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Ever since New Year’s I’ve been working on giving my home a little love. I’ve rearranged the living room, hung lights in the hallway, cleared out cabinets, and vacuumed behind furniture and up in ceiling corners. It feels better here now, less cluttered, more comfortable, even prettier in places.

In fact, with all this cleaning and sorting things look a bit bare here and there. But they say that if you leave a little room in your life for good things, they will come. I’m leaving room.

Here’s a quick look at what I’ve done and a few things I plan to do.


I was hit by the rearranging bug during vacation week and slid all the furniture around one afternoon while Mr. K and the kids were at the movies. I moved the couch to open up the bay window and create more of a conversation area centered around the fireplace. It’s more social and cozy now, and more conducive to curling up and reading, although the new arrangement highlights the need for curtains instead of the blah metal blinds currently in residence. The red chair by the window has turned into a good spot for sitting with a cup of tea and watching the snow come down.


I also (finally) bought and installed two track light sets and dimmers in the long back hallway. And they work! The lights are dimmable LEDs. The back hall doesn’t have any direct light, so we often keep lights on all day back here. I wanted bulbs that would last a long time, generate relatively little heat, and be adjustable. So far, so good. The lights are Hampton Bay and the dimmers are Lutron Maestro. Hampton Bay gets a B- on these, mostly because the installation instructions are lousy. The lights themselves are sturdy, nice looking, and adjust easily. I really like the Maestro dimmers (A!), and the instructions were well done, too.


Of course, moving everything meant I needed a new lamp for the bookshelf in the corner of the living room. I picked this gold pear one from lampsplus.com. I like that it’s whimsical without being silly.


My much-abused ottoman cubes, originally brown pleather and then slipcovered with drop cloths, are getting a facelift with a cerise and gold fabric left over from when I redid my grandmother’s folder screen.


As I’ve sorted closets and waded through cabinets, I’ve pulled out projects waiting to be finished – Miss R’s baby book, missing months 9 through 12; three needlepoint canvases in need of a frame or a pillow backing; a vintage medicine cabinet, who knows how old, partially sanded.

Now that I’ve started on this home improvement kick, I’m trying to maintain a steady pace. Think Tortoise rather than Hare. I have a to-do list that includes curtains in two rooms (the big tree outside the dining room window is lovely but it is not an actual window treatment); framing and hanging art; putting down runners in the hallway (I like these in black or mineral blue); painting a dresser; and completing all those small to-be-finished projects that I’ve unearthed. It’s not an enormous list but completing it will be very satisfying.

And lest you think my sewing basket is empty, there’s this stack, part of a community project, waiting for action:051  and this pretty linen bundle:053and maybe something like this black-and-brights quilt percolating in the back of my mind. The owl cross stitch pattern is almost done, too.

And now back to my couch with it’s pleasant view of the fireplace. I have a date with a stack of modern YA fairy tales that I just picked up at the library.