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fireplace makeover! (and a little joie de vivre sprinkled in, too)

fireplace makeover! (and a little joie de vivre sprinkled in, too)

Every week when I go to Trader Joe’s, I buy fresh flowers. One bouquet for our kitchen, and one for our family room, like the ones on the coffee table in the picture above. I don’t even think about it anymore, its just the first thing I grab when I walk through the sliding glass doors of my most-favorite market.

Anyway, as I was moseying through the aisles last week, this cute young couple started chatting me up because they liked the purple and pink roses I had in my shopping cart.

The woman was pregnant and they told me they were having a boy but hoped they’d have a little girl one day, too, and they wondered if my little girl just loved the fresh flowers I put out every week.

I paused a moment to think about it because I don’t think Scarlet has ever even noticed the flowers. They’re a staple in my house because I feel like it cozies the place up a bit and a bouquet at Trader Joe’s is like $6.99. Plus, they’re fair trade. How could I not buy them, really?

So. I laughed and told them truth. I buy the flowers for my lil’ ol’ self and that the kids don’t have my TJ’s flowers on their radar. At two, five and eight, if they even notice I went to the market, they’re more interested in what flavor ice cream was purchased and who inadvertently got the bigger scoop.

But back to that sweet couple. There’s a special kind of magic in expecting your first child. It’s the magic of the big picture. When you’re not yet ‘in it’ (exhausted with a newborn or toddler who won’t sleep, etc., or the balance of staying up too late for ‘me time’ when your alarm is set for the super early morning school routine) you have more time to think of the big picture, what kind of parent you’ll be, what your child will do when they grow up, the future vacations you’ll have and obviously how they’ll fawn over the beautiful fresh cut flowers you brought home from the grocery store. Brahaha.

Right now my kids don’t seem to notice the fresh flowers on the table. But I can see the potential of my weekly tradition as a little seed that’s been planted that will come to them when they’re older, a reminder to enjoy the little things in life. I can totally see grown up Scarlet and Sterling picking up fresh flowers when they’re out fending for food in the wild at TJ’s for the first time. The verdict is still out for on whether Shep will be buying flowers or kegs, (or hey, maybe both! I mean, you kind of need that keg phase in there, too, right?)

Doesn’t mean that seed won’t sprout.

Life’s little joys are what you need to relish as you grow out of childhood and into adulthood, with a grown-up-mind that loves to get caught up in planning and worries and forgets to stay present or to daydream with the big picture fun stuff.

And I hope I left them with a seed you don’t even know you’ll need before you have your first. That it’s okay to do things for yourself, too, and if it’s buying flowers just because you like them and the bonus side effect is that it’s something that will carry on to your kids one day?

That’s big picture magic.

Thanks for letting me sneak in a little story. Without further adieu, here’s our fireplace makeover.


fireplace makeover

Before we moved in and painted our house white, this home’s yellow walls seemed to be almost brown from nearly 30 years of wood burning fireplaces the former owners didn’t regularly clean. It smelled like an old camp fire in the house and while I love a good s’mores situation (while glamping, obv), that’s not exactly the scent I’m going for in our home.

Our family room is probably one of the most used rooms in our house, so cleaning and updating this fireplace in a way that made the room feel like us was super important to me. It also turned out to be a longer process than we anticipated because we had conflicting opinions from contractors on whether the wall could support a mantle and tile. It’s all still there, so turns out, it’s all good, and I’m so happy with the light, bright, contemporary effect the tile and mantle played on the feel of the family room.

get this look: reclaimed wood mantle | similar natural stone chevron tile | similar ceramic tile in blue |

pottery barn beachcomber basket | my long sleeved red dress (it’s 44.99!)

After the tile and mantle were up, and the interior of the fireplace painted white, I rearranged my shelves to complete the streamlined look. Finally, we decided to add two plants in a large basket to finish the look and add some green to the room cause I’m still not over that campfire smell and not quite ready to bring a wood burning fire back inside. It’s hooked up for gas, but yeah, we’re just gonna let that little plant hang out there for a while.

XO, Mandy

Thank you so much to Kerry at Unity Tile and Design for the beautiful tile work and for bringing the Reggae vibes.


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