The Urban Garage

Today the absurdity of how much stuff we manage to store here made me smile.  But where would I be without my cordless drill, power tools, and cans of left over paint?!  And Martin going without his car maintenance goodies?  Inconceivable!

Urban Garage

Here’s to admitting without any hint of shame, that I can not wait for a garage! (:

Life’s Work

Today driving back to the office from a client’s home in Weston, I slowed to let a truck turn out onto the road in front of me. Here he is, see what is tied up to the back of his truck?

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Closer…
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He is hauling porta potties.  When I saw that, I thought to myself, “That is his life’s work.”  And then felt a twinge of pity for him.  Almost immediately I wanted to take back my feelings of pity, because why should I pity him?  It’s only a job he does.  While at the same time realizing my emotional reaction AND my words were totally wrong.  That is not his life’s work.  That was just his work.  His life is so much more than that.

Detour Road

Excerpt from the introduction of Down Detour Road – An Architect in Search of Practice:

Upon seeing a street sign in rural Eastern Maryland that read, “Detour Rd,” the author writes,

“For all the years that I had spent trying to find meaning and purpose in my architecture – in any architecture – this accidental piece of signage had achieved what I had not.  Meaning perspired off the sign while I sat on the side of the road, on the bare earth, waiting for the light to get just right.  The sign was my whole life.  It was a detour that somehow became a road.  I mediated on the fact that detours aren’t something you choose to take; you take detours when the road that you want to take has been closed, washed out, bombed through, or is otherwise unavailable.

Detours are longer and less direct, and yet often show us parts of the place that we otherwise never would have visited.  They expand our experience and our knowledge, even when we would rather have taken our regular road.  My life had, up to that point, been a series of accidents and mistakes that somehow found purpose and validation.  For all the things I had intended my life to be, for all the things I thought I would be doing at 31, I was sitting in the dirt, on the side of an empty, unlit road, jobless, homeless, cold and hungry, lusting after a street.  And yet contained within this oxymoron was the whole story.  My life, and my architecture, were no longer a detour.  They had become a road.”

I feel as if his words have come straight out of my own mind.  And this is only the introduction!!  Of course, I am still searching for my proverbial street sign that makes everything fuzzy, clear.

On Personal Style

I find that one of the trickiest things about being a creative myself and yet working for a creative (as in my boss owns the design firm and I am her employee) is that I many times feel like I have three people to please when designing.  Obviously first comes the client, but then as if sitting on opposite shoulders, there is the voice of my boss, and finally there is me.  Sometimes a particular sofa/artwork/what have you checks all three blocks, we’ll all love it!  But then there are the times when what I would choose is not necessarily what I think my boss would choose.  Pleasing her above myself probably seems like the obvious choice to some, but when the choice I personally prefer has that instinctual je nes sais quoi it is SO hard to decide what to do.  My boss and I have similar tastes but I definitely think she’d find my uninhibited decor style a little flamboyant…errr bohemian….rough around the edges??  I can’t quite figure out what the perfect word is, but she is much more “polished” where as I am more “wabi sabi.”

Sometimes at work I get panicky and think to myself “Oh my gosh, what if NO ONE likes my style??  What if NO ONE ever hires me!?  *GASP* WHAT IF I HAVE BAD TASTE??!?!!”

The point of all this is that I made a realization, a slow in coming one, but it has arrived none the less.  Here it is: there is a butt for every chair.  Meaning, for every person that doesn’t like a particular style, there is someone that does.  Want proof?  Here are four designers whose work and career I admire and just look at how different each of their styles are, yet all are successful.

Exhibit 1: Jamie Meares of Furbish Studio
One word: COLOR

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jam101120-J Meares for High Gloss

 

 

Exhibit 2: Morgan Satterfield & The Brick House
One word: MCM (Done in Neutrals)

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Exhibit 3: Justina Blakeney & her Jungalow
One word: Boho

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Exhibit 4: Joni Webb of Cote de Texas
One word: Elegant

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So what I have been telling myself (over and over and over again) and what I would tell to anyone else feeling that their personal style isn’t good enough, is this:

 Have confidence.  Trust in yourself.  Go forth and be bold.

