Monday, November 23, 2015

OK with a little Oak

 Happy Monday! I've been so eager to show you guys pictures of Doug and Linda's house! We've been working together for a couple of years now. I first met Linda when she was referred to me by a family member several years ago, and our first collaborative project was a long distance remodel of a condo they had purchased and wanted to update. She took pics of the place and we sat down and picked out colors, lighting, and furniture along the way. 

Next up...their beautiful executive style story and a half that had such great potential but just a tad too much oak for our liking. 
Our original plan was to have all the existing oak painted, but after the project kept snowballing in other ways and areas, we scaled back and decided to tackle it in select areas that would minimize just how much there was. 
So bummed I don't think I took pics of this room before. The wall color was a khaki-tan that had some peach/pink undertones. We switched that up to a taupe color that was still warm against the oak, but a much fresher look with the new contemporary furniture that we picked. 
Most pieces came from UBU in Grandville, a fave of mine for urban looks.
I shouldn't even admit this, but I found the lamps (brand new) at Goodwill. Target will donate or sell some of their clearanced but new items to Goodwill and we snagged the pair of lamps for $80!

 We picked up a geometric print to cover the barrel style chairs and paired it with an over-sized houndstooth ottoman. We loved the idea of a timeless looking dark leather sectional. 
This entry way used to have a tall armoire style piece that we simply moved around the corner to an area we needed the height. Here we achieved a fresher look by replacing lots of earthy, dark artwork with lighter, brushed nickel gallery frames.

 Flipped out their old brass latern entry light to this oval linen shaded pendant.

BEFORE of the oak built ins
 AFTER my boy Jon Sterk got ahold of 'em:

New stone put on the three sided fireplace. (above)
In a previous post, I think I showed you some of these before of the master bath transformation, but I found a few more angles of this space.



The lighting is horrible below and makes the walls and tile surround look pink in pic below, but they're actually a soft taupe. We used a resilient groutless  luxury vinyl product for the flooring.
Couldn't find any before shots of the master, but here is the after. 

Still working on some finishing touches in the other rooms. To be continued -kitchen and dining post.

Hope you have a wonderful day of giving thanks this Thursday. I'm so thankful for my health, my family, friends, and to be able to use the gifts that God's given me to journey through life with so many of you. Happy Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Temporary Things



I've been wanting to sit down and write this blog for a little over a week, (or if I were really honest with myself and you, I would admit that I really didn't want to write it at all). I really wanted to post these pics of my recently staged booth for the holidays and encourage all of you to race right down to Not So Shabby and snag a few things- however after meeting some precious new friends last Friday, I'm not feeling so much like marketing my stuff. :)

I had the privilege of speaking to a group of young moms last Friday morning at their M-Life gathering- a place where 20-30 somethings come together weekly for encouragement, yummy breakfasts and a nice morning out. I told them it seemed like only yesterday, that I attended a similar group at my own church and looking back, how I wish I had done things a little differently when I was sitting in those chairs in my mid 30's. 

I shared with them a bit of my personal testimony, my business accomplishments and some of the journey that I've shared with you all here (about our move to the country, my mid-life crisis, and downsizing not only our home, but our expectations of the "American Dream".

I shared with them how if I could do it all over again, I wouldn't have been so caught up in the 'pretty' things, the 'pretty people" and the perfectionism. 
I told them that if Pinterest would've been an app on my phone in the early 2000's, I'm not sure I would've survived to tell my tale. :)

And then I realized after I got home that morning,  that I'm not so sure I AM surviving it...the materialism, the greed, the always wanting more, the keeping up with the Jones' (or around here, the "Vander Veender-Jones)'." 

I still struggle. More than 2 decades older than some of these girls, and I'm not so sure all that much wiser.
 I got a little choked up (okay, a lot choked up) when I told them that while God has done amazing things in my heart and head these past 10 years and redeemed so many wasted choices, one thing that can't be brought back or exchanged or even redeemed sometimes....are the wasted moments. Moments that turn into years of preoccupation with things that just don't matter for eternity! (That reality sure hits home as I spend this last year under the same roof with my oldest daughter before she leaves for the rest of her life!).

Why does it take us/me so long to realize that we can't take ANY of this with us when we die?
 Why are we/me living like we can? 
Why don't my daily thoughts, activities, choices, and purchases line up with what my heart wants?

I know I've wrestled with this many times on this blog. Thanks for wrestling through these things with me. After I finished sharing  Friday morning, I spoke privately with several of you girls and received several more told me that I wasn't alone and that this is something you struggled with too. You asked me for advice about how not to waste ONE MORE MINUTE on things that don't matter....

and I said the right words, I typed the right responses, I even prayed the right prayers for you. Now, I just need to do the right thing....and live the right way-NOT the perfect way, where I'm always striving but never satisfied, or always running but never energized, but the right way, the way the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE did it. With margin/room in my life. Where people are valued over possessions, where to really find my life, I have to lose it.

I saw myself in every one of you young ladies that morning-we are in this together. Let's hold each other accountable to less social media-more socializing. Less Pinterest-more interest in each other's stories. Less materialism and more memory making. 

What a great time of year to reflect on our blessings and all the people who are worthy of our time. The BSC and I (Bible Study Chix) are starting a new book by Ann Voskamp this week called The Greatest Gift.-Unwrapping the full love story of Christmas.
I'm looking forward to slowing the pace and unwrapping that story with friends and family this year. 

On that note, I'll try not to feel guilty about posting pics of the items we have in the booth if you don't feel guilty about shopping for unique accessories made with love. :) Let's just balance our posting and purchasing with time spent with REAL PEOPLE.

M-Life Girls....or any other Changing Room Champs-you are beautiful, and loved and are ENOUGH! Thanks for allowing me to share my heart with you. 
Shoot me an email if you need encouragement, accountability, coffee or a hug. :)
I'm here if you need me.