The Unexamined Life..Of Your Coffee Table

I love to explore, I like to plan a whole day in a new place, it gives me a new perspective to return home with. Traveling has been an influence on everything in my home. Experiences bring my imagination to life and I love to daydream about all the possibilities.

I try to make the best of what I have to work with, in part out of care for our environment but also because every object has potential!

So in cultivating my blog over the years I’ve been exploring avenues that I enjoy. Some of the most exciting experiences I’ve had in my life I’ve been completely terrified of. Example: every single place we traveled in California had to be on the side of a mountain, and I am not a fan of heights. Am I glad I did them, yes. Was it terrifying, also yes! College, scary, did that too. Living with other people I didn’t know, scary, did that. Running for a town political role, suuuper scary but also exciting! Buying a home, scary, but extremely rewarding!

So what I’ve been doing lately has been designing a business. Im terrified. I really don’t like change. I have a pretty cushy job, and a pretty easy life. What business do I have trying to mix that up? Well the goal has been to step out of my comfort zone, to give the world a chance to understand what it is I want to give back to it and to try to live my best life!

So here it goes…

Background: I grew up an only child. Which requires me to answer the question, how did you like being an only child? I’ll be honest, it was fine. I pretty much had my imagination to entertain me, instead of another human. I think it also made me look closer at myself (critically) and also the relationship I had with other people. My fatal flaw is people -pleasing. While my parents were older from start, I had to grow up relatively quickly, with a few challenges. Mom had mental health issues, Dad had some workaholic issues. Everyone has issues, but it made my story, and shaped a lot of my strengths.

Neither parent really cared about our living space outside of whether it was clean(it was very dysfunctional). So I found myself making my bed, fluffing my stuffed animals and putting my own decorative towels in the bathroom for when guests came over. Right… I know, people pleaser. They didn’t see the value of a well designed home space. They did have some taste (sort of) Dad was kind of hippy, which now in the era of mid century modern times has found its way back in vogue (go Dad). Mom was more artist, mixed with Greek iconography. So my house was a shmorgusboard if hippy, Jesus and artwork. Not the most cute assembly of furniture pairing. Lots of random paint splatters, brushes and equipment… but it was home.

What I found myself doing in my younger years was constantly reorganizing my own space. My room was like my safe place. The family didn’t always get along, and life wasn’t always roses and sunshine. I tried to stay positive, keep my own space in order and looking as good as I could have it with the resources I had. I remember the feeling of seeing the redesigned space. It was like a breath of fresh air. The odd thing was remembering where everything was placed in the new arrangement. It was necessary to use what I had to work with because asking for something deemed “unnecessary” was more aggravating than making the best of it. In a lot of ways this allowed me to utilize the things I had creatively. I credit the rents with giving me a hard time enough that I had no choice but to make my own designs.

So here I am adulting and trying to find my purpose, and recycle, and drink enough water, and meet my personal goals, you know, be responsible (eye rolling emoji). What I’ve found is that I really want to help people live in the space they feel the most at home. Some people see the value in simplicity while others want their Pinterest dreams to come true. I’ve just found a happy balance of function and artsy, with unique hand made peices. What I’ve always wanted is my space to feel comfortable to anyone who enters. After years of trial and error I think I’ve achieved my design goals.

What is so counter intuitive to so many of my friends and family is making their space work for their family while still meeting their asthetic goals. I’ve always loved Martha Stewart, and I’m a huge fan of HGTV. The difference between my inspirations is that I try to incorporate personal experiences into spaces.

So many designers make your kitchen look like a home and garden magazine but fail to reflect the people who live there. One thing I love is holding the mirror up and saying you are, where you live. Your space is part of your health. Your wellness is directly related to your environment, and for me, I find clarity in order, and reorganization.

Part of the journey I am on in life is bringing my life experiences into my living space, as a reflection of who I am, where I’ve been and what I love.

I have so many photographs of my better half, Joe and I. I have pictures of our cat. I have my mothers artwork, our grandparents wedding photographs, friends, family, trips we’ve been on etc. Our kitchen has been completely redone (by us), and is now pig themed, subtly. before

(Two different times of year so bare with the decor in these pictures)

Our chandelier is restored from basically a dumpster to full beauty (Joe deemed it to be trash).

We built our own bar, we built our headboard, our kitchen island, our entry bench, our master bedroom bench. We redesigned our bathroom fixture. We built custom shelving, we built our ottoman, we’ve upcycled more stuff than we’ve bought. I’m proud of that.

