It was a hole in the wall...

Some of the most frustrating obstacles in a room--and in life as well--can bring out our best creativity, grit, and outside-the-box thinking. 

HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?

This basement powder room is in a house that I am prepping to go on the market for one of my lovely clients...

We are working from room to room, fine-tuning things over the next year so that her house can be put up for sale in a beautiful, pulled-together state that will make buyers get their checkbooks out and start a bidding war. :) 

However, this little room wasn't going to wow anyone in its original state.

The HUGE access panel over the toilet was so distracting -- an admittedly unattractive plywood focal point in the room--but it was necessary and wasn't going anywhere. 

Since our goal is to spend as little money as we can in each space while still making it gorgeous, extra construction costs to change this eyesore were not in the cards. 

So, what to do ? 

With a new color palette to bring depth to the room and a bold plan for the space, this petite bathroom now makes a statement...and it isn't just stating where the plumbing access is anymore. 

Because I couldn't do anything about the hole in the wall, I decided to cover the walls with a gallery of neat-o finds, including a large piece hanging over the toilet, disguising the cutout. We removed the trim around the access panel so that the perfect vintage mirror I found ($10 at a yard sale--woo hoo!!) could then be hung flush over it. 

Bathroom After 4.jpg

The rest of the gallery is made up of fun, eclectic pieces that make the little room so interesting and cozy to be in--great qualities for a room frequented by guests. 

I love a challenge, and this one was so much fun to tackle!

It is almost DONE!

Back in January, I shared this picture with you as things got underway with the addition I had designed for some of my long-time wonderful clients:

It has been nearly two years in the making, with lots of meetings, plans, drawings and sketches...

Here is one of the first concepts I came up with early on in the process.. :)

I am so excited to say that we are now in the homestretch! The addition to this cool mid century home is almost done!

Here is what the addition looks like today:

Over the summer, after all the painting and landscaping is completed, I will have better photos and more details to share, but I just couldn't wait that long to show you at least a little bit of this project I am so proud of. 

I will keep you posted as the final details are put in place!!

I think I should give you some space...

I can pretty much time it.

After we have moved things around in your house and the new space is taking shape beautifully, there will come a moment where you will, with a worried look on your face, point to an empty spot in the room that used to have a piece of furniture in it and ask me:

"But what is going to go there now??"

(You see, we all can feel a little uncomfortable with openness...a lack of STUFF in a place where there used to be something. Even when the goal for the new room was to have it feel, you know, more open.)

My response: 

"Oh! Well, I thought we could just leave that OPEN...you know, without anything...."

Your response:

Puzzled look. 

"Really?"

It can be difficult to imagine that a space which has always had something in it can have nothing. It can seem wrong.

However, open space in your house doesn't need to be filled, but rather savored. I like to say that the empty corner is really full--full of possibility (I know, I know. I can be pretty cheesy).

Open spaces help rooms to feel larger, give you more elbow room in which to move around, and give you some breathing space. It also gives visual space around the items in the room so they can really be appreciated. Too many things to look at is just too much to take in, too much to really be seen and enjoyed. 

SO, try to find some space in your house--space to just leave open-- and see how it changes the feel of your rooms and the way you live in them for the better.   

I know you want to roll your eyes at me...but read on anyway

Sometimes, no matter what we add--whether it be more furniture, different accessories, or a new paint color--the rooms in our houses can still feel empty and uncomfortable.

Something is missing--but what the heck is it?

Figuring this out can seem daunting--and it is certainly frustrating to feel that you have tried everything, perhaps over many, many years of living in a house, and STILL it doesn't feel like home.

So, the best way for me to explain your problem is to say that there is a lack of intimacy in your home.

OKAY, OKAY....before you roll your eyes and stop reading, LET ME EXPLAIN...

When I talk about intimacy as it relates to your house, I am not talking about a Dr. Ruth kinda thing. I am talking about a quality that exists when a house is set up in such a way that it truly supports and even enhances how we live. When it is present, intimacy gives us that feeling of being "at home"--

and we sense it at a soul-deep level.

Hopefully I haven't lost you out of frustration or doubt. If you are still with me, let's go over some concrete ideas that each of us can implement to capture this essential element of intimacy and make ourselves a home:

  • Your Furniture--no matter the size of the room they are in, sofas and chairs in a living space should be close together and oriented toward one another. Yes, I know the TV is all important, but if we want our homes to FEEL GOOD, our rooms have to be set up so that we can easily sit down and have a CONVERSATION. Intimacy can't exist without relationships.
  • Your Rooms-- please ignore what your rooms were named when you bought the house.  For example, if your "dining room" is only used once a year for a formal dinner, and the rest of the time it sits empty (except for papers and other clutter) then be honest with your house and yourself about your needs. Maybe a "home office" or a "craft room" would be a better use of all that square footage. Change the name and tell the truth. Honesty creates intimacy.
  • Your Emotions--what brings you joy? What do you find beautiful? To feel tied to our houses, they need to connect with us on an emotional level. Again, honesty is important as we look through our possessions and evaluate whether or not they make us feel good and whether we feel they are are an accurate representation of how we want to live and what we find meaningful and lovely. Getting emotional connects our hearts to where we live--and intimacy is created.
  • Your "Personal Grooming"--if you were preparing to go out to dinner with a spouse with whom you had nothing but years of frustration & disappointment, you probably wouldn't care to get dressed up or look your best. Why bother, right? I am betting the same is true in how you have cared for your house amidst all this lack of intimacy. Consider doing a deep cleaning--or, better yet, hire someone else to do it! A spa day for your house creates a fresh start and can help you feel it is indeed worth forging an intimate connection once again.