Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with a friend of mine - Marcia. She is a retired school teacher who has collected many treasures throughout her dear life. Although I'm helping her sort, donate, save, and condense items to help her redo her townhome - at her own pace - it was wonderful to hear some of the stories behind some of her treasures (you don't find that while thrifting!). She's 72, and some of these treasures belonged to not only her parents, but her grandparents - YOU do the math =) She loves literature and music. Some of her faves are Einstein, Bach, and Beethoven. She admires Winston Churchill and appreciates her German heritage.

"A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does
a man need to be happy?"

Albert Einstein


"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy

in creative expression and knowledge."
Albert Einstein

"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see."
Winston Churchill

The challenge for her space: Letting go of items with emotional attachments, items causing clutter, items not adding value to her life and items saved because of the "one day I'm going to" thought. She also loves birds and cats and once lived on a houseboat.

"Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature."
Albert Einstein 


"True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist."
Albert Einstein

Mixed in with those challenges are treasures to spark inspiration, newly installed laminate wood floors, and a fresh coat of sage green already on her open living room / dining room walls. To help with the flow in her space, I've suggested she continue the sage through the stairway and common areas for consistency in a small space. Since she had some pink hydrangeas, I suggested you use pink as an accent, lighten the space with some white pieces as well.

Slipcovered chair in white to add to her awesome dining table.

A natural round rug under the table.

A slipcover for her living room sleeper-sofa and
find a glass top for her coffee table base (in the closet).

Mix in a nod to Churchill with a Union Jack pillow.

Baskets vs. card board boxes for storage.
And some saved items can go into clear totes in a closet.

Replace the sideboard and hutch with a piece holding storage and a place for her TV (currently tucked in the corner). I'd flank this piece with her replica Vermont brace back and fan back Windsor side chairs.

Since I had just received the new Pottery Barn catalog, I brought it with me, along with some other magazines. She now has some guidance and inspiration to keep her motivated & inspired. I also reassured her that any donations she makes to GW or SA would be carefully crafted back to life by one of the many DIYers out there shopping them!

She only has one window facing east and sliding glass doors facing west - white panels raised to the ceiling would give height & light to the space.

Not needing to run to PB to buy all this, but it at least it gave her some ideas on
how we could arrange some of her collections.

She's already started to go through her things and also has a donation pile ready to go! It's going to take some time, but it's going to look beautiful when it's done. It was a wonderful afternoon, and she's very happy for the advice, suggestions and organization guidance.

Einstein said, "The secret to creativity is
knowing how to hide your sources"... but I like sharing them.
Have a wonderful day!


  1. I love hearing stories and seeing the items that bring back memories! I'm a Realtor and I have an elderly couple that i'm working with, their daughters took several things that they loved and made shadow boxes for them and placed them in different areas of the house. I thought that was a neat solution for housing keepsakes, while still having them on display. Just found your blog yesterday and I'm a big fan already :)

  2. Thanks Rachel! Those shadow boxes sound like a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing and for stopping by!

    :D Lynda

  3. very nice story -- I'm sure she's happy she has you to guide her, and respect her memories!



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