Everything in our home has a story, and it’s about who we are and what we love.

We have made a beautiful space using mostly what we had, and adding our own spin. Our molding may not have perfect lines, although he did a very nice job for a beginner! Our life might not be exactly what you see in a magazine but it has cracks that came with weathering. My favorite part about our home is our life in it. After so many life experiences it’s easy to lose track of where you’ve been. I find a memory around every corner in the lake house that we love.

So I am officially beginning the exciting (and scary as hell) adventure of starting a consulting company for interior decorating, with a focus on life experience, and functional needs. I love to be reminded of all the fun I’ve had. I love my family, and my friends and I make it a point to focus on the positivity both in my life and in my home space. I have helped so many people see positivity and opportunities in their space so they can grow into it or shift into a better arrangement.

As for the coffee table, we turned it into an ottoman.

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Travel, Even if it’s nearby.


Something about being in a new place fills your soul and your core with this uneasy, excited, butterfly, poop feeling. It’s like you are going up a roller coaster and you know it’s going to be exciting and thrilling. Being in a place you have known and you are revisiting somehow gives us that same sentiment. It’s like Boston for me. I spent many many days and nights in Boston. When I return something inside me awakens. It’s as if my skin is on fire and my heart is awake. It’s a great feeling.

When you travel, even close by, you look carefully at things.  You see things differently, with rose colored glasses. The effects of stopping and smelling the roses my friends, is overall life satisfaction.

You start to see those familiar signs on the highway, and pay your final toll, then you see Fenway and suddenly it all comes back.” I remember why I love this place”.  When you finally arrive it’s like a rush of adrenaline and you can’t wait to explore the places you have been and try new ones as well.

I suppose traveling and love have the same general feeling. It’s exciting and new and always makes you feel kind of queasy, in a good way. There is something  about planning a trip that just fills you with new opportunity. The chance to explore is probably a fundamental human need. It’s on the same scale as creating something or leaving your mark on the world.

I have often wondered how people I know can simply drop their real life in exchange for a backpack and go to Europe with no plan. That idea sounds insane, that is not the kind of trip I could take. It’s too passé.

I would love to be able to travel, as most people would, but on my own terms and with certainty that when I return I have a schedule to get back to. It’s important to have balance in life and getting a backpack and going, indefinetly, is not my idea of a good time. I admit I’m too high maintenance for whimsical ideas like that. I need to know my hotel is clean/ has good reviews and I have a general itinerary so I don’t go totally crazy trying to organize myself.

Being free isn’t what I’m good at. I suppose those people have some kind of ingrained spirit that allows them to let go of reality and live in the moment. This is great, but when you go back home how can you settle down? Once you fly how can you go back to walking? I don’t think you can. It’s like caging a wild bird. They might stay in their cage but they will always try to escape. I’ve met many untamed people like this and they are often the most interesting and sad. They are restless and nothing makes them happy, unfortunately for their partners they have to constantly restrain them. It’s always a fight for freedom in their minds. I have known many free-birds and while I am envious of their “wing-it” attitude I am certain they will never find home, or be happy in one place for long.

It’s strange to feel at home in so many places. I feel at home in my condo, at my father’s house where I grew up, in Rhode Island in many places, parts of Boston, and in certain people’s homes. I don’t feel like traveling without knowing at some point I will sleep in my own bed. Travel is like a roller coaster, you go up while you get to where ever you are going you get to the top and you feel enlightened by the new-ness of it all and as you descend it’s exhilarating to have had all these experience and finally you get home with your feet on the ground. It’s a safe and comfortable feeling but you always want to do it again. It was awesome. You carry the experience with you at home and with those you encounter. You wait impatiently, until your next roller coaster ride. All the while knowing you still have home. Home is always my favorite place, no matter where I am going or where I have been.

Maybe I like feeling grounded, maybe it’s because I’ve made “home” a place of refuge surrounded by comfort. Or maybe traveling is better done in doses so you appreciate every moment. Being home we plan for the places we will go, being away makes us value our lives. It makes us humble and it keeps us human. The feeling of returning home is just as exciting as arriving in a new place or even a familiar place. That feeling is what we love about life. It’s taking that deep breath of fresh ocean air or smelling th burning fireplace in the living room. It’s a feeling like love.

Travel often in life, and remember where you came from, for both are worth the ride.