...because home doesn't happen overnight.
Some of you asked about the quote I have displayed in my workspace. The short answer: I just typed it up in polyvore and printed it out. The long answer: keep reading.
I didn’t make any resolutions for 2014. Instead, I coined myself a new motto for the year.
Scary is the new fun.
I don’t mean scary as in Freddy Krueger scary or fighting cancer scary or losing a loved one scary or playing with birds scary. (I have an irrational but very real fear of birds. Acknowledgement is the first step.) Nothing dangerous or life-threatening. I’m talking about scary as in out-of-your-comfort-zone scary.
Far too often I choose not to do something simply because I haven’t done it before. Because I’m afraid I’ll be really bad at it. Because I’m afraid others won’t like it. (Or worse, won’t like me.) Because I’m afraid I won’t like it. Because it kinda sounds like a lot of work. Because doing what I’m familiar with and used to is easier.
But lately I feel like that fear is holding me back from potentially experiencing something I will like. Or possibly even love. So what if it takes me doing 100 things to find one thing that is rewarding and fulfilling? So what. I can put 100 things on my “dislike” list then. NBD.
I don’t know what it is about turning 35 but ever since I did (in November) I wanna stop being a wimp. I feel like I’m finally comfortable with all things me (my style, my body, my passions, my parenting, my sense of humor, my beliefs, etc.) and I owe it to myself to get out there and just be me. Fear aside. Can any 35+ peeps relate?
So what exactly is scary to me? (Besides birds.)
Going to Alt for the first time was scary. But I survived and made new friends. Posting more pictures of myself on this here blog is scary. But I’m doing it. Because, personally, I like seeing the faces behind blogs. Monetizing a blog is scary. I need to make money but I want to stay true to myself and my readers and I don’t want to come across as a sell-out. Coding is scary. I do a lot of copying and pasting and pretending. Showing all the parts of my house that still need TLC is scary. We have lived here for a while now. Shouldn’t we be about done? Responding or not responding to negative comments is scary. Ahhh, what to do?! Sharing non-home-related posts about, oh I don’t know, MY FEARS, my hair, my clothes, my experiences as a mom, my beauty routine is scary. None of that really falls under tweaking a house but maybe someone would find it inspiring? Asking homeowners in real life if I can feature their home for a tour on H*T is scary. What if they think I’m a crazy lady and flat out say no?
And then there are the fears outside of blogging. Meeting new people is scary. I write good, talk bad. Traveling to a new place is scary. But I always end up seeing or learning something new. Being a parent is scary. But my kids seem to be okay. Wearing a bikini is scary. But I refuse to wear a mom suit. Finding the beginnings of a Stacy London gray streak in my hair is scary. But I really don’t want to start dyeing my hair. Realizing I haven’t showered for 3+ days is scary. But it has happened. Not using my college degree is scary. Selling a house is scary. Buying a house is scary. Renovating said house is even scarier. Admitting my shortcomings is scary. Thinking about the future is scary. Trying out new ideas is scary. Standing up for myself is scary. Standing up for others is scary. I won’t even mention public speaking. Grocery shopping with three kids is terrifying. Just ask the guy behind me at checkout who overheard my five-year-old loudly whisper, “Look, Mom! That guy is buying junk! He is making bad choices!”
I think you get it. We all do. We all have something we aren’t doing because we’re afraid it might not work out the way we want it to. We’re afraid of failure, humility, judgment. For one person, it might be exercising or making a lifestyle change. For another, it might be painting a room. For yet another, it might be learning a new trade. It could be anything.
But what if we look at those things in a different way? What if we think of them as fun? I mean, we are getting to experience something new. Isn’t that what life is all about? Experiences? What if we don’t worry about the outcome and instead focus on the fact that we are doing something we’ve never done before? We are living.
SCARY is the new FUN.
Try it. You might like it.
image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking
The horse blanket isn’t the only new thing at the foot of our bed. But before we get to it, let’s back up for a minute.
