I AM SITTING OUTSIDE A COFFEE SHOP
WITH CHARLIE AND BEAN…
The realtor OPEN HOUSE is taking place at my house.
IT IS HAPPENING!
HERE is the LISTING!
If I were to tell you where I have been, what I have been doing, how many trips to the hardware store I have made …IT would take too long and bore you to tears! I could tell you how I needed to buy Knee pads because I have been down on the floor scrubbing up all of my little tiny paint splatters…( I simply must learn to be neater!) It has been a whirlwind…I have touched every inch of this house with my hand and tried to make her look as pretty as possible. Busy times and then…
and THE WILLIAM AND MARY ACCEPTED STUDENTS DAY, SOCCER GAMES and just plain old life.
Here are my
FIVE PIECES OF ADVICE FOR STAYING SANE AND SURVIVING THIS PROCESS –
HAVING DINNERS WITH FRIENDS, GOING TO COOPERS SOCCER GAMES. THERE IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE SOMETHING TO DO AROUND THE HOUSE …BUT LIFE IS IMPORTANT TO DO TOO!!!!! KEEPS IT ALL IN PERSPECTIVE.
AH – MY HOUSE. Pretty soon will be someone else’s house. We have had an incredible run. Raised the kids, set all but one off to see the world and now the time has come to move on to the next step. I know I will cry buckets … but it is all good. AND I have new adventures ahead of me!
I have 6 New PAINTINGS ON UGALLERY!
VISIT UGALLERY FOR MORE LESLI DEVITO PAINTINGS!!!
My Old Country House goes on the market April 19.
We are currently away on spring break. Thank goodness. I was exhausted.
I spent the better part of last week painting scrubbing, fixing paint chips, scraping, and readying our very lived in house to be put on the market. I do not need to tell you that this process is bittersweet. We are only the second family in this house since it was built in 1880.
I have loved and worked on every inch of this house and I say that without exaggeration. I have raised my family in this house and I’m sending children off to college from this house. It is the most wonderful house I have ever lived in. But I do believe that the time is right for us to move to a smaller home. Though knowing so does not make much of this process much easier.
We have a wonderful realtor who is working with us to ready our house to be put on the market. I moved every three years as a child, so the steps come second nature to me. But here is my list of things to do to get your house ready to put it on the market.
I am going to skip all of the obvious things, for instance if you have visible signs of damage – broken staircase slats cracked ceilings all of those things we need to be repaired/replaced first. You may remember that last year when we contemplated putting our house on the market, we had a lot of structural damage that need to be addressed…. Once those things were all fixed,
and the exterior of her house is painted, I fell back in love with my house and to be decided to postpone selling.
MY TOP TEN “TO DO”LIST
Damon took charge of the outside cleaning up rubbish and old twigs, fixing up the landscaped areas and putting down bags and bags of mulch. We also have fresh gravel put on our driveway. And bought loads of fresh flowers to put wherever needed.
Spring is a great time to sell, all the dogwoods and tulips are in bloom and the natural beauty is a bonus.
There is much to do upon our return from spring break. We will need to style each room, freshen up the spaces. But hopefully the hardest and most physical work is behind us. For now I am off to enjoy the beauty of Puerto Rico!!!!
I will be back next week with an update on
My Old Country House!
WITH ALL THIS PACKING AND STAGING AND CLEANING HAPPENING….
I find myself wanting to retreat, go sit someplace quiet and escape the craziness that is ME right now. Daughter graduating, house selling, and subsequent house finding…yesterday I dragged (well ROLLED really) my dining room table, covered with paint out into the yard and refinished it! YES in the middle of ALL OF THIS…I am stripping and refinishing furniture but I tend to be a “RAINS IT POURS” so I derive an incredible amount of energy from any “TO DO” list…which often includes things NOT on the list but which have needed DOING for years! ANYHOO…..
CHAIRISH IS one of my all time favorite GO TO sites for decorating inspiration.
ANNA BROCKWAY, CO FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT of CHAIRISH spoke at the DESIGN BLOGGERS CONFERENCE. She was SO inspirational. She literally started Chairish by listing furniture from her own house! I kid you not! How brilliant (and a bit crazy but GOOD CRAZY – is that!)
I LOVE CHAIRISH. Everything is unique and special and one of a kind.
I find that lately everything…every site I VISIT….ends up having ALL THE same stuff!!!!…
but NOT CHAIRISH – they are a consignment shop of sorts…A NEW FASHIONED – HIGH END yes, but also very very AFFORDABLE-END TOO ….just unique IDEA-CREATING home furnishings…sofas, rugs, lamps…even
BARSTOOLS AND A BAR!
