I think I was a bit delusional during the moving process last spring. I had it in my mind that I would have plenty of time to unpack, organize our lives and even decorate prior to the pending wedding season. I even had visions of having my studio being set and ready to go. Life is always more work than anticipated, then throw in two little girls and its game over.
#thebigmovetoBigRapids has disappeared from my feed. Life is messy right now. But in the name of progress, here’s where we stand since our relocation.
A 1950s ranch located on 6 acres of woods, fields and within walking distance to a small lake. It’s quiet, dirt road living. I love the location and the serenity.
The house was completely gutted and remodeled by the previous owners. They bought it as a foreclosure and spent the next year of their lives redoing everything. They pride themselves in nothing original being left of the 1950s shack. I, however, find this really sad. From past pictures, I understand that much needed to be improved upon but I would have liked to retain a bit more history and preserved some of the home’s original integrity.
I’ve also found very few people in this area share my passion for white cabinets, light walls and cottage chic décor. There’s a lot of brown in this town. I’m on a mission to infuse a bit more of my style into this home without making it clash with the brand new pieces that have been so carefully selected, such as the deep espresso cabinets, the chocolate bathroom vanity and rusty gold tones of the travertine fireplace surround. The one project I have been able to tackle so far is painting all the walls in my living room and kitchen white (naturally, I tackled that project the night befor Willa June’s first birthday). It’s a step in the right direction, even if I’m not completely sold on the chosen paint color.
Our house has a fully finished, walk out basement. It’s very homey and not at all your typical dingy, damp basement space. This is be a space where I can work, design and meet with clients. Half will be designated as a “work zone”, with shelving, counter height tables and – fingers crossed – a sink. The other half will be more of a cozy, meet and greet space. I have an antique sofa that’s just waiting to be reupholstered and I’m looking for a few other cute pieces in my travels. I love any excuse to purchase new furniture. I’m even hoping to include a small play area. And the best part is there will be a door between the two halves, so when the studio side gets a little messy, we can close it off to the living area and hopefully keep the floral disaster contained.
As far as progress goes on this space, we’ve ripped out half of the carpeting since I can’t really work with flowers on carpet. But other than that, there’s been a lot of dreaming about potential. I’m hoping to select a paint color before we lay new floors but I’m stuck on what color. It’s all dependent upon what color I want as a backdrop for my flowers to be Instagrammed against. So sad, but so true.
This is another big dream area. We simply didn’t have time to plant anything this year and I really wanted a summer to see what grew naturally on our property. So far we’ve found wild raspberries, mock orange (or something that looks a lot like it), apple trees, irises, lots of autumn olive, sweet peas, more ferns than you could possibly imagine, chokeberries, grapes, daffodils and oodles of things I cannot possibly name.
I very much want to plant and grow some things to add to my floral designs and am looking forward to that sense of accomplishment. However, I’m a little scared. I don’t exactly have a green thumb and I think this might be a huge, frustrating challenge ahead of me.
There you have it, the last five months, in a nutshell. Living here feels so natural, I can hardly believe it’s only been four and a half months. I’m excited for the autumn and dreading the winter a touch, but I definitely have enough things in mind to keep me busy all year through.
Photography: Justine Simmonds