Since we moved to our new house at the beginning of September and my book came out, we’ve been on a crazy ride.  I CANNOT BELIEVE it’s almost December.
Gisele (below) isn’t really into sleeping right now and I find myself grasping at words and saying the most awkward things in conversations.
(We have a running joke in our office that at every client meeting I’ll say one awkward thing, and I’m pretty sure I’ve been a bit above the
average lately 😉 But the lack of sleep doesn’t really seem to bother Gisele:

{Photo by Clifton Man Photography}

When I re-read the intro to my book recently, describing what our life was like when we first moved into our house under construction, it was laughable
because we’re in almost the exact same situation now, but it’s been a bit different this time because I’ve been traveling so much for work and the
book that things seem to be moving even more quickly.  I haven’t gotten the chance to slow down and take it all in like I was able to do last
time.  I haven’t really yet assesed my feelings about the new place because we simply haven’t stopped long enough to think.  It doesn’t at
all feel like “home” to me yet.  Each week, everything gets draped over to be protected from paint and dust, and on the weekends we’ve been home,
we get to see and appreciate the progress when we unwrap it all.

We are SO close!!! And by “close” I mean, we’re almost past the dirty, dusty part of construction.  (It’ll be years before I’ve finished decorating.)
Already, I’m appreciating the practicality of our new place…  Having more closet space for the kids and a basement has been amazing.  I
never really wanted a basement but right now, with the rest of the house out of commission, we loooooove it.  The kids’ toys are down there and
we pretty much just hang out on the floor and play and wrestle.  We’re also close to work and have really cut down on driving time so life is
feeling more convenient.

We were able to sneak a family photo session in last weekend with husband-and-wife-team Cliff & Michaela Man of Clifton Man Photography, who took Gisele’s newborn portraits back in May.

{The boys are getting so big!! Some of the photos were taken in our back yard in front of the woods.}

 

And here’s a photo of me with Gisele, and she’s still pretty small as you can see, but still growing too quickly for my liking:

When we first met Cliff & Micky Man, they had just started their business, so I was so happy to hear they’ve now branched out into family
portraits and teen portraits (Their teen sports photography is also insanely good) so we can can always use them.  Their photos have a very pure,
simple yet distinct aesthetic that I love, and they are really chill to work with.  They’re low-key, calm and patient (which is a must for us because attempting to get all the kids dressed and clean at once isn’t easy for us… hence, the messy slightly damp hair on my own head 😉
and they make it as painless as possible.

When I posted Gisele’s newborn photos in May, a few blog readers contacted Cliff & Micky to have their babies’ portraits taken and apparently were
incredibly sweet to work with, (I love hearing that!) so Cliff & Micky gifted us a family photo session and are offering Pure Style Home readers
in the Northern Virginia, Maryland and DC area a generous holiday offer for $100 off a print purchase.  To book an appointment for Fall 2015-
Spring 2016, visit  Clifton Man Photography.     (Just be sure to mention
the offer when you book. 🙂

 

At work right now, we’re presenting a series of projects that I am ridiculously excited about, some for existing clients and some for new clients.
It feels so good to be back presenting after maternity leave and the craze of Maison de Luxe Showhouse in LA and the book launch.The studio is feeling so much more open to me right now after our recent One
Kings Lane sale and it’s so much easier for me to work and think with a bit more space!!

We’re having a book party/ brunch at studio for our good friends, Eddie Ross & Jaithan Kochar to celebrate the release of their new book, MODERN MIX, so if you’re free on Thursday, December 10th @ 10:30, we’d love to see you!!  (To read my thoughts on Modern Mix-
and her why I love it- go here.)  It
should be a lot of fun & word is people are ubering so take that for what it’s worth and come have some fun 😉  RSVP to  mail@laurenliess.com

{Hoping to make a brunch cocktail worthy of this guy}

And…  I have a few progress pics of our house to share. In the living room, (below), I REALLY wrestled with what to do.  I couldn’t shake the
thought that a fireplace was missing from the focal wall.  (below)  Our house is a Colonial Revival Cape Cod, and true to its more primitive
Cape Cod roots, the fireplace is actually in the “keeping room” (kitchen/main room in the back of the house) which is in the center of the house rather
than in the living room ( a newer concept and didn’t exist in the original cape cods.)  I struggled with the lack of a focal point on the main
wall and thought about adding a fireplace, which wouldn’t work for us for a number of reasons- cost, jutting out too far into the room, and the fact
that the house already has three fireplaces, making it- functionally- pretty unnecessary.

But I still needed a focal point…  Enter High Point Market where we came across a beautiful French seventeenth century religious tapestry on canvas
being sold by a really nice friend of ours from Charleston…  When David & I saw the tapestry, we were both in love and wanted it.  I
decided to build the room around it and to create a pair of niches with shelves in them to display our favorite things.

I’m lighting the painting and the niches with bookshelf lights from above and (if I ever get to the point in my life where I can do this) I’d like to sort
of rotate things in and out from other areas in the house to showcase them.  The painting may move around too depending upon how serious it feels
once it’s in the room.

{the living room is actually a really sunny room but I took this photo in the evening}

 

In the kitchen, we’re almost done!  The marble countertops are in, the beams have been added, distressed and painted, the cabinets have been painted,
and the rest of the cabinet doors and drawers are being installed as I type!!

{so close!!  A few people have asked where we got the Swedish styld bar stools- which are not staying as we need 6 matching stools.  My grandparents
gave them to us when we got married and they were vintage, but a while back I remember seeing similar ones at Crate & Barrel.}

Barn Light Electric contacted me to see if we would like to use any of their lighting in
the new house (thank you!!) and when I was looking for flushmount fixures for the kitchen, I came across their “kao” flushmount in textured black and decided to go with thirty of them across the entire space.  I wanted to do something
a little different and wanted to keep as much height as possible without going with recessed lighting.  I had no idea just how much I would love
it.

We went with Edison-style bulbs and at night the whole space has the prettiest, warmest glow.  It feels ready for a party.

I had originally planned to hang a pot rack over the center of our island, but am rethinking that now that the kitchen is mostly in, because I only have
three or four hanging pots & pans, and because we’re so tall that the pots will probably be in our way. I think I’ll add another kao flushmount
above the center of the island.

I’m going with a reclaimed wood hood across the entire back wall (from cabinet to cabinet) above the range to add some age and warmth.  I ordered
barstools this morning (yay for cyber black Friday or whatever you call it!! 😉 so we’re about to be fully functional!!

On another note, I am SERIOUSLY IN LOVE with my appliances and want to share all about that and the logic behind what we selected so will be back another
day to get fully into the kitchen.

{Loving what we have so far!!}

The library/ office is really coming along too.  We used Farrow & Ball’s “Ball Green” on the walls and trim and it really gave the space a sort
of historical/ moody feel which was what I was after.  The room is right off of the kitchen (and open to it through the double-sided fireplace)
so I was hoping to create a kind of cozy cocoon-like space that would make you feel a bit more removed.  I plan to layer on the greens in here
with my green velvet English arm sofa and hang our collection of portraits, most of which are of old men.  (I did get the prettiest new lady in
blue at Market though and she’ll also  go in here;)  We have more built-ins to add so the painting was a bit premature, but at least we can
start to use the space and the built-ins can be added whenever.

 

 

Justin’s bedroom got a little facelift the other day with the addition of these vintage educational charts:

{He wanted a green room so his pale pinky-peach walls won’t be here for long.  As I’m seeing these photos near each other on the screen, I’m thinking
“Ball green” might be perfect for him too.}

We decided to go with two queen beds in his bedroom so we can all snuggle in there and pile up.r.  Louie sleeps in there almost every night too.  For
now, the boxsprings and mattresses are directly on the floor and to be honest, beds are towards the bottom of my list.  (shhhhhh 😉

Here’s a photo of our new neighbors, who visit us almost every evening…

{The vegetable beds are in the backyard but I still haven’t gotten around to planting anything. Ah vell.}

We went on a hike this week in the forest behind out backyard, and it was stunning. I love this time of year, when almost all of the leaves have fallen
and you can see through the trees for what feels like miles. It’s something I wish we could do every day because I can just feel myself slow down.
It refocuses me and I feel lighter somehow. For me, nothing really compares to being outside with my family and taking it all in. I am so excited to
be getting to a point where things are about to slow down for a bit!!

On Thanksgiving morning, we put things away in our kitchen and got rid of a bunch of boxes before hitting the road to go visit my dad,in Lake Gaston…
he has been LOVING his new place!!!  He went to see it for the first time about six weeks ago and hasn’t left…  (He lives outside of Chicago
and we have lived thirteen hours apart almost my whole life.)

{The view from the house}

My dad is so happy in the new lake house and we’re so excited to have him living only three or so hours away from us!!  He’s gotten so much
more active and healthy- taking his boat out, riding his bike, fishing, doing yard work, etc. and seems really excited about things- and I couldn’t
be more thankful.  He hosted the first holiday in the new house yesterday after not having hosted in ten years, and he’s like a new person.

{A peek at the boys’ bunk room from my book, HABITAT}

 

The boys are loving having their Nanoo so close!!

{A peek at the dining area}

We don’t have a lot of “stuff” at the lake house, which is part of what makes it so relaxing… Everything is easy.  Black daily tableware on our
bare farm table (by Lorimer Workshop) made for a simple Thanksgiving table…

A blue & white vase with a branch of turning leaves made me so happy and I loved the orange tones mixed with the blues…

Sharing a holiday meal together there after all this time was incredibly special and I can’t believe we finally have my dad so close. (Though at points
dinner was filled with the God-awful sound of a three-year-old’s tantrum and it was maybe not the most peaceful meal…  it was amazing to be
together on a holiday after all this time.)

And finally, for those of you who have asked or are doing some holiday shopping (hint! hint! 😉 yes, Amazon has sold out of my book again and has more
on order that should arrive in a week or so, but Barnes & Noble has copies available now here!!

Anyway, I’m off for the day, but I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Sending hugs your way.

*And to take advantage of the Clifton Man Photography holiday offer, book your shoot  here! *