I Only Invite People Over So I Have An Excuse To Redecorate

I may have mentioned this before but my apartment is tiny. We have a bedroom, a bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen, and basically that's it. Please don't tell me that there are people who have rooms in their house that exist solely for the purpose of containing a washing machine and dryer, because frankly I don't think I could take it. First I'd faint with jealousy---the space! imagine the space! And wait, you can wash your clothes without collecting five bucks first in quarters?----and then when I'd been revived again with smelling salts, I'd hunt them down, look up their address, and bring all my laundry over as soon as it's light. Wait, what's that you say? You have a laundry room? You, my friend, are living the dream. Never forget it. (Also, I'll be over tomorrow, okay? Don't worry, I have my own fabric softener.)

All this is to say that my teeny litle doll-sized apartment received, last night, a whopping FIFTEEN visitors, which I am pretty sure is the largest amount of people it has ever held at one time. Part of me was afraid that we were going to have to do shifts---you! stand out there in the hall with your glass of wine for fifteen minutes, then we'll rotate!---and most of me thought it was going to be like one of those "how many people can you fit in a Mini?" competitions (special prize for the person who contorts their body into the most 90 degree angles!), but it turns out it was actually fine, if just a wee bit tight. Thank goodness no-one wore their hoop skirt that night.

But wait, let's back up a minute here so I can ask you something: when you know people are coming over, how do you prepare? You probably do a little light mopping, right, hide the stack of bills that always accumulates on the kitchen table, give the toilet a quick going-over with some bleach? Well, yeah, I do that too. But a lot of the time, the inner perfectionist in me rears her perfectly-coiffed head, fixes me with a steely glare, and says "hey, you know what we should really do? We should really paint the hallway before people come over. Yeah, that's totally what we'll do. Get to it!"

This, my friends, is why I spent Sunday afternoon painting my hallway. And Tuesday evening buying a new rug for the kitchen. My internal monologue, I guess, goes a little like this: oh, you're coming over? Awesome! Let me give my house an Extreme Makeover before you get here! If you say 'hey, is that new?' then I WIN. I WIN AT HOSTING PARTIES.

Maybe we should pause here for a brief before and after. Here is a before (it's from August 2007, which makes it very before):

And here is an after. Hurrah for after!

Also, here is our new kitchen rug, just for kicks. I made it from Flor tiles. How much fun are Flor tiles, by the way? They're like an indecisive person's dream! Grey! No, white! No, grey again! Screw it, if I don't like it, I'll just buy a new tile next week for eight bucks and sub it in!

I thought I would give you a bonus cat in a sweater right there. Is there anything cuter than a cat in a sweater? I don't think so.

Oh wait, actually there is something cuter than a cat in a sweater: EIGHT DAY OLD BABY.

That's sweet little Dottie, whose mother, Helen Jane, looks almost CRIMINALLY good for having had a baby last week. I almost want to hate her, but how can you hate a person who arrives at your doorstep bearing a crate of wine? You can't, that's how. Simple as that.

So the reason I had fifteen people in my tiny house on Wednesday was because they all came over to play the Wii. And let me tell you, you would be surprised at the degree to which you can rock out at Guitar Hero, even in a tiny house like this.

Sean is all uh, careful there, Maggie, I think you may be approaching dangerous levels of rocking out.

There was also a lot of INTENSE FOCUSING going on.....

....tempered with some jubilant high-fiving.....

.....some drinking (well I mean, duh).......

........and the world's best outfits:

I seriously considered holding Mai hostage for this shirt. I would have been all "You cannot leave my house until you give it to me. GIVE IT TO ME. Don't make me make you climb out of the window. It's a long way down. Just leave the shirt here and no-one gets hurt. I'll return it next week. Washed and folded. As soon as I find someone on the Internet who'll let me borrow their laundry room."

(I took a few more pictures here. They are mostly of people playing the Wii. It's kind of hilarious to see the sorts of faces you make when you're playing the Wii. If by "kind of hilarious" you really mean "wow, I'm never making that face again.")

