Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Good Gracious, We Had Company!


Did you know I read other people's blogs?  I do.  Mostly they are other women, and mostly they are homemakers with flair, and mostly they are mothers with kids...and mostly most of all, they are people who pursue grace in their lives, families, homes, community, and world.  One of my favorites is the Nester; she writes an awful lot about letting people in on our messes (physical and otherwise) as a fundamental part of showing others grace.  "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful," she says.  I'd like to add an idea to that idea...it really doesn't have to be beautiful to be perfect.

This is the "before" pic of our living room.  How about that "curtain," eh?  There was an even bigger blanket curtain over the huge picture window.  You know, the one on the front of the house that people walk, jog, and bike past.  Cause we is clizzassy like shizzat.  Pow.

But the company we had (like, three months ago?  sheesh) included a handsy toddler and a wee baby; so, while I do want guests to feel at home in our home and not on their manners, clearly this mess has a certain element of danger about it.  And ugly.

So I started in the kitchen.
 I stole this bookcase from the craft room, cut it shorter, and wedged it in above the fridge.  Now all my glass cookingware is up, out of reach, instead of on the bottom shelf near the ground.  Does it matter that it's just a cheap pressed board bookcase with the legs rudely cut off?  That it's basically an ugly band-aid-type fix?  I don't really think so.

In this corner:
...I took the bookcase (it has CDs and DVDs on it) and moved it up onto the desk in the office:
 I also moved the iron tree over here, because those "roots" are a little (or, ok, majorly) hazardous to humans.  Like, I got a lump on my forehead off it when I bent down in its vicinity to pick something up off the floor.  Beautiful?  Um...no.  "Beautiful" would be a custom hutch (like the one I've been planning for over a year).  This is not beautiful...but perfect. Where the tree used to stand, I set up some wine crates to hold some of the clutter.
Do you like my faux florals?  I do.  I love them.  It doesn't matter that I know they're not real...I don't know what it is, they just do something for me.  And so that corner where the bookcase was in the living room now looks like this:
I moved my beloved lambskin rug out here to serve as a play corner and put together a box where all the toys are (why does a childless couple have so many toys??).  See the drapes back there?  I pulled the blanket off the picture window and stitched up some blackout floor to ceiling drapes out of this beautiful stuff:
 (...which felt like such a huge gamble to me, you know?  Like, am I a "big floral pattern drapes" kind of girl?  Am I?? Am I???  So I bought seven yards of the stuff.  You know, to "see."  I figured if I hated it, at least they'd still cover the window (which was a big deal to Dave), and I'd have learned something about my taste as a decorator.  It paid off, too, because I learned something and I love it.  Lesson: trust your instincts.)

I guess I didn't take any close-ups of the other curtain I did, but you can see it in this one:
It's a roman shade kind of thing, and I'll tell you more about it later.  See how the wine crates are only two-high?  Now our sweet Lucy won't be able to pull them down on her head.  We brought in a pack-n-play for baby Elliot to hang out in, and while we were at it,
 we (I) bought a $35 crib on craigslist.

David, you are a champ.  And a trouper. And so way more supportive of me than I deserve.

Y'all, Dave sanded the finish completely off those crib rails with all those little bitty openings.  He did it completely by himself.  And then I did like one coat of primer, and he finished painting it, too.  All for this adorable little girl:
 (She loved those butterflies..."Air-pane! Air-pane!")
It isn't perfect. It isn't magazine-worthy.  But it's beautiful...to me.  Because it made my sister and brother-in-law, my niece and nephew, my family, feel safe and welcome in our home.  So maybe to anyone else my cheap, chopped bookcase holding the glass stuff up high, the second-hand crib, the toy "chest" in a plain fabric bin, none of that could be described as "beautiful..." but I think, I hope, it was perfect.


  1. WOW!!! I can't wait to see it all...not quite again, as it's pretty different. But LOVE those floral drapes. And the faux flowers, even before you mentioned them. They look like your "hidden flowers". And I was surprised (again) and happy to see the bookshelf that my grandfather built. You've (both) done a great job!

  2. Oh my GOSH y'all did a lot of work -- it looked SO nice!! I wish we could be back there soon :). Miss you guys...


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