Hi, I'm Bernadette and I've been kicking around the idea to start a blog for awhile. I think what was holding me back was this thought: "What could I possibly have to say about design that hasn't already been said so many times before?" After pondering it for awhile I realize that we all are a culmination of our experiences offering our unique expression. What resonates with one person may not with another but that shouldn't stop us from offering our gifts and talents in a way we feel comfortable. So here I am, excited to share my passion for design and creating a happy home with anyone that is interested.
Many of my tips and suggestions aren't coming from my Interior Design degree or my experiences working in the field. They are coming from my own experience of being a stay-at-home Mom on a budget first living in a small town house with no storage, and now moving to a new larger house that needs a lot of cosmetic work. For being a designer I'm pretty practical and frugal. I want materials, furniture, etc. that stand up to kids messes, I don't want to spend a ton of money on something and then worry every moment that someone is going to ruin it.
I'm realizing these days that less really is more. Of course I love talking about all of the pretty stuff too but I want to help you with a holistic approach to creating a great space. This starts at the root of the design: function, simplifying, and organization. Then we look at the aesthetic part. (the fun part!)
Another topic I'd like to focus on is gratitude for what we have in the moment. I have shifted my mindset from lack to abundance. I've learned how to focus on the present instead of always thinking about what I want in the future. It is hard sometimes because as a designer every room that I walk into in my house I can analyze the heck out of. When family and friends first came to see our new house they were probably thinking it was nice until I pointed out all of the "terrible, ugly" things about it that needed changed. So once I realized it really is the journey, not the destination my happiness for my home changed. I revel in the little accomplishments I make. It might be something as simple as transforming an ugly lamp I bought from the Goodwill into something pretty but I enjoy the process of seeing how each project adds to the beauty of my home. Sure, I have goals and dreams for the future including ripping out every cabinet in my Kitchen but it doesn't upset me that it isn't here yet. I've found a way to make the best of it and be happy with what I have RIGHT NOW!
Are you ready to take action with me to improve your home and the appreciation you have for it? If so here is your first assignment:
Pick a room in your home that isn't your favorite:
Make a list of 5 things you can appreciate about this room.
Make a list of things you can do this week (or weekend) to improve your space.
Make a list of long term goals you have for this room.
Here is mine: My Kitchen (see list below)
5 Things I can appreciate about my Kitchen:
I love my large undermount sink and solid surface tops.
I love that I have a good amount of cabinet space. (much more than my last Kitchen)
I have a large amount of counter space and keep the counters pretty clear so cooking and food prep is easy.
I love having a window above the sink to look out into our backyard.
I love having a gas cooktop.
Now that wasn't so bad right? I've shifted my energy to have gratitude for the things I do have instead of focusing on what I don't care for.
Things I can do to improve my Kitchen this week: (well I already did these things two weeks ago but I'm telling you it has been life changing). It didn't change the appearance at all but the function of it is so great that I'm focusing more on how easy it is to get to everything now instead of the look of it.
Remove everything from the cabinets and pantry (including food, dishes, appliances, and Kitchen gadgets.)
Wipe down all cabinets inside and out.
Make a Goodwill pile and a trash pile. Get rid of everything you don't use, want or like.
Remove everything from counters and wipe down, scour out sink, and clean faucet. (gunk builds up around these things, they need cleaned occasionally).
Put things back neatly into cabinets and pantry. Change things around if it makes more sense. Make sure you can see everything and know where everything is. Utilize what you have to organize things or buy new containers that make things like flower, sugar, nuts, raisins, etc. visible. Label them if need be.
Put things back onto the counter. Less is more on counter tops. Try to find homes for things you don't use all the time or find other ways to store stuff. The cleaner your counters are the more you are going to want to keep them clean.
Vow to clean up as you go from now on and occasionally straighten up so it stays clean and uncluttered.
Long Term Goals for my Kitchen
Remove every part of the Kitchen and I mean everything! (flooring, cabinets, counters, backsplash, appliances, bulkheads, window, and lighting)
Have a larger window put in (to add more light and a better view of my backyard)
Change the layout slightly including removing the existing pantry and adding a tall cabinet, move the Dining Room door down several feet, and add a built in microwave drawer.
New cabinets, counters, backsplash, appliances, and lighting.
Voila, wasn't that fun? Don't you feel better now about your space? You can take action now to make what you have work and feel better but also have a long term goal to make it your dream space.
Let me know in the comments how this went for you. Gratitude is a practice so it might take a little while to really feel what I'm talking about. Stick with it and your life will improve, no doubt!