Archive for September, 2010

About a week and a half ago my thirty-something brother-in-law finally married a most beautiful bride in a picturesque chapel in the country.  It was a wonderful celebration of two lives coming together.   Our family honestly never dreamed my brother-in-law would ever marry on a count of a doctor’s diagnosis over 6 years ago giving him only 5 years to live.    As you can see, with lots of prayer,  he not only beat the doctor’s diagnosis, he also overcame a non-curable disease.  This wedding was truly a special occasion.

With any beautiful union of two thirty-somethings, there is the need for the union of two households and I was honored to officiate the blending of the two!

You might recall me telling you about my brother-in-law’s house in which I staged to sell last October (remember…the one built right behind a pork processing plant).   Well, it was a tough sell, but he did manage to sell it right in time for the wedding.  🙂

Now that his things were moved into her home, the new couple was a little overwhelmed by all the stuff.  Their solution…ask me to “fix it” while they were gone to Tahiti! 🙂 Great plan in my opinion and I was excited for the challenge.

Because of having a new baby and kids to home school, I wasn’t able to stay in town long enough to address all the rooms on this trip but I was able to create a relaxing retreat in their bedroom and and inviting living room while they were away.

You know it really is fun to work in a home while someone is gone:  shop for them (with their money), creatively arrange their beautiful things and hope they are happy when they come home. 🙂

Here is how their living room looked when I arrived…

The first action…clear the room. There were so many wedding gifts and artificial greens it was difficult to see the space I in which I was to work.  Actually, my first action was meeting with the new bride the day before to ask her about her desires for the space. This really was the most important step because I could work all day in their home but if it wasn’t a good representation of the two individuals coming together, then I would have failed no matter how ‘beautiful’ the room might be.

Some of her desires included: reducing the amount of greenery, using the prints she already had hanging in the space, and see if I could figure out a way to add another chair to the seating arrangement.  Other than those items, she was leaving all the rest of the decisions up to me. 🙂

I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to work with her stuff along with my brother-in-law’s things. I have arranged his things about 4 other times in various houses he has bought and sold through the years.  It was nice to get my hands on some ‘new stuff’!

By shifting the sofa to be parallel to the tv and moving the leather chair and ottoman to the left of the fireplace, I was able to create a larger entrance into the seating area as well as make room for an additional chair.  I also went shopping and purchased a floor lamp to add ambient lighting to the space.

Here is another viewpoint of the room…before

And after…

The end result was a beautifully decorated, simplified space reflecting his, her’s and our’s…

and the beginning of their ‘happily-ever-after’ story.

PS:  A big thank you to my sweet husband who helped with all the heavy moving and handyman tasks necessary during this project.  I usually do all the work on my own but I was simply too exhausted this time.  This baby created lack-of-sleep is slowing me down a little these days. 🙂

P.S.S.  And their reaction to the marriage of their two homes…they said ‘We Do’ (love it)!


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Hi all!  I’m glad to be getting back to a fairly ‘normal’ way of life…that is a new normal. 🙂  Fortunately, I am learning to function on a different level of sleep and still get most things accomplished that I used to before the baby came along.

It amazes me how life often inspires my weekly Transforming Tidbits and this week was no different!

A couple days ago, a friend did me a HUGE favor by helping me with a gift that I will be needing to give at the end of the week and then blessed me even more by delivering it to my home!  She had never come to my home before and she said the sweetest thing which caused me to think about sharing with you, my Tuesday Tidbit friends.  She said…”Isn’t your home decorated so nice.  It looks just like you!”

I have been chewing on the last statement for days. As I thought about it, she was right.  My house does look like me!  And realizing this fact has made my day.   I have achieved a great thing!  It isn’t that I have spent a lot of money or created the ‘designer look’ in my home, rather my home reflects me.

If you came to my home today, I do think you would learn a great deal about me by just looking around. For example, you would probably figure out my favorite colors by looking in my office or kitchen.  Just take a look and see if you can figure it out…

Yes, my favorite colors are pink and green. They have been my favorites ever since I was a little girl.  Now the shades have varied some during the years, but they remain my overall favorites.

How about my favorite season? You can probably figure that one out by looking at my living room, especially my sofa.  See what you think?

If you guessed FALL, you would be correct!

And if you looked at the dresser in my entry hall,

you would discover that I’m not a fancy person. In fact, my husband often stops me and encourages me to get out the iron to press whatever it is that I already have on for the day.  I absolutely don’t like to iron, not because I dislike ironing, rather I find that what I iron looks worse after I have ‘pressed’ it than before.  🙂

If you look very closely throughout my home, you will find little items which represent so many stories of my life. In fact, if you stay long enough, I am probably going to tell you a few! 🙂

Actually this thought brings me to a new idea that I desire to launch in the next few weeks.  I believe that everyone has an AMAZING life story. The difference between a famous person and a regular guy on the street is simply that one story has been heard and the other hasn’t.   Because of the nature of what I do, I get to hear many wonderful stories while decorating with the special treasures of people in whose homes I work.   So what is my idea you ask? It is simply this.  Over the next few weeks, I would love to highlight a personal story of several of my readers and the way we will discover what story to tell is by looking at some decor item of that person’s home. I think it could be great fun and just imagine what inspiring things we will learn about each other!

So, what does your home say about you?  I would love to hear what your walls have to say!

Happy Tuesday Friends!

PS:  If you would like to participate, shoot me an email (jennifer@atredesign.com) with a picture of a decorative item and a short story connected to the piece.  I can’t wait to see what you have to share!

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