An Interior Life

I can not remember a time when I did not take great pleasure in crafting interior space. Back before Instagram and DIY blogs were actual paper things, called catalogues and magazines. My mom, like many women got lots of shelter magazines, and as soon as the mail came in I was on the sofa, studying the pages and imagining myself living inside. Eventually it wasn’t enough to imagine myself inside the pages. I wanted more, I started looking the these images not as fodder to fantasize, but as inspiration to action. How could I take what drew me to the image of a room, and create that in my own world, in the place I was. That hunger has never left me, and I have come to the realization that I don’t think it ever will.

To be quite honest I have never really been this candid about my love for interior design and decorating. I could never really reconcile my desire to love and serve God with my passion for interior design. It always seemed so superficial to me. As a high school and college student, I wanted to change the world. I wanted to roll up my sleeves and take this broken world head and heal it. I never saw how interior decorating could help me achieve that. I left it behind and told myself it could be a hobby, but that I really ought to pursue a profession that did a greater service to humanity. So I studied counseling. I think I did a lot of good as a counselor, I walked alongside people going through major crises and played role in helping them get to the other side of their difficulties, some of them with stakes that would mean life or death. I saw people go from deep despair to true happiness. However, I never felt at home in my work, I always felt out of place. I couldn’t understand how I might not belong there, I was doing good, doing God’s work. What was wrong.

Regret over not studying design often crept into my mind. But every time I would remind myself that interior design was in no way necessary to the betterment of the world and therefore was not worth pursuing. I know now how naïve I was. I could never stop thinking about decorating rooms. Slowly began to realize that I needed to give more stock to these recurring thoughts of interior decorating. Getting married, purchasing our first home and having children really woke me up to this.

Now I had my own home. I went to work decorating, I found so much fulfillment in making beautiful space for my family to live in and for us to entertain our friends. Friends would compliment my home and tell me “you need to do this” implying that I needed to offer my services to others. I saw that I didn’t need to be on the streets of Calcutta so to speak in order to do good. St. Mother Teresa herself says if you want to change the world, go home and love your family. Creating a beautiful home really felt like an act of love. I truly believe that putting beauty into the world for others to see is an act of charity and a sign of hope. I really don’t mean to over spiritualize the issue, but I think it is worth acknowledging that there is great need for beauty in the world, and that if we want to change the world, one way we can do that is to create beautiful homes in which we can raise our families and entertain guests and friends. So when they leave they will be renewed and looking forward to coming again. I could say so much more about home, and beauty, hope…but I will save it for another day.

Design Priorities

I recently wrapped up work on a multiroom project on Lake Wisconsin. Five Bedrooms. I have to say these homeowners had their priorities straight. After years of diy decorating for her the bedrooms of her five children, this mom decided it was her turn, finally! I have kids of my own, I know how easy it is to put yourself last. How easy it is for mom and dad’s room just to become a dumping zone. But I also know how vital it is to have a place me and hubby to rest and recharge, which is tough to do if you room has become the dumping zone. That’s why I was so excited about the project. My hope was not just to give them a nice space, it was to give them a retreat. a space friendly enough for Saturday morning snuggle with the kids, but beautiful enough that it could be a place for the adults to close the door every now and then to catch their breathe…a literal retreat! (let face it, we all need a place to be alone sometimes)

Take a look at this space before and after.

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Thoughts on a Master Bedroom

If you have been following KRD on Facebook or Instagram you have likely seen this Master Bedroom before. This is my Master Bedroom and is one of the places in my home that I feel is most expressive of my personal style, partially because it is one of the areas that is the most complete. 

We have three children under the age of 4 that have the run of house, so my husband and I chose to focus some energy on our Master bedroom first, something just for us. There is actually still so much more I want to do in this space. For instance, I would love to add some softness and texture with some curtain panels on the short windows and a little seating under the picture window. More on that when I get to it!

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It was important for me and my husband that our bedroom didn't feel too masculine, or too feminine (as is often the case) I think we have found a nice balance here. To achieve this balance I did things like bring together light and dark tones, hard and soft lines, etc.The black finish on the bed and dressers add weight to the otherwise light and airy space. The straight posts on the bed bring structure and the softer lines on the dressers give the space some ease.  With all these opposing elements I brought cohesion by using a matching finish.  The bed was purchased new from Ethan Allen, but the dressers are both second hand finds that my husband and I refinished to match. 

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I have been asked about my decision to put small scale wall decor above our bed. Yes, this was intentional. One reason is that I wanted to keep the space simple, uncluttered. I also feel like leaving some breathing room above the headboard allows the bed posts to play a larger roll in the design. The painting and mirror were both found antiquing in Door County.

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Some greenery adds life and natural color to the space. Live plants have been proven to have health benefits. I recommend keeping some easy to care for house plants around. They look good and they are good for you. I also keep a wedding photo and the silk flower I wore in my hair that day on my dresser. Oh, and that doily you see there, one of many my grandmother made. As long as I knew her she always had a crochet hook in hand and it is such a gift to have these items she crafted with us to bring back happy memories of her.