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Pumpkins One, Two, and Three (and Me)

when I started the blog...

and a few years in...

and now...

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Entries in Home Decor (1)


Moving right along. (Sort of.)

I have officially found my tipping point. I've actually always wondered what that might know, that point in your life where the plate of stuff you're balancing just gets out of whack on one spot. It gets a little too heavy, and so the plate tips. And that pesky thing you thought you could handle slides off, and takes everything else crashing down with it. (Okay, maybe that's not the origin of the phrase "tipping point" but it's how I think of it.)

So for the record, my tipping point came when trying to handle these tasks: prepping House 1 to move out of, prepping House 2 to move into, securing a renter for House 1, only to lose the renter unexpectedly (due to a health issue so we worked with her to release her from the lease!), snow storms causing no full weeks of schools for, I don't know, EVER?, new sports seasons (team momming, because of course), PTO President work, dyeing for a springtime yarn show, dyeing for a HUGE wholesale order, traveling husband, and just in general keeping the boys fed and clothed and modestly happy...oh. And a basement flood in House 1, requiring extensive remedial work, then finding new renters.

But here's the thing about one's tipping point. I think you can actually just stay down there, settling in with all the broken bits--because heck, you're broken, too--and throw one killer pity party (which I'm not going to lie--I totally did for more than a hot second). Or you can look around, pick up what can be salvaged, and just get back to the work of getting it done.

Spoiler Alert: It's taken me some time but I've chosen option 2. And although I might at some point revisit the last couple of months to document some things, for now, I am moving right along.

One of the things we are trying to do in this new house is to stop waiting. Stop waiting for the house to be "company ready" before hosting parties. Stop waiting for the boxes to be cleared out before getting started on some projects. The energy we get from a little DIY hit motivates us and reminds us why we signed up for the absolute headache of moving houses after 14 years in one spot. This house has so much potential, and sprucing it up during the unpacking, instead of waiting for us to unpack, sort, and purge through it all, needs to happen, lest we choose tipping point Option 1 mentioned above.

Here's how I envision our "stop waiting" mantra in action. I will tackle each space as having several levels of design needs/actions. So in general I've identified these levels as follows: 1) get settled and use the space, learning pros/cons; 2) make modest/frugal/flexible stylistic changes to make it functional and more aesthetically pleasing "for now"; 3) make longer term renovations and investments in changing out decor/furnishings/finishes (looking at you, kitchen backsplash with dragonflies everywhere). Hopefully, I'll capture it all on here. Because again...the potential of this house is absolutely amazing and thrilling to us.

First up? Our dining room. We had dear friends back in town recently and we wanted to host a group of close-knit neighbors for a sit down dinner. The dining party totaled 13 adults and one of the reasons we bought this house was because of the dining room size...I wanted to be sure to that our first diner party was indeed in the dining room!

We lived in the house and used the space for a few months to confirm that we wanted to keep the dining room where it currently resides--off the kitchen. There was some initial thought that we'd swap it with the living room. But we dreamed that having a large dining room in the middle of the house might actually foster more gathering. A real family table hub used every day, not just a handful of times on special occasions. And I'm happy to report that after living here a few months, the dining room has absolutely become the heart of the house.

The changes we've made so far include swapping out the chandelier and adding a new area rug (our prior dining room rug is too small because our table now lives fully extended given the size of the room). I still need to settle on paint color. And I'm not 100% sure on the shelving styling. Never did I think I could have too much display space, given my collection of dishes and serviceware. But all of these open shelves took me a bit of time to figure out. And it's still ongoing.

I am trying to keep the table set for family dinners. It helps remind us that we are gathering together in the evening. And I find it also helps keep the clutter from accumulating on such a temptingly large, flat surface! Also, can we just admire the chandelier of my dreams for a minute? It took some time to hang but I could not possibly love it more. We wil swap in matching sconces when the budget allows (this chandy was scored during Wayfair Day. I was so excited to see it on sale!)

One of the colors I am repeating throughout the house is navy blue. It's a longtime favorite. Current navy chairs are just temporary ones I grabbed a few years ago when hosting a big dinner. I can't recall where I found them but they will need to be replaced asap as they hardly have any cushion left in them. I could not find a runner long enough for the table so I overlapped two. 

While unpacking, I came across several bottles of shells collected during our various family beach trips. Some were labeled, and some were not. Instead of keeping them separated (and shoved, unseen, onto shelves) I poured them out to serve as part of our everyday tablescape. The boys swear they remember finding certain shells :)!

For now, the built ins flanking the fire place are housing an assortment of serviceware. I also added in my cookbook collection. Still working on the styling but am very happy to at least have our things out of boxes. 

The mantle is currently styled with a mirror I painted, old books and a wedding photo. Most of the finishes and frames from our last house are silver tones or black. To try my hand at mixing metals, I added in some of my Thai pottery I've collected for years. I believe every room needs a touch of greenery so the sprig is a cutting I am trying to root.

All in all, I am thrilled with the space. What remains: selecting wall color; finding new dining chairs; replacing wall sconces; adding some art; jumping on the faux fiddle leaf bandwagon. This room is windowless so it's the only option. And I've seen some faux versions that are incredible so although I never thought I'd go faux, I'm extremely tempted.

Next up, the powder room gets fully gutted!