Our bedroom is rectangular in shape. We placed the bed on one of the smaller walls, opposite the bathroom, which is really the only feasible location for a bed in this room. I haven’t mentioned it before but the area between the foot of our bed and bathroom is a decent size. And it has always felt a little empty. I’m all for open space in a room but it felt like something should be there – either a bench or a pair of ottomans. Something. I hadn’t taken it any further than that though. I mean, a bench wasn’t completely necessary and we were getting along fine without one.
Then one of my friendly sponsors, Rove Concepts, sent me an email asking if I might be interested in a piece of their furniture. I politely decline the majority of these types of requests because they don’t jive with my purpose and / or aesthetic. And I turned this one down as well. But six months later I received another email from them so I quickly glanced at their inventory to see if anything caught my eye. When I came across the Barcelona bench inspired by Mies van der Rohe, I was smitten. It was the ideal scale and style. I ordered the 52″ length in natural ash with a palermo caramel cushion. It had a twelve week lead time but finally arrived two weeks ago and it’s practically perfect in every way.
As I was assembling it, Steve and I had a moment. We didn’t feel worthy of this bench. It’s a true work of art. The craftsmanship and attention to detail are impeccable. The bench is one of those forever pieces that’s crazy versatile. It’s sturdy and has a presence to it without feeling heavy…if that makes any sense. I like that it sits up off the floor with open space between the seat and floor. That gives it a lighter feel than, say, a slipcovered bench with a skirt.
The leather is beautiful. It’s the perfect shade of caramel with flawless tufting and piping. It’s so soft, smooth and supple. Like butt’ah. It will only get better with age and wear. I love the natural patina that worn leather takes on over time. The warm hue of the cushion picks up on the wood tones of the nearby dresser, chair legs and bathroom mirror.
Our bedroom can be a flurry of activity with three kids who like to romp on the bed and only one functioning bathroom which also happens to be the adjoining master bath.
Fun fact #1: I make the bed every morning but it rarely stays that way.
Fun fact #2: Sometimes there is a line for the potty in our bedroom.
Our bedroom definitely isn’t a kid-free zone. Often times, all five of us can be found hanging out in here. The bench sorta acts like a buffer for our bed and provides extra seating, too. It’s a welcome addition. (Mabrey loves climbing onto the bed via the bench.)
I haven’t cheated on my mattress and taken the bench for a sleeping spin (yet!) but the thought has crossed my mind. And that awkward space between our bed and bathroom? It’s not awkward anymore. The bench shrunk the barren area but we still have plenty of room to move around without feeling cramped.
While I’m happily working for and claiming the Barcelona bench, I understand that it may overreach some budgets. If you can afford it, I would highly recommend it. However, if you’re in the market for a similar bench with a smaller price tag, may I suggest this, this or this?
I’m curious. Do you have anything at the foot of your bed? A bench, a pair of ottomans, a trunk? Maybe you prefer nothing?
Stay tuned for a Rove Concepts giveaway later today! I told you those peeps were friendly.
This post was sponsored in part by Rove Concepts. All images and opinions are my own.
images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking
A few weekends ago, on a whim, I hit up two antique malls (Heart of Ohio Antique Center and Springfield Antique Center, both off I-70) that I’ve heard a lot about but haven’t had a chance to check out in person until cabin fever spawned a “mama only” outing. It was a quick trip and I wasn’t able to mosey as much as I would have liked but I did manage to snap shots of the many items that caught my eye.
Do you have any interest in virtually shopping with me? Good. Here come all the things I would have made you stop and look at with me.
First up were these danish candlestick holders. I almost bought the set of five on the left ($75) but I let willpower get the best of me. The pair of candelabras on the right were cute ($48) but teeny. I had no idea where I would find such skinny candles to fit in them.
