June 24, 2015

i will never stop collecting chairs

In the spirit of my post on my (former) mantel I thought I would address a clear hypocrisy. I know I just told you that it's good to acknowledge the elephant in the room and remove things that aren't working in your space. True. And, I know I've discussed many times my love of 'riding' and purging crap that you don't need. Very true. However, there is a time when all of those rules and truths go right out the window and that is when you encounter a killer chair. Curves, lines, wood, fabric, chairs have it all they are addicting.

Here we have just a SMALL sampling of chairs I have in my SMALL home that don't currently have a 'place'. I refuse to get rid of any of them, nor will I get rid of their siblings that sit in rejected groups in other rooms of the house. The hubs often suggests selling them but I scream "From my cold dead hands!" and he walks away shaking his head. Some of these do have in-the-near-future plans but others might be headed to storage for a vacation.

And damn it if I'm not on my way out to look at more chairs. Luckily I can often share my chair habit with clients and know that the beauties are living in a happy home somewhere where I can visit them. But I will never stop collecting. Never. And one day I'll have cause to hold a large gathering at my house where everyone will need a seat and I won't have to rent a single chair. So that's something.

Don't make me feel alone here, what do you hoard? Anything you don't have the room to keep but refuse to toss? Have any chairs I can take off your hands?

June 17, 2015

she was a good faux elephant

When I change things up I change things up.

I may have mentioned recently that I am making some changes to my living room, thanks to welcoming home this baby.

Truth is though she was just the push I needed to start making changes that I've had in mind for quite some time. Remember what I always tell the hubs, by the time I tell you about a change/idea I've already been mulling it over for a few months.

And before my mother anyone rolls their eyes at the fact that I'm changing things up, again, I just did a little research and realized that the last time I changed the 'ol living room was 2012. (thanks to the blog for keeping track of these things for me) Dude. 2012 is a long time. Especially for a girl who used to change up her bedroom so often I'd get in trouble (note: don't switch your bedroom with the guest bedroom without asking your mom first. Even if you are cute and 10, it won't go over well)

When we were house hunting all those years back, a fireplace was at the top of my wish list. Right behind three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Proof that you can score 0 for 3 on your wish list and still end up with the perfect house. But that's another post.

Long story short, we put an offer in on our house and I made a mental floor plan immediately with this family mantel as the center piece. I wanted a fireplace and damn it, I was going to have one. Thank God I have parents who hoard as much furniture as I do.

But because of the layout of the room the mantel had only one place to go, along the longest wall of the room, which at times made furniture layout a bit of a pickle. Over time, I got the itch to take the living room from a room where we could sit for a drink or some polite conversation to a room where everyone could hang out comfortably. Comfort often requires size (you gotta be able to spread those legs out) and size requires that one, and only, long wall in the room.

So...I call uncle. I have acknowledged the elephant in the room and have shown her the door. And as a side note, once that mantel was gone, I felt a huge weight lifted. I don't know about you, but for me mantels are just pressure-packed styling challenges staring you in the face 24/7. Ahhhh, sweet release.

And that's the latest from LBD headquarters. The mantel is out, and furniture is in. More about all of that at a later date. But for today, a hand over the heart for the mantel. Oh, and no fear on her fate, she's happily nestled in at my sister's place. A family that trades furniture often is a family full of bad backs. (antiques are heavy)

Have you ever had an elephant in the room that you had to work around? Ever gotten rid of something you never thought you would and felt great afterwards? Want to help me move some furniture?

May 22, 2015

project design - refresh your living room with this inexpensive tip

Welcome to the long weekend my friends! Today I'm joining several blog friends to talk about different ways to give your living room a refresh without spending the earth. And if you are anything like me, with a happy spring holiday weekend ahead, a bit of time fluffing a busy room in my house sounds like a great way to unwind! (I know, I'm weird)

I wanted to think a bit outside the blogger box and share something that absolutely anyone could do. Something that would give you a big change for ZERO dollars. That's right, no money spent and no DIY necessary. How's that for a budget buster?!

My advice is to turn on some great music, make yourself a good drink, give your arms and legs a quick stretch and then start moving furniture. Instead of buying something new, or even rushing to paint, just try moving that chair out of the corner. Switch the sofa to the other wall. Bring a table in from another room and put a lamp on it to brighten up a dead space. It is amazing to me how different a room FEELS, let alone looks, by spending just a bit of time shuffling everything up.

And the best part is, if it doesn't work, just move it again. No harm and no money lost. Just keep shuffling until it feels right. You'll find a new life given to your room, and a desire to actual spend time in there again.

Be sure to check out the other wonderful bloggers sharing their tips today, and thanks so much to Mary Ann and Cindy for asking me to join in.

When was the last time you gave your room a new layout? What would you move around in your living room? Remember, lift with your knees and don't spill your drink!

May 18, 2015

project design

Morning sunshine! There are (only) seven days of school left and it is the talk of our household. Those under the age of 8 are thrilled, while those over the age of 8 are having that standard parental "ugh summer break is upon us!!!!" reaction. Luckily we all agree on our level of excitement for the pool opening this coming weekend. A big WAHOO to that!! But I digress.

