Hi friends! It's been awhile, I know. We spent a good part of June in El Salvador & Nicaragua and I've been a little slow getting back into the swing of things! The trip was amazing - every year, a group from our church takes a mission trip, each year with a larger group and to a new destination. This year, there were over eighty of us, which made for quite an adventure! We went with the goal of making an impact in the communities we served, and definitely were not disappointed. For months leading up to the trip, we sow into our preparations with prayer, fasting, rehearsals, meetings, logistical prep, and more prayer... and we were thrilled to see God show up in some pretty miraculous ways as a result. In the face of extreme poverty, hopelessness, desperation and need, God met many, many hearts with peace, healing, love, comfort, joy and freedom. The experience of seeing a child being moved to tears as they're touched by the love of God…there's just nothing that compares. What a deep, humbling privilege to play any small part in moments like these. I'll share a more complete update soon, but couldn't jump ahead without any mention of it!
As I mentioned, it's been kind of strange jumping back into "regular" life. I've been spending a lot of time talking to God about what my takeaways need to be - what did I absorb/learn/experience on the trip that I need to apply to life back home? Just one example: when we arrived home and walked into the house, we both were hit strongly with the fact that we live in a mansion. Who are we to live in such luxury, with access to everything our heart desires? To own this unbelievably beautiful home in the most beautiful city on the planet? Don't get me wrong - we know God has called us here, to this city, at this time, and we're not about to sell everything and move overseas. But there's an element of making sure we are being the best stewards of what we've been given, and doing as much as we can not to lose sight of this, especially once the raw-ness of the trip wears off. Honestly, I am so selfish. I spend much more time aware of my wants than worrying about others'. I need to do better. And…how in the world do I balance all of this with the fact that my profession is focused mainly on aesthetics? Phew. There's a tension, and I'm still wading through it. But, I do believe that this passion inside of me to help shape and "cozify" people's homes is God-given, and for now, He still wants me to focus on this. So, I'm moving forward with the resources, gifts, energies I've been given…and excited to feel the creative juices flowing again!
One of the great things about being away from home is seeing the house with fresh eyes. What's working, what could benefit from some tweaking. Picked up this beautiful textile (scarf? runner?) from a thrift store last week and have been moving it all over the house. Love it.
After some styling and minor decorating updates in a few rooms, the home office is the room feeling neglected. With the entire house I've taken a slow decorating approach, and I'm always switching things around, but this room just hasn't ever had even a moment of feeling finished! And, this certainly doesn't inspire me to spend much time there. I need it to be a space that's inviting, inspiring, welcoming.
One mistake I made was painting the walls white. The room is north-facing and just doesn't glow like the rest of the lovely white walls in the house. I've also been itching to do something different, unexpected and this seems like the perfect opportunity.
Here are some images that are inspiring me at the moment...
Great, unexpected color combos.
Love that this side table (below) serves both pretty and functional purposes. Such a practical idea for me -- it's a good use of a small space, and I definitely have a few extra side tables around. A large mirror is another great idea to make the room feel larger, if I can find the wall space. Just love that the vase with flowers turns the electronics table into a work of art. Simple, and genius.
The current storage leaves much to be desired. At the moment, it's all pretty haphazard. I don't want it too "offic-ey" feeling - I prefer a mix of some enclosed storage with pretty things - but I need SOME streamlining/system! Boxes/baskets work really well for me.
I really like this look below, and the idea of using the eye-level surfaces for displays, collections, etc. I'm not sure it's the best use of the wall space (versus using the upper wall space for taller shelves), but I do feel like the surface would be pretty useful. I tend to use a lot of trays, baskets, etc. for corralling everything from paperwork to fabric samples, and this surface would be the perfect catch-all for this. I also love the idea of mixing in my ever-evolving collection of pretty objects here.
I know it seems crazy to some, but I need lots of visual inspiration in the form of color, pattern, piles, pictures. I'm incredibly inspired by Jenna Lyons' office -- still, after how many years?! Love the huge desk surface, monitor off to the side, tactile inspiration everywhere, and piles, piles, piles!
Some of my existing furniture will stay, and I have some ideas about how to revamp a few pieces. I'm going to try my best to use a lot of what we have already. It's going to be a fun, hands-on project! The room doubles as a guest room, and my mom and sister are coming to visit in August which is a very helpful deadline for me!