Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hello, It's Me (and a Bit More of Our Living Room)

Hello, it's me. It's been an awfully long time, hasn't it? A whole summer, in fact, which was never my intention.

In the three months since my last blog post, I've vacillated a lot between recommitting myself to regular posting and quietly receding into the blogging sunset. Life's been hectic at best and, in particular, the job that I started in the spring turned into an intellectually-challenging role that often zapped me of my energy and creativity. I wondered often if I should just pack it up and close this chapter of my life as a blogger. 

In recent weeks, though, something changed. On my way to and from work, I started making lists of the next project I wanted to undertake around the house. My mind started configuring new plans and considering the details of things outside of my job, which hadn't happened for months. I would come home and, instead of nodding off halfway through dinner, I would walk around the house and scan each space for inspiration with what felt like a new set of eyes. That new perspective--and perhaps also a new appreciation--makes me feel fresh and new and ready to return to writing here.

When I was unemployed, I felt a constant joy and resentment for our home. I loved it and was tremendously grateful for it, but I also felt physically and mentally trapped by its walls and what it represented financially. Overwhelmed by the burden to "do this and do that" around the house while Adam worked, I needed to legitimize every hour, every minute.

Well, now that I don't have nearly as many hours or minutes, I think I love my house even more. It's true--absence does make the heart grow fonder, which is why I wanted to invite you all to see the changes that have been made to our living room in the last few months.  
You may remember that I wrote about my quest to find the perfect slate for our fireplace surround back in May. When that search stalled, I opted to paint the brick.

I didn't expect to like it nearly as much as I do, but I do.
I found the antique bench, now placed in front of the hearth, sometime last winter for $30 and had it reupholstered recently in Tilton Fenwick's charming "Gideon" stripe in mint/red.
 It took me awhile to decide how to approach our living room built-ins. I slowly relocated books from elsewhere in the house to the shelves here, now giving the space purpose, color and literary clout.
The seat of my favorite antique side chair, an auction find from Connecticut, has been reupholstered in sumptuous coral velvet too, accenting the color elsewhere in the room. 
Now, you're probably wondering where the sofa shot is...

The sofa is in process, as a matter of fact. It took me months and months (far too long, really) to decide which directly I wanted to go in, but I opted for a stain- and fade-resistant Sunbrella solid that I'm excited to see soon. 

I'm still working out the rug situation. We perused the natural rug options at a local carpet store but were mortified at the prices for the custom-sized and bound pattern we liked. Back to the drawing board, I suppose!
(all via Meet Me in Philadelphia)

Bit by bit, inch by inch, the living room (and life in general) is coming together.

P.S. An extra-special thank you to those who emailed and checked in after me in the last few months. 
I sure have missed you all. 


  1. it's beautiful! and i love that your bookcases have real books. :) they aren't paper covered to hide the titles or anything and they still look fabulous!

  2. Okay, is it strange that I was JUST thinking about you and wondering about you and then opened my browser this morning and there you were?! So glad you're happy and well! And of course, I love the tweaks to your living room and can't wait to see that sofa when it's finished. I've been wondering the same thing about blogging and where I'm going with it (if anywhere), but I think I've got a few posts left in me as well. Welcome back, Ashley!! :)

  3. OMG SO pretty! I love how you set everything up and did the decorating! And PS - I'm from Harrisburg!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away Blog

  4. Hooray! So nice to see you here! Transition takes time, doesn't it? So glad you are thinking about coming back and using this as a creative outlet while you are working elsewhere. :) On carpets, feel free to email me the details of what you are looking for--I can probably get it for you at trade pricing.

  5. Looking fantastic!!! Love the bench in front of the mantel. Happy to see you back in the space, my dear!

  6. Glad to see you are back. Your progress in the living room is great! Can't wait to see when the sofa is done.

  7. Wahoo!!! I missed you so but I know how time consuming a new job can be. I'm glad your back and your living room is looking great!!

  8. Every time I see pictures of your house I am convinced it will be in a magazine one day! Don't sweat the summer- I think the whole blog world was on a hiatus. Glad you're back!

  9. I absolutely love having you back!! I'm happy you're starting to find a balance and your home can be your happy refuge. What a gorgeous refuge at that. It's a fabulous room.

  10. that coral velvet is so beautiful! love all the gorgeous details. and, it's fun to see a post for you...they are always worth the wait!

  11. Yay, so glad to see a post by you! Loving the house you live in is a pretty special thing -- and I'm glad you are feeling that way about it. Fabulous, fabulous fabric that you chose for the bench and I love the way you've arranged your bookcases with books in the middle and your gorgeous white pottery on top.

  12. excited to see the changes you've made and see what you come up with!

  13. Love what you've done! That bench is such a find, and it's perfect where it lives in front of the hearth and in that fabric. Seems like a lot of us have been taking an extended blogging break. Welcome back! I hope to get back soon ;-)

  14. Love this room! I was wondering if you had any ideas as to the style/maker of that antique side chair... It's gorgeous!



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