Here we go again! Last year I decided to go all out and attempted to "cure" my kitchen. While it came a long way thanks to the Style Cure, we are now almost ready to begin phase two — we just installed wood floors and are planning to paint the lower cabinets and add butcher block countertops and a farmhouse sink. That may be a bit more than I can handle (at least on a deadline) with a one-year-old and a four-year-old at my heels, so my other option is to tackle a much-needed (and much less stressful!) staircase and hallway update. Not quite as exciting or glamorous, so I'm still not sure which path I'm going to take.
On to the interview (And random gratuitous photos of my home and kids)!
List your favorites in each category:
- Actor: Last year I said Andrew Lincoln, and while I am still in love with him, I'm currently totally feeling Chad L. Coleman (AKA Tyreese on The Walking Dead). I think it's got something to do with the fact that he's been taking care of baby Judith who is right around the same age as my own daughter. It gets me all tingly inside when he gets all mama bear protective. (And let's just say it, really, he's a better mom than Lori ever was.)
- Actress: At the moment I'm really looking forward to watching Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey in a few months. There's something about the unapologetically strong personas of each character that I completely admire.
- Artist: Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. for sure. I'm completely obsessed at the moment with her collaboration with Puffin Books. Even though they're (technically) children's books, I totally want them for myself!
- Writer: Always and forever Jane Austen
- Music: NIN Still (when I'm feeling moody), the Frozen Soundtrack (with my kids), and a few random picks from my current "get pumped" playlist include Otto Von Schirach's Tipo Tropical (although I have no idea what he's saying), Pharell Williams' Happy, Taylor Swift's Shake it Off, Salt n Pepa's Shoop, Cake's Going the Distance, and Monster Mash.
- Restaurant: A little hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant in my hometown called The Moonlight Cafe — it's BYOB, cash-only, no reservations place with a cozy seating area and absolutely delectable food cooked by a sweet little old Italian man. Adore.
- Automobile: Never thought I'd say this, but right now I'm kind of crushing on the Honda Odyssey (I mean, a vacuum built IN to the car?!). Oh, the things that happen to you when you become a mother.
- Movie or Television Show: Favorite movies include Pride & Prejudice (both the Colin Firth and Keira Knightley versions) and I'm also a total LOTR geek. As far as television, the aforementioned Walking Dead and Downton Abbey of course.
- Clothing (pieces, designers or stores): My dream closet would be full of JCrew, Anthro, Boden, and Gap, but in reality I mostly shop at Tarjay, H&M, and Old Navy. And thanks to motherhood, I've been wearing a lot of these things lately.
- Furniture (pieces, designers or stores): I would love to raid Emily Henderson's storage unit...
Choose three words to describe your personal style: Bright, happy, colorful.
Favorite room from a childhood home:
I have so many happy memories from our kitchen, It was truly the heart of our home. It had a yellow linoleum floor, faux butcher block countertops, and faux wood early-80s cabinets and was decorated with ducks clad in blue bonnets.
Favorite room from an adult home and description:
I think I'd have to go with my daughters' rooms. There's something about children's design that is so much more fun and freeing.
Whom do you consider a role model?
My parents, who taught me how to live within my means, Katie Stratton, who seems to find the beauty in just about anything, and I've always loved Oprah's line about how your home should "rise up to meet you." That being said, I certainly don't have my own personal chef or housekeeper or designer or any of the other people that I'm sure Oprah employs to make sure that her house rises up to meet her every day!
Three “just right” spots: My girls' rooms — the only rooms I pretty much got to design from scratch, and our family room, although I am afraid it's slowly being taken over by toys. I'm fighting to keep that balance between fun and order.
What I want friends to say: Bright, happy, organized, comfortable, and welcoming.
Whew! That interview was fun, but unfortunately I'm afraid it shows just how divided I am in this decision. When I go back and read through my answers, I see so much about my kids and realize that it's important (for my own sanity) to keep my life as simple and practical as possible at the moment (I mean, I'm dreaming of a vacuum in a minivan, hello!). At the same time, I want a home that is beautiful and functional, and if the kitchen is the heart of the home... well, yeah. You see what I'm saying? This is a tough one.
So I guess I'll throw it back to you all. Which would you choose: Complicated kitchen reno with a big reward, or simple hallway update with sanity intact?
If you'd like to see more photos of our home, you can check out our home tour right here.