I know exactly what I want my house to look like.
Now, this is not because I am some design-savvy bride-to-be who is constantly flipping through interior decoration magazines. On the contrary, I’m quite out of touch with what’s in and what’s not when it comes to furniture and design. However, living at my parents’ house all my life and not even having a say on what my bedroom furniture looks like, granted I was only 14 years old when they picked it out, has left me craving the moment when I would get to create the elements of my own space.
I pictured dark wood flooring, a brick wall, floor cushion seating and an ethnic feel to the whole place. However, there were two things that I did not account for — the availability of said items and, well, there was also the minor issue of sharing that space with someone who may not have the same vision.
Turns out, Rami, my husband-to-be, prefers lightwood flooring, sleek, modern designs that are culturally neutral and a lot of electronic equipment. Aside from musical taste and his obsession with sneakers, this was the third thing we had ever disagreed on, and it was a rather major disagreement.
However, one of the first things you realize when designing your love nest is that it’s meant for two people, so compromise, as painful as it may be, is always in order. So, he got lightwood flooring, and I got a brick wall, he got a modern designed living room while I got an oriental-looking library room.
Now that we had our shopping list prepared, we figured that the hard part was over. On the contrary, it was only just beginning.
Even though Egypt is filled with furniture stores right, left and center, very few of them actually appealed to our sense of style or lived up to our standards of quality without being way out of our price range. The low bed we wanted for our bedroom was too low, the L-shaped couch for the living room was either too long or too short, and the dining tables were either a plain block of wood or heavily adorned with gold swirls. Ryan Luikens
Rather than surrendering to bad taste, we decided to pave our own way and resort to designing our own furniture. Of course, neither of us have ever done this before nor have any clue how to, so we didn’t attempt to build our furniture from scratch. Instead, what we did was look at different pictures of furniture, pick out designs that we liked and apply our apartment’s dimensions to those designs. Naturally, we didn’t want to repeat that process with every single piece of furnishing so we left a couple of tables and chairs for immediate purchasing. But still, handpicking exact designs and dimensions of the main pieces of furniture ensured that we got exactly what we had envisioned for our house to look like.
The only downside to this process is that it may take a little longer than buying furniture straight from the stores. Also, if you’re a control freak like myself, you have to learn to let go and have faith in the good people whom you’ve entrusted with your furniture. Because at the end of the day, as much as I would like to, I can’t just hang out in the background as they hammer together our dining chairs.et