Organizing, Overhauling and Some Life Lessons

From our anniversary trip to Paris last week.
From our anniversary trip to Paris last week.

Since the end of last year, I’ve been consumed with organizing and overhauling everything in sight. I’ve always been sort of an organization geek but this is on a whole other level. It started with the guest room but I soon realized that so many aspects of my life could be overhauled: this blog, work projects, my wardrobe, the entertainment I consume, my daily routine and schedule, the rest of the house(!)….. Overhaul may be too strong a word since things weren’t that bad. But basically, there is a lot of physical and mental clutter that is not serving me and nowadays, I really want to get down to what is truly important, what I really love and what I value.

So thus far, an entire truck full of furniture, household items and clothing have been donated, the kitchen and pantry have been simplified, my closet has been re-organized, my calendar and travels have been organized for the next six months, a 2015 to-do list for the house has been made and an editorial calendar for this blog has been set. I have been on such a high from getting all of this done, I just want to do more, more, more! Having a physically neat and tidy space is nice, of course, but I just feel so much better mentally!

So a couple of things precipitated all of this.

First, having lived in our house for a few years now, I have really gotten to know it and how we like to use it and this in turn, has really helped me to see what we need and don’t need. When we first moved in, I said that I was going to take my time with this one unlike all of our past homes. Well, I have, I’ve learned a lot as a result and I feel ready to take it across the finish line!

Second, I decided I’m done with trying to make things work that aren’t really my style. You may remember that when we moved into this house, my parents gifted us a lot of their furniture that never really fit us. But I accepted them, partly because we had rooms to fill and partly out of a feeling of obligation. Over the years, I tried to make those things work (and could argue that I succeeded to some extent) but I was never totally happy with any of it. I firmly believe that having a home that reflects who we are is one of the keys to our happiness and I have always strived to do this in all the homes I have lived in. So it was a real Duh moment when I finally realized that my dissatisfaction with the state of my house was rooted in the fact I was trying to force things that weren’t me into my home. Like I said, a real Duh moment.

So I began with the obvious (the house) but these ideas soon made their way into other areas of my life.

It was a natural extension to apply these two concepts to my personal style and I’ve been fine tuning and editing my wardrobe accordingly. Then I realized that they apply to my lifestyle as well. Really honing in on what I value has helped me to prioritize how I want to spend my time and energy. So this year, I’m spending more time creating and learning and letting go of pointless activities and projects that don’t have a pull for me anymore.

I’ve also always tried to apply these principles to this blog, even if it wasn’t always conscious. So I just want to affirm that I will continue to only publish content that I feel inspired to share. I think there are different phases in the lifecycle of a blog such as comparing, second guessing and burning out. In six years, I’ve gone through all of them (some more than once)! At times, I have also questioned what and how much I want to share, what direction to take things and whether it’s okay to change course. And in the end, I’ve concluded there is no wrong or right way to blog. After all, it’s a personal blog! We all have to do what works and feels right to us; and that, too, could evolve as I evolve.

Organizing and overhauling my life this way has made me so much happier but what I’ve learned in the process has been even more valuable.  By really zeroing in on who we are at our core, the choices we have to make and the direction we should take become so much clearer.

And that brings me to my final thought. As much as we’d all like to believe that we don’t care what anyone else thinks of us, as humans, I don’t know if it’s possible to completely rise above it (with the exception of maybe a handful of people). What I do know, however, is that the more comfortable we are in our own skin, the less concerned we are with other people’s opinions and that is so liberating. (Are you impressed that I got to this point without using the word ‘authenticity?!’) I feel like I’m at the point in my life where I really know who I am and I want to express myself freely in my home, my art, my blog…. in all aspects of my life. I don’t think there are any areas that can’t be improved when we show up as our true selves.

So, are any of you are going through anything similar? I’d love to hear any thoughts!

(I didn’t get into all the specifics because this post is already epic long but I’ll be sharing details with you throughout the year as I continue on this path – starting with some things on that to-do list next week. Thanks so much for reading!)

(Photo by FROM THE RIGHT BANK – taken on the right bank! ;) )


FROM THE RIGHT BANK is a finalist for Best Overall Design Blog
in the 2015 Hall of Fame Awards.
If you have a second to cast a vote, I’d really appreciate it! You can do so here: 
Thank you for your support!


Current Favorite Chandeliers and Pendants

Finding the perfect lighting has been one of the hardest things to get right in my house. Lighting is such an important component in a room; it can make or break a room entirely in many cases. Well, I’ve certainly taken my own sweet time with it (like years!) but I feel like I’m finally crossing the finish line. I’m this close to deciding on the light for the family room plus one additional light because I also have plans to move some of the existing fixtures around. Anyway, having looked at hundreds and hundreds of lights, I thought I’d share with you all of my recent favorites that have been considered…..

