Putting the House Together

4:27 PM

I apologize for having abandoned you the past few weeks! I think it can't be a bad thing when life keeps you good-busy to the point where you can't stop and blog. Right? Right.

I now have so many things to post here that I'm gonna have to spread them all out. Another good thing! You'll need to come back to catch up!

Last weekend was a big weekend around my house. For several reasons:

1) Dorien turned 1 on Saturday...YEAH!!!
2) I hosted the "main dish" part of a Progressive Dinner for my Ladies's Group at my house that night, so
3) I finally finished several pending house projects which I will show you in the following pictures and 
4) Kyle and I were able to spend Sunday evening with some dear friends we've not seen in about 9 years! 

It's really amazing how much you can accomplish when you know you have 9 ladies coming over to your house, most of whom have never been to your house before. 

One major unfinished project has been the wall behind our bed.  I sort of had an idea of what I wanted it to be, but hadn't really taken the time to parse it all out. I knew it involved the white framed artwork Kyle had done, but the remaining pieces I hadn't figured out. Friday afternoon, while the kids napped, I used my floor to lay out several design possibilities and settled on one for Kyle to hang for me. This was extremely satisfying as I've had a big blank wall (minus the sconces and the light brown shelf) taunting me for many weeks now.

I realize it's far away, but the big picture to the left is something Kyle whipped out in a matter of minutes. Disgusting how talented he is. What you can't really see is in the bottom left corner, there are some squiggles that portray a couple embracing. I love that. I love that it's over our bed. The other three smaller photographs are blurred color photography also taken by Kyle and that I found in some portfolio books of his. The other canvas is something Kyle did based on a photograph of me from our honeymoon in Maine. This is something I'll change out sooner rather than later, simply because the canvas is peeling. But for now, it works. There was one other piece that this picture didn't show because I didn't have it...

a little plate from West Elm that Lauren and Josh got me for Christmas. They have these blue sketched designs on them, and for some reason, I felt we needed an unexpected element to go over our bed. And "dessert plate" was that element. 

 A daylight shot showing the placement of the plate. I'll get some better shots later, but it's the overall effect I want to show you. I was so pleased! The other three plates from the set I hung on a wall in my kitchen. More on that later! 

I was feeling the need for more color on my walls, so I swapped out some black & white photographs taken by Kyle for these blurred color photography prints also taken by Kyle. I gotta tell you, it comes in so handy having such a talented artist for a husband.

Another color blurry photograph - Chicago, if you were wondering. These pictures are on either side of the window on our stair landing.

Since I hadn't planned a party for Dorien (purposefully) on this Saturday, we literally crammed as much into the day as we could to get our house ready for the Progressive Dinner.  This mirror, given to us by our former neighbor Rus, has been painted by us so many times it's ridiculous. After numerous shades of green, we decided we wanted grey. So we picked out a grey we liked, based on the actual purple paints we used for her walls. And somehow, it still came out nothing like we planned. The mirror looks utterly and completely blue. And even though nothing else in her room is blue, due to my eclectic nature and the way the blue just WORKS against the purple, we're keeping it. 

I have been searching for MONTHS for a desk/vanity for Brooklyn's room. She needed something. I planned to buy an antique desk or table that fit the scuffed up nightstand she has and then hang that blue (supposed to be grey) mirror over it. But I could NOT find what I had in my head. Anywhere. It needed to be something that she could store things in as her room does not need the visual clutter of toys, etc. But not something large.  And every girl needs a place to get ready, if not now, then in the future. In my head, it was to go against this wall where you see a bookcase. 

But when we decided on a piece (below) and put it there, it was way too much brown furniture on brown floors. Plus, since we found a vanity with a mirror, I couldn't use my new blue mirror over it as planned. I moved the mirror over to the wall where the bookshelf used to be and put her vanity in the opposite corner. 

The vanity was taller than most vanities, sort of art-deco, in great shape, with a slightly unusual mirror shape and was, best of all, $75. At that price, I figured if I got it home and hated it, I could sell it for more than I'd bought it for! I love the way the modern lights hanging above it balance the vintage-ness of the vanity. I love the flowing gauzy quality of the sheers beside the table and the soft light from that window.

I like how it fit on that wall with only a slight adjustment of my Madeline tableau. And the chair that used to be on the other side of her bed, while too wide to fit under the desk, waits invitingly at an angle for her to come sit and admire herself. Which she does. Quite frequently.

The blue mirror on the wall with her night stand moved over to replace the chair now used with her vanity. And one very happy Brooklyn. Now, I need something for her floor! The work of designing your house is simply never ever ever done. 

So, after spending all day getting furniture up and in Brooklyn's room, hanging frames, cleaning house and cutting flowers, my dining room eagerly awaited its occupants. 

And after appetizers at Laura's house, we all walked across Park Hill to my house for a long, lingering main course of Beef Curry, roasted vegetables, fish and olive-cheese bread. A feast. 

The girls around my table are from the bottom left, clockwise: Suna, Laura, Holly (my midwife), Emily, Deana, Desiree and Lizz. A more caring, vivacious group of girls you'll never find. The room was full of animated (sometimes heated) discussions, lively banter, laughter and friendship. We are all incredibly diverse in background, beliefs and views, but have a common bond of loving good food, home-birthing and having lots of babies. I am the newest member of this group and have been blessed to be part of it.

Speaking of babies...Holly is our newest mom, having delivered her first child and daughter, Story Mae, in a birthing pool in her living room in January.  And if you gotta baby that tiny, you bring her to dinner. Holly also brought her best friend, Carley, to our dinner who is in this picture trying to get little SM to sleep. 

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