It’s been nearly ten years since I purchased my first home. The neighborhood wasn’t initially my top pick. Yet after my wonderful realtor convinced me to take a peek inside, I was sold. There was an immediate sense of home when I first stepped across the threshold. And the feeling has remained ever since.
I was quickly bitten by the home renovating bug. Not much time had passed since 9/11, and the country was swept up in nesting. I remember not only from my personal experience, but from the handful of freelance magazine articles I wrote around that very time. Every interior designer and home furnisher I spoke with said their clients were opting to enhance and improve their own homes because they were spending more time there with family and friends.
Elaine, my home’s previous owner, had a flair for the artistic and bright colors. I snapped the following photos of the living/dining room space on the day I first toured it. I loved the creativity, but knew I’d want to put my own “stamp” on the home.
And stamp I did. With my sister’s help choosing the colors (she literally sent me swatches from her home in California) and my dad’s help painting the walls, I transformed the highly traveled space, choosing a pallet of earth tones and neutrals. The combination was quite popular at the time and, to me, appeared easy to coordinate with throw pillows, wall decor, and other home furnishings.
But today? Today when I pass through the living/dining area, I’m not as satisfied as I was so many years ago. After ten years looking at the same colors, same patterns, and same pieces, I’m ready for something new.
I suppose having a friend who’s an interior designer helped to spark my thinking and consider a change. Jessica McKay and I met a few years ago shortly after she opened Birdhouse Interior Design in Omaha. With her husband, Christopher, by her side, the couple set out to change the way interior design (and interior designers, for that matter) are viewed in Omaha. The more I got to know Jessica and better understand the importance of a well designed living space, the more I knew I was ready to ask for her help.
But let me tell you, although I consider Jessica a dear, dear friend, there’s something a wee bit unsettling about inviting an interior designer into your home. I immediately reconsidered every single decorating decision I had made over the past ten years, knowing that her creative eye would sum up my choices in mere moments.
Yet charge ahead I did, and Jessica began brainstorming ideas to breathe fresh air into my dated living space. I realized, with Jessica’s help over countless conversations, that homeowners are not expected to know how to maximize their living spaces all on their own. Of course we (I) can gravitate toward pretty colors and fancy patterns. But just because we (I) know what we like, doesn’t mean we (I) know how to put it all together in a design that’s pleasing to the eye.
My excitement around a new living/dining area continues to grow. With Jessica’s help, my goal is to transform that space with colors, fabrics, and other lovely details that best represent my personal tastes and my personality. Arriving home to a space that best utilizes what I have with who I am will undoubtedly make all the difference. I can’t wait to share the photos once the project is complete.
Have you redesigned your living space? Have you considered it but are afraid to take the next step? Let’s be a change for good and show that interior design can be affordable and wholly worthwhile.