02 August 2013

The Final Lap

Next week, we are photographing the house that's consumed us for the past 11 and a half months.  Almost a year ago, having just finished our house, and having out 3rd son, we stumbled upon a promising real estate listing a couple of towns over. The new house would be a complete redo and an almost total gut job.

{the new house, before}

Our heads told us to stay put because we were finally finished working on our house and we were so happy with it, but the ever-persistent "gut" said to go for it.  With two boys and an infant...

... we plunged ourselves into a full on renovation:

{we lived here throughout the entire process}

It was truly the fastest year of my life.  The whirlwind we entered into has been exhausting, exciting, rewarding and all-consuming.  Throughout this process, I've felt so excited and happy with how everything's been going, but I've also felt stretched very thin.  I work on doing the house after or before work is over, so our free time has been so limited.  In a sense, it's like I'm slap happy a lot of the time.  All along I've trusted that everything would fall into place and have felt a real peace inside- so I wouldn't say this process has been emotional at all or that I've felt anything but awesome about it- but it's more like my brain is on overload and I just sort of have to shrug or laugh at the amount of work that needs to be done in so little time.  In short, I haven't regretted our decision for even a moment but I am SO ready to relax a bit and have a little more time.

{need more moments like these}

So...  it's all coming down to this next week.  We chose to put this insane deadline on ourselves because it was really important to me that the house be photographed when it's in full bloom...   My house is all about indoor-outdoor living and when you're inside, the outside is right there with you. The outdoors are so much a part of the house's design that we need to photograph it at a time that really illustrates this feature.  It's pretty much why I fell in love with the house in the first place.

We have people coming to stucco the fireplace today and there are a few miscellaneous painting and touch up projects we need to get done.  Curtains are going up, artwork is being hung, and long-awaited pillows and bedding are arriving.  It's so satisfying!!  But also a bit nerve-wracking...  will everything actually get here in time??  I'm sure a few things won't and I don't know what to do about them.  We bought a dining table online a couple of weeks ago from a company in Pennsylvania (with local pick up only) and have not been able to get in touch with them about picking it up.  Without it, I don't really know what to do, but we can't exactly drive up there and knock on the door of the shop without knowing if they're open.   Stuff like that... and there's a lot of it.  To be honest, this is exactly what it's like when working on clients' projects, but the fact that it happens during work hours makes such a difference.  We've been doing everything on borrowed time.


Christian- our six year old- once told me that he liked our old house better.  When I asked him why, he said "Because you and Daddy work too much here."   Made me sad and feel terrible.   (Where do kids learn how to do that guilt thing?!! ;) ;)

Anyway, please send some good thoughts (and energy!!) our way this next week.  Helen (our photographer) will be shooting Wednesday through Friday so we have a few more days for things to actually get here.  Fingers crossed!!!

{To do before next week: stain the house, fix the garden edges, among other things}

We're working out what we'll actually be doing with the photos of our house once we have them, and I just cannot wait to share them.  (I was always that annoying kid who wanted to show my parents or grandparents what I was excited about: "Look at what I made!!"  .. So I guess I haven't changed much.)   I have been thinking of a magazine to publish it and am also playing with other ideas.  This house has been such a part of us, and we've poured so much into it.  We think of it as our "forever" house.  It's not big or impressive, but it's ours and we love it.  I can't wait to share it.

ps- In the midst of all of this, we're launching a brand-new website.  This blog will be moving.  At this point, it's still up, but when we make the move (any day now) this blog will automatically redirect to the new one at laurenliess.com/pure-style-home    I'll post info on how to refresh your subscription and all of those fun techy details soon!!

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.


  1. I have been following your blog for a while and enjoy it so much. Just checked out the portfolio on your new website. Your designs are gorgeous! Congratulations! Your hard work is truly paying off and I know your success will continue to grow. And most importantly, your boys are beautiful!

  2. Almost there! The house looks like it will be a great "forever" house. I'm afraid my house has been on the back burner since we moved in a year ago. We don't even have a deck built yet! Can't wait to see the pictures.

  3. I have read your blog for several months now and love everything you do! Your design is perfection to me. I can't wait to see the final reveal, I know it will be gorgeous.

