Finally, I've begun to tackle a design project that, quite literally, looms over me every single day - finishing my studio space at Grove House. More specifically, the lounge seating area. You know how the saying goes - the cobbler's children have no shoes. That's me, in a nutshell. The "busy" excuse has been used frequently in an effort to ease my slight guilt over not getting my act together with the project. But enough already, the time has come to mark this one off my to-do list. Step One - Share my design plan with the internet.
Generally speaking, January is bleak. Much of our nation is covered in a thick blanket of snow and ice while others (like those of us in California) have been experiencing catastrophic mudslides as a result of massive fires and torrential rainstorms. Winter has been a doozy. But in the midst of dreary weather and gloomy days we're given a welcome relief in the form of our sunniest fruit; citrus!
Last week we began harvesting our front section of trees at Grove House. They were so overloaded many limbs were brushing the ground and branches were splitting right off unable to bear the weight. The record setting orange tipped the scale at 1.9lbs! A portion of this harvest, about 8,000 pounds, was sold to a farmstand just down the road. It makes me supremely happy when I drive by and see them all piled up like jewels.
If there's one thing I've learned through my years of design and styling work it's this: Design your home for the people that actually live there. It doesn't matter what so-and-so may think, or what your friends, family, and neighbors feel would look best, or what your readers and followers like or don't like - none of them live there. You do. What's more important is that when you step inside, it feels like home. For some that may mean a riot of color for others a white box. Modern or mid century, country or contemporary, whatever your drawn to, it should embrace you like a warm hug. Regardless of whether or not it pleases the masses or is on-trend. Because let's face it - they're both fickle.
When we started designing and building Grove House, my husband and I had many long conversations about what type of architecture and design we liked, how we wanted to live in the space, even how we cooked together in the kitchen. From those meetings over dinner and long walks we began working on a home that represented both of us. It would be simple, with clean modern lines and warm rustic touches. In other words, home.
Recently I was able to hit the flea market with my neighbor. She's new at the treasure hunting game but has certainly caught the bug. It's nice to have someone close by who will also get up at o'dawn hundred to make the trek with the only guarantee being hot coffee. Because as we all know it can be hit or miss at the flea.
One of the items I found was this metal vase with perfect patina for our guest room. Fortunately my neighbor also let me pick flowers since our gardens are pitiful right now. I've actually been buying vases whenever they catch my eye because it's the one prop item I'm constantly having to source or ship from my inventory. So I'm happily stocking up in that department. Here are the other finds that came home with me....
Spring cleaning is in full force over here. What began in the bathroom with tossing out long forgotten shampoo bottles and jars of expired aspirin has now moved on to the kitchen. Since the task felt a bit overwhelming I decided to break it up into blocks of time. The refrigerator was first to get a makeover and it gave me enough satisfaction to muster on with the rest. My list still includes sorting through the coffee accoutrements (located in the cabinet below the coffee station), adding liners the cookware drawers, and cleaning out the spice drawer - but over the weekend I tackled organizing the walk-in pantry. Here's what I did to accomplish the project...
If there were awards for slowest decorator on the planet, surely I would be a top contender. Often times I stand in awe of those who seem to finish rooms at break neck speed. How do they do it? I mean they just moved into a new place and wham...rooms are pulled together and posted on IG lickity split.
Now, I can produce styling results for magazines at a pretty steady pace (mainly because there is a deadline) but choosing items for my own home takes time. Apparently lots of it in my case. It's not that I'm not looking for items that make a house a home, it's that I'm looking for vintage, antique, or one of a kind items. And there in lies the rub. Finding antique furniture that fits a certain height, width, depth, as well as having simple lines and timeless style isn't something I'm going to find easily. And I've learned to let the process be what it is - an investment in patience.