October 6, 2015

What’s Up Over Here

Thanks so much to everyone who’s let me know about any oddness on the new website.  I know it can be tough to get used to a new format and I really
appreciate all of the feedback.  We’re still working through the kinks but it’s getting better daily! My fingers are SO crossed that this post
goes out to you in an email!!

Anyway, since I last updated you on our place, much has happened, though from the look of it, it would appear that very little has actually been done.
We’re in that oh-so-fun phase where the walls get opened up, and pipes, electrical and other things like central VAC get moved around…  when
a lot is happening but none of it is particularly satisfying or pretty.  BUT we are SO close (this week!!) to closing up the drywall, which means
the crazy, dirty, messy part of the project is over (for now) and we can begin to unpack boxes, really move in, and start living a little. (Right now,
we pretty much live upstairs.)

{The soon-to-be kitchen.  I
took this photo a few minutes ago…  This makes me so happy.}


Moving day (a couple of weeks ago- I’ve lost track it’s been such a whirlwind) was CRAZY.  The floors were literally drying as the movers showed up.
I’m not sure how it happened, but my husband scheduled the floor painters, the electrician, carpenters, and the tree-trimming team all at the
same time and so I had an awesome time waiting at the new house and overseeing all of that with all four of the kids while Dave was overseeing the
move out of the old house.  At this point, I can honestly only really laugh.  At 11 something PM, when the movers finally left, it was all
so worth it.  (Why not wait until the following week like normal people would have you might ask??  We had a full work week ahead of us &
couldn’t afford to miss a day moving and needed the old house empty to get it ready for the new owners.)  But so much got done that day…We had
some large (& small!) trees taken down in our backyard and it made SUCH a difference!! We now actually have a backyard instead of just woods!!
(Some of the trees were dead, a couple of others were massive and hanging over the house.)  Now that they’re gone, we still back to woods,
but we have SUNLIGHT!!!!  Grass should hopefully grow and I’m planting another kitchen garden next to our patio. (can’t wait!!)

{For the most part, the rooms are full of boxes and tarped up.}

And I’m IN LOVE with the white painted floors.  We were given Farrow & Ball’s “floor paint” in “Off-white” and it’s really beautiful.  The
house is SO much lighter & brighter!!

{It’s hard to tell from photos but the wood grain shows through the paint and I just love it.  I don’t really have much feedback to share with you
yet on how it is living with white floors but I can say they clean up really easily and that having a dirt back yard and white floors is a bad idea.
The door casings & baseboards are being replaced with straighter moldings…  and the soft peach walls will go white.  Please excuse
the mess/ debris as it’s pretty much my life right now.}



We also had a (ridiculously rickety) balcony removed off of the (now) upstairs den (previously a 6th bedroom- in the pic above)which allows more sunlight
into the kitchen dining area (below).  My biggest issue/worry with the house was that it was a bit dark in back (the kitchen/family room where
I think we’ll spend the majority of our time) and it’s completely fine now!!



I’ve planned out the kitchen, and cabinetry is ordered!!  We went slab-hunting for marble last weekend I had to really force myself not to go with
the same “Mystery White” marble we’d done on the island in our last house.  (I guess when you love something, you love something,) But my plans
call for a marble with more color (there’s a back splash that needs to silhouette against a white wall) and sometimes what you love isn’t what’s best
for an overall design.  Luckily, I found a honed carrara that I love.

{Gisele’s first trip to the stone yard}

Designing our kitchen was a challenge because I wanted it to be different enough from my last kitchen so that I didn’t feel like I was recreating
the same thing, but similar enough because I really love that kitchen & am not over it.  My goal with this new kitchen was to visually widen
it a bit because we needed to pack a lot into the back wall and I didn’t want it to feel crowded.  I don’t have the space for metal bakers racks
on the walls so I’m going with a pot rack over the island to get my metal fix, which will also help give the kitchen a bit of charm and warmth…  there’s
something so cozy & inviting about hanging pots.  Like before, I’ll be mixing metals.  I haven’t settled on my cabinetry color yet but
I’ll be sharing the design soon.

And my book {Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating } is being released ONE WEEK from today!!!  Country Living Magazine featured some of my tips on hanging art from the book in the November
issue (out on newsstands soon!) and here’s a little peek of the spread with photography by Helen Norman excerpted from the book:


I was also thrilled to be included in Domino Magazine’s Fall book round up in the latest issue:

{I think I need all of these books!!!  SUCH a gorgeous image!}


The image above -and some really pretty ones I’ve seen on Instagram from bloggers who received advance copies from Abrams- got me thinking that as I go
into bookmode, it might be fun for me to revive “Pretty Little Fridays,” sharing readers’ vignettes of Habitat in their homes.  I love seeing how people are styling the book & how their personalities
come across in an image and I thought it could be a really nice way to “meet” readers/ find new people to follow, and also spread the word about the

First up is this cozy Instagram photo by Cheryl Luckett of  Dwell by Cheryl:

{“Nothing like coming home to #happymail! Can’t wait to dig into this while I reacclimate to reality.  Thanks so much @laurenliess!  It’s beautiful!
Cheers #habitat #fieldguidetodecorating.” }

I love the natural wood, the greenery, the bits of metal & rope, and that Cheryl was enjoying Habitat with a nice glass of wine.

Seeing Cheryl’s photo and a few others (which I’ll share on Friday) was surreal. It’s crazy to me that my book will actually be in people’s homes!!
Anyway, to join in, post a photo of Habitat in your home and use #habitatfieldguide.  (And please, if anyone has any ideas for a better
hashtag that could work for the book, I’m all ears. #habitat is kind of a popular one and won’t exactly work.) On a side note, Habitat went
to #1 on the Amazon Interior Decorating Bestseller List (Not sure how long it will stay there -and it might be gone by the time you read this- but
even if only for a day, I’m excited!!) so I cannot thank everyone enough for spreading the word…  it’s really working!! Thank you thank you!

And finally, for anyone in the VA-MD-DC area who’s up for celebrating the book launch on Tuesday with me, I’d love to see you at the book party at J.McLaughlin in Georgetown from 6-8 !!  And please bring your friends!!  RSVP to cbamundo@abramsbooks.com


Join Our Newsletter

Sign up to receive design inspo, exclusive content, shopping guides, and more.