Happy May! I feel like I’ve been living under a bit of a rock lately and now it’s spring! I’ve been finishing my fourth book, Beach Life, and had to put myself on lockdown in order to get it done. It’s due out next Spring 2024 (with Abrams Books) and, though I still have to get through the rest of the photoshoots and editing process, I feel pretty dang free right now!!!
I really can’t wait to share this next one with you. It’s sort of a soul-searchy type book with lots of personal stories about life at the beach, how it changes you and why (there’s fun science behind a lot of it!!) mixed in with five new beach house projects (and all of Helen Norman’s gorgeous interiors photos!!) and some of the prettiest landscapes & seascape photography ever. We have been working with the most amazing local Outer Banks wildlife and photojournalistic photographers and I can’t wait to get this baby out there!! It picks up where Feels Like Home left off and is describes the process of reconnecting with yourself and the more meaningful parts of life at the beach, being immersed in nature and removed from the busyness of life, and how to create home environments that keep you there in that good place. Throughout the book, I share my own journey of finding myself (or attempting too!) at the beach.
We’re still in the midst of finishing and selling two of the houses featured in the book- the five bedroom oceanfront Dune House (going on sale this week!) and the two bedroom Beach Cabin. (going up for sale this summer) The Dune House project was a doozy and has taken a bit of an emotional toll but I found writing about it cathartic. At first I wasn’t sure if I would be able to honestly share my experience and wrestled with that a bit, but ended up going ahead with it and it was really good for me. I’m generally not a crier but there were some tears writing this one.
One of the first things we did when I finished the book was take a good long walk in the woods. I love living in Great Falls so close to the Potomac River. There are so many magical tributaries around here!! It was raining and that normally would have stopped me, but after doing so much research on the benefits of daily does of nature to our well-being, I had to take my own advice and get outside- rain or shine.
The forests around here are magical right now. Otherworldly green and lush, all the ferns fronds are unfurling and the trees have sprung. It’s truly unreal. I think the rain made it better and that surprised me but the constant pattering gave the whole place a sense of peace and mystery.
Our garden has really taken a back seat with the book and I’ve really been missing digging in the ground. With our house at the Meadow under construction and this one not being our permanent home, I’m finding it hard to move forward with a garden. I see all the things I’d want to do if we were staying here but don’t want to invest the time and money into creating something for less than a year. I’m trying to keep it simple with simple herb, vegetable and flower gardens but I CANNOT wait to get our gardens going at the Meadow!! That being said, I’m looking forward to planting this weekend and getting some more things in the ground! Our rosemary and salvia from last year are blooming and lots of things are popping up!!
On the design front, we have a final installation for an amazing ranch house project in Wyoming coming up and we are putting finishing touches on a few other special projects I can’t wait to share with you!! Hope you are having a beautiful start to your May!