Lordy, Lordy, I just turned 40!

(image courtesy of Palencia Grove Paper Design)

I know what you're thinking. You don't look a day over 25. (Blushing, flutters eyelashes.) Oh stop, you're too kind. Do tell me more...

My 40th birthday was Saturday and I spent the day feeling resolutely thankful for the privilege of growing older. Because, as I remind myself and anyone too slow to run away from my prosaic wisdom, the alternative is no fun.

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In this spirit of gratitude, I've compiled a list of other things for which I give thanks.  I should warn you, though, it's not your typical list of good health, my kids, husband, blah blah blah. Those are too obvious. This list includes items that make my inner designer think: What would I do without...?

1) Wood - it's a magical (and renewable!) material that provides us with everything from the bones of our house to furniture to stunning floors. Is there anything more beautiful in a home than a gleaming wood floor? Yes, a gleaming wood floor with an amazing wooden chair on it. With a puppy.

2) Bright pillows - these can transform a boring couch in a boring room for cheap.

Have I told you about my Marimekko obsession?

(photo courtesy of betterlivingthroughdesign.com)

3) LED lighting - this type of bulb lasts very long and consumes a fraction of the energy of incandescent. Which means I don't have to blow a gasket after discovering my 9 year old left the pantry light on all night. Again. Better lighting = better parenting.

4) Quartz Countertops - Have you ever played the "But-Does-The-Kitchen-Have-Granite-Countertops?! Drinking Game" while watching House Hunters? I don't recommend it... for your liver's sake. While granite is gorgeous, very popular, and the eponymous stone of my neighboring state of New Hampshire, my true affection is for the even more durable quartz countertops. Two words for you: no maintenance.  

5) Empty Corners - the Victorians had a fear of them, so a typical Victorian room felt a bit cramped. Their need to fill every last inch even led to a furniture piece nicknamed the What-Not.

Be gone, you nasty empty corner!

Why hello, you fetching stuffed birds.

(photo courtesy of wikipedia)

6) Paint - in addition to being a hoot to watch dry, paint has the most transformative ability of all building products. Changing wall colors can make a room come alive. Painting outdated, stained wood cabinetry can breathe new life into a kitchen and save a homeowner tens of thousands of dollars. And don't get me started on what a fun paint color can do for hideous, out of date furniture. Ok, you twisted my arm...

A reborn bureau, otherwise consigned to languish in the back of a consignment store.

(photo courtesy of hgtv.com)

7) Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Oh wait, wrong list.

What makes your inner designer go WHEEEE?

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