This one is my first choice and the only reason I haven’t jumped on it already is because it’s huge and I want to be 100% certain that it won’t be too huge…..



Dallas by Arteriors


And the rest…..

Zanadoo by Arteriors



Jean-Louis by Currey & Co.



Wanderlust by Currey & Co.



Meurice by Jonathan Adler



Leilani by Arteriors



Genova by Arteriors

So there you have it. So many good options, so unable to choose. But at least we’re getting close. Stay tuned…..

(All photos from manufacturers as linked.)

FROM THE RIGHT BANK Turns Six, Some Favorite Decor Moments of 2014 and Plans for 2015


FROM THE RIGHT BANK turns 6 years old today! I had written a looooong post about everything I’ve been reflecting on lately but ultimately decided that the only thing that really needs to be said (and the most important thing) is that without you, there would be no point of this blog. It’s just that simple.

So, for taking time to leave thoughtful comments (or following along quietly), for attending and showing your support at various events, for donating to my causes, for entrusting me with decorating your homes, for shopping my pop-up sales, for nominating FTRB for awards and honors and for being true friends both online and off…..

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Before diving into 2015, here are some of my favorite moments at home the past year…..

Moving the leopard chairs all around.


Zebras prancing in the hallway.
Zebras prancing in the hallway.


Fresh flowers always.


How I like to do laundry – with a glass of wine and a happy background!


Black and white foyer.


Wallpapered wet bar before I turned it into a breakfast/beverage bar and which will also get a makeover this year!

And in 2015, here are just some of the other things I’m planning on doing around the house…..

  • Spruce up and organize my studio and office. Project FTRB Studio is going to be major!
  • Spend more time in said new and improved studio painting, drawing and journaling. (Maybe even start showing my art? Eeeek!);
  • Decorate the second guest room. (Did you see the wallpaper I got? I also have the drapes, bedding, lamps, dresser and mirror so it’s almost a done deal!);
  • Declutter, simplify and organize both my household and wardrobe. (I’m completely obsessed with this idea more than ever.);
  • Give the family room some love and attention which includes finding the perfect light and a new rug;
  • Move some existing lights around;
  • Finally choose a wallpaper for the water closet;
  • Redecorate my dressing room;
  • Hang all the artwork that is lying around once and for all; and
  • Cook more – instead of just buying more cookbooks!

[Remember when I used to keep monthly to-do lists like this? I must have been either more ambitious or just less tired! Well, I still love lists and I like this year-long plan much better. Much less stressful!]

Away from home, I’m looking forward to…..

  • Anniversary celebrations in Paris;
  • Spending more time in New York, my home away from home;
  • The Venice Biennale (and improving my Italian beforehand);
  • Returning to volunteer in Nepal; and
  • Exploring a new country or city. (Haven’t decided on which one yet!)

I can’t wait to share all of this and more with you this year. Thank you again and happy new year!!!

(All photos by FROM THE RIGHT BANK)

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year


Well this has been some year, hasn’t it? Here on the old blog, we continued to go through some big changes and I can’t thank you enough for your support and friendship through it all.

I’ll be back here next week when we’ll celebrate FTRB’s six (6!) year anniversary! I have a feeling 2015 is going to be BIG so I’m more excited than usual for all the possibilities that a new year brings.

Until then, have a merry, warm and beautiful Christmas and holiday!

(Photo by Polly Wreford)

Spreading Holiday Cheer With HomeGoods

Namaste! I’ve just returned from Nepal and as you may have seen from my Instagrams, I fell in love with it all over again. I’ll share more about everything after I get myself settled but for today, let’s talk Christmas!

Planting paperwhites.
Planting paperwhites.

Before leaving for my trip, I wanted to do as much Christmas prep as I could since there wasn’t going to be that much time when I got back and also so we could enjoy it all a little beforehand. I was running around like a lunatic but it was worth it so I can now just enjoy. (I’ll post more pics of all the decor to Instagram (@FromTheRightBank) and Facebook over the next week.) The other thing I did before leaving was to participate in a HomeGoods holiday challenge.


I really love their challenges and this time they invited me to spread the holiday cheer by creating the perfect gift basket for a pet-lover. Being one myself, I loved this challenge. As you all know I’m a dog person but for this, I chose a good friend who recently adopted a new cat after her long time family pet passed away.

Armed with my gift card, here’s what I scooped up at my local HomeGoods…..

Toys, blanket, scratching pad, this pretty basket with gold handles and even the ribbon.

There were so many choices, I had a hard time choosing……


How cute is this tufted settee???

I got a really great assortment of things…..

and here’s how it looks all assembled and ready to go…..

It is so cute (if I do say so myself!) I can’t wait to deliver it.

Thanks to HomeGoods for inviting me to participate in this challenge. I know it’s going to be appreciated by both the kitty and her human!