Spring Feathering

With eye-piercing sunlight making its way north once again, we Alaskans are already planning late spring/early summer activities with an excitement bordering on frenzy.

After all, we have 3 ~ maybe 4 ~ months every year to fit in outdoor activities without freezing our hineys off, and let me tell you, we maximize every. Single. Moment.  What a gift that the sun stays high for most of those 3-4 months, too, extending our days exponentially. 

Ahhhh, do we not adore our summers here in Alaska, friends and family?

Recognizing, however, that interior home projects often get bumped from the schedule until the bitter cold kicks in once again, I am determined to finish a few rooms around my home so I can step into the warmth of mid-May (yes, it often takes that long up here for spring to fully warm our bones) feeling a peace about the rooms I'm leaving behind, resting on the fact that they can sit in all their done-ness until a wild hair hits me down the road and I'm compelled to change something.

In all actuality, though, I have decorated a few walls and spaces around here that have not changed since I finished them several months, even years, ago.  These tend to be the spaces I tried to plan well, then shimmied and adjusted and tweaked until the moment I stood back with my own critical eye (which I'll confess may never measure up to a true designer's eye) and squealed, "I love it!"

Here are a few of those Jaimee-feeling-like-she-just-may-be-getting-this-decor-thing-down-not-to-be-confused-with-the-frustrating-she'll-never-figure-this-out moments:

Creamware against Light Blue Shelves in Living Room

Family Gallery Wall from Hawaii 2011 Vacation

Light Green Powder Room w/Beadboard
Laundry Room Shelves & Chalkboard Wall

Mirror & Frame Arrangement over Stairs

I'm learning to trust this feeling of love because my desire to "fix it later" hasn't come yet.
 I'm also learning that unfinished spaces, as well as projects, tend to drain me of energy.  Energy that I can't spare!  Homeschooling three amazingly energetic children, maintaining a house, being a helpmeet to Mr. Mimsy, and managing my furniture business requires all the energy I can get....and keep.

I love the peace and contentment that comes from walking through my home and feeling like it's restful, happy, and patiently awaiting human lives to enter and fill it with joy. 

I don't want each room whining at me as I walk in, reminding me of all that's left undone.  A few rooms here and there perhaps (and this is probably most realistic) but at least in our main living spaces, I need some completion.

So I set out last week, during several days of spring break, to bring some closure to a few of our spaces.  The sitting room, which we've been plugging away on for quite some time, is now a room of rest ~

The prints above my fireplace are gifts from a dear friend who recently moved to South Carolina (yes, I'm still working through my envy).  She knew they would match my decor, and oh how right she was.  It's gratifying to have found a place of rest for them above the sitting room fireplace...and to think of Deana basking under a giant magnolia tree which I've always wanted to see in real life but still haven't seen yet and I'm already 43 years old not to mention the beaches within driving distance and the breathtakingly gracious homes and yards and cobblestone walkways. <sigh>

This arrangement above my bookshelves was somewhat random.  I'm such a lover of old windows, and leaning a couple empty picture frames against one of them gave me a little variation in color while adding contrast with the darker wood.  The dark frame also speaks to the darker frames on my gallery wall in the adjoining hallway.

I still need to find a little something to ground that gallery wall still since I recently moved the bench to our master bedroom as an ottoman, but it's really not a priority right now as I can still find rest looking at the pictures of my family instead.  Plus, garage sale season is almost upon us, right?

I found this wall artwork on my last trip to Anchorage, a steal at Burlington Coat Factory for $35.  The colors of the glass tiles reflect so many of my spaces.  I fell in love with its quirkiness at first sight. 

Mr. Mimsy has mockingly affectionately nicknamed it The Peacock Eyeball.

I affectionately tell him to look the other way and go weld something.

The dining/kitchen/living area is receiving a primping makeover, too.  Moving to the stairs beside our dining room, which descend to the family room and boys' rooms, I've been puzzled by this super-high wall on the landing of our stairs since moving in.  Although I love the wall arrangement on the left and feel I need to tie the tall wall in somehow, we may be installing wainscoting on the lower portion of that wall some day so that will help bring its scale to a more manageable level. I do believe we need something pretty to look at as we descend, similar to what designers say about the end of a hallway, but I'm still playing around with ideas here.

I found this little cabinet with baskets on craigslist last week, a perfect size for the corner of our dining room.  I plan to paint the wood portion since all that wood (railing, floor, etc.) is just screaming for some contrast.  The baskets will hold batteries, extension cords, lightbulbs, etc. since these items are currently jammed in a drawer in the school room and not easily accessible at all.
Don't you love those curvy iron legs?

In all my feathering of nest, I also distressed and aged these two sconces to flank our living room clock.  They used to be plain white.

In case you haven't picked up on it by now, I simply LOVE light blue and cream together.  It just says Calm to me.  Serenity.  Peace.  Throw in some dark wood here and there for contrast, or some natural textures, and I am tickled pink.  Or is it blue? :) 

I stole the long mirrors from the sides or our tv/fireplace for the sitting room.  I like them there much better, so they will plan to stay.  I'm on the lookout for some sconces, and wish I could find some like these from Ballard Designs:

Valletta Candle Sconce
At $179 apiece, I won't be purchasing these any time soon.  Or ever.  I can't imagine.  But I love the look, and I think they'd look so pretty in that space. Pier 1 has a variation, but nothing quite this special.  I may have to come up with something homemade, which I find is often more fulfilling longterm anyway.....
More updates soon as I work to finish the living/dining/kitchen area in anticipation of summer busy-ness.
Okay, I must bid adieu and go check on homeschool progress.  Here's to a restful, peace-filled spring in your household ~

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