Plans

The past couple of weeks have been a blur of projects and house guests, which I have so loved doing and having, but now I'm in the clear a little more and am able to get focused back on work. I'm so excited about a big change I have in the works!

As we were organizing the house in anticipation for these house guests we've been hosting this month, Michael and I have been talking a lot about the way we use our house and about how to best use the spaces we have.

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The big room above the garage that we've been calling the play room has been largely unused by the kids (these photos are from before we moved into the house). The space is sort of far away and removed from the rest of the house, so it makes sense they wouldn't really want to be up there all alone. Over time, the toys started migrating over to the bedrooms and the play room was beginning to feel like a big waste of space.

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And you guys all know that I've been really thinking a lot about work and this blog and sort of trying to figure out what I want my future to look like. One of my New Years resolutions is to work smarter not harder. I don't even pretend to have a balanced life - some week's are allllllll work with family squished in there. Other weeks (like this one) have been all about friends and loved ones. I'm finally getting used to the fact that this is just how it's going to be and that there's power in embracing the imbalance of the balancing act. :)

(Sidebar: speaking of family, my friends over at Small Fry blog interviewed me about some of my thoughts on motherhood and Evie's crazy birth story. Hop on over if you're in for a read and a little TMI from me.)

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It's been so nice to get to work from home for all these years, especially while my girls were so young. But I think it's time. I think I'll always share my personal home projects with you guys here on LGN, but I also want to focus on creating more editorial content and shoot the projects and ideas in a separate space. Also I've been trying to get the ball rolling on a book for about three years now, but we just keep moving and things get pushed back. I would love to finally start (and finish) my book this year.

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So I thought for about two seconds about renting a commercial office space, and then I realized the play room makes the perfect studio. It was a total 'duh' moment. Why hadn't we thought of this before? The space is removed from the rest of the house, though easily accessible, so maybe I could get the best of both worlds with privacy and convenience?
My beautiful sister, Heather, who used to live with us in Brooklyn, moved back in about a week ago so she could go back to school to get her teaching certificate (so excited for her!). She'll be living in the the guest bedroom, which is right next to the new studio space. In her off-hours, she'll be pitching in with projects and I'm so excited to have her around again. She makes even the most grueling, labor-intensive projects hilariously fun. And there will always be music and dancing.

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I've also hired someone to help with coordinating and shooting mostly the book. Her name is Kate and she deserves a whole post dedicated to her awesomeness. She's really great and I'm so excited to have her around starting the beginning of March. More on the amazing Kate later!

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We've been working like crazy to transform the studio since deciding to turn my old office (the space with the dry erase boards) into the playroom. The new playroom space is pretty much in full swing now and the kids and their friends use the room so much more! Success.

Pulling up the carpet in the studio was, surprisingly, the easiest part of the mini reno we're doing. I had lots of practice in the brownstone, but this carpet was a breeze compared to that nasty old stuff! You just sort of pick at a corner until the carpet pulls away from the tack strip and then just pull and roll while you go. The only tricky part is getting up the tack strips, but it's not too bad with a hammer and crow bar. We got down to subfloor in just a couple hours. (Special thanks to my sister, Ali, who is a carpet-removing machine!!)

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We're almost done with the new floors and I'm so excited to share the tutorial. I just need to finish baseboards and I'll take some photos. I wanted a bright white space. Here were some of my inspiration photos.

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Things ended up evolving a little though and what we ended up with is a good blend of the above photos and the two below. Cryptic, I know. These all look pretty different. :) 

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Anyway, I am just SO excited about how everything is turning out. I'm not really talking about the floors even, though they are spectacular! But, I'm feeling like I have a plan and a the foundation is laid for a really great 2014. Thanks for all your continued support, friends. I have felt you cheering me on and it has meant the world to me. xoxo

(all inspiration photos via Houzz here)

60 comments:

Stephanie K said...

Love all of those pictures! Can't wait to see the results!! ♡

Celeste said...

This room is going to be great! So glad you have a space in your home that lets you do what you want and be there for your family.

And I'm pretty sure all of our lives are unbalanced... at least you will have pretty floors!

Jen @ RamblingRenovators said...

Your playroom turned office is bigger than my house ;) Such a great space to work in. I can't wait to see the white floors! It will make for some amazing photography of projects and such.

Nancy {at} powellbrower at home said...

I'm so excited for you and your plans. You are super motivating to all of us, and I am glad you have such a wonderful studio space, so jealous!!! Sounds like Kate will be a wonderful addition to your work and wishing your dreams come true this year! xo Nancy

Sarah said...

So excited for you, and for me, the day your book comes out!

Kimberlee @ TheKimCollective said...

It's so exciting to hear about your new goals and future plans. Thanks for sharing! Can't wait for the book...and the fabric line you mentioned a few days ago. Your work and creativity are really inspiring!

