Thursday, February 09, 2012

{p,h,f,r}: The Contentment Edition

I have been linking up with {p,h,f,r} for a while, but I don't know that I ever included the tag line given to  the meme by Like Mother, Like Daughter.   

I think it was because I could never get the link button to work properly, but the purpose of {p,h,f,r} is to capture the context of contentment in everyday life.  It's a perspective that's easy to lose, at least for me, I'm afraid.

I've mentioned before that I've been going from room to room decluttering, reorganizing, and generally being ruthless about our possessions.  The kids tremble a little, but they haven't complained, which only reinforces my belief that we've had too much crap from the beginning.  

I joke that I want the house to be decorated in Shaker Chic, but it's only a partial joke.  There is something so calming about paring down.  

For so long, I bought things because I was sold on the notion that a well-appointed home just had to have it, especially if a good friend recommended it.  Boy, is that a good way to get exhausted, disappointed, and flat broke.

It wasn't so much a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses kind of attitude as a kind of mindless consumerism.  I ended up with a collection of a whole bunch of stuff that I didn't need or didn't even like very much.  

I started realizing that the homes I was most drawn to were the homes of fastidious senior citizens. There was a beauty in the simplicity of a simple set of sugar bowl and salt and pepper shakers on the weathered kitchen table that spoke to me more clearly than the four different sugar bowls I had crowding my hutch and which I never used.

Hence, the purge, and I am rediscovering the little things I really love about my home.

(**also, I have put myself on a visual ban from HGTV, Pottery Barn Kids catalogs, Restoration Hardware, and the like.  They give lots of people great ideas, but they give me unrealistic expectations of how my home should look and function.  I have 6 children, so my "nice" things are very different from the "nice" things shown in magazines.  And I am totally good with that.)

The middle girls' room.  This picture makes it look very green, but it is actually a lighter apple green.   There is just something about a white wrought iron bed that I love.

I love the light that comes in their window.  Plus, they get the best view in the house, overlooking the lovely woods.

Their Blessed Mother night light.  It's always a good idea to have your Mother watching over you.

My pretty pink cake plate filled with muffins.  No other centerpiece needed.
(Also - this picture was taken at 9 this morning and the muffins are long gone.)

Fiver's Lima bean plant from school that has survived all the odds of being placed in the home of a black thumb gardener.

My salt cellar that hangs on the wall above the stove.  Functional and pretty  . . . and from Pottery Barn.   

Looking at snow but thinking about Spring.  Pitchers and catchers report soon!  

My mantle.  I'm no great shakes decorator, but I do like what I arranged up there for the winter.
And I also made that "love" sign with my own non-crafty hands.

Framed art from Francie, circa preschool.  I fell in love with her rendering of a city at night the first time I saw it, and although I am notorious for tossing the kids' art projects, I am so glad I saved this one.  I have at least one piece from each of the kids that I have used as art around the house.  (Or I will, once I find some more frames.)

A dresser that has been repurposed as a hutch in the dining room.  All the craft supplies are in the right hand side drawers, and the left hand side drawers are full of the kids dishes so that they can help themselves.

And speaking of contentment . . .  I should sit at the feet of the master.  She's perpetually happy with pretty much everything.  Doll baby.


  1. Love Francie's art!

    I am also trying to pare down, although that is partly because I want to replace some things. But it is so freeing to let things go that you aren't really using or don't really like. I've gotten rid of a ton of clothes lately, and I'm much more thoughtful about what I am buying, or trying to be.

  2. I agree. Less is more! Our house has a lot of rooms but they are all small so I never feel like I have any room to put anything anyway.

    Your mantle is beautiful and that dresser/hutch is gorgeous - what a great use of space!

  3. I'm with ya sister! I'm in a less is more mode too. I feel like I'm being overwhelmed by stuff. And it takes a lot of time to keep all that stuff "unorganized" (seriously, I need better organization techniques).
    I should ban myself from HGTV too. Lately I've been complaining that we don't have custom cabinets and granite in the kitchen. How will we ever sell the house? But I have NO PLANS to sell the house anytime soon so I think we'll be ok... But all those new kitchens make me drool.
    Love the mantle!! Mine is quite boring.

  4. I feel like I can breathe easier when there is no clutter. I've been on mission every weekend to declutter and clean an area. It feels sooooo good! I love the girl's room, so much in fact that now I want to paint Maggie's yellow walls green :)

  5. GeeGee11:50 AM

    I am so glad you saved Francie's art. I love it and can't wait to see your other "pieces"! I wish you had a spare 72 hours to come here and "go through" my house! You know I have a hard time letting anything go, especially all those "little things"-you know the sentimental things to which I am emotionally attached...I would also like to get rid of all the broken and inconvenient, high maintenance items but that would leave us nowhere to eat,sit,or I look and sigh and grumble...I need a fresh set of eyes to look things over...
    Give Baby a raspberry on her adorable cheeks from me. I wish I could see the children every day!!!

  6. "I have 6 children, so my "nice" things are very different from the "nice" things shown in magazines. And I am totally good with that."

    So am I!

    It was lovey to glimpse inside your home, too. So pretty!

  7. your PHFR posts might be my favorite. But it's hard to tell.. I do love all your photos though, thanks for sharing :) And give lots of hugs to those kiddos for us

  8. I love this. I actually started looking at the pictures first and then went back & read the post (a little backwards) and was thinking initially of how "content" I was just looking at your serene photos. Go figure. Ava's room is green too and we all find ourselves sitting in it and whispering. So peaceful. ...btw. Your house is so ...clean. How do you do it with that little doll baby? Love the ideas.


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