In the twilight years of her life, my grandma used to sit in a living room chair and tell me all about the projects she was going to do.
“When I feel a little better, I’d like to find a new ottoman for that chair,” she would start. “If I’m not so tired tomorrow, I’m going to pop out and look for a few new pillows.”
From her perspective, she had full view of all the things she would like to do and felt frustrated when she was unable to. Five years later, when I had my first baby and was stuck on the couch all day (and night!), I experienced similar feelings. The term “trapped under a baby” felt quite literal and I spent much of my mental energy on composing to-do lists for the small amounts of time when I had full use of my legs and both arms. The ability to survey and focus on your surroundings while being totally unable, for whichever reason, to accomplish change or make an improvement is incredibly discouraging.
The concept of “I’ll do X when Y happens” is prevalent and has many variations:
“I’ll cut back on coffee when work settles down.”
“I’ll start an emergency fund when I get a raise.”
“I’ll get back to the gym once Girl Scout cookie season is over.”
These are only examples but in each case, the positive action is being postponed pending an action that is controlled by a secondary source. These chain reaction scenarios happen at home too –
“I’ll get some artwork when the curtains are up.”
“I’ll hang curtains when we paint.”
“I’ll paint when the kids aren’t so hard on the walls.”
So begins years of living with bare, builder-beige walls and without window coverings. After awhile, you stop seeing it – it’s as though you’ve become snow-blind in your own home. But when others come over, they wonder how long you’ve lived in the home or if you’re getting ready to move? You see posts on Instagram, on blogs, and are overwhelmed by home décor advertisements where everything is pulled together, coordinated and cozy.
How close are you to loving your home?
I’m willing to bet you’re not far off. In most cases, you chose this home from a pool of others, and there are features that please you and are appreciated. But – and there’s always a but – there are some things you’d like to change. I have built and lived in custom homes – never have I met the perfect plan, or had a homeowner design one without at least one flaw. The most perfect home and design that I have built to date had an extraordinary feature – laundry chute on BOTH floors that landed in the basement laundry room – but suffered from a terribly shaped corner linen closet that forced me to fold all our towels into triangles…I can’t make this stuff up! After all of these experiences, I believe there is something that can be improved in every home to better suit you – its occupants. Sometimes these are small and easily manageable, sometimes it’s a large-scale purge and deep-clean, and sometimes (my favorite time!) it requires construction.
So, what do you need? Additional cabinetry in the kitchen? A vanity in the powder bath? Built-in desks upstairs for the kids? Thicker carpet underpad? A fresh coat of kid-friendly paint?
Big or small, we would love to help with an in-home consultation. Please contact The Ashbury Construction Company by phone, text, email, or through this site today.
This was your year to get organized, right? To create a system to manage ALL the paper, to go through your belongings and get rid of the excess, to make your space beautiful and light and clean…
Are you always organizing yet never organized?
It’s tough to relax in a place that feels out of sorts or as though it could always use a good straightening up. Tougher yet when you know that you could do better and live better, that you have it in you to finally get your home squared away and eliminate some of the headaches that occur over and over due to a lack of storage or a system that makes sense. As we are on the cusp of Spring Break, you are timely in thinking about how to improve, upgrade, or start from scratch to organize yourself and your family before the next “break” – summer! I’ve heard that summer bodies are made in the winter, and the same can be said for organizing your home. If you can get a grip on clutter and chaos now, you will be in good shape come June when the madness really takes over. Swimsuits and towels, sunscreen, crocs, hats, fold up chairs, bikes and helmets, sand toys, sunglasses, bug spray, water bottles, snack bags – these little devils are on the way. It doesn’t have to drive you crazy though, you can get started now to create a calming and enjoyable home to make your summer absolutely lounge-worthy!
There are many styles and theories on how to organize, but I believe that only you know what will work best for your home and routine. It doesn’t make sense to purchase an off-the-shelf system that includes a tilt-out hamper for instance, if collecting laundry isn’t a challenge for you. Some people like to have transparent bins while others prefer to cover them with fabric. Drawers, cupboards, rails, slide out bins, and chests are some of the (many) options available for closets and mudrooms but again, the space should be designed around a purpose and not just what looks good. Case in point, I was inspired by this post from Instagram:
It wasn’t long after I began taking measurements in my mudroom before I realized that having everyone’s shoes crammed into those bins below would be a total nightmare. Two shoes x multiple styles x 5 people (3 of whom are very spoiled children!) makes for a lot of footwear, and we needed a better way to find the ones we needed while trying to get out the door. While the image is still appealing, I’ve organized the shoes elsewhere using a system that provides one bin per person (well, someone has two bins…hint – it’s not me!) and also allows for an at-a-glance inventory to determine who needs new shoes.
Other areas that can be challenging but incredibly rewarding to organize include the pantry, master bedroom closet, and wherever your sporting equipment is stored.
Currently, I’m working on a proposal for a Sienna family settling into their new home. They were clever enough to realize that it made sense to create some built-ins now, amid the challenges of moving into a new space, so that they can get organized from the get-go. If you could benefit from a consultation in your home to figure out how to better utilize existing space, add some cabinetry, and finally GET ORGANIZED, please reach out to schedule an appointment.
I’ve been fortunate this week to spend time with some lovely Sienna Plantation neighbors in their homes to look at items such as sheetrock/paint repair, whole home paint jobs, cracked brick mortar, a water penetration issue, and a cabinet hardware install inspired by the before and after images featured in my last post. I’m slightly biased, but believe two things to be true – first, that the homes in this community are some of the most beautiful (and LARGE, because… Texas) and second, that those living in them are inspired and determined to create living spaces that are both comfortable and welcoming. Thank you for your support and the opportunity to work with you and with your home.
While it’s my business (and pleasure) to consult with homeowners on repairs and remodels, I understand that it isn’t everybody’s reality to be at a place where even necessary fixes are possible. The costs associated with day-to-day living (please don’t get me started on child care expenses…) coupled with picture-perfect images from Pinterest, home magazines, and those fix-my-everything shows can be incredibly discouraging and make anybody feel as though their home isn’t enough. I follow a blog and Instagram account which feature the #homeyouhave tag and feel the message is something that many can appreciate. It’s easy to say that we should be grateful for all that we have – our health, employment, children, love and support, a roof over our heads and clean water – but in this age of ultra-competitiveness, it seems we are being encouraged to look for more. Always. Those messages contradict each other, which is why I am focused on gratitude and appreciating all that I’ve worked for and been given. Now, that’s not to say that you can’t enhance your surroundings, even on a tight (or non-existent) budget. Case in point: the large wall featured below. Painting the whole space wasn’t in the cards at the time, but the room needed something. Hanging artwork was ruled out as it would have required numerous and properly-scaled (read: large) pieces to fill it appropriately. The second request was that the end result be child-friendly and stimulating. Oh, and finally – that the materials required not cost a cent. It took some time and effort, but here are the before and after images:
I was fairly pleased with my efforts when it was all said and done, and even more so when Martha Stewart featured a new décor inspiration recently – a framed piece of wallpaper, which was a similar idea to mine. Both of these examples demonstrate a growing desire to transform our spaces with simple and often affordable changes.
I'll leave you with this quote featured on #homeyouhave. If you are looking for changes big or small (or somewhere in between) or would like an estimate to perform one of the projects I’ve written about, please reach out for an in-home appointment.