what I do

what I do

Friday, February 28, 2014

A thoughtful gift

My birthday was last month and my sweet and always-so-thoughtful daughters gave me a gift card to Etsy. What a great gift idea ...

I had no idea what I would use it for until one day last week when I came upon Emily's Etsy shop ...

Color Study # 10 Emily Rickard | Etsy Shop

Thanks girls! I love it!

 Did you notice anything else new?

I found a pillow at HomeGoods that had my name on it. I had it in my office for a while but it kept moving.

I'm loving the burst of color in my white room.

We are having some much needed rain these next few days ...  I think I will sit in here and read a good book. Hope you have a great weekend too!

Monday, February 24, 2014

The beginnings of a fresh new family room

I am working with a long-distance client who used to live locally but now lives about 500 miles away. She asked me to help re-decorate her family room and was going to be in town so we could meet to plan and to start purchasing furniture and fabrics for the new room. She only had one day she could spend with me so I knew we needed to maximize our time together as there was a lot to accomplish. 

We have worked together many times before and have finished several rooms in the house she lives in now including this living room (the wall color has been changed to a bit more gray since these photos were taken!). The family room is the one room in this beautiful home that still has the furniture and decor from the home they lived in before and it is time for an update.

The bookshelves in the family room - I posted about them here.

The day before we were to meet I picked up some fabric samples to show her. I was hoping to find an inspiration piece to start with. I knew that I wanted  the room to have some of the same elements of the living room (some blue) and also I am well aware that this is a gal who likes a lot of color. 

Pindler and Pindler | Hazelton 

We both loved this fabric for the crispness of it and the greens with a pop of red. And although it didn't have any blue in it, we thought it was worth trying it as our starting point. 

Room and Board | Ian Leather Sofa

With the fabric swatch in hand, we began looking for the furniture we knew we wanted to buy. First, we chose a couple of simple but very comfortable leather sofas.

We added two swivel chairs that will be covered in a gorgeous indoor/outdoor black and white houndstooth fabric that will add some sophistication and a nice statement on the third side of the seating arrangement. 

We found a very tall "wing back" chair to go in the corner next to the built-in wall unit. A light greige  100% polyester "linen" will dress this chair and a large square ottoman coffee table will be covered in this:

Pindler and Pindler | Bryson / Pebble 

With the basics of the room finished, we went looking for some companion fabrics for pillows and to bring everything together ...

We found some additional pillow fabrics ...

We found a few potential accessories too ...

 The fabrics:

The red will be the contrasting welt for the yellow and white ikat pillows. (Do you want to know how to pronounce ikat? Click here!). An area rug, a couple of end tables, new paint and some wall decor and lamps will finish off the room ...

I put together an inspiration board to help my client visualize what the room may look like when it is finished. I chose a light blue/green wall color to tie in the living room. It will be a couple of months at least until all the furniture is in place but I love the direction it is going. I hope my client will too.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Slow down

I heard a song today that I have not heard for a long time. (You can listen to it here). When a friend of mine had terminal brain cancer, I drove her to her many doctor's appointments. It took an hour to get there each way and we would often just listen to music on the way. Nichole Nordeman's albums were some of our most listened to music and this song in particular really spoke to me during that time in my life. It was a busy time for me. I was busy raising my two girls, working two jobs, trying hard to be a good mom, a good friend, a good daughter ... and foolishly thinking that the more I did the better I was; the more I accomplished the more valuable I was. A human doer instead of a human being.

I have learned a lot since those days. About making time ... and taking time. About putting empty spaces in my schedule. Margins. Time to just breathe. Time to live. Slowing down. And not thinking I have to be everything and do everything to have value.

Having a granddaughter has helped me tremendously. I don't want to miss any moments that are quickly lost. Having a mother who is healthy and 84 years young also reminds me that I want to spend time with her now and not wake up one day and say, "I wish I had ...".

The song speaks about how busy we are, how full we book our days ... our lives; the boxes we think we have to check off. So much that we forget what it really means to live. And what it means to just be. Our voice becomes louder than His...

Say goodnight to the light of the setting sun
One more day, one more way
Of keeping track of all I've done

I run this race, keep this pace, I'm doing fine
And I won't stop until each box
Gets checked a second time

And life becomes the 'round and 'round
Revolving door that won't slow down
It won't slow down

Do you wish, do You want us to breathe again?
Say goodbye to the lines that we've colored in
Brown and gray from day to day

Do You cry, do You hope for all things made new?
Try and try to invoke us to live in You
That we might be the hands and feet of this mystery

This routine is nice and clean from dawn to dusk
I rise and rest, I do my best
When will it ever be enough?

And life becomes the bigger noise
Drowning out Your little voice
Your little voice, Jesus

We take stock, and we punch the clock
And we make sure all those zeros have balanced in the end ...
(Nichole Nordeman - This Mystery)

{images via}

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Look what I found at HomeGoods!

I just finished a living room I have been working on for a couple of months. What I love about this room the most is that every single accessory including the artwork came from HomeGoods. It excites me to be able to pull together a room that looks much more expensive than it actually is. 

We replaced everything in the room except for the existing wall color, carpet and the television. My client and I spent two days together - one to select furniture and a new area rug, and another to purchase accessories and style it.

Normally when I style a room I use a combination of accessories from HomeGoods and Target and then fill in with a few items from the more expensive stores where I need to. But I got lucky this time and was able to find everything I needed from a few HomeGoods stores.

 Here are a couple of photos of the room before we started:

The client loved the feel of her existing sofa but it was just too big for the room. She wanted to have another sofa that was just as comfortable. I helped her select one that had cleaner lines and the off-white leather helped formalize the room without taking away the comfort. We moved the sectional to the family room which we will be working on next.

We selected side chairs at West Elm during their 30% off sale and I had custom pillows and a new window seat cushion made while we waited for delivery.

The area rug was from West Elm and the side tables and coffee table as well as the media cabinet were from Crate and Barrel.

The biggest eyesore in the room was the television. Putting the media cabinet underneath to anchor it made a world of difference. Here is the TV wall before:

There are still a few adjustments that need to be done with the TV cords and components but you can see how much better it looks already:

I love the way this room turned out and I can't wait to get started on their family room.

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Birthdays are good for you

We had a little birthday party this week. It was a special birthday - my mom's 84th! 

I think that all birthdays are important and always worth celebrating. Birthdays mark a milestone of course - and that one-year-older thing we often dread - but more importantly it is the one day of the year to reflect on how precious life is and a reminder to celebrate the life that we have.

But not everyone is excited about their birthdays. It is that age thing. And age is a funny thing. We let it define us. We let it hold us back. And sometimes it even inspires us to take action. 

Some people lie about their age.  Or maybe you are like my sister who says you can just switch the numbers around if you want. Which works great if you are turning 84... but not so great if you are going to be 59. I think that age is just a number (although I will admit, some just sound worse than others!) and what is important is that you are around to celebrate another year because you know what they say about birthdays ... (the alternative is not all that great). And seriously, if you are going to lie about your age ... I think you should just say that you are 10 years older than you really are. That way people will think you look amazing!

Happy Birthday Mom! I hope this year you are surrounded by love, filled with joy and have plenty of new and fun adventures. 

"I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well." - 3 John 1:2

(Yeah, I am obsessed with Waterlogue).