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The Difference Between Designing a Nice Room and a Room with Soul



It dawned on me today that designing a nice room is easy...at least for me. It comes naturally. But designing a room that gets to the heart of who you are is what creates a challenge. I start to second-guess every decision and question my abilities when I'm working on my own home. My realization occurred as I was thinking about how easy it has been to come up with multiple concepts for my kids' rooms.


The process of designing the kids' rooms mirrored that of what I experience when working with clients. My daughters gave me some criteria (colors to use, specific furniture pieces, etc.), and I was off to the races designing several options for "pretty" rooms that also felt a bit magical. "Magical" has been my guiding principle for the kids' rooms as I think they're craving a space that feels that way but can't communicate it. Again, this is the type of work I do with clients. I read between the lines to understand what they're hoping to feel in their homes but may not know how to articulate, and then I incorporate the specific design requests and practical matters. So for my girls, I'm aiming for their specific design requests, a "magical" feel, and rooms they can grow into at least for the next few years. Working on client projects has always been way easier because there's no deeper layer of personal self-expression I have to incorporate. I don't have to figure out who I am in order to see it through.


When it comes to our home, particularly the main areas that visitors will experience, I am paralyzed with indecision at times because I want to nail the "here's who I am" factor. Then I'm trying to marry my personality with the essence of the house, create spaces that allow my family to live happily and comfortably, and make decisions that I hope I won't regret in two years. It's all a bit much!


But I KNOW it will be worth it! At least for someone like me who is so affected by their surroundings and whose identity is strongly tied to being stylish, it's important that my home isn't just a Pinterest reproduction or a mix of things that I just kind of like. In order for me to be at peace, I need it to be a thoughtful curation of items that work together to create a big-picture story of who we are as a family, and it needs to be different from everything you're seeing out there.


What I've discovered about designing a room with soul is that it requires introspection, a bit of homework, and takes loaaaaddds of time. I'm slowly documenting the type of homework and introspective questions one needs to ask themself in order to get it all right, so if you're feeling a bit indecisive and know you want a home that's not only pretty, but also meaningful, stick around! We'll do this together :)


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