Thursday, June 20, 2013

Appreciating the Little Things in my House

I was traveling a lot during the month of May which translates into...I read a lot of magazines...which I love to do. I will admit, though, I had read so many magazines that I was stretching to find some new ones to read. So, one day at the airport I got the HGTV magazine and a little article from the Editor in Chief immediately caught my eye. It was titled "A big shout out for the small things" and was focused on the editor's favorite little things around her house. Things like her grandmother's little green sugar bowl, the flowers on her nightstand, and tiny little candles that she can't get enough of.

I have many friends whose houses are very well decorated. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones who have silk pillows lining the seat around the whirlpool tub in the bathroom. The ones with pictures perfectly hung in every room, filling every space, but not feeling overdone. Yeah...that's not my house. I wish it had that professionally decorated look that said "This room is done" but I don't think that is ever going to happen...unless I hire a decorator.

But what I do love about my house is that it is filled with things I absolutely love. Which is why there are corners with nothing in them, walls without pictures, and piles of rocks and shells on all my tables. I really try to fill my spaces with the things that I love and sometimes it takes years to find just the right frame for that favorite picture. I'm not the kind of person that runs to Home Goods just to fill up the space. It doesn't feel authentic to me. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it at all...after all I am envious of that nicely decorated look....but I just can't make myself get there.

I have an old gateleg table that was my mother-in-law's as an end table in my living room. It's not a highly polished piece but rather a well worn table that I pull out and use in many ways, depending on the occasion. On it are books about Cape Cod, where I grew up, that I found at yard sales that have beautiful illustrations of my favorite sea creatures - sand dollars, horseshoe crabs, and sea horses. Piled on the books are some of my favorite shells, rocks, and pieces of driftwood I have found at different beaches. It's a good thing I don't live in a beach house, actually. There would be no room for anything but the beach treasures I would lug home every day.

I have an antique frame that my sister in law Sharon gave me over the living room mantle. Inside is one of my favorite pictures of the kids...walking along a beach path in Nantucket, holding hands. Their outfits aren't what I would have chosen if I were trying to get the perfect shot. That's what I love so much about it...it's just them...looking like their 4 and 5 year old selves, bouncing along the path to the beach.

I painted my dining room to complement an old green hutch I found at Brimfield years ago. It has uneven shelves and drawers that stick. But it's a beautiful green color with white chipped shelves and it holds my wedding china and little pieces that my Nana used to pull out at the holidays.

In my mudroom I have yet another Brimfield find...a $50 sea blue bench that rocks back and forth whenever anyone sits on it. I love that it has uneven feet and I love even more that it has a history. I also love that I scooped it up for $50!

I have a blue spotted tea cup that has a white goose on it that my Nana used to drink tea out of every day. When I would come home after school, she would be there sipping her tea, watching Guiding Light. I pull the mug out every time I have a cup of tea. It just makes things seem right.

In my bedroom I have my heart shaped rock collection. Years ago we went on vacation and our cat died. She was 14 and just laid down after we left for vacation and went to eternal sleep. My friend found her the next day. It was absolutely heart breaking. That day I was walking on the beach feeling very sad for myself and I came across a red heart-shaped rock just lying on the beach in front of me. I'm pretty sure it was Gracie who put it there. Every since I have been collecting them whenever I, or Tim, or the kids come across them. It's amazing how many you can find...I would say we come across one at least once a year. The latest one I found was in May when Tim and I were in Mexico...I found a heart shaped piece of white coral. I immediately brought it home and put it with the rest of my "friends".

In our kitchen, we have a table that was made out of 100 year old wood from an apartment that we lived in. Tim's parents owned the 3 family house and were redoing the attic into an apartment. The house once belonged to his father's secretary who had been with him for many, many years. I love that our table is made out of the wood that was in the house of someone so important in their lives. And it was built by a good friend of Tim's parents. It doesn't get much better than that in my book.

My office, which hardly anyone sees, has a lot of my favorite little things. Every single time I go in there it makes me smile. My desk is covered with my favorite pictures - there is the one of 4 year old Mimi at her first ballet recital and right next to it is her teeny tiny little ballet shoe. There is a picture of Jack at 5 sitting on a bench outside my brother's house in Pennsylvania...he is wearing a little bucket hat and looking down at his stuffed bunny, aptly named Bunny Bunny. I have a collection of sea glass that I have found throughout my life, another one of my favorite things. I also have an old carved box that Tim's aunt Kathy gave to me for my wedding shower. On the front is a carved picture of a bride & groom driving away after they got married. It's such a unique piece - I just love looking at it.

Ask me about most of the things I have in my house and I will tell you the story of where I got it or what it makes me think of. I might not have that perfect chair that I'm searching for in the corner of my living room yet, and I might not have those pictures that my dining room walls are waiting for, but what I do have I absolutely love and tell the story of our family.

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