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chic apartment in THE INTERN

06 October 2015

Director and designer Nancy Meyers says it was Pinterest
that streamlined the set design for her film The Intern.
Remember how she hit it out of the park with

Meyers wanted the home of Anne Hathaway's character
to be youthful yet sophisticated, and didn't she nail it?

The charming Brooklyn Brownstone was decorated with
mid-century pieces, neutrals, brass, and pops of color.

Brooklyn has grown into quite the borough of
high hangability with its craft food and drinks
movement, and on my radar is this forthcoming
title (October 20) featuring makers in Brooklyn:

Made in Brooklyn (Powerhouse Books, 2015)

For me, Brooklyn still brings to mind J. Crew's
Jenna Lyon's betchen brownstone which provided
inspiration for Hathaway's apartment in the movie.

'Member Jenna's dreamy home?

Is it just me? I think Hollywood still underestimates
the power of sets with thoughtful, inspiring interiors
to lure design freaky kids like us into the cinema.

Peace to you right where you are.

hello lovely fixer upper {week 12}

30 September 2015

I'm back with an update, and our biggest news
right now is we will be moving all of our stuff
into the cottage in two days!

I have had no time for leisurely reading design books
or for booze as the above photo suggests.
Instead, my mornings have been devoted to
the spiritual formation studies I'm enrolled in
and afternoons find me shopping/cleaning/painting.

We finally mowed the property after almost 3 months!

While we haven't tackled any exterior projects yet,
we have made progress on flooring (everything
is done except for the master bath and some carpeted
areas), trim, and the kitchen.

Some of the cabinetry is in, and we now have
a vent for the stainless exhaust hood.
I chose a modern European style.

Above you can see the refrigerator wall will be
ceiling to floor built-ins. In the corner will be
a tall cabinet that sits on top of the countertop.

Where you see the hammer and masking tape?
That will be a gas cooktop.
Not certain how we will finish the
wall...maybe polished marble subway tile
or horizontal tongue and groove painted pine.
What I'm leaning toward is installing a tile
backsplash above the cooktop and then deciding
whether I want that treatment for the whole wall.

As of today, I still have not chosen a quartz or marble.
My quotes are in so maybe tomorrow.
Above is LG quartz in Minuet which my sister
used throughout her new home and is gorgeous
and pure white.

I also like this LG quartz in Cirrus, which has a softer
feel in terms of veining but is more creamy in color.

And I still like Silestone quartz in Lagoon--it has a
nice translucency but is definitely a light grey rather
than white...I think all three would be great choices.

Lessons Learned in Week 12:
*Always allow more time for jobs that will be sub-contracted.
Life happens, and there are always delays and surprise
schtuff...our kitchen cabinetry for example cannot
be installed in a day since some of it has to wait
until countertops are in (and our installer!).

*If you at any point wondered "Who in their
right mind enrolls in a university's year long
spiritual formation program at the beginning of
a whole house reno?" I hear you.
However, the timing was SPOT ON.
The soul work I'm doing and the partnering
is sort of saving my life and sanity,
and I am so grateful I didn't put this off.

*The cottage makeover is so much more than
simply a creative project for our family since it
represents major changes in lifestyle.
Purging half of our stuff.
Leaving behind a beloved but high maintenance home.
Sacrificing a social life for 6 months (and counting).
Living very very modestly in a rental (bet you
would giggle if you saw my surroundings
at this moment).
The lesson learned is big:
we are not what we do,
we are not what other people say we are,
and we are not what we own.
We are loved, chosen, and broken but beautiful.

Wish me luck with the move, and when I have
internet I will keep you posted.

Thank you for following, friends.

Previous fixer upper posts:
we found a house
week 1 - reflections
week 1 - update
week 2
how we got here
week 3
week 4
week 5
week 6
week 7
week 8

Coming soon:

living with light {axel vervoordt}

22 September 2015

A few weeks back, after a tiring day of painting,
I retreated to our little porch overlooking a cornfield
with a design book that I was certain would soothe
and inspire me to the core.

May I share some reflections with you?

by Axel Vervoordt, Michael Gardener, and Laziz Hamani
(Flammarion, 2013)

It would be irreverent (and impossible!) to attempt
to summarize Axel Vervoordt's artistry in a few
sentences so I will simply say his eye is a divine eye,
and that he chooses to share his vision with the world
seems to me a luminous gift of love and light.

Axel recently told Vogue magazine,
“I am in a conversation with nature, but I am aware
that nature should always have the last word.” 

