What’s it like to go back home when you’re still a Nashville newlywed? As it turns out, not as painful as I thought. It helps that it was 100 degrees (not exaggerating by a single digit), that rush hour is a constant – there’s just a 45 minute window around 11:30 that traffic lightens up slightly, and that parking spaces seem to have become even smaller. So that all helped. But even with the normal difficulties, there’s no place like home. I’m sorry, but the air just smells like gardenias and jasmine to me.. EVEN IF IT’S COATED IN SMOG. Also, I’m able to buy Zonin Prosecco at Trader Joes for $6.99 on a SUNDAY so there’s that.
Sometimes I can’t believe a single person reads my ramblings on my rambling blog. But it turns out, when I got really busy, and didn’t have time to post about my humdrum southern life, people actually noticed! Again, shocking. Maybe you all don’t realize there are interesting things to read by interesting people.. but whatever, I’ll take it.
At least I’ve been busy for a good reason, right? Last month, I co-founded a home organizing company called The Home Edit. I did not expect to be this busy this quickly, kind of like I didn’t expect anyone to read anything I wrote. But I sure am grateful for both.
Here are some pics of what I’ve been working on. I mean…. What could possible say I’m Southern Now more than organizing someone’s koozie collection?
See you soon, y’all.
We spent the weekend back home in LA. I was worried coming back for the first time.. I’ve been so homesick and had just started to (kind of) find my footing in Nashville – so was I going to get on beloved land and lose it? Feel like I could never go back to Tennessee? Thankfully, I think I’m good, and don’t need to abandon my new life. But the other good news is that I don’t need to abandon my old life either. It was ALL there: Our friends, our family, our favorite Mexican restaurant, sushi, my old Target (don’t think I didn’t pay a visit).. It was a nice reminder that moving doesn’t mean LEAVING. You come back and it’s just as good. As much as things change, they still stay the same – and thank goodness for that.
It was a weekend of so many hugs.
And yesterday we spent the entire day swimming at my parent’s house, hanging out with my brother and some of our friends. It was basically the most perfect day ever.
For old times sake, Dashiell even brought his skateboard and rode around the tennis court like we were back in the 9th grade.
And to add to my perfect day: I was able to buy WINE on a SUNDAY, and at TRADER JOES. It was thrilling, really. I wanted to buy a whole case, but as my husband pointed out, the money I’d pay in shipping is probably more than just buying wine in Nashville. He’s just trying to rain on my cheap champagne parade.
It’s been a big two months with our big move. Into a big house. With a lot of big rooms and even bigger closets. So naturally I’ve spent all my time happily arranging, organizing, and styling my house until I got it just right. And if my kids could just live in a separate building, it would STAY just right. But at least the constant cleaning up qualifies for exercise.
Since so many people have been asking for pictures, I thought I would take you on a little tour room by room. The only thing I’m leaving out is the lower level since that won’t be finished until the end of the year. In my dreams, that will be where our au pair lives. In John’s dreams, it will be some kind of music room and movie theater. In Stella’s dreams, it’s where Queen Elsa turns it into a Frozen ice palace. In Sutton’s dreams, it’s where Queen Elsa turns it into a Frozen ice palace because his big sister said so.
[ ENTRY ]
When you enter the front door, the dining room is on the right, and the office is on the left.
To the right of the entry table is a powder room. It’s fairly unremarkable except that it houses the pages from a 1920’s French magazine that I found.
[ OFFICE ]
The office is one of my favorite rooms in the house. It has huge windows, pitched ceilings, and is just not a bad place to spend time at the computer. I think this room was intended to either be a formal study or formal living room, but we had this desk built into the wall so it could function as a proper office.
[ DINING ROOM ]
The dining room is also one of my favorite rooms in the house because I’m a sucker for a coffered ceiling. We kept the room in a gray scale to compliment the Jim Marshall photos hanging on the wall. My husband, being a photographer, was insistent that ONLY Jim Marshall photos hang in this room. I’ve always loved these pictures, but now that we live in Music City, they feel more at home. Particularly the one of Johnny Cash giving us the finger from San Quentin.
