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September 2015
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December 2015

every leaf speaks bliss


fall in minnesota. to borrow vernacular from the kids:

i. can't. even.


i find myself stopping at windows, just staring out across the yard. i mean, really ... wouldn't you?



i even managed to squeeze in five minutes with the kids while it was still amazing.


then, minute 5:01:


and at 5:02:


and that was that. today? gray, raining, cool. very fall-like, and the leaves are dropping fast. wonderful, really, but the beauty is fading.

luckily, we managed to make it to the orchard last weekend, when it was still bright and crunchy and golden.




("how tall this fall" used to be cuter.)




hopefully this weekend there will be time to carve these bad boys. next week is a busy one ... often, pumpkins end up a rush job at the last minute.

also, stay tuned next week for a four-year house update. pinterest has garnered our little place a lot of attention, and many questions have come to me about what more we've done since moving in. the house is pretty clean right now, so next week i'll share house pix.

appetizers ...






asid showcase home - minneapolis

back in may, for mother's day, i requested a walk through my favorite minneapolis neighborhood to look at all the beautiful old homes near lake harriet. while we were walking, we noticed one of the houses was completely wrapped up and under construction. i worried that someone was taking something historic and turning it into something that wouldn't fit the neighborhood.

i shouldn't have worried.

a couple of months later, i was reading minneapolis-st paul magazine, and saw the teaser for the upcoming ASID showcase home tour in minneapolis - where designers from the area take over a house, and work together to make it a showstopper, then let the public walk through and experience the amazingness of their work. while i was looking at the style boards for the various rooms, i noticed a very strong coastal/turquoise vibe, so i took a pic of the magazine page, and sent my friend erin a message:


"we should go."

"yes," she replied.

see, erin is also obsessed with beautiful houses, coastal vibes, and the color turquoise. in fact, she's so obsessed that she started a website, house of turquoise, specifically to catalog and share that love with the world. which is how i came to know her.

and last week, erin sent me a message: we're going through the showcase home.

the homeowner, it turns out, is also a fan of coastal vibes and the color turquoise, and when she agreed to allow her home's renovation to be the featured showcase home, she gave the designers links to house of turquoise to show them her inspiration rooms and style. and then when the home was finished, she reached out to erin and, as a thank you, invited her to privately tour the home that had been so inspired by the beautiful coastal and turquoise homes that have been featured on the site.

and - coming full circle - when i pulled up in front of the showcase home, i realized it was the house that had been under renovation in may in my favorite neighborhood.

i freaking love serendipity.

when you walk in the (super cute, light turquoise, dutch) front door, it is immediately clear that the theme of this house is "coastal", but it is also "family". the home feels warm and personal and intentional ... my three favorite qualities in a house. and while the designers did an amazing job designing and decorating the home, it doesn't feel "decorated" for the sake of tchotchkes and filling walls, but rather it feels like the family's personality is in every corner. which is no small feat, considering the size of the house.



erin has posted a tour of the home on house of turquoise with the official photos of the rooms. here are photos i took of the moments in the home i found the most special, and the design decisions that jumped out at me as most inspirational.


1. coastal


the house started with a blue bicycle the homeowners found at a hardware store. from there, every corner of this home is touched with a coastal vibe, without ever falling down the "theme" trapdoor. wood tones are all grayed and weathered, finishes are simple instead of precious, colors are sand and sky and water. and light and air flow through this house like it's sitting on the water, instead of in a neighborhood in minnesota.


light fixtures and art throughout the house emphasize the beach, the lake, coral and driftwood.






(an original samantha french? just for this family?? i die.)


(the most luminous, amazing photograph i've ever seen.)


 2. wallcoverings

with this much wall space, the designers wisely chose to use wallpapers in many spaces to break up all the flat surfaces. it added warmth and depth to the rooms. the different grass cloth textures were my favorite, but there were also patterns and colors, not to mention different textures, from planking to ship lap to corrugated metal.









(i mean, maps inside the niche? amazing.)



3. the fifth wall

one thing you don't initially notice in this house - because your eyes are going everywhere at once - is that even the ceilings got attention. and it if was in just one or two rooms, it might seem like a gimmick, but it was in nearly every room, and works perfectly. decorating the ceiling was just one more of those, "oh, wow!" things about this house.







4. surfaces

if you watch hgtv, you'd think the only surface available for counters is granite, but there wasn't a bit of it in this house. amazing cambria counter surfaces were used throughout, including a marble-esque version that is so new that this house is its world premiere.






all of the shower floors have river rock tile, which the homeowner says reminds her of beach houses, and is so much smoother and more comfortable on the feet.


5. personal touches

model homes and show homes are lovely, but what i want to see is the personality of the family who makes the house a home. this home had that in abundance.


this amazing mural ... i don't know how long it was (seven feet, maybe? eight?), but it took up the entire upstairs hallway. one large family photo mural, framed in rustic wood. so genius, and so perfect. in fact, nearly every piece of art on the walls in this home hearkens back to a place or a memory or something special to the family.


see the little gymnast? that's the homeowner's daughter. a perfect little detail in her lovely room.


like, i'm sure, many people, i always save little bits of memorabilia, with no idea what to do with it. here, those postcards and ticket stubs are tucked away in a special glass box, so they can be seen and remembered without being clutter. brilliant.


this cabinet is dedicated to the family's love of travel. their guide books to different states and countries, photos from their vacations, seashells they've found ... all gathered in one place to honor them and enjoy their memories.


the family owns a vineyard, and this is their wine label: a drawing of their daughters, and the name is a combination of both girls' names. the butterfly is in honor of their daughter, faith, whom they lost at birth. (you can read more about the amazing thing this family has done in faith's honor here.)


6. and, of course, turquoise


(you know i love a good barn door.)












if you are in the minneapolis area, you must go see this place! this is the final weekend, and tickets are $20. every designer did an amazing job ... this house is perfection! inspiration and 'wow' moments at every turn. it is truly a dream home.

another reminder

all last year, i freaked out about the whole "my kid is in high school!" thing. the idea that henry is almost out the door and on his way into adulthood - and into the years when he doesn't need us and won't be around - doesn't exactly fill me with glee. but for the most part, his freshman year looked a whole lot like middle school: same friends, same swim teams, same interests, no major changes.

then his sophomore year arrived.


and with it, hours a day spent on homework (i mean, pre-calculus? who is this child??) drastically increased, making time to let him drive the car became a thing, and ... then there was a girl.

it started with:


him: is it okay if i go to homecoming?

me: game or dance?

him: dance.

me: of course. why wouldn't it be okay?

him: well ... wouldn't i have to get a suit or something?

me: are you thinking of taking a girl?

him: ... maybe.


and then he DID ask the girl. and she said yes. and then he asked her out for a date before the dance to make sure they were comfortable together. and then they decided to label themselves a "couple".

this is so, so new. and different.

but she's an adorable girl, and they seem to really get along well. and the dance came, and with it plans to hang out with friends before and after, and they had a great time (from what i hear).














these are great kids. and i know they will have great times in the next three years. and it's fun to see them becoming young adults ... especially the ones i've known since they were in first grade.


but it's all just another reminder that they are growing up. and it's fun to watch.

but it also kinda hurts.