1
Kaleigha
Dec 17, 2009

The hallway looks awesome! You make a small apartment look awfully good!

2
Janie
Dec 17, 2009

The paint job is AMAZING and how adorable does your apartment want to be, seriously? You're all, "oh, I'll just casually place this giant vase of flowers here, and a bowl of fruit right next to it, la di dah...OH WAIT LOOK AT THAT IT'S ADORABLE"

3
Teej
Dec 17, 2009

Since it's that time of year when we're looking back and ranking everything, FLOR tiles were my #1 discovery of the decade. THEY CHANGED EVERYTHING.

4
Rachel H
Dec 18, 2009

Okay, I need to know where that cat sweater came from because my cat is sitting on my feet right now and he's looking at me and he's saying there is nothing he needs more in this world to prove his manliness than an argyle sweater.

I am completely serious. It will be his Christmas present. Or mine, really.

5
Helen
Dec 18, 2009

What a gorgeous photo of the cats! Sadie looks adorable. We need more photos of cats in sweaters!

6
Nicki
Dec 18, 2009

Wow, you forgot to mention that you were also squeezing in two cats. It's a good thing they fit under beds or you really could have tipped the scale.

PS. If you ever need a laundry room in Charlotte, I've got you covered. And you will have to bring your own fabric softener...I use dryer sheets. Sorry!

7
edj
Dec 18, 2009

Ha! I once repainted the living/dining room cuz my husband had invited some people over. Then I borrowed matching chairs from a friend. It looked great.

LOVE the new colour in the hall! And I have my washing machine in my kitchen. I dream of owning a dryer and the space to put it in. But you still want to come over because I live in Morocco.

8
Sarah
Dec 18, 2009

Well, should you ever need laundry access in Boston. (Unless you want to go to the laundromat that's so lovely they turned it into a bank for one of Ben Affleck's upcoming movies. That's kind of cool, plus there's a gelato place next door.)

Yeah. Well. So. !!!

9
zan
Dec 18, 2009

Is the color called something like "Faded Taupe"? If so, we have matching hallways.

And hello, all ye lovely ladies in fabulous clothing. Suddenly I feel the need to go thrift shopping.

10
Denise
Dec 18, 2009

Excellent update. I am working on upgrading my bathroom and searching for the perfect color. Your hallway looks like exactly what I am looking for. Would you mind providing the make and color of the paint? Thanks so much for sharing. The overall must re-do the house is totally me too!

11
Chris
Dec 18, 2009

OMG, cat in a sweater. Hilarious. Except that if I tried to do that with my cat, one of us would end up all bleeding and weeping. (I'll let you guess which)

12
Geralis
Dec 18, 2009

Holly, how did you design your collage wall? It looks fabulous and I want one, but I find it really overwhelming to try and figure out how to put it all together - any tips?

PS Your apartment is too cute!

13
Kristabella
Dec 18, 2009

My cats would NEVER let me put them in a sweater!

NOW I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING THIS WEEKEND!

14
soul-fusion
Dec 18, 2009

I live in NYC and I dream of two things: having a laundry room and a disposal in my sink.

15
Alison
Dec 18, 2009

Oh my god, I had to come out of the shadows and comment! the laundry part was hysterical! We rented a house at the shore for the week and it had a washer and dryer! when we got back everyone was like "how was it?" and we would giggle and say "We had a washer and dryer! with no quarters!!! whoo-hooo!!! best vacation ever!" its the little things, you know!?

your apartment looks awesome!

16
Locusts and Wild Honey
Dec 18, 2009

Cat in a sweater! Cat in a sweater!

Can I just say that I used to be ANTI GAMING SYSTEM. Yes, it's an official political party.

And now, thanks to the Wii I am pro?

I just hate the way old gaming systems encourage men to just sit and stare and and press buttons. The Wii is so fun and interactive.

17
jennifer in sf
Dec 18, 2009

Ok, a) the hallway looks great, b) I'm totally going to try to get my cat in a sweater now, and c) WHERE DID SHE GET THAT SHIRT? And why does she have all the best clothes?

