Hermes giant Avalon blanket. At £950 it's still (just) cheaper than a new sofa.
The Missoni Jocker throw, available at Selfridges for £355. I love Missoni.
However, I think the best solution of all is going to be a length of fabric from Susan Deliss, whose cushions, lampshades and kilims are soon going to be available on English Abode. Quite frankly, I don't quite know how I'm going to stop myself buying her entire collection.
This disaster might well have turn out to be rather a good thing, after all. (Though not necessarily for either the bathroom or the ceilings, both of which still need attention . . . .)
Incidentally, if anyone was thinking of dying their sofa cover, it totally works. You just have to make sure that you remember to put the appropriate amount of dye in with each load. Which, obviously, we failed to do.
And, just in case you missed my plug, www.englishabode.com