I’m a Sucker for an Old Settee

I admit it, I’m a sucker for a settee. French settees in particular are amongst my favorites.  I’ve got an amazing one at my kitchen table that I’ll probably never part with. Just a few months ago I snagged this one on Craigslist. It had two amazing chairs that I’ll be redoing for a client soon, but this little preppy guy was in bad need of a makeover. Here’s how I did it. 

Continue reading “I’m a Sucker for an Old Settee”

The Year of Me

Last year at this time, I declared to my husband that this would be The Year of Me. He responded with an unsure and nervous “Ok.”  Instead of declaring a list of goals for the year, I decided on a more general goal for the year: To surround myself with things that would make me happier.  I would pay attention to how things make me feel, and I would act accordingly.

And I can honestly report that this was the happiest year of my life. That doesn’t mean it was easy or that only good things happened.  There were many challenges this past year.  But challenges don’t make us unhappy…on the contrary, challenges can bring happiness provided that we rise up to meet them. It’s the struggle—as we look back—that is the best part. 

So, what did I do to make this The Year of Me?  Continue reading “The Year of Me”

It Really Is Better to Give Than to Receive

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s better to give than to receive.” I’m not sure that I really believed that as a kid, though. But now that I’m adult, I know this to be true. A few weeks ago I read an article in the local newspaper about a refugee family who had relocated to the Austin area from Syria. Multiple times, their neighborhood had been the target of bombing.  And, each time, their home was completely destroyed. I can’t even fathom what would it be like to have to start over with nothing but what others give out of the goodness of their hearts. 

When I saw a picture of the kids sitting around a coffee table in mismatched office chairs while they ate, I knew I had to step up and help. And so, I went to work designing something joyful and happy for this family of seven.   Continue reading “It Really Is Better to Give Than to Receive”

Farmhouse Chairs take on a Fun Twist

This past weekend I made a trip to Minden, Louisiana to visit my friend, Sara, who had ordered a set of dining chairs for her newly renovated cottage-style farmhouse. She has spent the last year renovating this old house. Oh my goodness! The house is absolutely darling. Every. Square. Inch.  Driving up, you can’t help but notice the lemon yellow door popping out from the all white facade. Decorating the porch and an overhaul of the yard are still on the list of things to come for this cottage farmhouse, but even so, the house still looks so darn cute. 

Continue reading “Farmhouse Chairs take on a Fun Twist”

A Chair to Honor My Dad

It’s been 13 years and counting. My dad passed away somewhat suddenly after being a very active man. The last few days of his life we turned to hospice so we could bring our dad home where he wanted to be. Up to this point, I had no experience or contact with a hospice organization—death was a scary topic that I didn’t care to entertain. But the fact is, it comes to all of us eventually. And looking back, I am so grateful for hospice. Sure, it’s still painful after all these years to look back on those events, but because of this organization I do have some comfort in knowing that we were able to give my dad his last wish—being at home. My brother and I were prepared to do whatever we needed to take care of him, but after an initial evaluation, the hospice nurses said they would be there 24 hours a day. And, they were amazing in their care not only for my dad, but for us. People who devote their lives to this type of service are simply amazing. The nurses are a huge part of this, but it takes a village to run hospice organizations from office staff to counselors and educators. 

Every year for the past four years I’ve donated a chair to the annual Hospice Austin’s Beauty of Life charity auction event. This year is no different. And as I’ve selected the frame, fabric, and finish of my chair, I’ve reflected on my dad. He would never have believed I’ve made a career change like this one. But he were still alive, he would be my biggest cheerleader.   Continue reading “A Chair to Honor My Dad”