In between the dining room and great room is a butler’s pantry.
[ GREAT ROOM ]
This room is the heart of the house. Living in an open floor-plan was new to me since our previous home was built in the 30’s and was so compartmentalized. But I’m finding that large open spaces can be just as cozy.
The doors off the great room lead out to the back porch. I’d take a picture, but it’s too hot. Sorry.
[ KITCHEN ]
The kitchen is right off the great room (like everything else?) so we spend a lot of time here. It’s also where the food is, so we’d spend a lot of time here regardless. I love the mercury glass pendant lights, the beveled edge subway tile, and the marble herringbone backsplash. But again, I also just love any place that has food in it.
Our breakfast room (otherwise known as the place we eat all our meals since we never use the dining room) is adjacent to the kitchen.
There’s also a door leading to the back porch, and yet another dining table. We try to eat outside when it’s not 10,000 degrees which so far has been about 3 times.
[ MUD ROOM ]
Look… I am a Californian girl. We don’t have mud rooms. So just allow me the indulgence of loving EVERYTHING about the smallest room in the house.
[ GUEST ROOM ]
Since we now live so far from our friends and family, I tried to create a guest room that people actually wanted to stay in while visiting. Like checking into a nice hotel.
[ LAUNDRY ROOM ]
Nothing particular to note. I just think it’s fun doing laundry rooms.
[ MASTER SUITE ]
This is my favorite part of the house. As it should be.
Okay… MY BATHROOM. I can’t.
Also pretty excited by my closet…
I even let John share it (a small section) with me!
[ UPSTAIRS PLAYROOM ]
The kids own the entire second floor. Their playroom and bedrooms are upstairs which means so is the mess. It’s basically the best.
The best part about this playroom is right behind the above doors. It might look like cabinets, but it’s actually a humongous storage room that doubles as a secondary playroom. It also houses toys that don’t need to be out all the time.
It also gives me a place to hang Stella’s artwork because you know it’s not going on the fridge.
Stella and Sutton’s rooms are right off the playroom, and I love the wall that separates them. On the right side, it’s a drawing of Tinker Bell, and on the left side, it’s a drawing of Michael Darling dressed as Indian Brave, and both are flanked by Sweet Dreams and Sleep Tight.
[ STELLA’S ROOM ]
Can you guess what her favorite color is? You’d be correct if you said pink.
The branch above her dresser is a piece of the large cherry blossom tree decal that used to be in her room. I cried when we had to take it down for the move, and I smuggled a piece of it in my suitcase!
Here’s Stella’s closet. I hope she never accuses of me of not doing anything for her.
And her bathroom.
[ SUTTON’S ROOM ]
Sutton’s room has ONLY the toys Stella can’t lift or isn’t interested in. Virtually everything else has been stolen.
So that’s what our house looks like. For now. Because you know I love a project.
Traffic today is really bad because of an award show, and it’s just so comforting. #feelslikehome #CMTawards
For an OCD type-A girl like myself, bookcases are a love affair written in the stars. For starters, it’s a way to give every THING a home. And there’s nothing more annoying than things without a home. That leads to piles. And clutter. And that is just a gateway drug to chaos. If you don’t want to end up staring on an episode of hoarders, you really need to take advantage of the shelves in your home.
First: Figure out what you want to display. This means your good looking books (sorry, get an iPad if you actually want to read) and a variety of those pesky things you have accumulated.
Second: Make piles according to color. Depending on the shelf space, I like to go with grayscales / neutrals and color in separate spaces. But for a smaller space, they can all live together.
Third: Start making vignettes on the shelf by altering height and position of the books. In connecting spaces you can place one of the objects to tie the color together. The spine of the book generally has more than one color, so the object becomes an important underscore for the section.
The only other time I’ve ever experienced such crushing “OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE?!” is when I had my first child. But the good news – it worked out and she’s the best thing that ever happened to me. That’s what I’m hoping with our move to Nashville. At the moment, I’m having daily panic attacks and crying in the aisles of Target, but I know it will get better. Until then, I’m spending my time color categorizing my bookshelves and unpacking 1 trillion boxes.