Unstyled Life

I’m going to try and return the Unstyled Life posts to the format I originally intended: unstyled images of beauty around the house and home with little accompanying text. It started as a way for me to not fret so much about the “work in progress” status of our home. Over time, the posts morphed into essays on life, both serious and frivolous. I will continue to write, I couldn’t possibly stop if I tried, but I won’t do it on Fridays. Right now, my heart says I am pushing myself too hard. Not the way professional working mothers must push themselves, since I bring it on myself as my own commandante. I don’t pretend to shoulder your demands, but I feel a hard shove from behind nonetheless. My hat’s off to you. I need to slow down and think and hear and see without attaching to it a to-do list. I’m doing a wonderful job at creating an intentional home. Now I need to be a little more intentional about how I live within those walls. It is possible to drown in a glass of water.

Yes, that is the new table. I took this from the sofa while I gave Mikey a practice spelling test. I thought the light was pretty, and it was only after I took the picture that I noticed I never put the candlestick back after lunch or shelved my 30 year-old copy of Jane Eyre after finding it the laundry room. I didn’t feel bad about it, either. I closed my eyes and dozed instead, for just a few minutes, before I got up to make dinner.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


    • says

      Take pictures of areas nobody walks on, like under dining room tables. That’s where you’ll find your shine. 😉 The high traffic areas of my floors aren’t so shiny!

      Funny, it’s a country/casual table. But you say it’s elegant, and yesterday (and last week) Tiffany was saying my house was looking really glam/lounge-y. I was looking at Alicia Paulson’s (Posie Gets Cozy) house tour on Houzz, and her house is SO warm, comfy, and nice. Not my style, but it looks like wonderful people live there. I don’t want my house to look sterile or uninviting or like a decorator lives here, so I need to figure out ways to make my home look more approachable.

      Of course, I don’t have any accessories, no pillows, no plants, and very little artwork. I’m sure once I add those things won’t look so “pinkies up.” I have a tendency for pinkies up, btw.

  1. says

    Lovely table! Actually, the way the light plays with the table, wood floors, and candlestick, it looks as though a scene escaped your . . . oh wait, you said Jane Eyre . . . I was thinking Jane Austen. Much happier scenes! :)

    A laid back, happy weekend to you . . .

  2. SusanG says

    Love the photo – and the candlestick and book are just right. Makes me feel as though I could walk right in and sit down – books are NEVER out of place in my opinion. And as a “professional working mother” I appreciate the acknowledgment of what we manage, but you don’t have to be too “apologetic” [don’t think that’s quite the right word but I hope you get what I’m saying]. Happy Friday!

    • says

      Thanks! :) For the look book, between 3-4 or 4-5 (depending on the time change) we will get the moodiest light. My picture windows and sliders face East and North East.

  3. Sally says

    This could be from the set of a Jane Eyre or Austen film adaptation. The dark glossy wood of floor, chairs and table and that candlestick go well together. You must be feeling so contented that you have found your table, I think that contentment shows in the gentle sepia tone of this pic. Nice!

    • says

      My floors are actually a rustic red oak, but I like this picture because they look dark. 😉 But, yes, I feel very content! The whole family does, actually. We’ve been suffering bad tables for 7 years now.

  4. says

    I don’t know how you do all that you do so I applaud you. (I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it.-Ha! I’m also a big ol’ nerd)
    I love the table (and light) but I need to see more, more, more. It looks like I’m going to looove it.

  5. Theresa says

    Book and candlestick on the table means a house is lived in; it’s not a museum. Yes, some might call it clutter (and out of control piles of books and candelabra do indeed equal clutter), but a family lives there and warmth spills out in the odd still life’s we create each day.

    • says

      I wish! I scoured CL for well over a year. Nothing good ever came up at a reasonable price for the condition. I went brand new. I’ll share all the details, though it won’t be a “I got this table + six chairs for $200!” kind of post.

  6. says

    Oh Boy, I so want to slow down. I don’t want to work so much. I don’t want to ‘try’ and balance work and home (or more aptly continue to dawn my cloak of competence that somehow I’ve got it all covered at 120% working capacity). Want to work less and be there with my kids, breathing in every second with them – giving them my full attention, and not letting my mind wander to the ‘next thing on the list’. Good for you, pushing back, calming the inner commandante.

  7. says

    ahhhhhh….you are preaching to the choir here! We have two in college right now so I don’t think I can walk away from my part time job, but oh, I would if I could. Your words go straight to my heart. “You can drown in a glass of water” gives me much to meditate on.
    The photo is wonderful….the light bouncing across the floor is beautiful.

  8. Cheri S says

    “Right now, my heart says I am pushing myself too hard. Not the way professional working mothers must push themselves…I don’t pretend to shoulder your demands.”

    I’ve gotta say Jules, after my first son was born, I wished I didn’t have to go back to work because I so badly wanted to stay at home with him. Luckily, as a real estate agent, I work from home a lot so I’m blessed to have the best of both worlds. My son goes to daycare 2 days a week and I usually go into the office and if I’m completely honest, I RELISH those 2 days. The interaction with my coworkers, the brain stimulation, and the ability to focus on work and only work feels wonderful. I love my son to death but sometimes being home with him and trying to manage all of the responsibilities around the house is so emotionally exhausting. It’s a completely different type of exhaustion. You should NEVER imply that what you do is any less challenging, it’s just challenging in a different way.

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