I Highly urge you to check out CHAIRISH – TO BUY AND PERHAPS EVEN TO SELL!!!! I know I am going to have a MONSTER TRUCK LOAD of stuff to sell as we downsize. THEY HELP YOU HANDLE the shipping too!!!!!
I THINK A LADY CAVE WOULD BE A NICE ADDITION TO THE NEW HOUSE!
I HAD THE FLU
It was nasty. As it took me longer than I anticipated to get a clear head back…and still, I am not quite back 100% but getting closer every day.
In the meantime…many changes are brewing. Phoebe is winding down her senior year. Each week seems to take on a theme, a life of its own…the “LAST” this and that...Phoebe is much more sentimental than Tate and more involved in school politics so her duties run far and wide. She was recently rewarded an EMILY COURIC MERIT scholarship and will be honored the day before her 18th birthday at a luncheon in honor of all the girls locally (8) who were nominated . I am so proud of my girl. But it is bittersweet….I am not quite sure I can picture my life without her nearby…it is going to be a rough one..letting go. But she is on to amazing things!
Which brings me to the next big change…or impending change.
We are putting My Old Country House on the market.
I cannot even believe I am writing these words but I do believe that it is time to live a little smaller and a little simpler. We had a realtor here today, someone who is very familiar with old properties such as ours and hopefully his recommendations with be fair and we will get the ball rolling. Soon. Spring is the time to sell right? gulp.
It won’t happen overnight…and who knows, it may not even happen…but I am embracing the possibility and if it is meant to be , I am ready to let go of this amazing home which has served us so well all these years. We moved into this house with babys…Tate was just a first grader…the time goes so fast! So very much has changed.
Updates to come…Thank you for taking this journey with me. Truly – Thank you.
OUR KITCHEN RENOVATION WAS COMPETED 3 YEARS AGO.
AND THE “REVEAL POST” IS TO DATE IS MY “MOST READ POST” .
The kitchen renovation is one of those endeavors…like having 3 children under the age of 4…that I am not so sure I could do again…or at least wonder. “How did I DO THAT!” BUT SOMEHOW I DID…and it still works. I have thought about getting all new cabinets…but with a second DeVito heading to college…that is probably not going to happen. But I like to dream.
ANYWAY…I thought i would be fun to share it with you, many of who never saw it the first time around! Enjoy!
THIS IS WHAT WE STARTED WITH! In 1967, the kitchen was Built RIGHT in the space, meaning that no two cabinets measure exactly the same…the doors measure all ever so slightly different…BUT On the plus side, every single inch was used and there is little dead space…cause…you gotta find a “plus side”!!!
THE MAYTAG DISHWASHER LASTED A MEER 2 YEARS BEFORE IT BROKE AND THE REPLACEMENT PART WAS GOING TO BE MORE THAN BUYING A NEW FRIGIDARE….LIVE AND LEARN…SO WE HAVE A FRIDGIDARE NOW.
Each NEW feature of this room; the countertops, the appliances, the hardware…. represented hours and hours of price matching and figuring out…weighing the cost benefit of this versus that….etc etc…and mostly SAVING money….
THE BIGGEST WAY I SAVED MONEY…. WAS ON THE COUNTERTOPS…
HOW? You ask? “How did you save with Marble?”
I saved because these countertops ARE ACTUALLY NOT MARBLE….
actually I have NICK-named it “FAURBLE”- FAUX MARBLE
…it was $850!!!
That’s $14 a square foot for you MATH whizzes…you can also get them for $30/sq foot installed,
Here is how my thinking went…”this kitchen is 45 years old. In order to save money, we decided to MAINTAIN the original footprint. We kept the cabinet bodies and replaced the doors and drawer fronts with an updated look and color.We chose white to keep the 4 walled space…space more open. I also DID most of the work myself. My ULTIMATE dream was to EVENTUALLY TAKE DOWN the wall between the Kitchen and Dining room and GUT renovate the space one day….but for the time being, I chose to spend my BIG dollars on items that could be moved to a new space: appliances, faucets…even hardware.”
There is not a doubt in my mind that we could have saved an extra HUGE chunk of change had I gone with BUDGET hardware, LOW end inexpensive appliances, and an inexpensive knock off faucet. My goal was to GET THE BEST (within reason) FOR LESS!!! l challenge you to find any price LOWER than the ones I found for each of my purchases.
A FEW DAYS AFTER I ORIGINALLY POSTED OUR KITCHEN, I GOT AN EMAIL FROM FAMILY CIRCLE MAGAZINE. SEEMS THEY FEATURE A “BUDGET KITCHEN” MAKEOVER EACH YEAR AND WE HAD BEEN CHOSEN AS THAT YEARS “BUDGET KITCHEN OF THE YEAR!” .
