value

smudge2Hi friends. I’m on vacation until the day after Labor Day, so I might just catch up on some blogging, dust out the corners over here. No lie, it’s been really hard & I haven’t wanted to share much, or even when I want to share cute things or little trips it feels disingenuous to do so without acknowledging everything else under the surface. I’m not really sure what my future on the internet looks like, what I do know is that every pregnancy announcement (and oh, there are so, so many) is like a knife to the heart. I feel more and more isolated as each day passes, more and more thinking I need to take the time to actually process what it will truly mean to go through life never becoming a mother. I’m not there yet, because thinking down that road is not pretty – it’s a lash-out, crazy crazy place. So I avoid it.

An internet friend emailed the other day and asked if I was SO busy that I couldn’t start a yoga practice, as it’s beneficial for infertility. It was a long email and there was a lot to think about, but in the end, the answer is no. No, I’m not busy. I’m depressed, I’m isolated, I spend my free time trying to escape my reality with books and little tasks and work. But I’m not busy. I’m just terrified of the open, thinking times that yoga brings.

I was in my favorite little tea room and overheard (read: snooped on) a conversation between two people where one was feeling pretty overwhelmed and lost, and the response from the other is something I want to think about during my week away from work:

What do you have that’s really valuable right now?

thonet test drive

chair2I found this old cane and black-painted bentwood chair for $20 at our local thrift, and figured I’d give my dream of having the Era round armchairs in my dining room a test drive. Yep, looking good. I love the way the cane and the spalted maple table work together.

dining

However, we have a problem. The window trim in the dining room is cherry. It doesn’t match the table. It isn’t going to look great when we paint the walls grey. So, just how bad would it be to paint the trim AND the walls the same grey? I think it would look great. It just feels a little terrible.

I’m still feeling the pull of my great-grandfather’s restaurant as a design inspiration for the eating areas – and the photos in that post are 8 x 10 so I’d love to get them framed for the dining room. The one thing I can’t figure out is lighting – I’m thinking a vintage chandelier over the table, but haven’t found one yet that isn’t too fussy.

diningroom_inspiration

Roman Shades // Italian Gilt Tole Sconces // Marble & Brass Tray // Era Round Chair // Benjamin Moore Silver Fox Paint // Astier de Villatte Candle // Pewter Flatware // Mismatched Champagne Coupes // Tin Ceiling Tile // Ship Painting

seaside weekend

seaweedwindowIt’s been over a month since we spent a 3 day weekend in Maine & I’m just putting up photos now. Yes. Ok. It’s a nice reminder that outside of the hectic craziness that is my job, summer exists.

We went to Montreal last weekend and have been trying to be better about exploring New England and taking quick & inexpensive trips (Montreal was only 1/2 a tank of gas!), but on the weekends we mostly just want to be in our house. Sad but true! Any New Englanders out there have recommendations?  We’ll do a day trip back to the seaside before the summer is out, at least. I need my ocean times!

The photos in this post are all Wiscasset – Damariscotta –  Rockland area.

wildroses ockshouses_sea sea stones choices lobsterbuoys lighthousesteps lighthouse seasparkles ships roof taffy

Before & After: Stairs

beforeafter_stairs

Remember the previously hideous hallway? It extended down the stairs! We’d been living with the bad carpet on the stairs for a long time after the hallway had been done, partially because the cats use it as a scratching post. Why do I let the cats get away with everything bad? I don’t know. The carpet was disgusting, sticky, and probably 30+ years old. Having it out & finishing the central stairway makes the whole house feel lighter.

I’ve had some crazy thoughts about painting the walls gold, or wallpapering with this wallpaper, but I haven’t found the right paint & Sean isn’t into wallpaper. My brother tore out all the old frosting swirl plaster and replastered with just the right amount of non-perfection, so I’m kind of into the white farmhouse-y walls right now.

We ended up with the West Elm Bursa rug as it comes “pre-distressed.” Although I’ve started trimming the cat’s claws, they still are giant destructive forces of evil. I’m pretty sure that the amount of time I spend decorating around the cats qualifies me as totally insane.

Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore non-VOC Natura in Steam

Stair Paint - Benjamin Moore non-VOC Natura in Silver Fox

Runner – West Elm ‘Bursa’ – 3 runners

beforeafter_stairs2

stairs

 

The classic leather tote

talentedmrripley

Ah, the elusive perfect plain leather tote. Long strap. Big but not TOO big. Natural honey-cognac-y color. Great for travel, work, and beach times. Only gets better with age.

After months and months of comparing, I think I’m ready to make a decision. The Clare Vivier La Tropezienne, absolutely. No, maybe the Baggu. Wait…

totes

1. Misoui // 2. Elizabeth & James // 3. Rib & Hull // 4. Baggu // 5. Cuyana // 6. Clare Vivier La Tropezienne // 7. Clare Vivier Cartable // 8. Banana Republic // 9. Mansur Gavriel

Which would you choose?