Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Modern Farmhouse Christmas

It's an honor to step into a home and feel the soul of the people who live there. To feel its unique-ness and in return be given the permission to be yourself...... to be beckoned in for the holiday season with feelings of simplicity, family, and comfort. This, at its heart, is home: a place where we can live honestly and humbly with each other and our surroundings.

The heart of this family can be seen in every nook and cranny of this spacious light-filled modern farmhouse. Angie, along with her husband, Jeremy, and their four boys, fill their home with their unique take on style and simplicity. They lovingly molded their home from the ground up.... every inch a result of quiet thought and intention. Together they spent long hours collaborating on durability, functionality, design, and beauty. Hardworking quality surfaces like hardwood floors allow for muddy footprints while timeworn antiques and sturdy functional modern pieces invite everyday living.

Angie speaks fondly of her home....."When my husband and  I decided to build our home, our goal was to give it the charm and character of an older house. Having four boys, we also needed it to be practical and highly functional. We wanted the airy feel of an open floor plan; and used beams, crown molding, and ceiling details to give the rooms distinction. We put large windows wherever we could fit them and wrapped them in white, wide plank trim. Hand-scraped hickory floors with six inch baseboards adorn our floors. Upstairs, we worked with our roofs angles to create an attic feel in our spacious bedrooms, which house minimal furnishings. The over-sized stair landings hold built in open shelves and trunk space; and the mudroom, which doubles as a pantry, humbly serves our daily needs. As we live our days within these walls, we find ourselves loving home more and choose to be here whenever we can.... and in that, living more authentically."

Christmas, along with everything else in this house, is easy and unpretentious..... winter berries gathered on a vacation, vintage Christmas lights strung along the ceiling, and a Christmas tree decorated with family.

 Clean minimal style leaves room for fun pops of color and quirky details..... a grand example of choosing to surround yourself with things uniquely beautiful to you without compromising simplicity or functionality. This home is honest. Full of space and journey and becoming. It is a reflection of the ones who live here.

An open airy kitchen was designed to embrace family life and celebrate the everyday. Glass cabinets reveal hardworking basic kitchen glasses and mugs within easy reach.

 Industrial stools stand ready to serve a hearty breakfast or an afternoon snack.

The family table is nestled in this charming alcove surrounded by windows where lighting abounds even on the cloudiest of days. An eclectic mix of found chairs around a chipped antique table invite family and friends to sit and stay a while.

Hand sewn pillows grace the upstairs landing along with a few treasured finds. Old style craftsmanship and unique details give this modern home a vintage heart.

Crisp cotton bedding adorns a wooden bed with clean lines while a metal bedside table provides a resting place for a good book on snowy winter evenings.

A built in entryway mudroom offers easy storage for winter hats and mittens while a vintage suitcase is charming and functional. A handmade Christmas calendar hangs along the generous pantry cupboard doors.

Blessings this Christmas,

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Thanksgiving Table and the Art of Gratitude

The Thanksgiving Table has special significance for our family this year. We have been on a journey of "less"..... deep down it is a journey of gratitude. We said goodbye to our dear old big house eight weeks ago in pursuit of our belief that less is more; less possessions and more relationship. Less clutter. More beauty.

It's been a journey filled with exhilarating unknowns. And as the dust settles what rises from deep within me is the belief that home is with the people I love. Wherever that may be. And gratitude has emerged.

It's making the most of what you have. Seeing...... really seeing the worth of what you do possess. Right now we are living in a gloriously small train depot built in the late 1800's being rented to us by sweet friends who saw our need. It's not exactly beautiful by my standards yet (I am starting on the bedroom walls.....I found shiplap under the plywood walls....wow!), but it keeps my family warm and sheltered.

Step outside this little house's door and you will be captivated by the landscape around you on this 170 acre farmland. So this Thanksgiving we are celebrating the land around us to create our Thanksgiving table. 

Our most basic possessions are all we are living with at the moment..... a vintage space saving folding table, sturdy proven chairs, basic plates and glassware. Simple pears picked up at the local market are the bright easy pop of color I needed. The only other addition is seeded eucalyptus I bought here in Three Forks at my favorite local florist "Wildflower Designs." And the landscape around us sings. It is good.

The invitation to the Thanksgiving Table is about kinship, good food that nourishes us, beauty to feast on, but mostly it is about a spirit of gratitude. This spirit can be cultivated long before family and friends sit down to your table. To create an atmosphere of gratitude you must first begin in your own heart.

1. Slow down and choose space.
Take control of the clutter in our homes but also in our time and schedule. Say no to the idea that busy-ness equals worth and value. 

2. Give yourself permission to fully enjoy the things you enjoy.
Make a list of these things daily....small and big. Take time to notice the things that delight you. These things are part of what makes you who you are..... each unique to your original design. 

3. Resign from trying to keep up with the people around you.
Live well AND within your means. Decide to live with only the things YOU love.....not the things the world around you values. This makes your home a unique reflection of you. Save for the things you love that bring quality and dignity to your life.

4. Choose to see what you do have and make the very best of it.
It may surprise you.....(the shiplap I just found under my walls and ceilings). This doesn't, however, mean living with things you find ugly or useless. Get rid of the things that are excess baggage but give yourself grace in the journey of restoring beauty to your surroundings. It doesn't happen over night.

5. Gratitude means using your best everyday.
You allow yourself the chance to be thankful for things when you use it, touch it, and let it become a part of your life. It becomes valuable to you as you use it each day. 

Blessings to you and your family as you sit around your Thanksgiving table this year. 


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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Airy, Vintage-Minimal Home in Long Island

Today we take you to a tudor style home in Long Island for some major vintage inspiration! Get your "Pin" finger ready! 

This gorgeous home was build in 1926. Home-owners Tim and Debbie renovated the house almost entirely by themselves. They laid oak flooring throughout the house since none of the original wood floor was salvageable. 

As Debbie decorates her small home she is constantly trying to keep things simple and clean since she does not have a lot of space to work with. Her inspiration comes from her mother, who decorated impeccably with antiques, as well as blogs such as Dreamy Whites and French Larkspur and designers Atlanta Bartlett, Hans Blomquist, Rachel Ashwell, and the Jersey Ice Cream Co. (Spot on...those are our favorites as well!)

Some of Debbie's favorite pieces include her dining and kitchen table, both of which she found at Anthropologie, the dental cabinet in her living room and her headboard that belonged to her grandmother. 

The Tolix chairs are not vintage, however Debbie will sometimes incorporate new pieces if they blend well with the old. 

Debbie painted with Benjamin Moore "White" throughout the entire home. Love the simplicity of it!

The kitchen was Debbie's favorite renovation since it was such a drastic transformation from it's former 1980's look. They installed Shaker cabinets, honed black granite countertops, and reclaimed barn wood flooring. 

Debbie finds her beautiful pieces from Anthropologie, to antique stores and markets, to eBay and Etsy. One of her favorite places to shop is called White Flower Farmhouse, one of the many adorable little shops on the east end of Long Island. 

She also looks forward to her twice-a-year visit to Brimfeild, the largest flea market in Massachusetts. 

Debbie has such a love and passion for decorating. She is constantly adding and changing things in her home...giving it a fresh look. 

Debbie does such an amazing job decorating her home and has become one of our own top inspirations! 

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