IN PREPARATION FOR THE PHOTO SHOOT, I PAINTED THE VINYL FLOORING WITH BENJAMIN MOORE PORCH AND FLOOR PAINT.
IT HAS HELD UP BEAUTIFULLY. EVERY 18 MONTHS OR SO, I WILL ROLL ON A FRESH COAT…BUT IT BREATHED NEW LIFE INTO OUR DINGY FLOOR AND BOUGHT US TIME TO FIGURE OUT OUR NEXT MOVE. MY HOPE IS TO ONE DAY INSTALL SMALL HEXAGON TILE – SIMILAR TO THE BATHROOMS.WE SHALL SEE
YOU MAY NOTICE THAT THE COUNTERTOP EDGE PROFILE CHANGED . WE ORIGINALLY WANTED THE “AEGEAN EDGE” –
‘AEGEAN”(ALSO CALLED “PENCIL”) IS A STRAIGHT EDGE THAT DOES NOT WRAP AROUND THE BOTTOM. THIS EDGE RESEMBLED THE CUTS OF REAL MARBLE THAT I WAS MOST ATTRACTED TO. TWO MONTHS INTO THE ORDER COMPLETION, WE WERE TOLD AEGEAN WAS UNAVAILABLE. WE WERE BUMMED.
SO, WE GOT THE MORE CURVY “AMORE” EDGE NSTEAD. 6 MONTHS AFTER THE KITCHEN WAS COMPLETED, THE FORMICA COMPANY CONTACTED US, WANTING TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT…THEY GRACIOUSLY REPLACED THE “AMORE EDGE” COUNTERTOPS WITH WHAT WE HAD ORIGINALLY WANTED. AEGEAN! TALK ABOUT GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!
FORMICA MAKES A GREAT PRODUCT, AND FOR MANY, THEY PROVIDE AN ATTRACTIVE AND AFFORDABLE OPTION. I AM HAPPY TO REPORT THAT NEW TRAINING PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN INSTITUTED IN LOWES AND HOME DEPOTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, MAKING THESE COUNTER TOPS MORE ACCESSIBLE. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN FORMICA 180X AND ENCOUNTER ANY ROAD BLOCKS, FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME AND I WILL DO MY BEST TO CONNECT YOU WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE!!!!
THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!!!
for more on my Budget Kitchen Makeover Visit the following Posts:
Coming to you LIVE from the Design Bloggers Conference in ATLANTA !
I felt a tad guilty, leaving 2 kids with the flu home with Dad for 4 days but, yesterday I kissed their hot foreheads and headed to Atlanta for the 6th and my 3rd Design Bloggers Conference!
..on the PLUS side I am happy to report that my eldest , Tate, home from UVA on his Spring break , has joined me! He slept in for the morning speakers but joined me at lunch and struck up a great conversation with the Morning Keynote Speaker – Cynthia Rowley, YES , CYNTHIA ROWLEY...who among all the millions of things she does… Including being born exactly one day before me… Is now designing surf boards – Tate’s big love!!!
Tate and his new friend Cynthia talked Project Runway and Surfing while I simply pinched myself ! Cynthia has a whole line of GORGEOUS women’s swimwear and wetsuits...you really need to check these out! I am absolutely in LOVE with her more than ever now and must find a way to collaborate of something! She started out as an ARTIST!
SHORTLY BEFORE LUNCH – WE MET Justina Blakeney !!1 JUSTINA spoke ABOUT – Among other things, HER recently released NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER –
JUSTINA BLAKENEY GAVE A MASTER CLASS – SHARING HER INTERNET WISDOM – SHE aspires to be the Bohemian chic design goddess (I kind of think she already is!) I love her Straightforward no-nonsense approach to the business of blogging and Branding! JUSTINA has such vision and clarity! I did NOT get a photo but instead did a little doodle of her…
A GODDESS…..just spoke and I can honestly say she might be one of the best… most engaging, FUNNY and entertaining speakers I have ever had the pleasure of seeing and hearing. Add the British accent and the “brilliant” family history… and she had me mesmerized the entire time.
I always love it too when I meet someone with kids the same ages as mine! Somehow I feel a kinship. Her eldest is also 19!!!
DURING THE Q AND A part, someone asked India about “the wedding”… it took a moment for me to register “what wedding????” …and then I remembered …DUH! You know, Charles and Diana!!!!! Her Godfather is royalty! She told a sweet rid bit about Diana getting ready in her centuries old exquisite Royal tiara… And jeans …. Brilliant!
