It was nearly a year ago that I was condo shopping and soul-searching, trying to figure out where our mom (who was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia) was going to live. After a bunch of condo viewings and the lack of any sense that moving her to a space like that was the right thing to do, I stopped looking. Isn’t it funny how things appear once you quit trying to find them?
One day, when I was driving home from my mom’s old house, I noticed a little cape cod with a for-sale sign in front just two streets over from my house. That positive gut feeling I was looking for came before I even stepped inside. I knew this was where my mom needed to live. Once I saw the inside and recognized this space could work, with the help of the greatest realtor on the planet, Michael Pochron, and a little side-manifesting, I bought it. There was not a shadow of a doubt that my mom would thrive in this home. Overnight, a small village of people (whom I shall get to recognizing shortly) helped me turn an old, beat up and outdated cape cod into a sanctuary of peace and light, suitable for my mom as she continues on her journey.
June Bug has lived in her new home for almost six months now and her response to this HUGE change and transition has been everything I could have hoped for and more. She is just a short walk away from Nicole, our families and me. She could not be living between two kinder sets of neighbors. If I have said it once, I have said it 1,000 times, I love our little neighborhood. I get daily texts from friends around town telling me, “We saw your mom holding hands with her caregiver while on a walk today.” I am now the recipient of constant reminders of how truly fortunate my mom really is.
My mom is kicking ass because she is surrounded by light and good and a whole community of people that are rooting for her and looking out for her. The house is the bonus and it’s what she deserved. It feels like her house, like she picked it out herself. It’s cozy and simple and I know with all of my heart she is exactly where she belongs. This house is filled with life because that is what it attracts. It smells like home cooked meals and when you get settled in you don’t want to leave. It is her little hygge-haven and it is a major contributor to why she is doing as well as she is. She was a homemaker and she loved her family more than she loved herself. This was a sign of gratitude for her tireless dedication to her kids and a tribute to who she was to us as a mom. It was my greatest pleasure and my heart is full. She is exactly where she should be and I know she agrees. But enough with all this sappy stuff, let’s take a look inside:
One of the things that initially drew me to this home was the huge picture windows in front. These windows are my mom’s connection to the outside world when she is relaxing inside, which is often. She sees people, traffic, and life. When we pull in the driveway, she perks up and has even been known to open the door for us. The windows allow for an enormous amount of natural light to come in, which is vastly different from the cave she was dwelling in previously. P.S. She loves visitors.
Any of the beautiful stone you see in the house came from my dear friend Karina Becker of Becker Works, Ltd. The stone was a gift and a gesture of kindness and, although it is quite beautiful, it is not nearly as beautiful as the soul that dwells deep within her being.
This light fixture is one of my favorite details in the home. It’s a Restoration Hardware masterpiece. I think Nicole and I finally stopped swooning over it a couple of weeks ago. I wish I could take credit for all of the details but then I would be a big fat liar. I like to save the best for last. So, you are just going to have to wait to find out who directed me on this project.
Some details from June’s bathroom. I widened every doorway should there be a wheelchair down the road. The bathroom was no exception. The arabesque tile was a bitch to install but it sure is pretty. The bathroom is functional, pretty and suits our mom’s needs perfectly.
Images of her kitchen make me giddy. It turned out every bit the way I envisioned it in my head. For thirty years, my mom fed the masses. That was how she showed her love. It was vital that this room represented a person who loved to cook and feed the ones she loved…or didn’t. I always say, my mom is the best cared for dementia patient in the history of the world. She also happens to be the best-fed dementia patient in the history of the world.
Isn’t this floor snazzy?! These tiles lay in her laundry/utility room and everyone thinks it’s original. No sirree, Bob. Home Depot baby! Her home does not have a basement so we wanted to maximize storage space in the laundry room. Those cabinets have proven to be lifesavers, as we store all the things in there you don’t want cluttering up the house.
Yup! There is a second floor. Everyone is always so surprised when they turn the corner and see the stairs leading upstairs. There are two more bedrooms and the quaintest little bathroom you ever did see. In our family’s home growing up, there was a bathroom on the third floor with a claw-foot tub and June liked her old-school hex tile in that dream house. So, this bathroom was inspired by those things.
As promised, I am going to introduce you to a couple of people whom I now call friends. When I bought this house and a renovation was imminent, I was on the hunt for a contractor with a soul and a designer with a keen sense of style and, of course, a good sense of humor. Well, I found both of those people in the form of a father/daughter contracting and design team. A good friend told me I had to call them and because I take direction well, I did.
The gal who saved me from myself and drove this bus from beginning to end was Adrianna of Adrianna Michelle Interiors and her dad, Uriel of Orozco Contracting. He took this house apart with his bare hands, put it back together, and didn’t miss a beat until the last nail was hammered in. I am not kidding. When I asked him how many jobs he had going at that time, his response was, “Michelle, I don’t start a new job until I hammer the final nail.” Uriel never tires and I got a kick out of the working relationship dynamics between him and Adrianna. He was the builder. She is totally the boss! I told Adrianna I wanted to stay true to my mom and her tastes and create a place that felt like it was always her home. That is exactly what she did.
The amount of gratitude I have for all of the people that contributed to the completion of this project is endless and I am eternally grateful for the village of people that surrounded us with love and cheered us on this journey. My mother is still very much alive and well. Her physical health is damn near perfect and, I know in my soul, she keeps on truckin’ because of the love she feels from everyone that surrounds her. I couldn’t have done this without the help of my people and the incredible team of women that care for my mom on the regular. You know who you are. We love you like family.
Count your blessings and hug your mom.