Loving (Or At Least Liking) What You’ve Got

I love our home.  Now for any of you reading this that know me (Hey Jenny!) you’ll probably be thinking, “Umm what the heck Megan?”

Because I don’t love Cambridge, nor do I feel like Massachusetts is home to me (yet? ever?) Our apartment is asses to elbows tiny for two grown humans, three dogs, and zero overflow storage space.  The windows are shaped like parallelograms instead of rectangles (though technically aren’t parallelograms rectangles?  Sorry that’s a tangent….bahahaha get it?  Nerding out over geometry over here.)  Anyways, our windows are whack, our tile floor is cracked all over, the countertops are a sophisticated shade of faux green marble, and our shower looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in years, despite me trying every “best miracle cleaner you’ll ever need” on Pinterest.  What else?  Oh the construction..sigh…let’s just say it starts daily at 7 AM and keeps our furniture covered in a layer of filth that comes through the windows.  Obnoxious people bang on our exterior wall as they walk down the sidewalk, getting the dogs all riled up.  Also riling up the dogs are our rat friends that keep creeping around after it gets dark.  And don’t even ask how much we pay per month!  The sad thing is we’ve come to realize that our rental situation is a good deal!  We’ve got a parking spot, in-unit laundry, and didn’t have to kick our dogs out on the streets…whooooo!!!

But I love our home.  While doing some dusting I was trying to figure out a better way to explain myself and I think it boils down to this: I love my husband and our dogs, I love our stuff because most of it has a story attached to it, I love that our house always serves as one great big interior design experiment for me.  I love watering my tomato and herb plants out front and flipping on the broken-when-we-moved-in-but-by-golly-I-fixed-it house light at dusk.  I swoon and immediately get transported back to Vicenza whenever I catch the smell of the jasmine I planted this spring.  I love throwing bird seed out the front door to feed the wild sparrows, making sure that no one is walking by to think to themselves, “Who is that eccentric girl and what on Earth is she doing?!”

I guess you would saying that I am finally learning to embrace the imperfections.  Or if not embrace them at least throw a rug over them and ignore them! (:

What our apartment looked like on move-in day:

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And after I got my grubby little hands on it!  Although looking at this I realize I need to take some updated photos.  Sadly that rug lived a short life due to dog puke and those pillows were nixed due to my “sick of seeing them” disease.

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And the bedroom!  Hey there Baby K, all incognito next to that pile of laundry!

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Pop Bang Boom & A Bird

July 4th weekend in Cambridge…

We were told that you could see the fabulous Boston firework show from any bridge over the Charles, even the ones in Cambridge, so that is where we went!  See those three little red dots just above the skyline?  That’s where we thought we’d be seeing the fireworks appear.

Charles River

Turning our heads to the left, we could see something between the buildings.  Could that be the Boston firework show?  Noooo….I don’t consider that being able to be seen from any bridge along the Charles!  They went on and on, and on and on, when finally we had to admit to ourselves that indeed, it was them.

Boston Pops

Luckily, a walk down the street presented us with a slightly better viewing position.  Just like I imagined watching the famous Boston fireworks.  Exploding over the Rite Aid!! (:

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Then on Friday, another surprise appeared!  A homing pigeon!!  Skiddish but friendly, he (she?) let me hold it!

Homer Jr 2

I have no clue what made him pit stop at our house.  I was asked if I had homing pigeons of my own, because apparently sometimes they can get confused if there are other homing flocks in the area.  We’ve been having some unseasonably hot days here in Cambridge, maybe the little guy was just dazed, confused, and needed a little pick me up.

Homer Jr

I was able to figure out what his tag read and contacted his owner, and so into my recycling bin he went until his owner arrived to pick him up…

Home Jr in Recycling

Other than that, I’ve built a new dining room table (out of black industrial piping – I am in love!!), worked on my grad school portfolio, and have done my best to keep myself and the dogs from melting in this heat.  With a barely-able-to-keep-up window AC unit in our apartment, being inside provides only a little relief.

Hostas 2

Hostas 1

Now for a lazy Sunday…where’s my iced coffee?

AM Bed Sepia