Sunday, February 3, 2013

Live and Learn...

Hi Everyone...hard to believe that January is over...and Spring is not that far away. 

Back in August, I embarked on a very time consuming and tedious process to update and redecorate my house in The Keys.  I shared some of my fabric selections on My Keys House Makeover.  Being a "closet" interior decorator, I spent many hours researching different fabric options, paint colors, furniture styles and everything else you can imagine.  What made this even harder was the fact that I spent the last 6 months of my life on the road, only home about 8 days a month.  

My husband and I bought our house in The Lower Keys back in 2004.  At that time, the house had been fully renovated in 1997 due to the very unfortunate visit that Hurricane George made on 1997.  So it was in pretty good kitchen, bathrooms, etc.  We basically painted, re-carpeted the bedrooms in a wall to wall sisal, emptied out the Pottery Barn catalog and called it a day.

In the beginning, we used the house a is a 3 hour drive door to door from my primary house...but in the last three years...with my travel schedule for my job - I'm sad to say I only go about three, maybe four times per year.  The good part is my husband goes frequently for his cherished guys fishing weekends and my family and friends use it when they can.

Anyway, I decided after the 8 needed a bit of a refresh, not too major since my husband and I are planning a substantial renovation to this house prior to retiring, which is not going to be for a while. I thought some fresh paint, new furniture, slipcovers and accessories could probably get me through another 8 years...when we are ready to do the major work.  So with that, I called upon my trusted decorator to help me select the new look for my house.  After I finished my research, I turned over the project to her...with all of my fabric and paint swatches that I collected...along with my thoughts and inspirations for what I wanted. Hours and hours were spent researching what I wanted. 

Well, after countless months of trying to get this project done, I've finally come to accept that I've been duped.  This person whom I trusted, unknown to me, was experiencing financial problems.  Because I had worked with her many times before, I trusted her and paid her for a lot of the project before it even started.  Yes - I know that was dumb.  And even worse, after I wrote her a nice sized check to begin the project in August, she started pressuring me for more money saying that if I prepaid for things...she would give me a better discount.  I wasn't even asking for a discount.  I fell for everything, including her showing up at my house and me giving her cash to help her out with "her upholsters".  To make matters worse, I gave her cushions from my furniture and a dining room chair for the slipcovers.  

So here I am...for 5 months she's been stringing me along...fabrics on backorder, she has the flu, her mother is sick, me all kinds of stories...I've finally told my husband the sordid mess (minor the cash part of course, because he would get mad at me for being so dumb!).  So now I'm starting over.  I have a house in The Keys painted to match fabrics that I don't have the swatches for...(yes very dumb that I handed everything over to her) missing cushions on my sofa and chairs and worse - a missing dining room chair.  My husband has been trying to deal with her and has now also given up.  She's been lying to me since October and now he sees what I've been going through.  So I guess the moral of the story is - go with your gut and trust your instinct.  I knew something was off and I didn't listen to my inner voice that said this is not right.  

So with that - I'm starting over a little more cautiously, much wiser and with a tighter budget.  I've never had this happen to me before and am trying to decide if I should file a complaint in small claims court or just chalk it up to a very bad experience.  Not sure what to do.  My gut says to just move on and learn from this expensive mistake.  Any advice on what you would do? 

So in starting over...I've decided that I'm going to select completely different choices than I had.  I guess that means the new paint job goes since everything was matched to colors in the fabrics.  So here are some of my inspiration photos as I begin the process for a second time of My Keys House Makeover...a little wiser but with a smaller budget.  As you can see, I am really loving the color red right now. 

Have a great week.