Zoe Royall said...

BOOM! Werk it girl. So excited for this next stage for you, LGN, and a BOOK. Also, I loved your post on small fry. Nicely done as always.

christa said...

Jenny, you are always and forever my favorite blog to read. The things you create are breathtaking and inspiring.

I was hoping your days would soon be a little brighter, so I'm very glad ideas and goals are starting to iron themselves out. :) Life is never easy, no matter the trial- it's embracing each new day as it comes that is fulfilling and joy-bringing I think.

colleen said...

A studio and doing more editorial content sounds like the perfect evolution of your blog. Can't wait to see it!

Angela said...

So excited for your future! You are so talented, I love seeing what is going on. Looking forward to the reveals.

Simply Modern Home said...

Go Jenny!! So excited to see what you do with the space! Your inspiration pics are beautiful and I'm sure the finished product will be even better!

Chrissy said...

exciting! it feels so great to have those great spurts of clear direction!! can't wait to see.

Lyndsey said...

Way to go Jenny! So excited about the prospect of a book :) and the clarity you've found with your plans. Can't wait to see the finished space.

Naz said...

Have you read any of the Godwinks books? I feel much of your stories are just as beautiful. Great idea about your new vision for your work and home office.

Dana Frieling said...

One question...can we pre-order? ;)

Michelle Ash Latham said...

Ooooh, I'm so intrigued! I can't wait to see your new office space!

Michelle / www.ahealthymrs.com

Chile Adventure said...

Jenny
You might enjoy reading a blog post by Dewitt Jones (celebratewhatsright.com) entitled "Balance? No, blend!" He's a photographer but has a lot of wise things to say about life.

Myamogabi said...

Jenny- I just wanted to thank you for sharing so generously your ideas over the years. I think your blog is the first (and probably only) one that I've read every single page. You are a true inspiration! While I am sad that you are kind of moving on (so to speak), I totally understand and respect that you want to tackle different things (editorial content, book, etc.) at this time in life and in your career. Congratulations for finding the right space for starting a new adventure! I cannot wait to see your new book! Best wishes!

Myamogabi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Meyer said...

Can't say that I'm not jealous. I would love a workspace/art studio. Can't wait to see what you do with the space.

Abby Barstow said...

Can't wait to see how you finish up the space!! So sweet of you to let your sister live with you guys...sounds like it'll be a fun tim!

Lauren said...

Looking forward to seeing this studio come together! And definitely looking forward to the book!

Kim @ Home Love and Wanderlust said...

Happy to hear about the new direction, and I really look forward to hearing more about the book and how you're putting it together. I'd love to do something similar some day!

Kim

Brooke @ Inside-Out Design said...

I can't wait to see! I've been so excited for more updates on your house! Oh and I read your birth story yesterday- amazing! It would be super scary to have a baby come that quickly but at the same time it's nice you got to skip over the long wait at the hospital. And what a neat experience for you and your family!

Lucy said...

I'm confused--are you still going to be blogging, but just at a less frequent pace? Also, I can't wait for your book; it's going to be fabulous!

Em said...

So excited for you - this sounds like a system that could work really well for you, and I'm always excited when you promise us a DIY!

Joanna said...

So exciting, what a perfect huge office and studio!

Joanna said...

Ahh finally, A LGN book! CAN'T WAIT!

lonelybaker said...

Do it! Do it! Do it! I have a studio at home and, while most of the time I shoot (for)clients there, it's also a great party space when we have a big bash. The previous owner was a photographer and it's one of the reasons I bought the house. Its' wonderful to spread out easily "commute" back and forth.

lonelybaker said...

Do it! Do it! Do it! I have a studio at home and, while most of the time I shoot (for)clients there, it's also a great party space when we have a big bash. The previous owner was a photographer and it's one of the reasons I bought the house. Its' wonderful to spread out easily "commute" back and forth.

Hanh said...

All of that sounds uber exciting! Go Jenny! So excited for you.

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

Looks like an incredible space to spark all of your creative efforts! When we moved into our house, we thought we knew what we would use every room for, but changed things around after getting the feel for the house. Looking forward to seeing the finished space!

Tess said...

This is great news! I'm glad to hear of your plans and love your suessical line in there about the balance of the imbalance. What a cool insight to look at it in that way and so true too.

Anonymous said...

I read the other blog post and just want to say how sorry I am that you're struggling. There really is nothing wors than infertility. I struggled to get pregnant with my first and now two babies later still remember how painful it was. I hope you get the family you ultimately desire.

Language of Color & Texture said...

Happy it's coming together for you!

Jo Schaeffer-Crabb said...

