Wednesday, March 18, 2009
A Community of House People
As it has been in so many other areas, I was a late bloomer when it came to decorating. After being absorbed in difficult family issues for ten years, during which time the condition of the house reflected my state of mind, seven years ago I was suddenly faced with remodeling and decorating projects requiring more energy and knowledge than I possessed.
I stumbled upon the GardenWeb Appliances Forum one evening while researching something (I forget what). From there I landed in other GardenWeb forums. When I found myself completely overwhelmed by the task of turning an unused junk room into a space that the contractor and his crew could turn into my new bedroom, the people at the home organization forum took me under their wing and taught me about baby steps. At the Kitchens, Flooring, Remodeling, and Bathrooms forums, I learned about my choices, how to choose from among them, and where to get the best prices.
To say I lacked decorating confidence would be a gross understatement. I'm still much more likely to ask for advice at the Home Decoration forum than offer it, but I've come a long way. Everyone there has been patient and oh, so helpful. Not only have I learned much from having my questions answered, but by reading other threads and looking at all the marvelous pictures brave souls have posted of their finished rooms or rooms in need, I've absorbed a great deal.
I'm still not a very good painter, but I can "talk a good ballgame" about eggshell vs. satin, cutting in, and Purdy (or maybe Corona!) brushes. My mantel and bookshelves are no longer crowded, and my pictures have been lowered to a better height. Most of all, I gained the confidence to try.
I'm so grateful for the Internet, and for the feeling of community it's given me—here as we blog, and on the good message boards where people share so freely. My house's journey has been quite a trip, and of course it's still a work in progress. But with the help of lot of invisible mentors, some day I just might do it proud.