Interior Designer Elkhart Goshen Indiana
Do you know how to start an interior design project? What if I told you that the secret to creating beautiful, meaningful homes doesn't start by interviewing builders, picking the brain of others, looking at gorgeous pictures on HGTV, google or even popular home magazines? It doesn't take hours of pinning on pinterest either. Wanna know the real secret sauce?
In this day and age, people invest thousands upon thousands of dollars in a house for many reasons. But if our vision for home is dictated by another person's point of view that isn't living in the space or hasn't taken the time to help us discover that vision, then it is not our vision. And without a personalized quality and feeling of home, it is not our home.
Could our home be more significant than a beautifully styled picture in a magazine? Or a general contractors best guess at what you want and need defined in terms of square footage, 'style' and adjacencies. Defining the quality or feeling of home is a challenge today - even when you know what you like when you see it. And In my humble opinion, this is why people sell their 'forever homes' after living in them for only 8 years (research according to the National Association of Realtors).
What if home is a high and holy calling that is worth more than earthly treasures - something even bigger than ourselves (Colossians 5: 5-12)?
I believe our home is a powerful, influential and sacred place and the secret to creating a beautiful, meaningful forever home begins in your head, and in your heart and on your knees. It begins by asking God His opinion - because that's the only opinion that really matters.
God has our best interests at heart. He has called us to live an abundant life and to dwell in safe pastures for a reason. So start your project by asking Him -"How can I use my home to bless others and glorify you?"
This has been on my heart and mind lately because without clear vision and purpose to our decorating, designing and homemaking, we'll drift and become distracted like a boat upon the river without a compass and a rudder. And with the explosion of design choices available today and the risks & resistance that accompany change, it is no wonder that we need reliable, professional design assistance to help us create our own unique, beautiful homes.
The reason for this post is to encourage & challenge you to start your project differently than I did 20 years ago and how most people start their projects today. There is a lot of heady information involved in design before a shovel hits the dirt and design decisions are made. In fact, about 50-80% of a successful design project is in the set up and planning and most of this can be done by a savvy homeowner that wants to reduce the misunderstandings and mistakes of their high risk adventure.
Here are some of the aims God gave us 25 years ago:
1. Create a home for making memories from everyday moments while respecting the history, budget and architectural footprint of the property (you can read all about that here),
2. Provide a loving place for our children to discover who they are and embrace it by fearlessly being themselves (Psalm 139:14), because when you know who you are you know your value.
3. Provide a place to cultivate creative play, learning and discovery (Proverbs 22:6, Proverbs 4:13), because this world and our lives are a beautiful gift from God.
4. Provide a place where we could sense God's presence to be reborn, refreshed, renewed, refocused & refined (John 14:23, Philippians 4: 4-9 & Romans 1:20, & 12:1-3), Because we live in a fallen world and we all need a safe place to regain our balance.
5. Provide extended living space for opportunities to create and share hospitality (Hebrews 13:16). because we live in the original 'tiny' house and wanted to expand it according to our point of view and values.
Provide a safe, loving place to be accepted for who you are:
One of the great opportunities we have as parents is to discover God's handiwork in our children. We are all made as God's masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10), so we all look different and come with unique gifts in order to make our world a better place. Our future belongs to our children. By creating a welcoming and safe place that encourages their own individuality, they'll develop the confidence needed to create an amazing world that appreciates, respects and honors diversity, life, and fresh ideas.
Provide a place to cultivate learning and discovery:
I believe our homes should be a laboratory for exploration, learning and discovery. Each 'science experiment' teaches us what we're good at, what we enjoy, and who God is. How else will we know which direction to point our children in if they are not learning and discovering who they are and what they're good at.? (Proverbs 22:6)
Provide a place where we could sense God's presence to be refreshed, refocused, renewed & refined:
I first met God at home - not in church - and I know that I am not alone here as I've heard similiar stories from others. And who can deny nature's magic and mystery all created to communicate God's goodness to us? Even Jesus tells us about rocks proclaiming who He is (Luke 19:40) . Beauty speaks to us in a language we cannot articulate but, if are hearts are soft, we all understand.
Our property became a canvas to create and experiment with and it constantly gives back to us by responding generously with beauty.
Provide extended living space in order to share hospitality:
Our barn, outbuildings, orchards and fields have become extensions of our tiny living space to encourage creativity and provide hospitality to our family and others.
That was our inspired vision and our home's purpose over 25 years ago and our life on the farm worked for us! Our children thrived and we were (still are) happy. I resigned from my job as an advertising account executive and began joyously exploring every country pursuit imaginable - baking bread, making jam, gardening, helping the kids with 4-H projects and making meals three times a day. Today, as the last of our four children get ready to begin their own stories, we are certain of one thing - we never want to leave this place that we have invested into and it in return has loved us back. You see the best therapy ever is to come home to a place where you belong! And that is the purpose of a home. A place that nurtures and restores you. A place that we created that was first inspired by Him with this simple prayer, "Father God, How can I use my home for your glory and the good of others?"
So don't get lost swooning over other people's vision or opinion of beauty and happiness, Sometimes all this information is part of the problem instead of the solution. If you are having a hard time moving forward, feeling good or making sense of your design project, it could be because of your focus. You see, as we follow Christ and focus on Him, things become clearer, He makes His home in us. He leads us into our true home, a place of connection with Him. What a promise (John 15)!
Interior Design is 'heady' information that begins with research and planning to avoid risk and meet expectations. Every successful design project I've been involved in begins with a proactive homeowner who understands their role in their project to mitigate risk, reduce problems, make 1500 'cohesive' design decisions, communicate expectations & maintain excellent relationships with all who are involved. In fact 50-80% of the time it takes to build a new home is spent in planning the project before a shovel hits the dirt.
So if you are stuck in the details, or distracted by HGTV, Houzz, the big box store salesperson or the next door neighbor, start your project by asking God for the proper point of view and then write down your thoughts or leave them in the comments or share them with the people who have your best interests at heart that will also benefit from your decisions.
Our world is changing let's participate in a change that will benefit all of us, beginning with you and your home!
Have you benefited from this 'makeover' story? There are no easy answers for problem projects, only lost opportunities for prevention because all successful projects start with a great plan. Do you need help with the planning? If you are dreaming of a new home or renovated space within the next year, contact me today. Otherwise, join over 300 other design enthusiasts by signing up for my insider's club below & you'll receive mostly monthly emails filled with inspiring ideas, encouraging stories, worksheets and real life interior design stories - then make the world more beautiful by sharing this post with your tribe! Thank you!
Until next time, Hugs & Blessings (Numbers 6: 24-26)!
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About this blog...
I began writing this blog in May 2016 after discovering that my mother always wanted to be a writer. She had Alzheimer's disease and never realized her dream. Sometimes in our deepest grief we are motivated to encourage others to fearlessly be themselves so that their gifts and stories are shared. I mean, how else can we change the world?. So I began to record the things that reflect who I am and what is important to me, because one day my memories too, may be gone and what would that mean to the people God gave me to care for and the good works He gave me to do? So, here is where I share the important stuff so that you can learn real design, not decorator tricks, but fundamental and salient concepts to apply so that you can create your own exemplary home and so that my family and I can remember the life we lived and created here in our home, our sacred place. Because my work is important, this is also where I share my favorite design projects and how good design enhanced their lives as well. I hope you're inspired and encouraged as I share my memories, my work, my mission & my life. Hugs & blessings, (Numbers 6: 24-26)