It is currently 2:01 am. I write this while up with my new daughter, mostly because I have to find a better way to stay awake during feedings than scrolling through celebrities’ instagrams. Except Jennifer Anniston has an Instagram now which is pretty exciting.
Besides Instagram, I have been going through the archives of Cafe Designs’ blog and it does not disappoint! She’s compiled house after interesting house to comb through and I’m still not done looking.
I’ve got a few favorites, one being the kitchen of Gil Schafer that I first fell in love with on Pinterest:
But there are SO many scrumptious house tours on there, so open a new browser tab and keep it on her site for when you’re in need of inspiration:
Ah but yes, I am up in the dark of the night, writing by candlelight…just kidding. Our diffuser has a dim setting (tip – so you don’t have to turn a bright lamp on at night!). But I’m up because of this little pumpkin:
Her name is Lenore (aka Lenny), she’s a month old, and she changed our lives when she came into this world. But, without knowing it, she’s also given direction to where I feel like our home and my business should go from here.
In our home, I feel more free to do what I love than ever before, even though I have had little time to play with it yet. During nursing sessions I’ve been reading Leanne & Steve Ford’s new book, “Work in Progress”, and it has shown me how afraid of failure I am. I already knew that I suppose. Creativity can lead to weirdly amazing ideas, but perfectionism is crippling.
When I look around at my home with jazz playing in the background and a squishy baby in my arms, I love my home. I love the acorns in the tarnished silver bowl, the green fireplace, the rumpled linen slipcover on the sofa. All of the things we love compiled together have made a haven, and it shouldn’t matter if people on Instagram like it or not. Once she arrived I further saw how fleeting and unimportant all of that attention is.
I want to be fearless when it comes to creating home for myself and others. And that doesn’t necessarily mean doing something crazy! It may mean implementing something that seems boring or too traditional to others, but gives me joy. True beauty always comes when I follow my gut – I never regret it. But I do have projects I regret being so wound up about, imagining someone online thinking they could have done it better.
I think that comes from years of reading “advice” and “rules” from designers in articles. You know – one designer says white is boring, the next says it’s a canvas for everything else in the room. One says traditional is stuffy, one says modern is harsh. But art, and home, is meant to be beautiful to the owner. Nobody else needs to understand – YOU need to feel understood. The fun comes when you realize that there are indeed others who appreciate and love exactly what you create, but you never would have known if you didn’t branch out. Preaching to myself here.
When it comes to my business, I’ve realized I created ways of working with clients that I don’t even enjoy simply because I was fearful. A couple of years ago I got super into podcasts and I went into information overload mode. I was listening to horror stories of clients who take advantage of you, projects gone off the rails, designers who were working themselves crazy and making no money, and I wanted to implement every strategy I could think of to prevent myself from being one of those people. I think I became so overly business minded trying to attract what these podcasts said were the “best” clients that I scared off the ones I actually would have loved!
Those podcasts assumed that everyone wants a full-time, mega-success story of a business. It was difficult to own that I don’t actually want that. The rags-to-riches story of entrepreneurship is much more glamorous and interesting to the world. But I’ve been fortunate enough to step into being a stay-at-home mom, and I now realize I have no interest in trying to “do it all.”
Instead, I just want to bring beauty into this world by using my God-given creativity and passion for home. Letting the Holy Spirit take me on that journey will be more joyful than when I try to manhandle and strategize every puzzle piece into place.
That’s probably going to look more like this business being a part-time job, taking on a limited amount of projects a year, and I’m cool with that. It will mean that just because I don’t get photographs from every project doesn’t mean I failed in some way! My goal is to just do my calling in a wise, joy-filled manner. God will take care of the rest.
So here’s to this tiny human teaching me to let go of my plans for something far sweeter. We shall see where God takes us 🙂