Monday, November 27, 2017

Mountain Lodge minus the mountain :)

 It's the end of November and glancing back at my previous entry, the last time I had blogged was the beginning of July. 
So much has happened since then that it overwhelmed me to even think about updating on here and truth be told, I am still processing a lot of it. 

My baby sister, Holly died on July 21. She took a turn for the worse exactly one week before and declined so rapidly that my whole extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles and parents) moved in with her to say our repetitive "good-byes" and "I love you's". That week was the hardest of my life and will go down as the most meaningful and treasured. 
I think of her every day and can hear her laughter and cling to her faith on the days when sadness closes in. 

 Exactly a month after Holly succumbed to her battle with breast cancer, my oldest sister Cherie, was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. (Far left in the pic below). This picture was taken at Holly's Celebration of Life before we knew Cherie's journey ahead. 
 She is in the middle of four rounds of chemotherapy and is starting to lose her hair this week. As much as I have expressed how much I love my job and the opportunity to use my gifts, in light of these past six months, I have been doing a little bit of hiding. 

I think I'm done hiding now. I have always been honest with my community of friends and clients and I am not about to stop now. 
After going through and physically touching every single one of Holly's worldly possessions in order to get her house ready to sell, I started to feel like King Solomon in the Bible, where he wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes that everything is meaningless under the sun. 
These tangible 'things' that she owned held little meaning for any of us-it was the memories of her voice, her spirit, her determination that will live on long after she's gone. 
I guess it helped fuel the fire of minimalism in me. I've always been an extremist and this latest mindset for me is no different. None of the 'THINGS' in my life are bringing me meaning. This is reassuring and at the same time, alarming when I think about sustaining passion for interior design and all that accompanies that. 

I think what it boils down to is that I want my passions and values to line up with my career and the way I spend the majority of my day/days. 
That being said, I still love people and find great joy in communicating ways for people to live more freely, ,more beautifully and more fully. 
This gig may look a bit different in the future and I am so glad that with the help of my marketing friend Jeff years ago, I named my business "Room For Change". This title describes where I am in life right now. There's always room for change. I'm not sure what that looks like right now, but I am eager to explore some different ways to take my business (and my life) to the next level. 

Thank you for being patient with me these past few months and going forward into 2018. I am allowing myself some margin in my life to breathe and maybe even grieve if I need to. 

Please know that while Ken and I have scaled back on some custom orders, I am still booking clients for home consults. I have been involved in some really rewarding projects this past year and am so grateful for the clients/friends that God put in my path to walk with me through these last months. 

One of my greatest blessings this past year is being asked to work with Randy Bouwkamp and the staff at Bouwkamp Builders. I cannot overstate how amazing these people are-not only in quality construction but in quality of character. 
Below are some pics I snapped while walking through the "contractor's open house" a few weeks ago on my first Bouwkamp house-built for a young dentist and his family of 6 in Fennville. He was after a rustic feel and one with lots of stained wood. I had to talk him out of 'oak trim' but we compromised by using knotty alder for the kitchen cabinets and worked our way out from there. It was a challenging project for me in the sense that I'm not usually drawn to a darker, earthy aesthetic but I am so grateful that not every house I help design has Revere Pewter walls with white cabinets and white subway tile. :)

I am in middle of another Bouwkamp project that will have lots of white, light airy decor-a really cool twist on a downtown historic home that we are calling "industrial farmhouse in the city".  These have been so fun for me because they are each so different. I'll post pics of those after the first of the year. 

 If your house is in need of some interior editing or updating or if you'd like to talk about de-cluttering or using what you have in your own design arsinal, don't hesitate to book a consult. Thanks for allowing me to share my heart. Stay posted for more updates on some design trends I'm seeing for 2018 and perhaps even posts on my manic minimalism. Hope you all are feeling rested and healthy heading into this holiday season. 
See you back here soon. 



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