Posts tagged ‘Micheline Auger’

Tidy – chapter 9: the language of color

What does a life look that is designed with love? Margaret inherited her mother’s house with the words, “Make this house a home.” Margaret is finding out what that means.

homes heart

Art by Brenda Mangalore

Everyone needs a sanctuary.”  – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

(Continued) Margaret dreamed last night that she was floating through her home and in every room was a different person and a different color. Her dad (orange) was in the living room reading the newspaper, chomping on his pipe that he had quit smoking, but liked to have on hand anyway.


Kiln Chevron Zest Ceramic Tile

Her mom (yellow) was on the phone in the kitchen flipping through her calendar.

Lush 3x6 Yellot Butter Glass Tile

Lush 3 x 6 Butter – Yellow Glass Subway Tile

Margaret floats down the hall to her bedroom, which, in the dream, is still decorated circa 1985. She sees a young Margaret applying Diva Red toenail polish while listening to Kate Bush sing Running Up That Hill on her record player.

Mosaic Glass Tile - Red

Mosaic Glass Tile – Clear Red Brio

She keeps floating through her home and finds her ex-boyfriend, Sam (green) in a room that her house doesn’t actually contain. In that room, is a draft table. His back is to her and he is intently drawing a picture of a tree whose roots form a man’s body reaching deep into the earth. The trunk rises from the roots, stretching into branches which form a woman’s body.

Brio Glass Mosaic Tile

Brio Glass Mosaic Tile

Margaret continues floating. She sees her friends, Toni and Ray, (teal) in a nursery playing with their newborn baby; she sees her neighbor Reese (Milk White and Grey) in the bathroom, sitting on the edge of the bathtub, crying over the loss of his wife.

Modwalls bathroom tile

2×4 American Made Ceramic Subway Tile in Milk White, Brine Gray and Licorice Black Matte

And then she sees a new room. A room of grace and light. It feels like a part of her. A part of her that also radiates in all the people that she loves. It is That Which Exists in all beings. It is also the core of her home. The heart. She enters the room. That is when Margaret wakes up. And wakes up to a calm that she hasn’t felt in years.


Her kitchen remodel is finished. Reese helped her install the colorful Brio glass tile backsplash that she designed on the tile company’s website. He turned her on to the eco-friendly wood floor that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® whose motto is “Forests for All Forever.” Reese’s buddy Ken introduced her to John McDonald, the owner of Semihandmade, an innovative company that makes one-of-kind craftsman-style doors for Ikea kitchen cabinets. John’s team helped her pick out the exact doors to complement her new tile and floors.


Semihandmade Cabinet Covers

Margaret’s kitchen is pretty much perfect. Ever her retro fridge is perfect, from its fern green color to what’s inside it: red, yellow, and green bell peppers, a violet and ivory
striped graffiti eggplant, and a carton of heirloom eggs from the farmers market that are different shades! Who knew?! Margaret’s world has exploded in color.


Now in waking life, with her feet firmly planted on her kitchen floor, she sees that her home has become a sanctuary. Her friendships, new and old, are a sanctuary. Her mother’s parting words “make this house your home,” became a sanctuary as they guided Margaret out of her mourning back into life. Everything that has led her to this moment was, in one way or another, a sanctuary. “Thank you,” says Margaret.Thank you tile

Francis, her cat, gazes at her from the kitchen table.  Reese mows his lawn next door.  The sun streams in through the kitchen window. And the world of color vibrates “thank you.”

This is the ninth installment in a series about aspirational living.  Micheline Auger is Michelinea New York-based writer who loves all things Modwalls.


March 17, 2016 at 7:53 pm 1 comment

Tidy – chapter 7: own your colors

What does a life look like that is designed with love? Margaret inherited her mother’s house with the words, “Make this house a home.” Margaret is finding out what that means.


(Continued)  “Visualize your destination.” It’s a Saturday afternoon and Margaret has picked up The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up again, after sensing that something was changing in her life, and that something seemed to coincide with her willingness to open this book a couple months ago – the book her mother gave her in the hopes that Margaret’s life would change. And change for the better.

Brio blend city sunshine

Brio Blend CitySunshine

Margaret takes a sip of her iced pineapple green tea and looks out from her mother’s – or rather – her porch. She keeps having to correct herself. This is her home. It used to be her mother’s home, but now it’s hers. Truthfully, it still feels like a combination of the two, which she acknowledges is an improvement. She is not erasing her mother’s memory by redecorating; she is celebrating her mother’s can-do spirit by ordering the tiles for the kitchen. Her mother loved color and she would have loved these tiles. She would have loved that the tiles are assembled by a non-profit organization which employs developmentally disabled adults to do production work, and assists them to live full lives and be part of a community.

Her mother lived a full life with lots of friends and wanted that for Margaret, too.  So when Margaret read the words, “visualize your destination,” she paused. What is her destination?  Margaret looks up and sees Francis, the cat, stalking a bird on the front lawn.  ‘The cat’ or is it ‘her cat?’ ‘The house,’ or ‘her house?” Margaret has a pronoun problem, and it involves ownership. Was she willing to ‘own’ her destination? ‘Own’ her life? ‘Own’ her choices?


“You think too much.” Her dad once told her. He was trying to show her how to change the oil in the family car and Margaret was distracted. She was sixteen and didn’t really care about oil-changes. “You need to be independent. If you can change the oil in your car, you can do anything.” Margaret wasn’t sure that sentiment had really rang true for her, but it did pop into her mind when she thought about installing tile in her kitchen. Should she hire an installer, or do it herself? She had come across a YouTube video that made it look pretty easy, and actually fun. Just like in the Tidying book where Marie Kondo writes that if you do it right, tidying can be fun.

But why? Why tidy? Why redecorate? What is the destination?

“Oh, I’m glad you’re home.” Margaret looks up and sees a man in his sixties wearing jeans, work boots and a white t-shirt splattered with paint. “The postman mistakenly left this at my house yesterday. You must be Alice’s daughter. I’m Reese. I live next door.” Margaret smiles. “Hi, I’m Margaret.” Reese puts down the box and takes Margaret’s hand. “Pleasure to meet you. You need a hand with this?” “Sure,” says Margaret. “It must be my tile samples for the kitchen.”

Modwalls gift

The gift of tile

Reese rips open the box and takes out a panel of beautifully-colored glass tile. “I designed the pattern myself.” Reese looks up. “Are you an artist?”   Margaret laughs. “No, the company’s website has a page where you can choose your colors to create your own blend. It’s pretty cool.”  “Well, you did a good job.” Margaret feels a swell of something like pride inside her chest. She runs her hand over the tiles. She feels excited.  The colors make her happy. That seems like a pretty good destination.Micheline

This is the seventh installment in a weekly series about aspirational living.  Micheline Auger is a New York-based writer who loves all things Modwalls.

March 3, 2016 at 7:35 pm 2 comments

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Rebecca Lonergan

Founder and Creative Director of Modwalls Tile Company. Since 2005 Rebecca has been designing Fresh Tile in Colors You Crave. Shop Online at

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