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there is always, always something to be grateful for

    Last year I was invited to participate in an event at our local Room + Board to makeover a section of the store with a holiday theme. I was so happy with how my room turned out and realized last night that I never shared it with you!

    Each of us designers chose a different look – a few did Christmas, another did New Year’s Eve and for my space, I decided to embrace the warmth of Thanksgiving.

    Thanksgiving gets overshadowed by Christmas – I’m raising my hand this year on this one, too – but it is such a special holiday. Before we falala our way through December, we get a chance to pause collectively and give thanks.

    On the wall of my space, I added a quote that I just love:

    There is always, always something to be grateful for.

    So before I jump into Christmas projects and gift lists and art and decorating inspiration (all coming soon!), let’s take a few minutes to talk about my Thanksgiving-inspired space.

    Here is what the space in the store looked like before I got my hands on it:

    It’s a furniture store, so obviously each grouping highlights the furniture. My job was to make the space look less like a furniture store and allow shoppers to imagine what the space (and products) could look like in a real life scenario.

    I loved the clean lines of the furniture and the detail of the wood-clad wall. It all felt a little more ‘bachelor pad’ than my more girly style so I was excited to add an Emily touch.

    After a whirlwind install, here’s how my space turned out:

    And a view from the side before:

    And after:

    By adding in lots of accessories, a little bit of color in the throws and pillows and fresh flowers and greenery, I think I made the space feel like such a pretty place for an evening gathering.

    That big back wall felt like a great place to add that Thanksgiving quote to keep us all mindful of having a grateful heart.

    To make the quote, I used pre-cut letters from the Target dollar section stuck to the wall with poster putty (like this). Under the quote was a picture ledge that I treated like a mantle and added a bunch of fresh greens.

    That wood fireplace wall had me stumped for a while. I wanted it to be a focal point, but in a subtle way.

    I ended up finding these minimal wall-mounted tea light holders and randomly nailed in 30 of them. The glow of the candlelight was so pretty all evening!

    It was a fun event and pushed me creatively, which I am grateful for.

    Also? When I look at this picture, what I see is one tired mama. We had just moved, I was working on several big work projects, and was at the absolute peak of iron-deficiency. My mom came out to the event to see my space and she left feeling worried about her girl. This was the catalyst for me slowing down this year and taking time to take care of myself. For that, I am especially grateful :)

    Since we’re talking about gratitude, can I just say that I am so thankful for you, my reader-friends. What a joy it is to connect with you (even if strangely over the internet).

    What’s at the top of your gratitude list this year? I’d love to hear!

    20 thoughts on “there is always, always something to be grateful for”

    1. Great job! At church this past Sunday the pastor said something that gave new meaning to Thanksgiving for me. He said “let’s not give thanks for what we have, but for what we can give” loved it! So this year I am grateful to be able to give love to my children and my time and heart to those who need more. Happy Thanksgiving!

    2. The space you created is amazing, and even though we all have lot’s to be thankful for,

      right now I just want you to know I am grateful for people as creative as you that share their hearts and inspire us everyday.

      Thank you!

    3. I am grateful this year that my husband has a new career. Last year at this time his position had been eliminated. Now, we are in a new city and new house- thought it’s leased, I’m decorating my way- inspired by designers like you, Emily. Thanks.

    4. The room is just beautiful. It made me say Aaahhhh! You definitely have an eye for the balance in the details.

      I am humbled and grateful that a beautiful fox red Labrador retriever came into my life just a year ago. We do the ticky-ticky dance every night and I thought she had a mosquito or bee bite. Two weeks ago she had a mast cell cancer lump removed and because it was caught so quickly, they have deemed it benign. I’m grateful for the surgeon and her staff who could operate so quickly, and for this diagnosis. This sweet souled dog makes my heart sing. I’m honored to be her guardian.

    5. Your space turned out inviting and comfortable! I love it! I am grateful for financial aid assistance this year. My youngest started college this fall and with scholarships that he doesn’t have to pay back and a pell grant, he will -at least for now – not have any student loan debt. And whether he realizes it or not, that is a HUGE deal and something we both can feel grateful about it!

    6. Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful spot you made that into. Warm, inviting and so pretty. I love candle light too.

      I see so many homeless in our area which makes me more grateful than ever for a loving family and friends, good mental and physical health, a roof, food, clothes that are clean, bathroom facilities.

    7. Last night some very shaken teens rang my doorbell and confessed to having run over my mailbox while driving a golf cart. I am so very thankful that they hit the mailbox instead of a tree, and that no one was hurt. The mailbox post could be (and has been) replaced, the golf cart can be repaired, but those precious young lives were spared and lessons were learned.

    8. I’m just so grateful I have a family that I get to share the holidays with!

      That is beautiful, Emilly!! Where do you get that kind of greenery?

    9. I am grateful for rediscovering yoga this year. I go to class on MWF, first thing in the morning and love it. Today I held all of the poses THE WHOLE TIME. I’m getting stronger!

      My husband and I were also just marveling at having a healthy family. My son had brain surgery four years ago, when he was 3.5. To periodically notice, all over again, that we are all healthy and well– I am grateful.

      1. I used a combination of seeded eucalyptus, silver dollar eucalyptus and olive branches. I ordered them from a wholesale flower company and spent about $100. I just searched and see you can get a decent bunch of seeded eucalyptus from Sam’s Club for $59 ( or you can find them at ( or (

    10. I am so, so grateful for the amazing schools my daughters get to attend. We found the perfect preschool for my five year-old, and my older daughter is in a classroom that challenges her just enough, allows her to be creative, and is helping her grow as a learner. I do not take good schools for granted!

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