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Monday, January 18, 2016

Lessons Our New House is Teaching Us


Three months ago we got the keys to our new home, we moved in at the end of November.  

Time is flying by and going through the Holidays here was so fun. With the new year here, it is time to get back to work!

I have committed to go through one box a day. I still have boxes of STUFF! Nothing that we truly need just a lot of little pretties, and accessories.

Space is limited so I have to be reasonable about what I keep, which is hard for me. 

I have a lot of really pretty accessories and some are antiques or vintage. I am trying very hard to get into the mind set of, " it's just STUFF!" 

We all know that STUFF clutters our lives and minds so why do we hold onto so much. I know, how much, is relative to each individual, however with limited space the house is telling me how much STUFF I can, or should keep.

The house is telling me lots of things, as I knew it would as time went by. 

One of the messages I am beginning to hear loud and clear is this house does not require a lot of accessories. 

It does require larger pieces that make a statement, but this is a less is more house for sure.

I love the wide open space, tall ceilings and all the great light that comes in through the windows. 

We have lots and lots of windows and not a lot of wall space so what ever I put on a wall needs to make a statement.

When we first moved in we literally had things pretty well set up within the first three days. The move went seamlessly, then there was the Holidays so now is the first time I feel like I have had time to really play house, and I have been taking time to listen to what our new home is telling me.

Of course I have some big plans for the future, but for right now I am just trying to make it feel like OUR home. I realize we will do things in stages so I am moving slowly and cautiously.


I have moved a few things around, only to put them right back where they were originally. It is all trial and error. I have what I call the, "First thing in the morning test."

If you love something first thing in the morning when your mind is clear then you will love it long term, but if it feels a bit off, or you are compelled to tweak it, chances are it is not right.

This week we made a few changes. Our dining room shutters were installed!




I took down the pagoda wreath even though it really does work for winter time. I found a mirror I had forgotten all about so we tried it there and it worked.

We use to have this mirror in our guest room years ago.

 I like the shine and sparkle it adds to this area.

Changes Are In The Air
The initial plans I have for this area involve paint. I have had this Queen Anne low boy for over 30 years. It is cherry wood and a classic shape. I have a bend towards traditional, however I like to freshen it up a bit.

There are plans in the works to paint this piece. Actually I have had plans to paint it even before we moved here.

Once we placed it in the dining room and it seemed to work nicely I knew it HAD to be painted. With the wood floors, chairs and the low boy it is just waaaaay to much wood for my liking.

Here are a few examples of what I have in mind for this low boy....

 This is a piece in Tobi Fairley's entry hall. Her piece is also a classic piece and she updated it by painting it black and white. Now it looks fresh and fun.

Another classic piece, this time painted a fun cobalt blue. This color would also work in our space.

This piece shows all black with just a white outline around the drawers.

These are the three options I have in mind.

With every change you need to consider other things other than just the one piece.

How will this piece relate to other pieces in the room?

With this thought in place I need to think further down the road.

For instance I also want my Windsor chairs painted black.....

This is one my all time favorite rooms and the inspiration for painting my Windsor chairs black with a wood table.

Speaking of tables I will also be using a full length tablecloth on my dining table. It is a look I love, and have become accustomed too.

This is where I could add color and/or pattern.

Here are a few table coverings that have caught my eye.

 This first one is just fun!! It is also one of my favorite patterns. It would marry well to the rug in the adjacent family room.....

 My reluctance with the striped cloth, is it too much of a good thing?

 I could also add a bit more blue since there will be so much black and white, and I do like the horizontal direction of this blue striped fabric.

I go back and forth in my mind so I know I have not found the perfect combination yet, but I am getting close.

With a new home I am finding I am feeling as if anything I do here is FINAL since it is my retirement home. I have to get away from thinking this way, it is putting way too much pressure on me to make the perfect decision.

No matter how many homes we have or how many years  you have been designing or decorating you will always be on the learning curve. One of the many, many things I love about design.

