Tag Archives: THE RIGHT SPACE

A Playroom Revisited

It’s a common complain among my clients.  They like most of the furniture they purchased, but it doesn’t feel the way they want it to feel.  And it’s making them crazy.

In this particular case, it is the playroom of a sweet eight-year old girl in Cary, North Carolina.

It’s a spacious room.  Pretty wall color, high ceilings, natural light.  Here’s a look before we made any changes from each angle.    IMG_2665That’s what  you see when you enter the room.

This photo below is from the other side.  Lots of potential to make it more inviting.  She has a beautiful pink kitchen in there.

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Last angle:  this is the wall between the main entrance to the room and the bathroom. It’s time to roll up the sleeves and move a few things, starting with those big baskets and bookshelf.

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I love this part of the redesign.  It suddenly becomes place of movement and laughter.  And lots of lifting, pausing and sometimes moving again.  It’s a process.  And then you just know.  It’s feels different.

Here’s how the room looks now.

IMG_3267By placing the black bookshelf behind the couch,  it doubles as a console and as place to access her books and crafts since it’s in the same area now as her favorite owl beanbag and table for creating stuff.

From another angle:

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Now this eight year old can use this area for pretend play, crafting, or even doing homework.

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By moving the couch closer to the front of the room, it creates two distinct spaces and purposes.  One is for independent, semi-private play, and the other is for family lounging, playing a game or just hanging out. Adding lamps warms up the space and allows for some cozy evening reading and relaxing, too.  The wicker boxes now serve as storage and end tables.  Add a square tray to place on top and it can holds the drinks and popcorn for movie-time.

The best part about this is we simply used what they already had and didn’t have to spend a dime buying more stuff.   Down the road,  that beautiful back wall could be a built-in window seat with storage and shelving on both sides, but for now, I’m told a certain eight-year old girl loves her playroom.

Less stuff,  more connection.  And hopefully more opportunities for the whole family and friends enjoying time together.

Here’s a last look:

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Nesting

Any day now…

Connect The Dots

Just need a pencil and a challenger.  

Noticed this on the sidewalk near another construction site yesterday.  

They also remind me of those candies I used to peel off the paper to eat. 

Remember these?  

Colorful Candy Buttons!


All that work for a little bit of candy.  

My friends and I pretended it was aspirin and administered it generously to the lucky one who played sick.    

 Kale and Snow

Friends for life.

Chicken (Spaetzle) Noodle Soup

What do you do when you don’t have traditional egg noodles, but  you’re craving Chicken Noodle soup?   You throw in Spaetzle, “farmer style” egg pasta.  Or buy some at any grocery store.

It’s so worth it.img_1688

I think I wolfed down my bowl in under five minutes.  That good.  That simple.

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I made it for my children, but those little stinkers didn’t even try it.   That’s ok, that’s what mason jars are for…

I only make chicken noodle soup when I have a leftover roasted chicken and I’m feeling a bit like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Mom, (Caroline).  When you use every bit of something after it’s main purpose is gone, you kind of feel like you’ve stepped into the real world of using what you have, as a cook.  And it costs very little.

New Year’s has a lot to do with that.  I love that we get the do-over each year. We need it.

So here’s what I do…

The Recipe

First…the broth…

  • Fill a large soup pot about half way with water
  • Add the chicken carcass.  Just put in it there.  All of it.  The water should cover at least half the chicken.
  • Throw in some roughly chopped carrots (2), celery (1) and onion (quartered).  You’ll toss this out later…just adds flavor to the broth.
  • The spices:  whole peppercorns, two bay leaves, a pinch of thyme (I only had ground thyme), sea salt.
  • Bring everything to a boil.  Let it boil for about five minutes before simmering with lid partial on.  Simmer for about an hour.  Already smells good. 🙂
  • Remove the chicken as much as you can into a large bowl and let it cool.  Drain the soup with a mesh colander to catch the veggies and bits and pieces of chicken.

Next…The Chicken…

  • When the chicken is cool enough to touch, start separating the good stuff from the bad stuff.   You should have about two cups of cooked chicken.

Finally, the SPAETZLE…!

  • Return the broth to the pot, add new carrots, celery.  I keep it simple, but you might like to add onion or another veggie.
  • Bring to boil again and then simmer again for about fifteen minutes.
  • Add chicken, couple dashes of fresh pepper and sea salt.
  • Then, finally, toss in about a cup of spaetzle.  It needs to cook for about 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let it rest for five minutes.

Voila!img_1689

The texture of the spaetzle feels homemade.  I love how it tastes, too, but especially how it’s a little thicker than thin strips of  egg noodles I’ve used in the past. Spaetzle  wraps around the chicken and broth like a big bear hug.

Comforts the soul.  And your appetite.

Aufessen!  🙂

 

Crustaceans in Cary?

I’ve seen all kinds of critters on my morning walks here in Cary, North Carolina, but this is a first. 


That’s right. Some form of crustacean. Is it a crayfish, a little lobster?   How did it get here?  Cary is at least two hours from the sea. And yet,  on a rainy Tuesday morning, here he is, just walking down the sidewalk in the suburbs.  😳

My friend’s dog was equally curious.  She cautiously approached only to be greeted by a most definite warrior, ready to do battle. 

Not so fast!  


We took our cue and kept on walking.

Curious though. 

Where did you come from little fella?  Good luck to you little lobster. At least it’s raining today.  

☂️

Hawaiian Dreamin’

Decorating or design in a home isn’t just about making things pretty. It’s about creating that space that you connect to. 

The place that makes you feel good. Peaceful. Home. 

This family in Cary North Carolina reached out to me late this summer when they decided that they were ready to bring that sense of peace they loved in Hawaii to their home in North Carolina. It’s an ongoing project, but I’m impatient and just had to share how it’s going.​  I hope you will watch and get inspired. Is there a room in your place that could use a second look? 

​www.the-right-space.com