…reader question

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“Love the lake house. Love the cabinets and all the black items but you taught everyone to paint with chalk paint and now you are saying that to make it look professional don’t use the chalk paint. I have done a lot of my furniture in chalk paint and I don’t know weather to change it now. I can’t afford to buy new stuff. Any ideas to help with that?” – Reader

Dear Reader,

Do not worry or change a thing! Like in art there is style and context to everything. Shabby and rustic have their place and clean with satin sheen has another place. Neither is right, but rather right for the context of your project. For me personally, the pleasure of working on a new interior is that I get to do and try things differently. I want this lake kitchen to have a slight sheen instead of a rubbed look, therefore, we decided to spray. I will show you that there are many pieces at the lake that I have rubbed and painted with my beloved Old White and I won’t stop.

I think this is a great time to talk about how a creative person needs to stretch and look around and if confined to a certain look is to, well, clip her wings in a way. For me, inspiration comes from exploring and looking at new things. I think about the artists and musicians that I love and they have each redefined themselves as their lives evolves. I think it’s safe to say that we are different today than we were 10 years ago. This is what keeps life exciting!

But not to worry, like I said before, I love the Sweetish, shabby look and will continue to use it, but I also think trying out new techniques is to grow and expand, which keeps me feeling excited. This is the point that you decide, with your knowledge, what look you are going for. I am just presenting the projects and looks that I’ve come to love. I am not taking anything away from my style. I am adding to it…and playing 🙂

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…the very beginning and spofford lake

…a very good place to start.

DH and I love a good project. DH and I are also getting older. Kids getting older. Time moving onward. So, when the opportunity arose to purchase a lake home that was not a complete fixer upper, we prayed. And what does God do, He gives us this nest way, way under the listing price. I always say that God answers prayer with doors. If a door is open, I move forward. If a door is closed, I move in another direction until I find an open door.

This door was open and we walked through.

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Although this has always been DH’s dream and I was thrilled to see him achieve it – because he is the hardest-working, most-talented, smartest person I’ve ever met – I was pulled into his dream based on my memories of Spofford Lake. Spofford is a lake in New Hampshire where I used to go as a child with my family and my beloved Gram. I still remember her putting on her white swim cap and swimming out to what we referred to as “the rock”, which was a large, long rock just beyond the shore. She looked so big and brave when she did this.

The house was painted red, the family room had bamboo seating and the kitchen boasted an old fridge with a metal handle. I remember the sound of the water licking the small, sandy beach and the taste of the raspberries that my sister and I picked from the bushes. To this day, I cannot bite into a raspberry without immediately being brought back to this time. Sharon and I floated around the muck in our floaties, pulling strands of wild seaweed that grew upwards. We made a kitchen out of the roots in the trees, the bits of flaked wood our chicken. The woods were just a part of this wonderland as the water.

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So, when we saw this property and the woods that surrounded the water, my need to have my children grow up playing in a forest grew. I really believe that imagination is as it’s greatest in nature. In our hometown, just outside the city, we do not get the opportunity to explore our brain’s potential for play.

I think Gram would be thrilled for us. I smell her in the house and feel her in the water. I feel it so strongly that I was shocked when I was driving to the one grocery store on the lake, listening to music and thinking of her and Spofford, when a car pulled in front of me. I stopped breathing when I saw the New Hampshire license plate directly in front of me, speaking just to me – Live Free or Die.

I hear that, Gram, and I’m moving in that direction.

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…peonies, a dress and audrey hepburn

I am a day late in wishing all you mother’s a happy day, but I was basking in the blessing of Dear Husband taking care of all the parental duties around here, which also included my very, very favorite breakfast – eggs benedict. I would eat egg benedict for every meal if I had a choice.

You know I love design in all forms and I can’t help but get excited about fashion and products and food and travel that reflect who I am on the inside. A good design is a good design. No matter if is a rug, a pillow, a door, a dresser, a hangbag or a certain dress that could have been inspired from a vintage handcerchief. I do love pretty clothes, especially ones that mirror who I feel like inside. It’s just another opportunity to express to the world who this recovering shy girl is.

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So, after my delicious breakfast (Oh my, my mouth is watering just tying about it) and a sit on the couch with my coffee, DH and my three darlings offered me a their gifts of hand colored treasures, beaded necklaces, paper flowers and all the things that I will never tire of. The Peony and Suede Blush was in a little box. Sweet and light.

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The handkerchief dress in a big black box. I think it’s so sweet when a man buys a girl a dress. Yes, I may have hinted about this particular one, but he went out and bought it.

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After an amazing and life-changing Thai massage we went to a local pub for lunch. Oh, how this former vegetarian loves a good burger now days. Yes, Ma’am.

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I have to say, though, that my very favorite part was getting my kids to watch my favorite movie in our basement theater. They sat through the entire showing of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and God-bless Reid for crying when Holly Golightly kicked Cat out of the taxi.

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I hope you all were blessed with the love you deserve and were able to really take it in. There are times when I cannot take in love and just shrug it off and think I have to do more and try harder. Yesterday I didn’t do that. I let the love come to me and really let it in. In return I felt showered by those that I share life with and honored to be the mom that I am.