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Living Room Rehab, Again

Couch rehab in progress

A few important points, before we begin:

  1. I have always wanted a caramel-leather couch.
  2. I cannot afford a caramel-leather couch.
  3. I enjoy having a white couch, in theory.
  4. I do not enjoy having a white couch in practice.

Now. Recall the Ikea couch I bought shortly after I moved to LA? The one I was so excited about for a minute, before I realized that the words "white" and "couch" should never, ever go together when a house is inhabited by a) children, b) animals, and c) me?

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Magic Makers

My kids, enjoying the Moncton sunshine

I love my Canadian family so. much. It's been nearly impossible to get up here - New Brunswick, where I am now - for a few years, because flights from California to the East Coast of Canada are both epically long and epically expensive. But it's just been too long, and so my mom and I decided to make it happen.

Now I'm here, in Moncton, sitting at my Aunt Jo-Anne's dining room table while my Aunt Trudy reads to my son and my mom pours a glass of wine at the kitchen counter. It's been too long, but apparently that doesn't matter; this place is as familiar to me as the bedroom I grew up in. So many years later, everything is somehow still the same - except now it's my children running through the grass I ran through almost four decades ago, dodging bees and trailing bubbles. I've moved on to the grown-ups table, where I sit now, and it feels like the conversation we're having on this cloudy afternoon is the same one that's been happening all along, for centuries, in my family and others.

Before & After Renovations

The Alexandrite Accent

alexandrite green jade wall paint

The very best thing about my house: all the lightness and brightness. It makes life as a blogger who routinely photographs herself and her surroundings much, much easier.

In other words: I love me some white walls. But I also love the idea of finding small, meaningful places to add color - at the end of a hallway; as a backdrop in the master bedroom; in a bathroom or office. And the more I lived with the office in my house, the more I realized it could use an update. A face-lift, if you will.

Before I continue: This is a rental house, so to answer your question, yes, I asked the owners for permission to paint. Before I even moved in, I talked to them about how important it is to me to be able to play around with a house and put my own unique stamp on it, and they were super down, which made me even more excited about living here. Because even with a rental, my feeling is…you know, you live there. There are reasons to put effort into a house that go beyond property value.

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Love and Kids’ Rooms

Our old (old, old) living room, 2009.

Several lifetimes ago (by my count), I wrote my first of what turned out to be hundreds of posts that loosely fall into the "Diary" category - the missives about parenting, about anxiety, about divorce that I've posted here over the years. This first one, though, was about something a little different. A little more...tactile.

It was about my living room. The living room that I shared with Kendrick (and Lucy, and then later on Virgil and our infant son) when we lived on the Upper East Side.  It was a wild, messy mix of hand-me-downs from my parents, pieces we'd found discarded on the street and fixed up with varying degrees of success, and the occasional element of inexplicable drama (chalkboard fridge! graffiti-covered chest of drawers! insane bird wallpaper!).

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Current Obsession: Laura Ashley Home Decor

So Francesca and I were texting each other the other day about adorable things we found on the Internet - as we do - and all of a sudden we found ourselves on Etsy and eBay, going down a total vintage Laura Ashley wormhole.

You know Laura Ashley, of course. Your mom probably had Laura Ashley bedding with roses all over it in 1984 (mine did, too).

But what you might not know is that the vintage Laura Ashley look - all those florals and lace and the feminine everything - all of a sudden feels super fresh. See that dress laying across my bed up there? It's a 1970s lace Laura Ashley nightgown with big belled sleeves (found it on Etsy), and I plan to wear it alllllll over the beach this summer.


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