A soulful conversation with nature, natural light,
and harmonious living is what you will find on the
pages of Living With Light

This volume contains what you might expect
 from the interior designer: breathtaking architecture,
gorgeous restraint, modern art, and fascinating antiques.
But what may surprise is the use of shadow,
filtering, and ambience.

What I wouldn't give to spend time in a space such as this.

Vervoordt's timeless design principles work such
magic as a collection of heartfelt values echoing
the most honorable sensibilities of our humanity.

So you see,
I found myself enraptured by this book of light.
Quite uplifted, awed, and enlightened.

Though pinterest and internetland have swallowed up
the design world and provided a virtual feast
for we visuals, the invitation to curl up with real
pages to turn, not click, still remains.

I am so grateful to have answered 'yes' to the invitation
of Living With Light

fixer upper diversion {let's go to paris & reflect}

19 September 2015

This post is actually one from two years ago which
I penned as I recovered from a mastectomy.

Though pretty pictures of a boutique hotel I discovered
in Paris and cancer talk may seem impossibly disconnected,
to my open, one-off, and brokenish heart, the pairing brought
a certain mysterious measure of balance to my experience.

my photo - scuffed up Louboutins hint at a part of my story

Today this pairing serves as a reminder of
my journey toward wholeness in the last couple
years and as an encouragement to keep aiming high
with hope and peace in my heart even when things
around me are in pieces and in transition.

me, mom, and Jo...not just surviving breast cancer but thriving

God is doing a work in me right now, right where I am,
(still in gypsy limbo mode, still vulnerable from life's pains,
still saying YES to the invitation to be stretched)
and I am choosing to listen attentively, to allow
these love lessons to refine and redeem me.

our first trip to Paris just before mom's BC diagnosis and my BRCA2+ journey

Here is my post from two years back:

Thought I would update you on my BRCA2 journey
in a gorgeous setting far away...a fantasy destination
we stumbled on in Paris (must stay here someday).

my photo

In the heart of Le Marais, is the loveliest first-class hotel
my photo

Learn more about a suite I love at this place right here.

Join me in the library for a chat, won't you?
Oh my, the elegance. Heavens, the discreet luxury!
Let's whisper here about victory.
I made it through the bilateral mastectomy
and reconstruction (NOT a cakewalk).
I do not resemble Angeline Jolie in any sense
except I can now join her in the great relief
of decimating the significant risk of cancer
which has tortured our mothers.

Where is the Pavillon de la Reine?

my photo of the autumn splendor climbing the hotel's walls

Slightly set back from the Place des Vosges.
Just around the corner from the
Place de la Bastille,
Hotels Particulieurs (my fav museums!),
and the shops of the rue des Francs-Bourgeois
(no shopping on the planet like the Marais!).

It's Sunday evening, and I feel pretty dang fierce.
My surgeries were early morning on Thursday.
I went for a walk around the block today.

my photo
(shortly after this photo was taken, i became very ill, and my weight would drop 15 pounds)

Surgical chit chat on my Paris balcony...
Some high drama. Not enough Alloderm (cadaver skin)
for reconstruction, and in case you were wondering, you can't
ask your nurse to make a 7-11 run for a lil' mo skin for a petite fairy
in the middle of surgery. A small miracle...more skin secured.
We are hoping and praying all of my skin survives.
I am so grateful for my surgeons and medical team.
Post-op, I had intense hallucinations, steroidal rage, freeeeeky
side effects of anesthesia, and no sleep until Friday afternoon.
On the upside, my view of the Chicago skyline was rad.
I left the hospital Friday at noon.
There has been no pain (believe it!)
except for migraines from the evil anesthesia.

I am sure I'll be working out in no time.
Wouldn't this be a sweet space for cardio?
Didier Benderli (Kérylos Intérieurs) is the designer
of the interiors, combining aesthetics with innovation.

my photo, my man

The place

my photo

Ahhhhhhh, Pavillon de la Reine relaxes me.
The journey continues, but today was a
simple lovely day of rest and time with my family
after a challenging chapter...victorious is the mood du jour.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart
(which is serving me quite well)
for all the loving comments and concern.
8 Place des Vosges, 75003 Paris
Telephone: + 33 (0)1 40 29 19 19

* * * * *

I think it's helpful to take diversions
from the mundane of the everyday
to reflect on how our stories are
shaping us and equipping us
to live richly full lives.

Thank you for reading with compassion and love.

Peace to you right where you are.

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