So Close

27 Jul 2017

It feels like we've been running a mile a minute lately in an attempt to get things settled at both work & home before this baby gets here (he's/she's due in a little over 2 weeks!!) but I feel like I can finally see the finish line!!

I've gotten some of the kids' paintings hung in the dining room which made them proud & me happy:


{Lots of space for the collection to grow.  We used our existing dining room table and mixed them with leather dining room chairs and upholstered host chairs we had...  I'll probably add a cowhide because of the constant food spilling.  I came across a little fern patch on a hill on our property recently and love bringing them inside for a hit of green.}

 


{The other side.. my seven year old would not want me to leave out his "goose";) }

Our foyer is functional now and I'm loving not walking straight into an "unfinished" room every time we enter the house:


{An antique church pew we've had for years sits under the house's original stained glass window and a beautiful old Crucifix that belonged to the home's original owners.  Opposite it is a client cast-off concrete console layered with some of my favorite objects/ books etc. and a branch that feel in our yard and just won't die. (yay!!!) A painted cow hide is really practical for our messy life as I can truly just wipe it off if anything happens to it.}

...And the mirror that we accidentally ordered for a project years ago ended up fitting perfectly in there:

 

One of the things I've discovered from moving so many times in such a short period, is that if you buy what you love and what truly suits you, it will work mostly anywhere.  (Size being a major constraint obviously.)  But we bought the majority of our things five years and two houses ago and it's still working really well for us.  We've had our stuff in a 70s contemporary house, a Cape Cod & now an Alsatian-style Country house - all of which are incredibly different- but I've been happy with it in all of those places.  I haven't really gotten to "decorating" in this house yet (still working on function) but honestly, the most I'll really end up doing to be "done" will be getting a few more rugs where we don't have any, curtains for some bedrooms, and a piece of two of furniture here and there where we need more seating etc.  So far, we've only had to buy bar stools, a bookcase, kids' beds (which we had never had enough of) and I did curtains in the dining room.  I have a few things that didn't physically fit (like our lucite coffee table) but we were pretty lucky with most of it.  (To check out one of our last places and see how the furnishings have moved around, you can check out this Domino feature here. Photo, below, by Brittany Ambridge.)

 

{We still have the same sofas, rugs, art & accessories...  I can see from this pic though, that our leather sofa has definitely FADED!!!  You can spy a peek of it two pics up and it's definitely a paler camel now.}

The same goes for our art & random objects which I'm still playing with.  (I don't have as much shelving in this house as we did in some of our others so I've still got to cull through and pick my favorite things to keep out.)  

I think what really helped me get a handle on my personal style was that when I was in my early twenties, and first starting out decorating my places, I used to change things up all the time.  I'd hit the thrift stores weekly, swapping out throw pillows seasonally, rearranging my mantle all the time, hanging and rehanging art work, repainting rooms, tinkering constantly etc.  I loved doing it.  (I also had no kids at the time.)  I still have so many of the things I collected during that couple of years and I had to get rid of a lot of it.  (That poor, poor Moroccan coffee table my girlfriends and I broke doing Saki bombs!! ;)  But I know that time helped me hone in on what was really "me" style-wise.  My apartment & first homes were my laboratories where I could try things out and practice.  By the time we were older and ready to invest in more permanent pieces, I'd thankfully learned what I really wanted.  The thought of me playing with throw pillows and rearranging art work & things "for the fun of it now" is laughable and just sounds like pointless work to me, but I know how important that time was in my developing a personal style & in honing my decorating skills.  

I think I also now get my fix of trying out new things on others' homes now so I don't need to use my place to get out that creative energy anymore.  Maybe when I retire I'll get back to it- who knows??!!! ;) ... But this also makes me think that if you're a chronic tinker-er, re-arranger, re-decorator... maybe you need to make a career out of it??   An aunt of mine was the same way and now has a super-successful staging company.  Anyway, just a thought!  

So back on the home front, organization has been a big part of what we've been working on as our renovation wraps up...  We've got multiple bedrooms with multiple kids in them so increasing storage and attempting to set up systems they can handle on their own is key to all of our sanity.  (Actually, probably just mine.)  Last week, (or possibly the week before??) we got a pair of beds (From Restoration Hardware) for the younger boys' bedroom:


They've been game changers.  The kids put away their own laundry so having lots of room in their drawers and a separate drawer (see how they're squarish and smaller than normal dresser drawers ?) for each item (ie T-shirts in one drawer/ shorts in another) has made it much easier on them for both laundry and getting dressed.  (I know these are things many families probably all have in place but we haven't so I'm weirdly excited about it!!)

The family we bought our house from is pretty special and we inherited some amazing things with the house, including the collection of wooden painted coats of arms, which the boys are pumped about.  ("We're knights!")  I decided to take a break on the wallpaper hunt and forget about it for the time being as we've got bigger fish to fry. I really appreciated the suggestions from  those of you who showed me the murals in place &/or gave install tips- thank you!!  

The nursery is being wallpapered next week and it's kind of crazy seeing it set up with TWO cribs!! (I'm having visions of Gisele climbing from her crib and dropping right into the baby's crib so I'm going to need to widen them out a bit.)

{The cribs are across from Gisele's "big girl bed" -pictured here- which we'd thought she'd be ready for by now & isn't. (Not complaining though!!) }

In our back yard, we planted vegetables which the deer went after when we went away but they seem to be coming back and are begging for some love.  We planted a bunch of hydrangea to add some structure to the garden (and they are thriving!!) but I just cannot bring myself to care for the vegetables this year/ this pregnancy.  The grass has pretty much invaded the beds and I have done NOTHING for these poor vegetables.  (Lucky for the farmer's market!! ;) ;)  


I have zero desire to bend over/ squat and weed so I sit on the back porch, stare at the limelights, and pretend there are no sad vegetables being neglected.  

And we eat out there which is pretty much my favorite activity right now.


{Loved this fava bean-tomato-arugula-herb-rice concoction we made the other night}

 

And I can't believe it's finally here, but our HGTV pilot show BEST HOUSE ON THE BLOCK is airing THIS weekend!!! {Sunday, July 30th @ 2:00 Eastern.}  I've posted the trailer/ show opener before but will repost again in case you missed it:

 

So set your DVR's and/or watch if you're into that sort of thing!! (And even if you're not, maybe we can covert you!! ;) ;)  The show is a pilot show so it will only get picked up if it's well-received & if enough people watch it.  We're so thankful to all of you who have shared/ posted/ told family & friends to watch/ set your DVRs etc.- the support has been really overwhelming and we truly appreciate it.  

To check out a fun article by Country Living on the show/ us, click here.   


 

And, just as an FYI, I generally post & update regularly/ as much as I can on Instagram and only post on my blog when I have the time to really get into things and/or need to write more than a quick sentence or two.  So if you're ever wondering what I'm up to & it's been a while between posts but you have Instagram, you can check out my account @LaurenLiess.  (Grandmother, I'm sorry ;)  But if you wait long enough, I'll post it here too so no worries!

We'll be doing a "Facebook Live" on HGTV's Facebook page at 1:30 Eastern on Sunday just before the show airs so tune in if you can!!

{A little peek at us on our way to our clients' home in the episode}

Have a great week!!

 

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