An Empty House Is Not A Home

 

An empty house is not a home

I adore my house. I mean, I really, really like it. From the moment I walked through the front door, so many years ago, I have always felt as if the house hugged me. It’s old and sweet and full of charm, constructed during an era of craftsmanship and care. It’s a short walk from the beach and located in a great neighborhood, in a town I love. My husband and I have spent years updating it, decorating it, enjoying every minute within its walls raising our family. It’s my sanctuary, it’s my base, it brings me great joy to just be here. It’s home.

The mere mention of moving has always been dismissed. It has never been an option. As a matter of fact, I have had crazy discussions with people trying to defend my belief that if I were to win millions of dollars, I would not move. Move for what? A larger house doesn’t buy happiness. I am happy here, this is the dream home. My dreams don’t have to match those popularized by people who do crave a bigger house. This is it. This is the perfect house, the forever house, no matter what…and no one could ever convince me otherwise…until this weekend when my home was just a house.

My family went out of town and for a myriad of reasons, I was unable to get away with them. I stayed at home.

I knew that I would miss everyone. I mean honestly, my husband and I are homebodies. We have left the kids for one night, maybe two, but in nearly two decades, I have not been separated from my kids, or my husband, for more than 48 hours at a pop.  This time, they were gone for five days. Five days is a very long time, but I was prepared. I had lists of things to keep me…distracted. I was going to finish sewing pillows, decorate for Halloween, clean out a few cabinets, read, write, visit with friends. Mostly, though, I was kind of excited to spend time at home. Rooms would be cleaned and stay clean. There wouldn’t be the endless pile of dishes in the sink, the daily drop of clothes on the floor or the baskets and baskets of laundry to wash, dry, fold and put away. Bliss. Or so I thought.

Now, you already know where I’m going with this, I’m sure…and yes, I have read all the cutesy quotes about a family and love making a house into a home. Moreover, I have lost very precious people in my life, my dad when I was just twelve, so I know what’s really important. Yet, I was so completely unprepared for the amount of cold disinterest I had in the house almost the minute after my family left the premises. It was actually rather shocking.

At first, I puttered around, trying to decide what mess to tackle, but then the kids started emailing me from the plane. “Mom, it’s so cool, here’s what we’re doing, here are some pictures of us…blah, blah, blah…” I read every word with baited breath, it was all infinitely more important than anything in the house.

When the emails stopped, the house was quiet again. I went about my business, but I wasn’t really enjoying myself. So I gave up. I left. I left my sanctuary. I escaped to my sister’s house, a place filled with family. It was lovely and her house looked so pretty and warm. It smelled like Sunday dinner and good times. I went home after dark and my house just smelled empty.

I looked around and realized that I was never tied to my house. It was all misplaced. I am tied to my family, who just happens to live in this house with me. As cliché as it sounds, their presence is what makes this house a home, it’s what drives me to decorate, to feather my nest. It is from them that I draw my strength, not my house. As a matter of fact, while they were gone, I got sick. Really, really sick. The doctor said it was viral, rest he said. So I did and it did nothing. For days I was comatose on the couch eating Triscuits.  I had no energy and couldn’t do anything.  Yet amazingly, on the morning of the day they were coming home, I had enough strength to clean the house, make a huge dinner, complete with a homemade cheesecake, do laundry, change sheets and shower. I did have to rest at times throughout the afternoon, but I felt better than I had in days.

By night’s end, with everyone tucked into bed, the rooms completely destroyed, dirty laundry and suitcases everywhere and my toes curled up against my husband’s, my house, my beautiful, charming, sweet house hugged me goodnight and suddenly, for the first time in five days, I was home all over again.

 

 

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Rustic Decor ~ Too Sparce or Just Right?

I am a huge fan of rustic décor and farmhouse style. I like the clean lines, the simple fixtures, the interesting mix of wood, the aged, lived in it feel it generates. However, I will admit that if not done right, a rustic room can feel sparse, unfinished, cold and sometimes, dare I say it out loud, creepy.

Well, not this room, I am completely smitten with this dreamy dining area. I am in love with everything from the beamed ceilings, stone walls and planked floors to the bowls on that absolutely stunning table. I imagine it set for holidays in the winter, draped with evergreen boughs, filled with flickering candles and elegant white china set upon crimson placemats. In summer I can see nothing but flowers and pastel colored dinnerware…and family…lots of family!

Ok, that door in the background may be a little creepy, leading to a dirt cellar perhaps, but I can deal. How about you?

What’s your take on rustic décor and this particular room? Have at it, I’d love to know!

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Easy DIY: Adding Fabric To Glass Doors

adding fabric to glass cabinet doors
I have another super easy DIY for you today, this one is quick and very inexpensive, but has the power to totally transform furniture and thereby a room…it’s adding fabric to glass doors. I have written about the process before and shown photos of the technique employed in my kitchen, but here I show you step by step how to do it. Let’s start with the before.

adding fabric to glass cabinets before

The electric fireplace I chose for my basement redo is very pretty and functional. It has tons of deep shelf storage to hold the kids’ games and controllers. Unfortunately, the glass cabinet doors make the mismatched mess visible to the world…ick, that’s exactly what I was trying to hide.

Adding fabric to g;ass supplies

I started by measuring the glass panes so I would know how much fabric and tape I would need. I wanted one and a half times the width of the pane for fabric, that would give me enough to create a shirred look. For the tape, I needed an exact measurement of the glass pane plus about two inches more times two…one strip of tape affixed above the pane and one below. Just remember to multiply all your measurements by how many doors you’re covering.

With my information in hand, I made a trip to the discount fabric store, where I purchased sticky Velcro tape (not sponsored- it’s just what I bought) and a yard of  sheer brown fabric. I could’ve chosen a bright pattern or a contrasting beige, but I was going for a very elegant monochromatic scheme, so I chose this…for $3.99 a yard.

Adding fabric to glass velcro

At home, I stuck my Velcro together and cut it to size. I trimmed the pieces to a length of about two inches longer than the pane and stuck it to the wood, centered over the glass. I pressed firmly along the entire length to make certain that it was stuck to the wood. Then I peeled back the plastic and got ready to add my fabric.

Adding velcro to glass step2

Now, adding the fabric to the glass doors can be a bit tricky, but the glue on the Velcro is very forgiving, so it is easy to reposition, if necessary. I just stick the fabric onto the Velcro, gathering it as I go, to create a shirred effect. When the door is closed, it should look as if the fabric is hanging on a rod and just casually gathered. I check the front of the glass often during this process, so I am sure to get the look I desire.

Adding fabric to glass step2

Lastly, I stretch the fabric and adhere it to the bottom strip of Velcro, carefully lining up the folds I created on the top with the ones on the bottom. When I am satisfied with my look, I trim the excess fabric away, give a little extra pat to make sure everything is solidly in place and shut the mess away!

adding fabric to glass step 4a

Much better, don’t you think? What I really love about this DIY is that it is so adaptable. Let’s say that come Christmas I want to add a whimsical holiday fabric, no problem, the Velcro stays, just gently pull the fabric away and add new. The fabric on my kitchen cabinets has been changed many times over the last decade and I have never needed to replace the tape. It’s sticky.

How about if I decide to display my priceless collection of…I don’t know, whatever you collect, I don’t really have “priceless” anythings…well, that’s fine, too! Just remove the Velcro and your glass cabinet doors are restored.

adding fabric to glass cabinets

For now, for us, however, the fabric stays. We may be the family who plays together and while I love having an abundance of fun to choose from, I really don’t want to see it.

Thanks so much for popping by, hope it was helpful and if you have any questions, you can always reach me in the comments! I answer every single one!

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