Stay tuned, I will keep you posted on my decision, and how I finally came to make the decision.




Elizabeth "Libby" Day said...

KathySue, it looks like you are making progress and I'm so glad you are enjoying your new home. I found, like you that it takes time to sense what the house is telling you it wants. I started a new Monday blog series today on homes that reflect their owners personality, entitled "Love Your Home." The color theme of the first feature today is not anything you would ever want to use, but I think you will enjoy some of her decorating ideas. http://beautywithoutwithin.blogspot.com

La Vie Quotidienne said...

I love the mirror placement...I just put a large mirror in my dining room (it has a rather interesting story). Mirrors are wonderful and can be use in unexpected places to add dimension and light. When I put in mirrored back splashes in my kitchen I was a little concerned they would be too flashy but it turned out perfectly.

Debbie said...

I love your new shutters. It's amazing the difference it makes to a room. I am like you. I move things around until it feels right. :) Good luck!

Lea @ CiCis Corner said...

I've been tweeking a few things here and there in our new home but have been pretty satisfied with the way it all has been since the beginning. I would love to have that piece of furniture unpainted but know it will be lovely painted in your dining area. I can't wait to see it!

Mary said...

Your new shutters are very pretty. Great decision to go with those.
I've been listening to my house for the last 16 years. She keeps telling me to buy things we can't afford. And I keep telling her "Stop it! I'm trying to live within my means." No, wait...maybe that's my husband yelling that.

Unknown said...

such a great post! i love the black credenza with white. and the black and white striped tablecloth is divine and would look perfect in your dining area. can't wait to see what you decide on. january is such a great month to get your house in order.
xxoo beth

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

You always have great ideas well thought out. I've never been one to paint furniture but I do like that example with the black and white by Toby Fairley. I wish I had the guts to do that with my chest out in the living room. I'm going to save that picture for the future!

designchic said...

It all looks so beautiful, Kathysue. The living room is calm,warm and inviting and love the new shutters...makes it feel fresh and clutter free...needing to work on that at my house!

John said...

Seeing your beginning writings regarding "stuff" reminds me off how much I like eBay and Craigslist! Very easy in the shop to get attached to things and want to keep them but my mindset is that I haven't used it in a years time I probably don't need it so time to sell it and buy some more "stuff"!!

Unknown said...

Wondering where you found that full length black and white striped table cloth...it is perfect for my daughter's wedding but could not find a link. Thanks

VirginiaGeorgia said...

Always enjoy your posts. I am confused tho - am I seeing the fence between you and your neighbor in several of the pix? Do you not have any side or back yards? Is this an Over 55 community, a la Del Webb or such? What is the total square footage of the house if you will share? Asking these cuz I am looking at moving and am gathering ideas. Many Thanks!

Kathysue said...

I just love getting comments from my readers, Thank you. To those of you who ask questions I would love to answer them. If you go to the top of the page on my blog you can email me and then I can respond to your specific question. For todays questions. ...
The table cloths are Ballard designs 108 in party table cloth.
We live in Trilogy over 55 community built by Shea homes. We have a backyard and fence surrounding our property with a 5 ft side yard space on both sides of our home which is a required amount of space here, but they do have lots that are wider.

michele said...

loving the shutters, and if you are getting through a box a day, you are doing much much better than me. i have a hard time confronting 'stuff' and can distract myself with everything under the sun in order to avoid it. that's why i am such a lover of spare-lovely--objects have energy, and can sometimes drain me. peace to you as you listen to the whispers of the cottage.

cotedetexas said...

love your new house!!! so lucky!!!

Julie Taylor and Danni Greenwalt said...

Hi Kathysue, I like your furniture better in this house...everything looks amazing!

debra @ 5th and state said...

wishing you much luck kathysue!
a paint i sell and use extensively for painting furniture is the amy howard line. it is easy with zero prep, ace hardware is now selling the line.
let's add landscaping to those future plans