My new happy place

Though I admitted yesterday to reading less than I would like lately (thank you all so much for your rut-busting recommendations!), I am happy to report that our home library is now functional, pretty and perfect for settling into with a good read.

From the moment we stepped into the house, I pictured this bright, sunny and quiet room near the door as a space for reading and relaxing. I lobbied for a library just as my husband campaigned for a basement workshop, and we’re both pretty happy with the results! (And our separate spaces. One does benefit from a room of one’s own.)

The bookcases were originally from our local Borders, purchased for Spence’s old condo and finally moved to the new house. They were gathering dust in the basement until a friend helped us bring three upstairs, and then I was doing my happy-happy dance all over the room until I just couldn’t shake it anymore.

I love that the room feels a little random. It’s filled with goodies we’ve collected in the last few years and is already shaping into the fun, funky, colorful room I envisioned.

The chair was a purchase from Target, the throw a gift from my grandmother. My beloved book pillow was purchased from a French-inspired shop during a trip with my mother- and father-in-law to Niagara-on-the-Lake in April.

I bought the cushion for a future library before there even was a library. The ultimate “If you build it . . .,” wouldn’t you say?

Of course, the books themselves draw most of the interest . . . and rightfully so. I have childhood favorites, beloved series, collections and review copies. There are hardcovers, cookbooks, old journals and photo albums.

A little of everything. Everything I love.

On an end table are coasters for tea (of course!), a painted initial from our wedding and a favorite photo from our engagement shoot. With a tiny piece of Parisian lamp, too, because classy.

Back when I was silly and thought I needed to decorate the house immediately, I made canvases featuring my favorite cover art from three cherished books: The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice and I Capture The Castle.

I’ve had them for months and debated their placement approximately 10,000 times, but Spence and I finally settled on a spot and hung them last week — along with an older “Keep Calm” poster I had in my childhood bedroom. I love that it’s back, displayed proudly again.

Though we still have a few things to work on and will eventually get an ottoman and couch for an adjacent wall, it feels good to have one room close to “done.” I love passing through there daily, even if I don’t have much time to sit, and look forward to all the quiet mornings of coffee and daydreams I’ll enjoy in that chair.

And the reading, of course. The words and stories and change.

And just because before-and-afters are always fun . . .

old library

New library


Thank-yous and thankfulness

Organizer and sign


We hung our new mail organizer!

I’m really excited about it. Like, too much. More than any human should be.

Aside from my general obsession with the post, hanging this wedding gift — as well as a sign we purchased on our honeymoon — was our first home improvement as a married couple.

There was the red wall we painted in the living room, and the various photos from Yosemite that adorn the hall. We bought and refinished a set of Ethan Allen nightstands that now house all our nighttime reading material and phone chargers — everything that makes up a life, of course — and the coffee table we grabbed on clearance when a local furniture store closed.

But this? This sign in our entryway? It somehow feels big — much bigger than those things. Perhaps because it’s the first decor choice we’ve made as husband and wife? Maybe because you see these decorations the second your little feet enter our home?

Regardless, this makes my heart so happy. I love it. I’m enamored with it.

Also, I wrote about 60 of our 80-ish wedding thank-you notes between Friday night and Sunday morning. That’s what you see piled up in said organizer, waiting patiently to be taken to the post office by yours truly.

My fingers feel permanently cramped. But on a related note, we are truly thankful — for the overwhelming generosity of our family and friends; for the kindnesses of strangers; for the love and support y’all have shown me in the past few weeks. Sixteen days into our marriage, we feel fortunate beyond measure.

If I could send everyone a thank-you note, I totally would.

(How many Forever Stamps would that take?)


photo