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It takes a village? More like an attentive family.

February 28, 2012

They came.
They saw.
They rearranged.

Furniture that is. Lamps, tables, chairs, the couch, pictures, toiletries – you name it, my family moved it. And honestly, it looks much better.

Last Friday my parents, sister, and niece descended down like angels from Cape Cod armed with home baked goods and a whole lot of energy and excitement. While the plan for the weekend was to celebrate my mom’s birthday, it was also their chance to play interior designers. They went to town, creating – as if possible – more space in the apartment, while adding their own personal touches. I may have “organized” genes coursing through my body, but even a professional organizer can benefit from the fresh eyes of others.

Saturday, after a day spent walking through Central Park, down side streets admiring the architecture, and looking at furniture stores, friends whisked my parents away as my sister, niece and I prepared for a surprise dinner party. And while my mom was undoubtedly surprised when she returned, the even bigger surprise was that sixteen people fit comfortably in the apartment.

As hostess, I found myself giving tours, serving food, picking up crumbs from the floor, making coffee, washing dishes, taking the garbage out, sharing stories, and feeling so happy to be a homeowner.

Sunday morning, while leisurely eating bagels and fruit in the apartment, light streaming in, it might as well have been a think tank the way ideas were tossed around for the redesign of the kitchen. “Glass cabinets, white cabinets, built-in lights, wine rack, counter space, drawers that pull out, taller fridge, bookshelves.” While it may take a village to raise a child, it obviously takes a family to create a home. And as ideas made their way onto sketch paper, I realized it wasn’t so much my home they were designing, but an extension of their own. For even as suitcases were being packed, the discussion was when they’d visit next.

Listening to them I was reminded of a dream I had in 1995 when I first considered moving to New York. In the dream I was living in a tiny loft in the city. It was raining and family and friends kept showing up and every time someone arrived, the apartment grew. After this weekend, it’s clear that that dream has come to fruition.


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  1. Another good one, Felice. I myself have bought and sold (and redesigned) nine houses in 30 years. And I would have to say that it IS what your family and friends suggest that makes the difference. My problem has always been to figure out which piece of advice to pick (cause sometimes I end up redoing things).

  2. jen Landry permalink

    Wish I could have joined you guys. Im great at that stuff. :). Make sure to send us your new address when you have a chance. Love you tons.

  3. marcia boland-wells permalink

    Sounds like you had a beautiful weekend. Thanksgiving for 40????

    Aunty M

  4. Jewels Emond-Parkin permalink

    It makes perfect sense that a “minimalist” would need help arranging her stuff.;) Cute piece. Miss ya.
    Peace, Love and Blessings to All.

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