Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Settling In.....

It's been a month since my last post and we've quietly settled into our new space. We've brought it to life as best we can for now and we are ready to celebrate summer! Even though it's still 3 weeks away it sure does feel like summer which isn't always a guarantee around these parts. It's quite warm during the day, but as the sun goes down it gets chilly.  I fondly remember our very first fourth of July in 2010 in Vancouver and it was pouring rain so we stayed in (with a fire in the fireplace!) to watch the PBS special. I cried as I watched all the women in their adorable summer dresses and I wondered if I would EVER be able to pull that off again. 5 years later we live just a block away from that spot, but I have since adjusted and have high hopes that we'll be eating outside by June 20th!

When we moved to this new space, we  got rid of almost all of our big furniture in order to make room in our life for new pieces that were meaningful and useful. Fewer, better things was our selection criteria and we've acquired a few pieces, finished a couple rooms, and learned some things about ourselves in the process. We had hired an interior designer to help me pull the downstairs area together, but a month into the process we had nothing to show for it. In the meantime, WE were out and about around town looking for interesting ideas and pieces to show to her.

Lesson 1. Turns out we both love mid century vintage pieces and we really enjoyed the process of searching for the perfect item.

This is a pristine day planner from 1958. For sale! Reason #268 why I love Portland.

When she suggested that we send some chairs to LA to be recovered because "Portland doesn't have any good upholsterers" I had second thoughts. And rightly so. The following day we headed to Rejuvenation (Portland's own, now owned by Williams-Sonoma) and found this in a pop-up shop upstairs at the store: 

A vintage sofa recovered by local upholsterer Revive. Ironically, the owner is from LA and he's settled in Portland. We now have an upholsterer, from LA (not really necessary!), who does amazing work and makes house calls. And this beautiful sofa is now at home upstairs in JSM's den. He will enjoy many hours of sports on this soft leather! 

Lesson 2. I am perfectly capable of deciding what I like. In fact, I know what we like. I don't need someone else to tell me they don't really like it. WE are the ones who live with it. 

After she snubbed her nose at a vintage cabinet we liked, I immediately decided an interior designer wasn't for us and promptly moved onward. And with some new pieces that we absolutely LOVE that we chose for ourselves. I want our home to be filled with things that are meaningful to US and it doesn't really matter to me if they go together or not. It only matters that we love and appreciate them.

This chair with the upholstered arms now sits in our living room in a little corner by the bookshelf. We love bright pops of color!

We have a lovely place to enjoy the sunset (and eat dinner when it's a bit warmer!)

And a serene place to sleep. Underneath a painting of Daybreak Park in Battle Ground, WA, a place close to my heart because it is the community that I serve and a part of Clark County that we both appreciate. The painting I admired last year when it hung in Tom Wheeler's show at the library's art gallery. I finally purchased it last month. 

Along the way I've dusted off a few books I had for ideas and inspiration (really more to convince myself I could do this on my own.) These titles have been inspirational and helpful, not to mention, loads of fun to look at:

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith

The always classic, Domino, by editors of the now special issue-only magazine.

In other news, we hosted Flat Stanley here in the northwest for our nephew who lives in Massachusetts. It was fun to choose some of Portland's best places to snap his photo like the International Rose Test Garden in NW Portland and Powell's Books. Two of my favorite spots!

It was a beautiful day!

We had so much fun visiting places in Portland that we just didn't make time for when we lived in Brush Prairie. From our new location we are just a few minutes away from our favorite city and look forward to spending more time there. Fewer, better things and many more meaningful experiences will be our summer (with a couple escapist novels thrown in like this one by the queen of suspense and Maeve Binchy's first novel.) 


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