Hi Jenny, this is my first time commenting even though I've been a daily reader for years and years. I too am struggling with secondary infertility (totally unexpected and unexplained) and I wondered if you might discuss it on your blog. other than Liz with the say yes Hoboken blog, I have never seen a popular blogger broach the topic. I just figured that was because it was so rare, but now I wonder if that's really the case. anyway, it'd be lovely to not feel so isolated in this strange infertility boat.
best of luck with al the changes. you are incredible.

Jo Schaeffer-Crabb said...

Hi Jenny, this is my first time commenting even though I've been a daily reader for years and years. I too am struggling with secondary infertility (totally unexpected and unexplained) and I wondered if you might discuss it on your blog. other than Liz with the say yes Hoboken blog, I have never seen a popular blogger broach the topic. I just figured that was because it was so rare, but now I wonder if that's really the case. anyway, it'd be lovely to not feel so isolated in this strange infertility boat.
best of luck with al the changes. you are incredible.

My Interior Life said...

So excited for you and this new chapter! You seem so optimistic and at peace - such a great place to be in. Of course, I can't wait to see the studio space when you're done. I saw the teasers on IG so have been dying to see what you actually did.

Lisa said...

What a phenomenal "aha" moment that must have been! Sounds perfect and I am very envious of you to have such a fabulous (and separate) working space. I look forward to watching this transformation!

Hollie @ I'm Busy Procrastinating said...

Evie's born story ... Not what I expected, but wow!

How wonderful that you have a big house now where you have space for lots of different things. Looking forward to seeing how the new studio evolves.

Austin Angel said...

Love, love, love the floors! If you want the ceiling fan to blend in paint it the same color as your ceiling. Not that you even asked. I used to have white ones now I have brown and at some point I'm going to paint them to blend in. Anyway, I really love that alcove. I can't wait to see your reveal.

~Pam

anna.r.halpern@gmail.com said...

I have always wanted to paint wood floors white, it seems so Scandinavian. Glad to hear about your plans for getting the most out of your house =)

Kari said...

I cannot wait to see your finished result! I was just reading how it is a fantasy to think anyone, male or female can "have it all". Kudos to you for embracing the inbalanced balance, as you put it. I think that truth helps us all feel less anxious and breathe more easily!

Anonymous said...

When I first saw the pics of your space I was think what a wonderful office space that would make, and I see that great minds think alike!! :) Can't wait to see the results and I love your blog!

Splendid Market said...

what a wonderful office space, great light!

Anonymous said...

cue children thinking new office/studio space will now be a great place to play! ;p

Hannah said...

Looking great! Exited to see the final results and I would love to have an office space like this.

www.branchandtwig.com

Natalie A. said...

I love you Jenny & I am so proud of you! I cannot wait for your book to be complete. Take time to breathe & enjoy the process. Can't wait to see the floors, too - what fun!

For our new house, I wanted white painted floors with a deep bevel for the playroom (it's right off the kitchen with grey oiled wide plank white oak floors). Everyone tried to talk me out of it. In the 11th hour, I knew I would regret not doing it. I am so glaring stuck to my guns! It is such a bright, cheerful place for the kids & I smile each time I walk in there. Magic Eraser works for touch ups here & there. It is surprisingly low maintenance.

Congrats again, & I know your book will be a best seller!

Natalie said...

not "so glaring" but "so glad I suck to my guns" :-)

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Anonymous said...

I loved your interview!! I am sad to hear you have been struggling with infertilty. I have too for the 3 past years, and I am coming to terms that I may not have more children (I have to boys, 6 and 5). I truly feel blessed for my family but sometimes I can't help feeling sad for the babies that won't come. I love love love your blog! Big hug!! S

Mila Bassett said...

I am a believer in letting the house "grow on you" for some time after moving in. In the past I'd be eager to have everything furnished and decorated asap. In our new house though we've been paying more attention to how we ACTUALLY use the space. That led us to put a mudroom in the home office-- just because it works for us! I wrote about it on my blog.
Good luck with your new plans Jenny!

Lettie said...

So excited to see what you do with this space and hear more of your plans! You are so inspirational!

Lettie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kari de Lavenne said...

OMG- I love how you blog. In the first three lines I think "Oh cool, she's going to post her ideas for her next project"...but everytime, I scroll... it's actual DEMO! I love it!!! Don't ever sit still Jen! I look forward to seeing it finished tomorrow. ;) Lol.

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devorah said...

Such great room shapes!

Wonder Incubator said...

Can't wait for the book! Love the yellow armchairs in your latest post. So happy you are making a space for your work. Have a great week! Hallie

katerina jubir said...

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pve design said...

I cannot tell you what a wise move it is to work from home. Raising children is a huge job and then balancing it under one roof is such a joy and a privilege.
wishing you all the best with all your plans!
pve

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