Monday, January 30, 2012

Family Home

I had the pleasure of working on a project for my friend, Allison, last year.  The challenge presented was to turn a house that once belonged to her grandparents into a home for her and her budding family.  They were moving from a good sized home in the city to a large plot of land in the country with a house that once was cutting edge but by today’s standards could be considered simple.  As you can imagine, there was a lot of sentimental attachment to all elements of the house requiring much consideration for any decisions.  Each change had to fast forward the look of the home by 50 years and be a nod to the architectural style, all while keep the family memories made there intact.  This was like Christmas to me.  So many possibilities were available.  Do we go retro to suit the age of the home? Would elegant country be more fitting due to location?  How do we blend the needs of a young family with the space available in the house? My mind was reeling with ideas.  After weeks of various discussions, a plan was formed.  With the skill of many talented carpenters the space took on a new life.  Some of my favorite features include: 

                                                          (bottom photo is before update)
The tall cabinets in the kitchen.  No need to replace something that has good bones and can be updated with just a little paint, some nice hardware and beautiful countertops. (left photo is before, right is after)

                                                                               (bottom photo is before update)
The oversized family room that affords plenty of space for seating guests to watch TV and converse while the play area behind the sofa offers an easy solution to keeping an eye on their son.

Each furniture piece in the house has a story.  What I realized during the project was that this house and it’s contents were influential in shaping Allison’s personal style through the years.  She and her family couldn’t fit more perfectly in their new home.    
While I had a very small hand in the process, I felt so honored to be consulted and to help guide them toward what they have now.  When Allison shared photos of the home through her blog, she wrote, “Although I wanted to update things, my heart was a little heavy. What I kept remembering, though, was that both of them would have wanted us to give the house new life. Each time I was there, I could feel my Papa smiling down on us, loving the fact that we were making our mark on a place he loved. I only hope that while we are here, we can honor the memory of Mama and Papa and live a life of which they would be proud.”

Colors and fabrics excite me but words like that are what drives me.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Lesson in Leadership

Driving to Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon I was pulled over by an Indiana State Trooper (or “the L.A.W.” according to my husband).  It goes without saying that I was less than pleased about this.  As he wrote the ticket, I kept my mouth shut so as not to aggravate the situation.  This was a difficult feat considering what the officer said to me.  When explaining that I was speeding (a fact I’m not refuting), he shared that his own speed was 75 miles per hour in a zone where 70 mph was the limit.  He went on to say that the reason I was getting the ticket was because I came up next to him and then proceeded to pass him.  The passing was due to cruise control so it was a very slow and steady passing, but I digress.    I was appalled!  He just openly told me HE was speeding and yet I was being penalized for doing exactly what this enforcer of the law did.  

Call me crazy, but I believe if you are in a position to enforce rules, you best abide by them yourself.  If I, as a citizen, am expected to obey the law, he as a leader and enforcer should without question have to, as well.   A slew of clich├ęs come to mind- practice what you preach; do as I say, not as I do; and the like.  I’m aware that life is not fair.  And I know I was not in the right in this situation.  Those are not my points.  As someone who holds leadership roles in organizations from my own business all the way to community service groups I could never imagine asking someone else to do something I wasn’t willing to do myself.  In fact, it’s always been my opinion leaders should be held to a higher standard and set good examples for those around them.  Now more than ever I will be sure to examine my behaviors so that I keep myself in check.  While this officer cost me a little bit of money, I gained much more from him than he knows.  I got a valuable lesson in leadership I won’t soon forget. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Exciting News!!

I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted.  The last four weeks have flown by and in preparation for the new year I examined all that I did in 2011.  I saw exciting achievements along with some things I want to do differently in the future.  One exciting change for 2012 is going to be this blog. We’re going to step it up a notch.   Posts will still provide design ideas, tips and trends but there will also be a flair of fashion and inspiration thrown in.  My goal is to share more of me with you and to immerse you in all things creative.  Periodically guest bloggers will offer their take on things and I have lined up a great list to kick off the first half of the year.  You will hear from insiders in the fashion industry, the world of television and experts in design related niches.  I am SO excited I can hardly stand it.  So be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed so you can stay in the know!