I spent some time this weekend stealing accepting peonies from my neighbors' yards before they die on the vine (or stem) and brightened a corner of my living room as I shared on Instagram. (follow me here) And it got me thinking about all the different ways there are to update a room for spring, beyond just adding flowers.

Luckily, this 'thinking' is going to pay off for all of us. My friends Cindy (Rough Luxe Lifestyle) and Mary Ann (classic casual home) have asked me to participate in the next round of Project Design and the topic is"Refresh Your Living Room with These Inexpensive Tips". So come Friday I'll be sharing my ideas, along with these wonderful bloggers.

Do you like to do a refresh to your living room each spring? Any update you've always wanted to try but have just never gotten around to? Anything you want me to try? I love being a guinea pig. 

May 11, 2015

she went out for a pack of smokes and never came back

So as I was saying...

Ha, just kidding. Yes, it's been a while. How the hell are ya?! Did you think I'd fallen off the face of the earth? You gotta know I wouldn't ever leave you hanging like that. Have no doubt, I still think about you all the time and I've got tons to share. A million things have been happening, and at the same time nothing crazy is going on. Just regular life, like everyone else.

The inspiration for my living room changes

I will say this blogging break has been good for me to get a fresh mind, take a deep breath and find out where my design mind is headed and I can say that the times they are a changin. Currently three rooms in my house are in major flux. Well, 3.5 really. And those of you that have been around for a while know, my house is NOT big. 3.5 rooms, that's like 80% of my house or something.

I've been lucky beyond words to be working with lots of great clients who are inspiring me not only in my work with them, but kicking me in the pants to make some changes at home. What better place to experiment than at home, right? It's the idiot in me - when I'm busy with work, I tend to pile more things on at home just to put the cherry on top of my chaos sundae. I'm seeing about getting some help for my condition, if insurance will cover it.

So where am I going with all of this? That wasn't rhetorical. Really, what am I trying to say? I don't know either. Mostly I guess just HELLO! I'm still here and I'll be around a lot more. It's been a long while since I've had an unplanned, free-flowing, no specific topic post. Aaannnd, I think we now all see why. It's a big bag of muddled weird in this head.

Thanks for all of you who emailed and texted me to check in. I really do have the best blog friends. Now give me the dirt. What have I missed??? Anything big going on? What's new with you?!

February 27, 2015

using pinterest as my travel agent

Good. Gracious. What a week! It was a busy one for sure. A lot was accomplished but a lot was lost as well (auctions are stressful and putting things on 'hold' is just torture). I'm ready for Calgon to take me away, but since my jet is in the shop I'll just have to imagine my weekend.

I'll have a cozy night of good food and cocktails with friends.


Then I'll spend Saturday swimming and sipping cocktails. (my butt looks really good in that pool, doesn't it?!)


And Sunday I'll be eating take out while watching House of Cards all the livelong day. 


Not a bad little (faux) weekend I have planned. What about you? What will you be doing this weekend? Have any real, or faux plans?

February 23, 2015

monday minute - birthday tradition

Rise and shine, it's ONE degree outside! Remind me again why I live somewhere that would be so cold?!

Monday's are not usually a day I post because I try to make the weekends pure family time and that would mean I'd have to write a post for Monday on Friday and let's be honest, that kind of advanced preparation is just not happening. But from time to time, there are quick little things I want to share. Not in a big long post, but just a quick 'hey, check it out' way. Hence the not promised to at all be regularly scheduled new series, Monday Minute.

Yesterday we celebrated Eve's birthday. My baby is four (insert tears here) and so we celebrated. Kids birthdays could be an entire series on their own, and I know when talking with friends the phrase 'kid's birthday party' is a lightening rod. I'm not going to get into all of that except to say that I tend to revolt against that type of parental pressure. We don't do huge birthday parties (except for the 1st birthday which is really more of a celebration for the parents who made it thru the first year). But, we do have several family birthday traditions. And the biggest hit without a doubt is the tradition of decorating the birthday tablecloth.

Easy as can be. I roll out brown craft paper on the table, bring out the always under lock and key and therefore a treat in and of it self - MARKERS and let the girls go to town. I always do their name, because they usually want it really big (duh) but they do the rest. They have usually picked out a theme of sorts, Eve's was rainbows, and we just have a free for all color session.

I let them trace a plate at each seat and then determine the seating chart. It gives very anxious birthday people something to occupy their time, it gives them some 'control' that they are determining what their party will look like and they are always thrilled when the guests arrive and they can show everyone their seat.

Add a rainbow of balloons (the yellow popped early but the extra pink was happy to stand in) and whatever flower the birthday girl picks from Trader Joe's (another birthday tradition) and voila - birthday prep complete. We also always get a cookie amuse-bouche at the bakery when we pick up the cake. A bunch of little traditions add up to a lot of things to look forward to.

Nothing pinworthy or pintastic, but something the girls love. And the older they get, the more they talk about what they will be putting on their birthday tablecloth days (or weeks) before the big day.

Happy girls = happy parents.

Do you have fun family traditions for birthdays? Anything your kids look forward to? (besides the presents of course) Want to invite me to your beach house to ride out the rest of the winter? Thanks so much!

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