Happy Good Friday! I hope your Easter weekend is off to a great start!
There’s this one photo of a dining room that I came across about 13 or so years ago that has just stuck with me. Has that ever happened to you? I saw this photo (below) from an Ethan Allen catalog way back in the day, before we even bought this house, and when I saw it, I just knew that was a photo of my “dream house” and it’s really shaped my vision for how I want my home to look and feel over the entire past decade. I decided last week to just do a quick search and see if I could find the actual photo, just to see if it was really how I remembered it and if it really was just as perfect as I remember. To my surprise, it came right up. It’s amazing how trends have changed in photography since then, but other than that, it’s still just as perfect and as classic as I remember and I really have included quite a few of the elements from this look into my home, all these years later, although not all together like they’re shown in this photo. Anyway, just wanted to share this example of a classic look for a room that really has turned out to be classic and timeless, at least for me. 🙂
I’m particularly excited for Easter weekend this year. We have family coming in from out of town and although we won’t have absolutely everyone together, it’s still a bit more of a real holiday than we’ve been able to have for the last couple of years. Easter is just one of my favorite holidays every year. Maybe because it always feels like it kind of marks the actual start of spring? We have the house decorated with bunnies, carrots, and blooms and everything is just so cheerful, even though the weather outside is still usually pretty chilly. Anyway, hoping to make the best of whatever comes our way this weekend and just have a nice time. Here’s my new vase with a few more forsythia branches that I’m forcing. It’s funny because I actually owned this same vase quite a few years ago, but I broke it. When I saw it again recently, I knew I needed another one. Such a classic. Just a fun Homsense find, but you can find higher quality versions like this one holding a basket vase here.
This is one my big baking windows every year. I just always seem to get really inspired around this time each spring even though no one really expects a lot of baking for Easter like they do for Christmas. This year it just worked out that we had one of our shoots this week that needed to get postponed so I’ve had an extra couple of days to spend in the kitchen, which is just my favorite place to be. I’m always so amazed at how much joy I get out of that room in our home even though it’s still on the waiting list for a renovation and it’s definitely not our dream kitchen in so many ways. Anyway, I just love it all. Such a fun and relaxing way to head into the holiday weekend. These cookies below are cardamom fig thumbprint cookies (after two were swiped) that I tested out this week. Will be sharing the recipe for these soon!
It’s my birthday! We’re not really big “birthday people”, but as I mentioned before, we’re going to have lots of family around this weekend so that will make it just perfect even though we won’t be doing anything in particular to celebrate other than what we’re doing for Easter. I think I’m going to make a birthday Tiramisu (you can find my shortcut recipe here) instead of a cake this year. Kennedy and I both love it, but the recipe does make a big tiramisu and we have trouble finishing it when it’s mostly just the two of us. Excited to have some extra family members on hand who can help us out with that. 🙂 Anyway, I’ll be spending the day today baking and ordering myself that dream Le Creuset I told you I was thinking about a few weeks ago and then we’ll be getting together with family for pizza and wine tonight. Not a bad day at all.
I got so, so lucky with my little dining room update project. I was absolutely set on this lamp. No other lamp would do. I really looked high and low for other options when I realized that this lamp is backordered absolutely everywhere, but it was just perfect. So I knew I would have to wait for that final piece of the puzzle and just be OK with it. I decided I’d better get it ordered soon, and although it’s available through a few different places, even Wayfair, if I was going to have to wait anyway, I should probably order it from a smaller local business. So I reached out to Rainsford Company, one of my absolute favorites, and asked them about current wait times for this piece. They looked into it and said that it’s going to take about 14 weeks to come in, but that they have one single lamp available in their showroom right now that they could ship to me the next day! So instead of waiting for months, boom, here it is, on my freshly-black-painted dresser in the corner. 🙂
NEWS AND FINDS
-Currently reading: The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food by Judith Jones, who was an editor who discovered The Diary of Anne Frank as well as Julia Child, and a cookbook author herself too. Just a really enjoyable read all about her adventures in discovering cooking and food in France and back home in the United States as well and how that led her to discovering all these amazing cooks from all over the world and helping them create their cookbooks. A nice spring/summer read for anyone who loves food. 🙂
-I finished Emma a few weeks ago and now I’ve picked Great Expectations back up. If you love the classics too, I just discovered the most beautiful collection of classics, which are available on Amazon. I search for this type of thing pretty regularly, so I’m not sure how I’ve missed these before. Love the cherry blossom design on the cover of Little Women and the cover of The Secret Garden is beautiful as well.
-Chris made us a website for Art & Spaces! It’s so pretty. 🙂 We thought it was about time to create a real, grown-up website for our little interior photography business. We’ve never really felt like we needed it for marketing purposes and we always did just fine sharing our work on Instagram, but it felt like we eventually needed to make a real website where new clients can go to easily see more of the type of work we do. Anyway, I love it.
-I was reminded again recently how great the Heritage Art Prints Shop. I rearranged our wall art in the dining room a bit and I wanted something that would work well in a grouping with Chris’ grandparents wedding photo that we have hanging up in there. I had the perfect thrift store frame, but I needed something else that would match the coloration and feel of that photo, but I popped over to Heritage Print Shop and quickly found the perfect landscape sketch. I feel like the movement of the tree in the sketch really has the same feel as Chris’ grandma’s wedding bouquet in the photo and it just makes me so happy.
-A couple of new, notable wardrobe finds from the past couple of weeks: I’ve been looking for the perfect Breton style top for casual, everyday spring/summer wear and finally the landed on the new LL Bean Heritage Mariner. The boxy cut with the drop shoulder feels updated but still classic, the neckline is super flattering and comfortable, and the fabric is a kind of thicker t-shirt material that falls really nicely. I did think that even the petite XS (smallest size available) was a bit long and that it would look better on me if it were a few inches shorter, so I just hemmed it and now it’s perfect. 🙂 Have also been searching for about two years for just the right pair of black shorts (good for hiking, but not so athletic-looking that they can’t be worn every day, flattering cut, zipper pocket for phone/keys) and found them at Lululemon finally. Ordered my usual size 0 from there and I think these will definitely fit into the category of things that I’ll get many years of use out of, which is always the goal.
-This week’s reader favorites: LL Bean Heritage Mariner shirt, which I shared over on Instagram, my new white sneakers, my living room rug, LL Bean Indestructible Waterhog Doormats, my “house shoes” (looks like they’re 40% off right now!)
MORE RECENTS POSTS
- Reader Favorites of 2023 So Far
- My 12 Favorite Spring Cleaning Tricks
- The Best Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
- Five Things on a Friday – 3/24/23
This post contains affiliate links.
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.