  4. Kids say the darndest things! I have followed your blog since Christian was a toddler and your other son was an infant so it is amazing to see him as a big 6 year old! Cant wait to see photos of the house and if it looks half as good as the garden already does then you are ahead of the game!

  5. can't wait to see it wherever it gets published!!!! It's so fun for you to do it together -you both enjoy it. I think thats why it works for you guys. Brings you closer together even I would imagine! :-)

  6. Lauren, I live in PA. Email me...maybe I can help you with your table.

  7. Wow! I've been following your blog for awhile now and am so excited to see this house! Sounds like it will be awesome! After the pictures are published I would love to hear more about your decision making process. I know you've shared some of that, but I find it really enlightening.
    - Lauren

  8. A lot of us work better under pressure...this should be your "best!" :) franki p.s. Positive thoughts going your way!

  9. It's going to be great Lauren. You and your husband have all you need to right now make the photo shoot turn out beautifully. I'm a big fan too. Sending you love and plenty of good energy for this next stretch!

  10. The love will show through no matter what pieces are missing! Can't wait to see!

  11. you are going to stain it? it looks perfect (perfectly lovely) ! been following the whole year since you went to the open house and told everyone to get out of your new home 'cause it was soon going to be yours!!

  12. Lauren,
    I love your work and I am dying to see more pics of your new home.
    I admire you, because you know what you want and what you like and you have everything figured out.
    Your familiy is beautiful, soon you'll get to enjoy them more and more on that special home that you are making for them.

  13. You're so wrong, it is IMPRESSIVE! From what I've seen it has been a HUGE undertaking. On top of having three small boys (mine are about the same age as yours, so I know how crazy life is! :) a business to run and living in the house while you did all this....VERY IMPRESSIVE! Congrats on what I'm sure is a stunning house!! Can't wait to see it and thanks for letting all of use tag along through it all!

  14. You're so wrong, it is IMPRESSIVE! From what I've seen it has been a HUGE undertaking. On top of having three small boys (mine are about the same age as yours, so I know how crazy life is! :) a business to run and living in the house while you did all this....VERY IMPRESSIVE! Congrats on what I'm sure is a stunning house!! Can't wait to see it and thanks for letting all of use tag along through it all!

  15. Lauren,

    I cannot wait to see what you share with us!

    It has been a whirlwind year for you and your family and my hope for you is that once this deadline is over you will have the time to savor the special memories you will be making in your special home.



  16. I am so impressed with the work you've done--I hope that, at some point, you're able to take time and celebrate what you've accomplished--and with three little ones and a full workload! It's okay to be impressed with yourself.

    And I firmly believe that kids are born with knowledge of how to best press mommy's buttons--my three-year old woke up in he middle of the night last night to ask why we were playing with his cars (?) and when I told him to go back to sleep asked, "So you don't like me anymore?" Their cuteness + manipulation = constant guilt. It's their job and they're good at it!

  17. Lauren,
    I really enjoy your blog and love your style. Can't wait to see the photos of your house. I'm also in Pennsylvania, so if your table is anywhere near me, I'd be happy to check on it for you. Just let me know if I can help.

  18. It's going to be amazing, Lauren!! Congratulations!!! I cannot wait to see the photos (probably in a major magazine, I know)!

  19. Love your blog. I can’t wait for seeing the photos of the new house.
    Congratulation! Evelyne


  20. Good luck this week! You have done a magnificent job from what I can see, so I'm so excited to see the rest. Your outdoor space is gorgeous as well. Im sure the boys are loving it. Take care of yourself.
    xo Nancy

  21. well now i feel like a kid near christmas.....cannot WAIT!

    knowing you the transformation is stunning lauren. and did you say christian is six?!!

  22. Good luck this week! You guys are an inspiring gift to all if us!!

  23. I, for one...who we kidding...For MANY, cannot wait to see your place on film!!

  24. Lauren,
    I'm so excited to see this completed! Where in PA is your table? I am in Lancaster county. If it's close and you still need it, let me know. We are heading to DC on Friday and can help you out.

  25. It must feel so good to be in the home stretch! We're renovating too and I can't imaging living there through all of it!


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