I hope you enjoyed the holiday season! It feels like ages since I’ve blogged, though it hasn’t been – I just took a short, planned hiatus for the holidays. And yet the holidays went by so fast. I don’t understand how that works!
I postponed writing this post until this morning, because I honestly felt a little disappointed that my Christmas and New Year celebrations were not as ‘picture perfect’ as my expectations would have had them be – and I wasn’t sure what to write about, since I had thought I’d tell and show you all about that…
It all started Christmas Eve (in the late evening), when I realized (mid-sip of champagne) that I had forgotten to pick up the 10 pounds of special-order beef tenderloin to make my signature Christmas dinner entree, Beef Wellington. So I couldn’t make that. Then, somehow, on Christmas day, I still ran out of time in preparing my desserts and didn’t get to my apple crumb pies. The chocolate Frangelico truffles I tried to make didn’t set properly, and were misshapen and unpresentable. My holiday decorating went unfinished in some rooms. My tablescape was simple and basic, and I didn’t take any pictures of it before the sun went down(despite being highly inspired and determined to do so, thanks to my friend Linda Holt). I really wanted to make it a special and memorable Christmas for my family (24 of us!).
And yet, despite all of the things I didn’t do, we had a wonderful meal. I was more present and less stressed out about meat doneness and madeira sauce reductions. We got by with a (yummy) spiral ham. I bought two $5 grocery store poinsettias, planted them in an antique soup tureen, and called it a centerpiece. I ordered my sides instead of making them myself. I focused on doing the things I truly love to do (making desserts!), and I enjoyed it. And I think my family did, too.
After really hunkering down with my family over the holidays, I’m feeling relaxed, recharged, and ready to take on 2017! (We’ve had house guests since December 24th, the last of whom are leaving this morning).
Since there is much to do today after a week and a half off, I’ll just briefly give an overview of what I’ve got on the books for the coming year, so far. A lot can change in a few months’ time, I’ve learned!
1.) Renovating my own home. It’s go time! After years of planning – and postponing – we are ready to rock this thing. And, I’m looking forward to blogging about it, and documenting it on Instagram. We will finally be able to make this house what we wanted it to be and knew it could be when we moved here in 2013. Demo and foundation work will hopefully begin in February/March (weather-dependent), and we should be enjoying our new-and-improved home in time to host holiday celebrations next year. We’re not gutting the whole house, rather, performing major surgery on the areas we spend the most time in, to bring them into line with the parts of the house we love (the ones that have many of the original architectural details intact, of course!). We’re also not going to be moving out while all of this is going on. At the end of the process, we’ll have:
- A brand new, enlarged kitchen that will be the centerpiece of the renovation
- A more casual dining area/table
- A cozier family room
- All of the above to be connected, whereas today, they are woefully separate – I still work in a ‘service’ kitchen…
- A small and unfussy, but oh-so-functional walk-in pantry
- A new, pretty pretty powder room
- A dramatic – and dramatically more functional – 1.5-story mudroom
- A proper playroom in the basement
- An enclosed side porch off our living room
- A reworked front porch
2.) A new office and design studio. As part of our home renovation, we also made a decision in the last few weeks that it would be a good time to do something I’ve been dreaming about since we first laid eyes on this house – creating studio space in the quasi-finished room above my 1896 barn-cum-garage. I’ll get some much needed space (with room to grow), and a bit more separation from the house, with all of the benefits of, and fewer drawbacks to/distractions of working out of a home office.
3.) Exciting and challenging client projects. I’m feeling blessed to be starting out the year with a full plate and a variety of different types of projects and clients, all with different challenges. I will need to remember that I am a client this year, too (talk about a challenge!).
4.) Giving back. I don’t have concrete plans yet, but my goal is to participate in at least two significant charitable activities related to my business and/or blog this year. Last year I participated for the first time in the Junior League of Boston Decorators’ Show House. I am not sure if there will be a show house this year, or if I will have the privilege of participating, but it definitely got me into the mentality of using my skills and talents to make a difference in our community. And I want to do even more of it this year.
5.) Blogging on the regular. I’m so glad I settled into a regular blogging schedule – for the first time ever, really – this past fall. And I plan to continue that throughout the coming year. Each Tuesday, I publish a post on a design-related topic. These vary, and have included project reveals, trend commentary, color tips, and many other topics. Many of my Tuesday posts will be devoted to the renovation planning and progress at my own home. Reader questions are also invited and encouraged! On Fridays, I spotlight a single product for the home that I think is both fabulous and family-friendly.
So I say, welcome, 2017! Here’s to taking it one day at a time, but keeping our eyes on the bigger picture, and focusing on what’s really important, both personally and professionally. Cheers!