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Can we all agree that January is the worst month in Nashville? It's cold. It's dreary. It's the official start of tax season; and there aren't any festive lights and decorations to distract from how grey and cloudy it is.


Putting away my Christmas décor always makes me feel refreshed and decluttered. I drag out the bins and start packing and organizing on New Year's Day (if I can wait that long.) BUT... today I was sitting in my office working and I couldn't help but think that this weather really called for Christmas lights and a fire.


So, I'm giving us the next best thing. A sneak peak of my home (that I definitely owe you) with a little festive flair.



Photo by Leslie Brown Photography.


There are so many things I love about this space, where do I even start?

Clearly the disco ball is the star of the show, so I didn't want to add a lot in here for the holidays. I love a good dinner party and I have lots of place settings, pretty dishes, and tablescapes. But, the day before the photoshoot I had a vision and I immediately recruited my husband to make me a custom candle holder. Meanwhile, I started cutting all of the cuties in my pantry and roasting orange slices.



Photo by Leslie Brown Photography.


Because honestly, nothing besides 100 taper candles burning at one time could pair with a 4-foot wide functioning vintage disco ball from 1971.


The Rosemary Team was bored of all of the "trending" tree decorations and I really wanted to do something different. We got a bunch of clear and white ornaments, strands of little pearls, and I hand-tied cute little winter blue bows to the tips of the branches. Done. No big bows, no fancy garlands. I wanted classic and simple. Understated.


Photo by Leslie Brown Photography.


HAHAHA. Then I remembered that more is more and just couldn't stop. I also decided that it was the time to do as many DIY projects as possible in 24hrs and drove to Hobby Lobby to buy the fluffiest, softest yarn I could find to make my own garland. I recruited my husband for this part too.


For those of you who don't know, we're expecting a daughter in March. This whole garland scenario turned out to be a great learning experience for me. We had to cut and comb out strands of yarn to piece this together. It took us probably 5-6 hours. Turns out my husband is incredibly patient and gentle. He doesn't know it yet, but this test proved he's going to be the one brushing and braiding hair before school. Congratulations, honey!



Photo by Leslie Brown Photography.


Speaking of my husband and babies. If our French bulldog is his first born, then the bar room is his middle child. It was the only room he had opinions on throughout the entire build-design process. What I didn't know was that this attitude would extend to Christmas Décor. I was given strict instructions to use his childhood tree... with colored lights... in this super moody black and white space.


Photo by Leslie Brown Photography.


In turn, the girls at Rosemary were given strict instructions to buy anything they thought would make this happen. My senior designer showed up with 3 giant bags full of tinsel and clip-on candles and we knew we were going all-out 1989. "I hope it's not overkill," she commented on the quantity she purchased. But remember, MORE is MORE?



Photo by Leslie Brown Photography.


I went back to Hobby Lobby and filled 3 more giant bags with tinsel and light-up candles to really make this baby shine (Literally. Look at all of that tinsel).



Photo by Leslie Brown Photography.



This quickly became my favorite Christmas tree in the house. It was so fun.


And you know what else is fun? Sharing all of this with you! I feel so much more inspired now and I'm ready to power through the last few hours of this work day! I hope this brought some cheer to your day too.


xx


If you follow me on Instagram, then you know these two things:

  1. I'm building a new home

  2. I've been promising to blog about the process

If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably also know that I'm always busy and up to something. Whether it be design projects or mini (sometimes not so mini) adventures, I can't sit still! So, sitting down to write doesn't usually make it to the top of my list. But, here I am finally committing to tell you about this new house of mine.


I really want you all to appreciate the beauty of this project, so this post is going to be (a little bit long and) dedicated to filling you in on the journey it took to get to breaking ground.


First, for those of you who don't know him, I'd like to introduce you to my wonderful husband, Nicholas Wisniewski:


Photography by the always fabulous Eloise Photography.


Nick and I met in college and we were great friends, but lost touch after graduation. We reconnected some years later when we worked on a home together for the 2015 Parade of Homes. Nick is Vice President of Landmark Homes (a residential construction company that was started by his amazing dad, Gary Wisniewski.) We worked on this home for many months and realized pretty quickly that we made a good team-- and also had so much fun together no matter what we were doing. If you do know Nick, then you know he's always bringing joy to any situation.


Now, it should be obvious that with me being an interior designer and Nick being a home builder- we had a mutual passion for homes & design. But, as we continued to get to know one another we found out our biggest connection: the only thing we love more than houses is being in or near the water. We talked about all of the places where we imagined living one day, but we knew that Middle TN was our home. We both agreed that we'd be perfectly content as long as we could live on the lake. So, not long after we started dating, we sort of found ourselves in this little routine: every Sunday, we would drive around Old Hickory Lake looking for houses and lots.




