A few of my favorite things: Pink Loves Brown
Hello there. I’m Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely and Pink Loves Brown. I’m so excited for Holly, and I hope she’s settling in and enjoying her new home and her new country! I’m honored to fill in today as part of Holly’s guest series, “A few of my favorite things”. If you’re familiar with my blog Making it Lovely, you know that I’ve chronicled the work I’ve done to my house since moving in two and a half years ago. Here are five areas of my home that I love and that make me happy. Hopefully they’ll make you happy too.
I adore my pink living room! It’s feminine but not girly, modern but not stark, graphic but not too intense. Of all the rooms in my home, the living room probably best exemplifies my style. Each piece of furniture reminds me of what was going on in my life at the time. The couch was the first big furniture purchase my husband and I made. The coffee table was an impulse purchase that I didn’t even have room for at the time, but I knew we’d someday have a home and it’s proven to be perfect here. The rocker of course will always remind me of my baby Eleanor, because we bought it for her. And the zigzag rug (you can just see a smidge of it in that photo) reminds me of doing the National Stationery Show last year, because we bought in while we were in New York for the Pink Loves Brown booth. I love being surrounded by beautiful things with such wonderful memories attached to them!
Ah, the wallpapered dining room. My husband and I did that while I was five months pregnant. Then again, that wasn’t so unusual… I tackled a lot of projects throughout my pregnancy! I can’t just sit still. Anyway, I always knew I wanted wallpaper in the dining room but it took me two years to settle on a pattern. In the end, I chose a pattern that I had considered right from the beginning. I tend to overthink things sometimes!
I spend a LOT of time in my daughter Eleanor’s room these days, so this photo makes me particularly happy. I read to her in that chair, I feed her there, we take naps together in it, and I soothe her by rocking in it. Some days are hard as I’m going through them, but looking back I know I’ll see that overall this has been a very, very happy time in my life. I couldn’t have imagined that fifteen pounds of cuteness could make me so happy.
What can I say? This makes me smile. All my pretty shoes and my patterned dresses above, all organized neatly behind closet doors. I think I’ll have to add some wallpaper to the inside of my closet and then it will be just perfect. A happy little surprise just for me, that I can see every morning.
The room won’t stay like this for long, and soon my baby will be sleeping in her nursery instead of at my side. Right now though, I cherish her closeness. The cradle is a family heirloom on my husband’s side, spanning several generations. Eleanor’s father, cousins, aunts, grandmother, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather have all slept there, and now it’s her turn.
I’d like to talk a little now about inspiration. I’m often asked about what inspires me to design new stationery or pull a room together, but it’s a hard question to answer. I’m always filing ideas away, whether I’m out on a walk, watching TV, reading magazines, or just sitting on my porch. I think the easiest reference point would be blogs though. I love blogs! I read new posts over breakfast every morning, and I save particularly interesting photos to a folder on my computer called “some things I like”. I have everything sorted from there into sub-folders, and I like to just browse through everything from time to time. Sometimes I pick up on a color combination, other times I might pick up on a particular room arrangement. Either way, I’m often inspired after my morning read!
Oh, and I know it’s probably a huge cliché, but I’m also inspired by my daughter. Sometimes I look at her, and she strikes me as so beautiful and lovely, I want to make her world a fitting place for her.
In parting, I’m leaving you with some of my favorite advice. I try to remember and act on these three quotes (though I’m sorry I don’t know to whom they’re attributed):
“A good idea today is better than a perfect idea tomorrow.“
“Don’t let best get in the way of better.“
“Done is better than perfect.“
They all embody the same idea. An idea that is hard for the perfectionist in me to act on. It’s so easy to be paralyzed by the pursuit of perfection that you end up doing nothing! Remember how I said I tend to overthink things? Sometimes when I’m working, I just have to force myself to hit “publish”, “send”, or “print”. Then I do it, and I’m always so much happier afterwards. -Nicole.
(images: nicole balch)