At the kitchen counter with Serena & Lily


Serena & Lily asked me to write a bit about life at the kitchen counter as a way to show off their lovely Riviera stools, and as I thought about it, there is no other spot in our house that we all pass more frequently.  It sees a lot of action as we spend the majority of our time in the combined kitchen and family room — when we’re here together in what feels more like brief stolen moments out of a busy day. The truth is that our lives these days feel like a blur.   One minute you’re wandering the aisles at Target with a baby in a carrier just trying to fill the endless hours of infancy while semi-weepy women tell you about how quickly it will pass you by and the next thing you know, you’re basically an unpaid chauffeur in a carpool carousel. I laugh to myself when I think of how I anticipated having ALLLL THE TIME IN THE WORLD once both boys were in school. And it is true – there is more alone time – but there is more go-go-go than ever before.

I die laughing at that photo of Archer, munching on his pumpkin bread. He’s on a Spiderman kick currently, and the addition of sunglasses and headphones are just a bonus. Jude dressed Arch for school on this particular day; I wish you could’ve seen the bright blue Birkenstock sandals with those white socks. It was SOMETHIN’.

So much of life is about contrast; in order to appreciate one season, we have to have another. Joy is fuller because of sadness. Rest is more satisfying because of busyness.  And of course, to fully enjoy those lazy days of summer, we have to experience the contrast of the nonstop hustle during the remaining 9 months. Suddenly the mornings are busy and, frankly, stressful. While I begin the schoolyear with High Expectations that I will – WILL! – wake up early and lovingly handcraft a nutritious breakfast while my angelic children gratefully consume it and then skip off to brush their teeth —  HAARRRRRRDY HAR HAR — the reality is that I wake up at 7:30 after hitting Snooze umpteen times since 6:45, and then I stumble into the kitchen to make Archer’s lunch for school (WHYYYYY), breakfast for the 2 boys (cereal or freezer waffles?), coffee for me, and make sure that the dog goes outside so he doesn’t pee on the rug (again).

I do want to remember what these days are like, as much as they are mind-numbingly similar. It’s the familiar squeeze of my heart as I watch Jude finish homework, or while Archer is drawing up a storm (PLEASE – only on paper – not on the furniture again!!)

PRO TIP: Make sure to measure for your stools to see if you need counter or bar height. Bar height is typically less comfortable than counter, but it depends on the overall height of your cabinets or table.


My love for the Serena & Lily Riviera collection knows no end.  I’m drawn to the look due to my connection with France — there’s not a bistro or cafe to be found in Paris, particularly, that doesn’t have some iteration of this classic design on their floors.  These stools are just the right weight to feel sturdy (imo, small kiddos won’t topple them over too easily) and they’re easy to keep clean. Definitely an all-around winner!


Kitchen cabinets & walls: Benjamin Moore Steam

Kitchen Island: Benjamin Moore Lucerne

White beveled subway tile

Denim rag runner (similar)



with love,

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