On a Mission

Buying my house was a big decision for me – the biggest I have ever made on my own. When I sold my previous house last spring I seriously considered moving to a larger city – or leaving it all and moving to Tuscany…or the Piedmont region of Italy…too many episodes of House Hunters International I suppose.

After some serious soul searching, I decided to plant some roots again here in the Lowcountry. I just couldn’t bring myself to leave my friends and family, and the beauty of this place…just for another step in my career, and the potential for a better singles scene? I dug deep to think about what was important to me – and came to the conclusion that I wanted a real “nest” for the family I would like to build.

I was mortgage free for about a month – and here I am eight months later!

I have been busy “pinning” ideas, reading decorating books like “The Things that Matter” by Nate Berkus, and reading articles – planning for how I want to decorate and fix up my house. Believe me, this house that I love did not have anyone to really love it before me. I find evidence of this every day.

Recently, I came across a great article on Houzz about decorating with intention by creating a mission statement for my house – right up my alley!

I went through the entire mission statement exercise, and this is what I came up with:

“My home is an inviting, energizing, rustic sanctuary where creativity lives and breathes. It is a place where my family and friends gather for warmth, love, connection, fun, peace, and nourishment.”

-Laurie Sessa

Doesn’t that make you want to visit? I sure hope so.

I love the idea of having this mission statement to guide me in my decorating/design decisions. It really simplifies things and keeps me focused. Which is another way of saying, it stops me from buying stupid things. Rather, I am making decisions with purpose and intention…making choices that are tied to my values.

My house isn’t close to there yet – but I sure am working on it. Fueled by my tax return check, I just finished redecorating my bedroom and bathroom, and did a few other things in and around the house.  If you have been reading, you know that I am not exactly handy. I hired some professional help, bribed my dad to do a few small projects, and handled some things on my own (shopping and painting are skills I like to use).

Here are a few examples of what I did – and how it ties to my “mission.”

This is my new chandelier in my dining room. I love the quatrefoil shape, and the weathered look. This is one of those precious things that will stand the test of time. If/when I move – this DOES NOT convey!

New chandelier for my dining room.
New chandelier for my dining room.
This flag was given to me by my very close friends, Mary and Brian, and was flown over Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on July 28th, 2012. I know this because Brian is a Major in the Air Force, and he gave me this flag along with a certificate after his deployment in Afghanistan. Don’t worry, thanks to Mary, I know and practice flag etiquette. When I raise my Notre Dame flag on occasion, I will properly take down and fold my American flag and store it safely.
Flown over Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, July 28th, 2012
Flown over Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, July 28th, 2012
This is my new mosaic mirror. I love mosaics. There is something about making beauty out of chaos that I find appealing. If you look closely in the reflection, you will see Animal and a very small penguin collection. And a glass wine jug filled with yellow forsythia. On my dresser you will see just a few of my accessories and pictures with friends. These are just a few of my favorite things.
Mosiac mirror. LOVE.
Mosiac mirror. LOVE. With some awesome things in the reflection.

I guess I should have taken a before picture of my bedroom so you can really understand the dramatic difference here. But I didn’t because I would like to erase the “before” from my memory. Rest assured (as I do now) that this room is now full of light, serenity, and style.

Updated bedroom with new chair, curtains, walls, ceiling, fan, and bedding.
Updated bedroom with new chair, curtains, walls, ceiling, fan, and bedding.

My mom gave me this vase a few years ago – it spells the word “LOVE.” Every week I buy fresh flowers (most of the time yellow flowers) to fill it. Until a few weeks ago, I had very strange “awnings” covering the windows on the back of my house including this bay window in my kitchen. Those awnings are now gone, and natural light now streams into my kitchen and sun room.

LOVE my vase and fresh yellow flowers.
LOVE my vase and fresh yellow flowers.

That is all for now. Mostly because that is all I can afford to do for now. And because now I have a mission that will help me be deliberate and intentional with my choices…which will naturally slow me down.

Built-ins for my books and desk are on the horizon…stay tuned!

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