Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. -William Morris

As I mentioned in my last post, my roommate is moving out this weekend. I moved in to her furnished apartment a year and a half ago after moving out of my home of five years. I had been living in a house with up to five other girls at a time, since my senior year of college. In five years I’d cycled through 15 or so housemates, four parakeets, five dogs (mostly strays that showed up on our doorstep, knowing there were suckers inside), and a ton of crappy furniture. It was crowded, messy, really fun, and occasionally dramatic, but not exactly the ideal dwelling for a quiet life.

The new apartment was such a relief after five years of chaos. Kim had decorated it beautifully and there was just two of us, in an apartment full of light, that looks out over the landlord’s garden. It’s still one of my favorite places.

Kim will be getting married in a few months, and when an opportunity came up for a great place for her and her future husband, she jumped on it, and is moving out a bit earlier than we expected. Taking all the furniture with her.

I’ve decided it’s time for me to live alone, so it’s up to me alone to fill my soon-to-be-wide-open space. With rent about to double, I need to do this as cheaply as possible, but I’m not willing to compromise on beauty. Fortunately for me, I have a grandmother who gave me quite a bit of antique furniture over the years and a lot of things I’ve collected over time that are currently taking up room at my parents’.

So in the next couple of weeks you’re going to experience Twenty Pieces’ first interior design project. Though I’m not going to be limiting myself to a number or anything like that, I do fully intend to use the principles we preach here, namely the value of simplicity, beauty, function, and style. Next Tuesday you’ll see the house in its empty state and then we’ll start to fill it over the coming days. I’m tired already just thinking about it.

This weekend I bought a coffee table at Goodwill and stripped it of its red mission-style varnish. After some sandings and a good coat of a new stain, I think it will be exactly what I was looking for. If it’s not, it’s not going in the house.

Here we go.