"Having fun isn't hard when you have a library card!" - Interior Decorating Homework

"Having fun isn't hard when you have a library card!" This chant was from the animated public television program about an aardvark named Arthur. It started airing right  around the time I was getting too cool for “kids shows,” but I had younger siblings who watched it every day and I usually found a way to pretend that I wasn’t watching it with them.

It was this same chant I received via text from my sister's boyfriend when he encouraged me to go to the library to get some books on home decorating. I very much want to decorate my home tastefully and in a way that reflects my and my husband's personalities. But I very much feel like I don't know how! So off to the library I went, to hopefully educated myself instead of being scared of something I am finding is actually quite fun.

Most Chicago public libraries have a certain smell about them of people and clothes that have not been washed in weeks,  or even perhaps months. It's a logical warm safe place to hang out if you don't have access to things like laundry and showers. I work in the Chicago Loop so the even though there are local branches throughout the city, the main branch downtown is usually most convenient for me. (And they are always open. With city cutbacks, it seems like the local branches are only open every other Tuesday, for 3 hours, and only if it's not raining). I don’t know why but it seems that all of my interests are contained on the 7th and 8th floors of the main library which only has elevators that facilitate floors 1 – 3. My overachiever self cannot simply stand on the escalator. No, I must climb them like stairs. So by the time I reach my destination I’m usually sweating. (And here I was trying to blame the homeless for the smell.)

When I reached the 8th floor I asked the woman at the help desk to point me in the right direction and started my hunt. I had forgotten how much I loved going to the library! We used to spend hours there when I was a kid, combing the shelves for new finds or old favorites. I got a little tinge of excitement as I read through the catalog numbers and landed on what I had come for. The same sister's boyfriend recommended several books in the “Not so Big House” series by Sarah Susanka. And happily, those books were surrounded by other books on the same subject matter so I left with two more than I came for simply by the looks of them on the shelf.
I parked at a table before I left the library to peruse my bounty. 
 I really did not enjoy college – I saw it more as a necessary evil to be endured than an actual enjoyable venture. But as I left the library with my arms full of books I was filled with a nostalgic happy from when I was in school and I DID spend a lot of time in that library, so maybe I didn't dislike it as much as I thought.

And now to reading! I only have 3 weeks, longer if no one else wants them and I can renew them. I have found the internet's sheer abundance of information to be overwhelming at times. I don't need 28,000 results when I Google "crown moulding." A few books keeps things succinct and to the point. I’ll try to review some of them here if I find any especially helpful or particularly dull. So far I am loving them! Here’s hoping my not so big house will be as beautiful, simple and charming as I can possibly hope.


  1. Well done, you! My mom taught herself how to decorate/dress by reading books, and now she has great taste. I saw the whole process unfold. Just keep reading and Pinteresting!


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