This Life...

Of Furniture and Decorating…

I’m no decorator, I have to admit that right off. But when we bought our lake cottage, I had a clear vision of what I wanted it to be. “Beachy” was the word I kept using to describe the style I was going for. I wanted lake cottage casual, beachy fun, you know…comfortable furniture, laying around looking like it doesn’t care.

Gracious friends and family all helped supply us with things for the new place–dishes, pots and pans, canisters, sheets and towels. We were literally starting from ground zero, so we accepted any and all contributions to the cause. We also discovered the Wal-Mart home store. Wow! Husband swears the local Wal-Mart will soon be installing a plaque with our names on it, we’ve spent so much time and money there. I’m still watching for it.

We found our furniture at a furniture store in town–terrific wicker pieces, two big chairs and an ottoman with fun palm-frond printed cushions, to which we added a plain, light-colored loveseat and a wicker chest from home. A friend from the lake had some white wicker furniture to sell, so we bought it for the master bedroom and used quilts and bright blue accents to bring a beachy feel to that room. Our realtor graciously added a piece of history in the form of a folding beach chair from the local amusement park. It works wonderfully in the master. The spare bedroom is simple with a double bed, a chest of drawers, and little painted night tables. Friendly, cozy, and welcoming to guests.

The only furniture I couldn’t find was a table and chairs for the eating area (not really a dining room, just a section of the big kitchen). It needed to be smallish, but big enough to seat four people comfortably. I searched and searched. I had a picture in my head of what would work, but buying what I wanted brand new was just way over our budget.

Enter my dear friend and colleague, Harry. He has impeccable taste and excellent instincts. When I told him I wanted a rattan table with a glass top and rattan chairs to match, he took it as his personal mission to find me exactly what I wanted. Today, he scored. After sending me numerous possibilities from CraigsList, the wondrous online want ads, he sent me one that seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

I called the number in the ad and an elderly woman told me that the set was still available and I could come see it any time. I ran a brush through my hair, tossed in my contacts, and drove straight there. The rattan table and chairs were perfect–exactly what I wanted and priced so reasonably, I wasn’t even inclined to dicker with the woman to try to get a better deal. As soon as I got home, I called Harry to chortle and squee about his find.

I cleaned it up and the set is waiting in the dining room here at home for our next trip to the lake. I’m so jacked up because this was the one item I worried I’d have to give in on and settle for something other than what I truly wanted. Thanks to Harry’s persistence, I didn’t have to. Bless you, Harry–it’s perfect! Plan on a trip to lake to eat supper with us on that table sometime real soon, okay?