SHE is so charming in her honest account of growing up with a Famous Father as a designer…in homes like Downton Abbey and I loved HER Truse love for her Father…which radiated as she spoke. She is quite down to earth…all things considered and I absolutely love that she had Dave Matthews to visit with his family and did not know..until her left…WHO he was!!! They shared Tequilla and a love for beetles! I love her. Check out India’s blog too!
I am currently decorating a shared bedroom for two very young sisters. I LOVE decorating kids rooms!!!…It takes me back and makes me nostalgic for my babies….and their LOVIES.
“LOVIES” aka “transitional objects” . My Mom said I had a yellow satin-edged blanket as a baby/toddler, it went everywhere I went. There were many stories of trips made BACK from whence we came when my “blankie” was accidentally left behind.
You never know what your child will choose as their LOVIE. Tate had a room full of blankies and stuffed animals, tons of transitional objects to choose from…but instead chose to carry little things he could hold in his fist. He LOVED LOVED the Fisher Price “little people” and went nuts over the little Lego guys. Once, on a Pre School tour, he got hold of a tiny cylindrical purple block. Held it tight in his hand and I did not have the heart to try to pry it loose. It remains in my jewelry box….a reminder of the little things..that meant so much…even if only until the next “little thing” came along.
Fast forward to Phoebe…and she had too many LOVIES to count. When she was three she carried her collected menagerie around the house , room to room, in a cardboard box….Barney, Pooh bear, Cow baby… Her toddler bed was a stuffed-animal zoo…barely room for her little body…there were beanie babies and stuffed puppies and her MOST FAVORITE LOVIE in the whole world (to this day!) was a PINK satin ribbon trimmed monogrammed blankie. Fancy girl. She got it she she was 5 months old as a gift. She still keeps it under her pillow, a bit tattered, I have re-stitched the binding many times – it has been WELL LOVED…. She named it “Friend Blankie”(FB )- to be differentiated from “NOT my Friend Blankie” (NMFB) which was the IDENTICAL copy we got in case FB – Blankie #1 went missing. She was on to us…though in truth..and could tell them apart…hence the “not my friend” ….that was until FB #1 was lost one day, after it had been left on the top of the car, and NMFB became FB and we had to get a NMFB #2…which is still packed away somewhere!!! The things we do for love! And sleep.
These things, the blankies and the “Lovies” are so precious. When we are new parents…they are life savers…they can be the difference between a screaming child and a sleeping one. They comfort our babies when we are across the hall…at work, somewhere else. They make them feel safe. We cherish them and when they get lost…we travel far and wide to retrieve them. We buy back-ups and copies in fear of losing them. Then, one day…while we are busy doing the dishes or folding laundry…we find them in a corner…no longer the life-line-difference-maker they once were and we are simultaneously grateful and a bit melancholy at the swift passage of time and then…we move on to the next thing…the next phase and we pack the Lovies safely away, or tuck them under a pillow and they remind us of a time that was simple and pure and sweet. LOVIES.
THE LOVIE PORTRAITS – STAR BABY AND PATS BUNNY
I HAD THE HONOR LAST CHRISTMAS OF PAINTING DOZENS OF CUSTOM PET PORTRAITS. IN ADDITION, I WAS COMMISSIONED TO PAINT THE “LOVIES” BELONGING TO THE CHILDREN OF A CLIENT. THIS WAS A FIRST…AND I HOPE I GET THE CHANCE AGAIN…I LOVED THIS PROJECT…
The little girl had a “Star Baby”…
…and her big brother The little boy had a Patriots Bunny…
This photo melts my heart!
These two yummy Christmas morning babes…make you want to freeze time. I am so happy to have been able to give them lasting memories of this precious time!
Did you have a LOVIE? Did your children? I love hearing about the LOVIES!!!
WITHOUT CRACKING A PAGE…I PREDICT THAT CORAL…WILL BE RAISING IT’S PEACHY PINK LITTLE HAND AND ASK POLITELY TO BE HEARD THIS SPRING AND SUMMER…WHY?
I DON’T KNOW, I JUST FEEL IT! I FEEL PEACHY!
I love CORAL / PEACH / APRICOT – as accent colorS…in combination with Grays, GREENS and Navy.
The Inside of my Bathroom Vanity – painted Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray is painted Coral Gables.
IT IS HARD NOT TO SMILE WHEN YOU LOOK AT CORAL…IT IS WARM AND CHEERFUL AND FLATTERING. A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY…AND POPS OF CORAL CAN ADD JUST THE RGHT ZING TO A ROOM…OR COCKTAIL!!!
HAVE YOU – WOULD YOU EVER USED PEACH – APRICOT – CORAL?
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITES?