We had an amazing time at the Lucketts Spring Market this year & I thought I’d share a bit of what we saw & bought. I shared it all on Instagram in my stories but I know many of you aren’t on Instagram (Hi Grandmother!! 😉 )
If you’ve been following here for a while you might remember that I’m a huge fan of Lucketts. I’ve been going there since I graduated from college and never leave empty-handed. Dave and I used to make the drive out there all the time before we had kids and with each kid, we seem to get there less and less but we always love our time there. The last time we went (maybe a month of two ago?) I told the kids they could each pick out something “old” to bring home. They had so much fun going through everything and looking for their treasures- which was way better than them asking when we were leaving. Christian found an antique pair of binoculars from “The Parisan Jockey Club,” Justin found a pair of antique opera glasses that he ended up using a few weeks later when we went to a concert, Louie bought himself some “treasure”- a big old green & gold ring, and Gisele picked out a little brass elephant. (I found a framed orange butterfly for Aurora to hang in the girls’ bedroom.) While we were there, one of the sweet vendors gave each of the kids antique keys and they left ridiculously excited about their treasures.
Anyway, this weekend, Lucketts had its Spring Market where vendors from all over come and there’s an insane amount of good shopping to be had. Dave and I are attempting to get out and do more now that Aurora’s a little older and so heading out for the Market was perfect for our Friday. So, in this post, I’ve got photos of some of my favorite finds, but in between the photos, I’ll be rambling a bit to you the way we might if we were actually shopping the market together because talking’s often the best part of going shopping with someone…
Things have felt like they’ve been on monkey tilt for us for the past few years but I’ve recently met a lot of deadlines that I’ve been working on for over a year and for the first time in a VERY long time I’m feeling almost caught up. There will always be deadlines but we’ve been operating at an unsustainable pace for some time now and I’ve known for a while that something needed to change or we’d blink and the kids would be all grown.
I absolutely love what I do and it’s funny to think it started with me wanting to work as a decorator part-time while Dave taught. It’s gotten to an almost all-consuming point though, and for YEARS we’ve been trying to get to a point where we’re able to attempt “balance” with a little more success. It’s just that sometimes to get to a point where (you think!) you’ve figured out how to achieve a better quality of life but you have to ramp it up in order to get there… and that’s where we’ve been for the past few years- ramping it up.
For me, it was this desire I have to design not only homes but to design products, write books and think about out how to really enjoy living in a home, and then also- and this is major for me- not wanting our family’s only source of income to be my time. (Which is how it works in a design business.) I also just really love business. One of my favorite things to do is hang out with Dave or talk with my dad and come up with new business ideas. We don’t do anything with most of them but for in the past year or so, we’ve moved forward with a number of them. Anyone with a business will tell you they’re kind of like kids. And when they’re new, they’re babies. And so we’ve had not only our actual babies, but some business babies behind the scenes and some of them are finally starting to walk (with hand-holding!!) so I feel like I’ve got a little more breathing room. This island was SO incredible and I really wished I’d had somewhere to place it for a client!!!
So as we’ve worked toward this goal by having too many irons on the fire, I can’t pretend it’s been easy. I’m not complaining and I truly wouldn’t have it any other way – I do love it!!- but the truth of it is that there were times when we had to really remind ourselves that there was an end (goal) in sight. We’ve invested everything we could to hopefully end up in an easier-to-maintain pace of life…. and finally, as the to do list gets ticked off for some of these new partnerships and ventures, I’m starting to feel like we’re almost to that point. We’ve still got a ways to go, but I definitely see the light.
In no way am I under any illusion that it’s ever going to feel “easy” (and honestly, that would bore me) but it’s definitely getting more manageable and I’m excited about that. Emotionally/ mentally throughout these “nose to the grindstone” years, we’ve been okay because we felt we had a solution. Had we been going through it all without a plan, I don’t think I would have felt okay though.
To describe what it’s been like… I’m trying to and it’s hard to do without sounding like it’s complaining or that it was all bad because it’s also been an amazing part of life for us full of fun and joy and excitement. It’s been a frenzy of going for deadline after deadline with trying to carve out carefully protected family time, not having much room for anything else,and sometimes, not even room for that. There were points as we were gearing up for the show where I literally only saw the kids for fifteen minutes a day because I had so many houses to design in such a short period of time. I would wake up at 4 or 5 AM and get right to work, not finishing up until sometime between 8 and 11 PM when I’d crash with the laptop on my lap in bed. Dave would have dinner ready and I’d run downstairs and scarf the whole thing down in five minutes. Aurora was only a few months old and it felt (and was) incredibly wrong. She just wanted me to hold her and it’s all I wanted and I just knew that there was no physical way for me to make the deadlines. This went on for about two months and it got a little better once we started filming and the majority of the design work was completed. So when you see me posting photos of family meals and the littlest things or moments of doing mundane things and being ridiculously excited about it, it’s because I truly treasure it and am beyond happy to be doing it.
It’s funny… even looking at those pictures at a later time brings me back and makes me grateful for those moments and pushes me to make more of them.
This hide bench was SO incredible!! One day I’d love to try to design something similar with a sturdier base. So to have the luxury of a day antiquing with Dave and the girls ON A WEEKDAY was beyond awesome for me…
One of my new goals is to try to take Fridays and do something design/home-related that also incorporates quality time… even if it’s not the whole day, I’m trying to work it in and make it a priority. It could be gardening, making a meal, picking flowers, redoing a little bit of the house, going to a museum, antiquing, eating somewhere cool etc. but the I think my main stipulation might be that it’s good for the soul.
I think what’s weird about this whole thing is that you can be very conscious of they type of daily life you want to try to live and still not be there. You can know what you should be doing and just not be physically able to do it.
Yes, there are time when we need to figure something out or get some sort of knowledge before we can move forward, but other times, we just have to “get through” something to be able to do that. I remember feeling this same way when we’d had to sell our first house and move into my parent’s basement with Christian when when he was a year old. It’s a little like holding your breath under water.
I don’t ever like to “wish away” time or “get through” things but sometimes, things are just a little harder and I can’t help but wanting to be through them. When we’re in those times, we’re generally pretty aware of it and Dave and I have lots of conversations about not wanting to wish the time away and trying to savor the kids.
Food and meals are one of those things that for us, through the crazy, (not the crazy-crazy I mentioned where I couldn’t sit down for meals) bring us together. Last year we tried one of those ingredient delivery services where they send you the food and recipe and you make it and that was great for a little while… (especially while it was novel) then things got even crazier and Dave wasn’t able to handle making the meals with work and all the kids (and I was totally in work mode) and we worked with an awesome personal chef/ meal service who would come to our house and cook three meals for the week on one day (Perfectly Thymed if anyone is looking in the DC area!!) which was really amazing, but as the breakneck pace slowed, I found I really missed cooking and how it made me feel. I realized that every Saturday and/or Sunday I was spending all day cooking because I’d missed it during the week and I’d then have soups and sauces at the beginning of the week and we had a weird excess of food and this challenge to eat it all. So as life changed, we again changed how we were doing things. Who knows that the future holds but for now/ this season, this seems to be working.
We’ve been in our house for almost three years now and we’ve gotten lots of questions about when we’ll be “finished” with it and the answer is that I really don’t know. We’d used some of our other houses to photograph and help attract clients for our design business so we’d tried to finish and photograph them as quickly as possible but this time we’re focusing on other areas of the business and the house just isn’t our top priority. As the kids get bigger (and we had an another!) I’ll say I’m feeling the urge to have a big kitchen and I dream of opening it up and expanding it into our garage and incorporating it closely with a garden or indoor growing-type-situation but who knows.
I share snippets of it and most of what’s in it is everything from our last house and I haven’t put time/ money into consciously designing it but if I come across something every now for a good price and then that we’re missing, I snap it up. Our transitional spaces really need some help. Every day, I walk past a completely unfinished staircase leading to our attic and the floors in my closet and in Christian’s bedroom are also unfinished. There’s woodwork to be done around and lots of other little random things that we just haven’t been able to devote attention to but the gardens bring us happiness daily, so we’re focusing on those. (WORST INTERIOR DESIGNER EVER!! )
We put the majority of our efforts into the property itself which still needs a TON of work. We’ve seen photos of what it all looked like when the previous owners were living here and it was really special. We’re trying to get it there, but it’s going to be a long road.
Because having a vegetable garden is so important to me, we went after adding a vegetable garden first last year and hadn’t focused much on the overall property, so we’re attempting to work on that a bit this spring. Months ago, we had ordered an automatic gate for our driveway to keep the geese in and, ironically, it arrived & was installed the week after they left for the waterfowl sanctuary 🙁 I will say it’s been nice having it though, even though we don’t have the geese, because I don’t worry about delivery trucks speeding up the driveway and the kids/ dogs any more and random people on the property. (We noticed that – must be something about having a long driveway and a pond and a house that had been mostly vacant for years while it was on the market- people would speed up the driveway and we even had random people parking in our driveway and trying to fish in the pond or walk their dogs in our field. SO- all that is over and we feel slightly more in control where that’s concerned.) We’re slowly adding more trees around the perimeter of the property and are in the process of planting roses, peonies, foxglove and white sage around the house. I’ll be sure to post some pics soon!
The theme of this year’s Spring Market was “Happy Place Found” and it made me laugh because it really is one of my happy places and I’m sure so many of the people shopping and selling there feel the same way.
All day, I just felt so thankful to be there. We bought so much -some for us but mostly for our warehouse which is full of goodies we eventually plan to sell- that we had to go back on Sunday to pick it all up… and of course I couldn’t resist “running through” one more time….
Dave’s birthday was Saturday and my parents watched all of the kids that night and we had plans to go out to dinner but ended up just putting a beach towel on the bed, getting Greek food delivered and watching Game of Thrones while stuffing our faces. It was glorious. (I’m MANY seasons behind and read all the books and didn’t want to watch ahead but doubt he’s ever going to finish writing them so I caved.)
…So we didn’t have any kids with us Sunday morning and wow that’s SERIOUSLY productive!! When we shop, we go as fast as we can and I pick everything out and move onto the next space while Dave pays. (It’s what we do pretty much everywhere we shop to try to save time.)
There’s no way we’d cover as much ground any other way. (I always wonder what people think when I’m like, “thanks so much, my husband will be here to pay…” lol SO many scenarios…) I definitely get the better end of the deal.
I get pretty into what I’m doing and have total tunnel vision when I’m working/shopping. I had no idea Dave was even in the building with me… He was literally video’ing me and talking/making fun of me and I heard NOTHING. Ah vell, “in the zone” I guess.
On our second day there. I was able to pay more attention to the smaller things… One of my favorite things to look through are old textiles. There was a beautiful display of vintage tablecloths. Dave thought it would be funny to randomly video me the second day we were there…. (I guess he was bored of checking out??) Here’s a snippet of some of the gorgeous tablecloths though:
I went home with these two:
On my list for the house one day is a large tablecloth that hits the floor that I can layer vintage ones over.
The one thing I was on the hunt for was a table for our goose pen… I’m turning it into a little potting area with tables and chairs and tools. It’s a great landing zone for whatever project we’re working on but it’s also a great little spot for drinks and a snack. I’m still sad that the geese our gone but being in there still brings on some of those good feelings I had when the geese were here.
All in all, it was a great time!! We ended up bringing an entire u-haul truck of stuff home with us and I’m pretty pumped about our finds.
Though the best parts were the snuggles with these two:
I got lots of questions about my outfits on Instagram and if you’re interested you can click here for the jumpsuit (It’s THE most comfortable piece of clothing I own- so much so that I originally bought it in the black and went back for the green)- Here’s a pic: ( I pull the legs up on my calves when it’s hot, which it was)
And I’ve had a lot of the other outfit (below)for a few years but made a collage below to similar available pieces I’ve found and to Gisele’s outfit. (Her “sunny” sweatshirt as we call it is a super soft, thin sweatshirt & I think will be awesome for summer evenings/boat etc. not being too hot.) My shoes are by Satorisan which I couldn’t link to in the shoppable collage so I found another super similar pair I love (which are also less!)
Here’s the collage and you can click on any of the photos of the products you’re interested in to purchase:
And finally… I wanted to share what I did with the table that we found seen above in the photo of me & Gisele. We put it in our family room and now I have a great little work space!! (I’m sitting at it as I type!) (see below) I’m waaaaaaay too excited about it but manly because it’s higher and I can stand or sit at a bar stool with it. It’s 33″ so just between table and countertop height. I’ll try adding a book or two under my laptop for standing and see how it goes. I mostly work at our studio which is super close to our house but I almost always write from home and sometimes have to go back to work when I get home so it’s nice to be on the same level as the family. (My “office” at home is up on our attic and I found I was just using the kitchen counter or couch when I had work to do because I didn’t want to be so separated from everyone. ) We have the kids’ toy kitchen in the same room and Gisele and Aurora are in here with me playing right now. I also found the pot at Lucketts and am crazy about it too. Next step is to hang the drawing properly which may take me a few months!!
Anyway, thanks so much for coming along on this rambling-shopping post!! Hope you enjoyed! xo
Gisele looks so much like Justin!!!
She does!!! She’s totally his mini!! 🙂
Hi Lauren. You are such a talent and a force behind your family, though you and Dave seem to have a great partnership. You’re an inspiration to me and I thank you for being so open and honest. Balance and listening to your gut is truly key. I love watching your process and of course, the end results of all your designs. Keep it up girl! Can’t wait to see what you do next!
thank you so much!!
It was great to catch up and I loved this shopping and chatting format! It felt real. <3
Thanks so much for taking the time.
Oh I’m so glad!! Thanks so much Betsy!! xo
Hi, love that you’re back to blogging more regularly! The posts are always engaging and I enjoy the pics of your beautiful property and a “behind-the-scenes” look of an interior designer/ entrepreneur life! I especially enjoyed this post because as someone who is still trying to develop their “eye” and LOVES your style, it was interesting to see what stands out to you, and then how you incorporate it into your home. One thing that would also be helpful is if you could share the prices on some of your finds. I know that some are for re-sale, so that might be sensitive, but maybe for the pieces that end up in your home? As someone who doesn’t have much time to seek out and frequent markets like this, it’s helpful to know how much to budget/ save up as well. Thank you!
That’s a great idea… from this post what I can remember off the top of my head (I went through so quickly I’ve now forgotten most of the prices) was that both tables we bought for our own home were approx $650 each (the marble one and the antique French trestle table) which I felt like were really amazing deals for what the pieces were. Those urns I had to pass on were incredible and worth every penny of what the vendor was asking ($1600) but I don’t have that budget for the urns I’m looking for at home… I’m hoping to stay under $200 each.
Thank you for answering this question. . .it gives me a frame of reference!
It’s always a pleasure to read about your new adventures and see pictures of your family.
Thanks so much!! 🙂
Awesome post!!! I moved out of the DC area 4 years ago and miss Lucketts! And let’s just take another moment to love on Eksters Antique. Gah…her barn sales. Love Caroline! Can’t wait to see the exterior as it comes to life. Btw, I was tired for you just reading that post=:0
These are such good thoughts. And fun to read about in between Lucketts finds. We are nowhere near as busy/energetic as your family but I do resonate with your mention of yard upkeep. We bought a fixer upper house on 2 wild-ish but landscaped/irrigated acres a couple years ago and let’s just say we severely underestimated the amount of work it would take to keep things looking tended to! We can afford landscapers twice a month for a few hours which helps with the worst of it, but is woefully insufficient overall. After two years of having other projects as priority, my husband and I finally can dig in to getting the landscaping back to where it was on sale day, area by area!
What a wonderful read, Lauren! Cheers to checking things off, meeting deadlines, and seeing the light! xx
love, love this post. love all the pieces. good luck in all your future endeavors.
I loved this style of post. . .exactly how I shop with a friend. . .telling a story, then veering off and oohing and ahhing over some merchandise, then right back to where I/we left off in the story. Love it!! I don’t know if you know blogger/entrepreneur Jenna Kutcher but a couple of weeks ago she had a long FB post that reminded me of one of your posts years ago when you were trying to find balance, hurt by unkind comments, not knowing “how much is too much information”, etc. I mentioned to her that if she didn’t know you, she should look you up. I think you are at a stage now where you can mentor someone through some of the stuff you have been through in this blogging/designing/business world. I imagine it is a very small world, one that is hard to find others who have already been through the “fire”.
Thank you for coming back to share your life, your style, and your moods with us. Enjoy a beautiful summer with your gorgeous family!
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