And I feel you on the laundry thing. I remember the last time I had laundry in my actual living space SO fondly.

18
Noelley
Dec 18, 2009

How did you get kitty to cooperate?? Whenever I've dressed my cats, they lie on the floor pathetically and refuse to budge.

Your apartment is so pretty and the hallway looks gorgeous. Would you mind sharing the paint color? It's the color I've been looking for for my own hallway!

19
Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 18, 2009

Thanks, all! To answer the two most prominent questions:

a) Not sure where Sadie's sweater is from, as our friends gave it to us because it was TOO BIG FOR THEIR DOG. Yes, their DOG! He's a chihuahua, but still: it's an embarrassing day indeed when your cats are such porkers that they get hand-me-downs from svelte little dogs. That said, I've seen a lot of cute cat sweaters at Target (and now I sound like a cat lady). Sadie has a Santa outfit from there.

b) The paint color is "Fleck Gray" (which is sort of a gross name, but whatever) and it's just Ace Hardware's own brand. It came out a little bluer than I would have liked, but it's still much better than stark white.

20
Amy --- Just A Titch
Dec 18, 2009

Oh, Holly, the perfect apartment, cat in a sweater and super fun Wii party with fun people. Jealous. Looks like you guys had a great time.

21
Alison of a Gun
Dec 18, 2009

I'm sooooo jeal! Not just of the Wii and the hallway, but you had Maggie! And Mai! And is that Evany I spy? I'm such an internet stalker for recognizing everyone aren't I? I hate me right now, but GOD would I love to be you!

22
Simon
Dec 18, 2009

1. You may visit us with your laundry. Really, you wouldn't be the first.

2. Wii is good. Very good. I kicked Leah's ass in tennis. She kicked mine in golf and boxing. I barely beat her at bowling. Good reason to stay up until 1:00 AM.

3. Our friend Shannon, whom you are sure to meet at some point, is an over-hoster. As in,"can I get you coffee? How about some tea? Water? Some food- are you hungry?" and so forth. You may be an over-hoster in the preparation sense, but you are tastefully restrained once guests are on site. Well done, miss, well done.

23
Leah
Dec 18, 2009

Do I win something for being the first to say, "Ooh, did you do something different with your hallway?" Is there a Best Guest Award? Or do I have to bring a case of wine to win that?

24
Moose
Dec 18, 2009

Do I win the prize for Person Most Likely to Eat All The Potato Latkes and Demonstrate Michael Jackson Choreography in the Corner? Because, really, I think I should. Especially since the lovely Leah beat me to the "Hey, what's different about your hallway?" observation.

25
Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 18, 2009

You both win prizes! Nintendo Wiis!

26
Operation Pink Herring
Dec 18, 2009

Hmm. It seems those Flor tiles work better when your floor is not completely uneven. Duly noted for next time, along with the fact that solid colors only require a bit of obsessing, not a freaking map-chart-thing from the internet, which actually would have been fine if it weren't impossible to read the damned numbers on the back of the tiles. Good to know.

27
Helen Jane
Dec 18, 2009

You are a nice lady to say those nice things indeed. Your kitties were also kind enough not to eat my baby, so it's just hospitality and love all over your foxy home.

Also? How is it that my Wii arm hurts from all our bowling?

28
Erin
Dec 18, 2009

Your place looks amazing! Love the deep brown?/grey? in the hallway. What color did you use - and in eggshell or semigloss - I'm always curious how/what ppl choose. Looks fantastic!

29
Maria
Dec 19, 2009

I've been reading your blog for a while in a very sneaky way, never leaving a comment. But it was the cat in a sweater that made me break my silence. She's just adorable! And she doesn't even look pissed off! Now we need pictures of Sadie in her Santa outfit.

Cats aside, I guess this would be as good as any a moment to mention that I love your blog and you crack me up like no other blogger. When I read about the "spare Asian relaxing" I laughed and laughed, and I still laughed (by myself, like a weirdo) when I was catching a tube hours later. AND you write beautifully about more serious stuff too. And if you can make your readers laugh AND cry, then as a writer, what more could you ask? Thanks for writing.

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