Interior Designer Elkhart Goshen Indiana
Do you know how to start an interior design project?
What if I told you that the answer to these questions & the secret to creating an intentional home where your family and you will thrive doesn't start by interviewing builders, spending hours watching HGTV, or even looking at beautiful interior design photos on google or in popular home magazines? It doesn't take hours of shopping and returning items 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 our space or hasn't taken the time to help discover our unique vision, then it is not our vision. And without a personalized quality and feeling of home, it is not our home.
How does that make you feel?
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 (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 1: 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 our heads, and in our hearts and on our knees. It begins by asking God His opinion - because in a world full of ideas and different points of view, His opinion matters.
God has our best interests at heart. He has called us to live an abundant life and to dwell in green 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 especially after listening to the heart desires and design dilemmas of a beautiful younger woman who talked to me about her vision - to create a legacy home for her family to thrive - while we walked the garden paths of my home. She reminded me of a younger me about 20 years ago. She understood the importance of home but couldn't quite put the pieces together in a way that made sense for her family. And with the explosion of design choices available today and the risks & resistance that accompany change, it is no wonder that we we get stuck, struggle and spin our wheels during the creative process.
So I want 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 interior 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.
After prayer, here is your next step:
Decide what a green pasture day looks like at home - or how do you transition from stressed to blessed?
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:
Besides being a safe place to belong, I believe our homes should also 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 can sense God's presence to be refreshed, refocused, renewed & refined:
I first met God at home - how about you? And who can deny nature's magic and mystery all created to communicate God's goodness, care and love for 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 - just like the good Shepherd who left the 99, it is a reminder of our value and identify in Him.
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! We were (still are) content and comfortable. 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.
Our children thrived, inherited a godly legacy (instead of an expensive custom sofa) and left home to begin their own stories & create a better world.
That's what I call worship.
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 safe 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?"
If you are having a hard time moving forward, feeling good or making sense of your design project, it could be because you're confused about where to begin. Remember, if we are to change the world, we are not to look like the world (Romans 12: 1-2).
So don't get lost swooning over other people's ideas or opinion of beauty and happiness. Your thoughts create the boundaries of your heart which sets up your experience. Read the parable of the sower in Mark 4. Thoughts are like seeds. Whatever you plant in your heart will take root and produce fruit. So all that information & opinion can be part of the problem instead of the solution.
So, if you want to stop being tossed back and forth in the waves and enjoy green pastures instead, begin by being connected to the highest opinion (John 15) so you can focus and finish well (Proverbs 23:7).
You see, as we follow Christ and focus on Him, things become clearer (Isaiah 58:11). And when we do a 'yoke' exchange and start cooperating with Him (Matthew 11::30), we'll discover that He supplies everything we need better than we could on our own. (Philippians 4:19).
And it's really all about Him isn't it (2 Corinthians 4:15).
Every successful interior design project I've been involved in begins with a proactive homeowner who understands their role & God's role in their project, to mitigate risk, reduce problems, make 1500 'cohesive' design decisions, communicate expectations & maintain excellent relationships with everyone involved. Does that describe your last interior design project?
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 (Romans 12:1 & 2) 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 benefit from your decisions BUT without a financial gain.
So let me ask you:
Why do you want to makeover, build new or refresh your space?
Are you drowning in design ideas, divided hearts or other's opinions?
Are you overwhelmed with all the choices and just want to do it right this time?
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.
If you are dreaming of a new home, renovated space or a simple refresh within the next year, it's time to contact me today to get started. Otherwise, join over 300 other design enthusiasts by signing up for my 'Homiletics for the Home' Interior Design club below & you'll receive mostly monthly emails filled with inspiring ideas, encouraging stories, worksheets and real life interior design stories - then go make the world more beautiful by sharing this post with your tribe!
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)