Life at Chez V – Where Small is the New Big and Little Things Matter
I have always longed to be part of the establishment. This stems from my upbringing as a Greek American in a predominantly WASPY tree-lined neighborhood where monogrammed sweaters, ski vacations, and club memberships were de rigueur. New construction was almost unheard of and many of the mansions date back to the early 1900’s.
|Hawthorne Hill - home of the Wright Brothers|
As a young girl, I walked the streets of Oakwood - my hometown - with dreams of living in one of those gorgeous stately homes. I began my habit of real estate stalking back then. I would scour the classifieds to see what homes were for sale and spend hours drawing floor plans filled with beautiful furnishings.
|Image via - this is actually a family friend's home|
We lived in a very modest bungalow but it occurred to me the other day, how despite its size, my mother was able to make it feel rich. She did this by filling it with quality pieces and antiques, adding dressmaker details on things like window treatments and linens, and scads of interesting art. I remember her working like a dog to peel up layer upon layer of linoleum so that she could have hardwoods throughout that tiny bungalow. I wish I had some pictures on hand of that house.
I have realized that I am applying the same touches to Chez V. Even though I left the WASPY neighborhood behind, I still long for a stately home. As a wife and mother, I find myself in my first home and it too is a modest one. A postage stamp rancher. But I am slowly filling it with pieces that I really love and adding special touches so that every corner feels rich and considered.
A house doesn’t have to be big to be stately. It doesn’t have to be big to feel rich. The difference is in the small things. The little details lend the richness. Monogrammed hand towels in the bathroom, fresh flowers, painted interior doors, outdoor meals with china, little collections, hand written thank you’s. Just because my house is small doesn’t mean that I can’t make it feel stately and rich. I'm not of the philosophy of waiting to do those things in my Someday home. It is my aim to so this in my 'everyday' home.
The floors throughout Chez V are over 100 years old and came from mr. V's family farm, 20 Mile Farm. His grandparents walked these same floors while raising 4 kids. mr. V also grew up in that farm house as the middle child of the youngest of those 4 kids and he walked these same floors as a child. Now my daughter is the 4th generation to scamper across these floors. I am surprised by how many people remark with wonder that we would install these floors in this home rather than save them for our Forever home. Forever is never guaranteed. We live in the now at Chez V. As we embark on refinishing these floors this summer, I will think about how this little detail is so meaningful and rich to us and also reminiscent of my own mother who worked so hard on her hardwoods.
|what the banquette cushions are supposed to look like if we can ever get the back right!|
Over and over, I find myself emphasizing the importance of the little things, when consulted about a party, an event, or an interior. Details are everything. Details elevate the ‘everyday’ into something special. These little things turn into little moments of ‘a ha’ and wonder. They begin to tell a rich and stately story about us…
kisses, mrs. V