• Kendra Dare

My briar patch


For my final 'Nooks & Crannies' post, I'm rolling up my sleeves with all the "Kate Energy" I've got and delving into my briar patch: the laundry room.


Remember that story of Brer Rabbit, who was trying to escape harm from Brer Fox? The rabbit kept telling the fox that he could NOT be thrown into the briar patch, or he would surely die. And then, when the fox finally does manage to toss the rabbit into the briar patch we all learn how comfortable the rabbit truly is inside the briar patch. While to everyone else, the briar patch is a scary and uncomfortable dark thicket formed by any number of thorny plants, to the rabbit, it was home. "Born and bred in the briar patch, that's me," laughed Brer Rabbit. "I told you not to throw me there. In all the world, that's the place I love best!"


Ever since I heard the story of Brer Rabbit and his briar patch, I've always imagined a briar patch to be a unique, symbolic and homey Nook & Cranny for each of us. It could quite possibly be a mystery to others, but it's Home with a capital "H" to the briar patch occupant. I've often peered into the scary depths of my teenagers' bedrooms over the years and thought, "Briar Patch". And while my teenagers couldn't articulate it, they knew every time they caught a glimpse of me diving into the laundry room's washer or dryer, I was diving into my Briar Patch.


I love doing the laundry. It's the folding. Giving each article of clothing a little love and attention and then placing it inside the hamper before returning to the dresser drawer or closet. Witnessing a dingy, stained, jumbled mess become a clean and orderly stack in a matter of hours! The transformation! I love it.


So, as I looked around the house for a Nook & Cranny where Kate could work her magic this month, I landed on the Laundry Closet.


The sad Laundry Closet. After the washer-dryer set that we inherited upon moving into the house died a couple years back, I slapped a fresh coat of paint onto the walls before the new W-D set was installed. But still. There was no real love and attention given to this little corner of my world. Behind the closed cabinet doors lurked a ridiculous unkempt mountain of rags, clothes pins, soap and dryer sheets - and many miscellaneous items that somehow found their way behind the closed cabinet doors inside the laundry closet to live out their days. Plus the rotating plastic shopping bag hanging on the wall hook to house the dryer lint. Lovely.


No way would Kate stand for this. Time for a bit of design delight!


"...a bit of design delight!" Sounds approachable, light, easy and harmless. It always does. But then I purchase the wrong light fixture at Ikea and purchase the wrong garage-wall-type-hook for my idea of hanging the clothes rack on the wall, and I purchase a DIY shelving set from Menards without the fasteners, and I spend 8 hours crouched behind the dryer hanging wallpaper instead of the maybe-two-or-three hours I thought it would take ...

... and my neck and shoulders begin to ache. This isn't getting done in one day.


Day two: I spend 4 hours jumping up and down from the top of the washer and dryer to install two little shelving units instead of the 1.5 hours I thought it would take. It doesn't seem possible. But even though I know for A FACT there are wall studs back there (BECAUSE THE OLD CABINETS WERE HANGING ON WALL STUDS AND I MARKED THE CEILING WHERE EACH STUD WAS YESTERDAY BEFORE I HUNG THE WALLPAPER), miraculously, there are NO wall studs in the wall today. So now I have tiny holes drilled all over the newly installed wallpaper in a maddening search for wall studs. My wrists ache and my tennis elbow is flaring up. I stub my toe.

But here's the thing. While everyone else in the household walks by and catches a glimpse of me limping about the mudroom holding a pencil in my teeth, with the drill in one hand and the tape measure in another - they know I'm in my briar patch. It's not just the laundry room, either. It's this work. It's this labor of love. I have the Kate Energy flowing through my veins and I am in my own unique version of heaven.


Design Delight.


The pain of design delight is what makes it all the more meaningful. I know Kate understands this, and I know I inherited this quality from her. It's the unstoppable, unyielding desire to wave your 'Design-Delight Wand' and transform a space - no matter what it takes! That's my briar patch. And it's all always possible because I have the Kate-Energy power working for me.

The combo of the pull of the briar patch and the Kate Energy is quite powerful.


The Kate Energy combined with my desire to spend more time in my virtual briar patch was 100% responsible for the launch of this blog. Now, knowing I have a blog post to publish each week forces me into my briar patch state weekly.


And I know it was the Kate Energy coursing through my veins that gave me the courage to phone the number on the bottom of the sheet posted on the vintage furniture shop's door that read "furniture vendor space for rent" last week. And I know it's the desire to spend more-more-more time in my virtual briar patch of painting, measuring, sanding, cleaning, repairing and transforming spaces that floods my heart with joy at the thought of hunting for storied treasure in Nooks & Crannies all across the land, bringing my treasure home, applying my Kate Energy magic, delivering it to the little vintage furniture shop and placing a cute little "for sale" tag on it. (More info on this soon!)


What if the briar patch and Kate Energy combo could create a line of furniture and housewares stamped with a "Kate & Lorraine" brand?


Let's find out!


Kate & Lorraine ... COMING SOON!!!







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