There were so many unique tables to be found. They had me wishing I lived in an empty farmhouse in need of furnishings. The top table was extra long with drawers. It would be family-friendly for meals, homework, board games and crafts. I don’t recall how much the table was but I do remember that I added up the cost of the surrounding chairs (also cute!) and the total for the table + six chairs came in right under $1,000. The bottom left table ($900) was so beautiful. Walnut maybe? The x-base was killing me. The industrial coffee table ($350) with a red metal base and stone top was fun.
I’m a sucker for stools and ottomans these days. They are the perfect piece of accent furniture for nearly any room. The top left stool ($35) was petite but surprisingly heavy and sturdy. The bottom left ($125) was in excellent condition and I loved the woven top. I was *this close* to buying the bentwood ottoman ($16) on the bottom right. The frame was in good condition and the top needed reupholstered. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t think up a spot for it in my house so it stayed.
Also, I’m a sucker for brass. The number five brass stencil ($8) would have been a fun accessory for a wall or a shelf in our party of five house. I fell hard for the mid century spider coffee table ($125) with a brass top. If only I needed a coffee table! It was the bomb. Probably my favorite find of the entire trip. I noticed several of these brass trays ($40-$100). They had the most amazing patina. I love the idea of hanging one or a collection on the wall.
The navy and coral color scheme of the vintage rug ($125) on the left reminded me of Mabrey’s room. It was gorgeous. If I wasn’t still toting around toddler paraphernalia, I would have snatched up the clutch ($45) with wooden handles. The colors and pattern of the woven material were right up my alley. It was such a great bag but completely impractical for me.
Finding all of this mid century lighting sorta made me wish we were back in the electrical upgrade part of our renovation. Sorta. These lights are great statement pieces! I could see the pendants ($100 each) top left hung at staggered heights in a corner of a room for a cozy reading spot, hung symmetrically over a floating bathroom vanity in a nook or flanking a bed. The bottom left sconce ($90) would be amazing in a powder room. The globe chandelier was HUGE. I imagined it hanging from a vaulted entry in a modern house. I couldn’t find a price tag. The wood and acrylic chandeliers ($125 each) would make great focal points above a long, simple dining table in an open living space. I couldn’t get enough of the mid century lighting.
I fell in love with some random goodness, too. The ¾ lb. wood dumbbells ($9) were quirky. They’d make for some kid-friendly decor, wouldn’t they? Mabrey loves to carry around my free weights; she would love these. Lately, I’ve been thinking we need more small bowls for the kids’ snacks. I’m really into indigo at the moment so I was drawn to these blue and white patterned dishes. But at $6 a bowl, I couldn’t justify them for the kids…who would likely break them anyway. The set of red and white enamel cookware ($42 for the set) was reminiscent of camping gear. If there’s anything I’m wishing I would have bought and didn’t, this trio of enamel pots is it. Another number five ($40).
And that about wraps things up. I was hurrying to get home in time for dinner and mommy guilt was setting in. Anything tickle your fancy? My take on the two antique malls? The Heart of Ohio Antique Center was much larger and had more desirable pieces but at generally higher prices. The Springfield Antique Center was smaller with more salvaged architectural items and generally less expensive. I didn’t go home empty-handed. I’ll be sharing the things that made it home with me in another post. Stay tuned…
Do you have a favorite place to hit up for antiques or vintage pieces? I’m thinking 2014 is the year I brave the Country Living Fair in Columbus, OH. Have you been?
images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking
The things that made me smile this week…
*An architect’s $11,000 dream house. (The most expensive thing is the toilet!)
*Fiddle leaf fig humor. #thespot
*Instagram of the week.
*My remote should arrive any day now. No more one-armed selfies! Pictures of the whole famn damily!
*A cosmetic kitchen overhaul from the designer’s viewpoint.
*Blinded by the light.
*Lots of snow = lots of reading.
*My favorite ankle boots for the 35+ crowd.
Do something that makes you smile this weekend! I’m taking five boys (!) to see The Lego Movie. Smiles all around.
image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking