January 4, 2012

Style is in the Substance

“Style is the substance of the subject called unceasingly to the surface.” -Victor Hugo

If that’s true, and I hope that it is, then my substance is an eclectic mix indeed. Woven from the tapestry of where I’ve been and where I’m going. But most importantly, fastened in the lessons that I’ve learned along the way. My hope is that everything that surrounds me, will serve as a reminder of who I am.

And, of who it is that I’m becoming.

We picked up this coffee table at the Crate & Barrel outlet in November on our trip up to New Hampshire & Maine. Sure we had to completely unpack our car to get it in and, y’know, tie Cooper to the roof, but I’d say it was worth it. :) Those of you who have been to a Spread the Love might also recognize our Bob’s Discount Furniture couch there in the background. The same one we used to meet clients on in our 2BR apartment for four long years, serves us just as well in our 2nd floor living room. And it’s a good reminder to always start with what you’ve got and build from there.

These handmade cake candles and the plates & garland they sit on are ALL over our house, and come from a little shop in West Virginia that I hit up every single time we go home. I’m pretty sure I’m sending her grand kinds through college at this point. But they remind me of home, and that right there is priceless.

We got this hat box at vintage swap meet one day when we decided to be all New Englandy and go antiquing (a verb). I got the idea when I saw Michelle Pfeiffer & Harrison Ford do it in What Lies Beneath. Which except for that whole ghost torturing you/your husband’s a murderer thing….seemed like a pretty cozy life. I think we paid $3 for it and it’s a good reminder that the best things in life don’t have to be expensive. They just have to speak to you.

An ampersand pillow. So we can now, quite literally, be Justin “&” Mary. This makes me smile.

Words to live by: if you have to do laundry anyway, you may as well have a hamper made out of some old French mail bags to do it with. I know, I know….it seems pretty obvious. But I think it bears repeating. The bag is from Restoration Hardware and we paid way too much for it. But if it makes laundry more fun, I guess it’s worth it.

On the other hand, this little baby is a real deal WWII army trunk that we picked up for $15 from the Salvation Army. All of the restoration-y hardware goodness without the RH price tag. Take that, guy who wears a leather jacket in the catalog!

Ok, this clock. Ooooooh this clock. We bought it at this little home store in Rhode Island last EASTER when we were visiting Justin’s parents. And we brought it home and put it down on our table. Where it sat. And sat. And sat. For over an entire year. In case you’re missing the irony here: in short, we didn’t have TIME to hang our CLOCK. This would be one of those lessons we’re working on learning from.

And finally, more of that garland (officially called “pips”) that we get from that store in WV. I don’t have anything pithy to say about this. I just think it looks pretty. And sometimes that’s enough.

Here’s to embracing a style that is a true reflection of who we are. No matter how long it takes us to get there.
Happy Wednesday!

  1. Shannon Gray

    Love it all!! Love the reference to What Lies Beneath too!! LOL!! I need a trip back to WV soon..not sure when that will happen though!! :)

  2. Dede Edwards

    Love the pillow!

  3. Mack McGowan

    2 things… a) We have a metal ampersand that we bought from Anthropologie that I have no place for but I absolutely adore. Chelsea bought me a matching M, but they were sold out of C’s. I might turn the M upside down and tell people it stands for "Whatever, we don’t need any more letters". b) Never invite me in to your home, or you will straight up LOSE that clock. It will come home with me and stay on MY kitchen table until I have time to hang it!

  4. Gabby / En Route Photography

    It’s really interesting that your brand looks just like your home! ;) Well done! Love the & pillow too!

  5. La

    I would love the name of the store in WV! Can you share? Beautiful space!

  6. sherri lynn

    I love all of these touches you’ve shared from your home! Seems so cozy.

  7. Seventh Ward Photography

    Ooh, I have clock envy. I want that in my home!

  8. Jil

    sometimes i wish a crazy talented interior decorator would surprise me by redoing our entire apartment while im at brunch. but then i have moments when i really appreciate the journey that is creating a home. cheers to continuing to make your house feel even more like home!!

  9. Keren

    I think we have the same couch! How fun!! Love your kitchen cabinets by the way! :)

  10. Jensey

    Ummmmm, this blog post makes me wanna toss everything in my home out and start a new! Well, maybe not go thaaaaat far, but I’m seriously swooning over your home! Would you mind sharing with us what paint colors you used- Specifically the gray wall your gorgeous clock is mounted on, and the blue in your bedroom? :)

  11. MM

    @Jensey: Definitely! So all of our first floor is Restoration Hardware paint (pricier, but it goes further to it sort of evens out). The gray in particular is called "Gravel." On the third floor (our bedroom) we used Sherwin Williams and I can’t for the life of me remember the name. But I think it had ocean or breeze or something in it! :) I know,that helps a ton!

  12. Rose DeVore

    Your blog is amazing! thank you for the comment on my post about the Driven Foundation.

  13. milsztof

    Great indoor. Any chance to move in?

  14. Taylor Jackson

    Mary I always look forward to your blog posts that give me a little glimpse behind the scenes like this! You are Justin are great!

  15. S^3

    Love me some old school trunks and luggage! Thanks for sharing.

  16. Tara

    Love this! all of it! Beautiful! I am still finding my style for my house.. So many things I love..

  17. Christa

    the space above my cupboard drives me crazy! I love what you’ve done with yours :)

  18. Alicia White

    I love your space – it truly represents ya’ll as a brand too. It’s really beautiful :-)

  19. Ashley Goodwin

    Hi, my name is Ashley, and I’m going to need you to hand over that trunk.

  20. Amy Clifton

    Aw, your "&" pillow makes me smile!

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