DIY in Madrid

Hola! I’ve been neglecting this blog, and well, everything else in life really, because I’m totally consumed by decorating our new apartment. I’ve had countless sleepness nights poring over decorating blogs. Paint colors, furniture, artwork and making cool groupings of knick-knacks is pretty much all I’ve been thinking about. Which I’m aware has made me the world’s most boring conversation partner for Mr. Dame in Spain. Sometimes he humors me and lets me show him what new things I’ve pinned to my Madrid Apartment Pinterest board.

All of my worldly belongings arrived last week. This includes things that we had in Yemen, in New York, and, most exciting for me, in Washington DC (wedding presents, couch, bed, more clothes, etc.) Some of these things I hadn’t seen in nearly two years, and it sure was good to be reunited.

Our apartment is far from finished. But here are a few projects I’ve completed in the past few weeks: I painted our dining room a deep dark blue and purchased a rustic farm table with black steel legs from a local Madrid furniture store. I’m hoping once the room comes together it will be the perfect mix of elegant-rustic-vintage-modern that I’m going for. Now I just need to find the perfect chairs.

catsontable2Our kitchen was kind of bumming me out with its flourescent lights, beige tile and white everything else. It reminded me of my home economics classroom in highschool. The only thing missing was an uptight teacher with a long skirt and a Noah’s arc wooden necklace. So I ordered some Mexican stick-on tiles from Etsy and their cheerfulness has improved my at-home cooking experience by at least ten percent. (Getting all my gadgets and cookware improved it by another fifty percent).

kitchenwithtile2As I’ve mentioned before,I’m a total bargain hound. Also: Nothing beats free. When I was in college, my parents’ elderly neighbor died and his children held an impromptu giveaway in his front yard. My ridiculously handy mom ran across the street and nabbed a wooden couch and recovered it with off-white canvas. Comfy couch. It served me well in college and in years beyond. And it never seemed haunted. But it always reminded me of a couch the ladies from Golden Girls would lounge on. Sometimes I would even eat nighttime cheesecake on it and think of them. I was too lazy to find a place to donate this couch in DC, so here it is, in Spain. But yesterday I painted the wood a glossy black and it looks so much more stylish.


And lastly, bar carts. I love bar carts. I always check out the bar cart selection in antique stores and furniture stores and am appalled at how they nearly always cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. When I was living in New York, I found a wooden shelf on wheels out by the trash and I wheeled it on in to our apartment, and a few weeks later, sent it off on a journey to Spain. I painted it the same dark blue color as the dining room, but added a few coats of varnish to it to make it really shine. I also installed a wooden tea towel rack on the side. I think this is going to make having a drink more fun than it already is.


To being crafty,

The Dame in Spain


  1. When you moved from Kalamazoo to Washington, your dad and I tried to talk you out of transporting your furniture since the cost of the rental truck and trip far exceeded the value of the furniture. You won out in the end, of course, so Dad drove a rental truck through the mountains and had to deal with finding parking for a huge truck in a big city. We never would have dreamed that you would eventually ship your “junk heap” sofa across an ocean to Europe (along with the lime green wing chair, donated from a friend’s basement.) It just goes to show that, if you’re creative enough, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on your home. Good job!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s