I had to include this map here, because when I say "we would drive around Old Hickory Lake," I literally mean that we would start at one end of the lake and drive all the way around. We'd start at one spot and drive through neighborhoods until the sun started setting; the next week we'd pick back up where we left off.


We had our eye set on fixer uppers, but my one condition was that I wanted to be on a relatively flat piece of land. I had this vision of lots of dogs and children running around in the yard - and so many of these homes were practically on the edge of a cliff.


The first day we drove around, we found this incredible lot. We peaked around a little, but like I said- we were focused on fixer uppers, so we didn't really dwell on it. The problem was.... I kept having dreams about this piece of land. I seriously couldn't get it out of my head. Finally, a few months later after telling Nick about all of these dreams- he took me back to this lot so we could look around.

You guys! We started looking at this lot over 4 years ago! FINALLY- after it was apparent that we weren't getting this property out of our heads... we made an offer in October 2019.


I know that now you're thinking "but, Lauren... it's February of 2021!" Yes, that's absolutely right. Right around the time we made an offer, the property owner suddenly passed away. Now if you don't know what this means.... I won't bore you with all of the details, but I'll just say that made things a little complicated.


We waited, waited, and waited a little more before finally hearing back and they accepted our offer! I was so thrilled! After years of thinking about this place, we could start building our forever home! We submitted our request for a building permit.... and then Covid happened...


So we went back to waiting. And we waited, waited, waited, waited and waited SO patiently (called at least once a week to see what was going on). We had to remind ourselves often that this was our dream and that everything would be worth it in the end. I'm a lot less patient than Nick, so he was really the one reminding me. Eventually, we ended up with a new Sunday ritual. We started driving to the site of our future home every Sunday afternoon. We spent the day sitting on a blanket eating snacks and drinking beer, looking out at the water and talking about how amazing it was going to be once we finally built our house on this perfect piece of land.



And then... in October of 2020, a full year after making an offer, we received our building permit!


I can't wait to share this building journey with you all- and I CAN'T WAIT to finally look out of my kitchen window and see the amazing view.


Updated: Feb 1, 2021

We've all been there. One week before Christmas and there's still shopping to be done! Well, we are here to help you complete the challenge and get all of those presents wrapped up before game time! These gift ideas are perfect for anyone on your list who has a new home, who never purchases pretty things for themselves, or who is just an interior design enthusiast!


If you live local to the Nashville area...


The Golden Slipper:

Shop local and swing by this adorable little store in Germantown. You'll find gifts for everyone and your last minute Christmas dinner necessities. Their candles are poured in house and everything is special and unique. The matchstick holder below was a gift I received this year and it has been my favorite! You can also order online and schedule for pick-up to make things quick and easy.




Onyx + Alabaster:

Located in Downtown Franklin, this amazing interior design firm doubles as an interiors market, where you can pick up the perfect finds for someone on your list. The market is so beautifully curated, so you can be certain that anything you choose will be well loved by the homebody in your life.


OAK Nashville:

This whimsical shop is located in Nashville. They define themselves as a curated collection of unique finds to help you re-imagine your home. You won't have to worry about purchasing the same gift as someone else if you shop here.




If you're hitting the mall...


Pottery Barn

They have tons of great gift options for the cocktail maker in your life, the newlyweds, the decorators, the sleep-in-laters... seriously there is something for everyone. I love the idea of gifting photo frames. Fill them with photos you print quickly from home or at Walgreens- or leave it for their favorite memories. They also have these stunning St. Jude's bell shaped candles- when you purchase 25% of proceeds is donated to St. Jude's Hospital.


Crate & Barrel

Crate & Barrel is my go to for kitchen and bar-ware. They have the best quality items for a reasonable price- and they are always stylish and fun. If you need a host or hostess gift- this is the spot to go.





If you're shopping online...


Target

Come on.... you knew there would be a list from Target. I can't tell you how many times this year we've said "Target is going to put everyone out of business." Now, don't get me wrong, we don't want that to happen- and that's why it's important to support those local shops as well... but, sometimes you just have to make a stop at target. Stop by your local store or order online by Sunday to receive on/by Christmas Eve.


Amazon

Here again... Amazon is another guilty pleasure. We are a small business and we love supporting other small businesses. But, we are all human and sometimes we wait until the last minute and we have to turn to Amazon to save the day. Here are some of our favorite Amazon home decor finds. Just click the photos below to follow the link!






Do you have any great last minute gift ideas? Drop them in the comments below. And if you're still finishing your own shopping list- you better hit the streets!


Merry Christmas!




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