When I decided to start this blog, I decided to be real. 100% authentic Katherine. I’ve always been a “take it or leave it” kind of girl, and I tried to change that identity for a while, but it’s raw and it’s honest, and I guess I’d rather put myself out there and share the truth, even if it’s not always pretty.
So what am I rambling on about? Hold on – I’ll fill you in. As you may already know, I’m an interior designer, I have a BFA in interior architecture, but really that’s just the paper. I’m more than that..I believe in making spaces functional, and that your environment has the biggest impact on your wether you realize it or not. Those who say they aren’t great at decorating, or those who’s homes are uninspiring..and may I add maybe a little depressing…well that affect’s their moods on a day-in and day-out basis. That’s my 2 cents for the day!
I knew all this, I believed in it all so fiercely, but it wasn’t really until Fall of 2016 that it directly impacted me. Sure, I always went the extra mile to make my college housing extra special (I mean with what I could on a shoe-string student budget) but I was too busy with my social life to even really notice how my home at the time was affecting me. Fast forward to about 6 months after college graduation: I moved out of my shared apartment with an ex boyfriend, and moved home to my mom’s house to temporarily recollect myself after a horrible break up (let’s get real – we’ve all been there). I was turning a new page in my book, to say the least, and I was in a pretty dark place, mentally and physically.
All I wanted to do was sleep when I wasn’t working, and I didn’t want to get out much. My mom’s house is lovely – it’s eclectic and colorful, but also very intense. There is not much empty space; the house is full of everything – books, furniture, gallery walls…it’s just full. It was comforting being in the home I grew up in, but it also added to my anxiety, because at the time I needed a calm and relaxing space, but I didn’t even really understand that yet.
After being at home for about 5 weeks, I felt a strong change in the tide if you will. I was laying in bed one evening, looking up at the white ceiling and thinking – I wish I could see the stars right now, I bet that would make me feel better. So I started to rummage the craft closet – this is a thing you have when you grow up in a house with just your mom and sister – the closets are full of crafts supplies and wrapping paper! Within a few minutes, I found netting [ tulle from a dance costume from years before i’m assuming ] wooden rods, white christmas lights, and some ribbon. I won’t walk you through the next 6 hours because they were kind of a blur..but I stayed up until 4 am that night constructing a canopy.
The white tulle canopy hung down around the entire bed – creating a cocoon. The white lights strung through it, creating the softest glow of light in the night; it was magical to say the least. Maybe I loved it so much because I made it – painstakingly with hot glue, nails and energy that ran off Dunkin Donut coffee, but it was my own creation. I was unknowingly creating a safe haven for myself; a sanctuary of light around my bed where I could just breath and feel at ease. I want creating my own night sky, right there in my bed.
I didn’t stop there though – I put only white bedding on my bed – I switched out the colorful quilt that my mom insisted was “so Katherine” and put the fluffiest white down-comforter and pillows I could find on the bed. I wanted to create a cloud. I also took all the pictures down from the walls – a gallery wall of memories was not what I needed in this space. What I needed from the space was tranquility. Instead I hung up a painting my sister had painted for me, right over my bed. It brought me joy, and reminded me of my true self.
I also moved all my clothes into my closet – no more messy bedroom floor or clothes stacked on top of the dresser [ horrible habit of mine ]. Actually, I eliminated the dresser all together. I pushed it into the other bedroom, and that was that. I had my bed, my canopy masterpiece, a tall leaner mirror, and a breath taking view of the woods behind my house. The next day I went out and bought a fluffy rug for the space – i’m a true believer in texture and the effect it has on your mood.
I wish I had a picture of the space to show y’all – but in that time frame, I wasn’t in this documenting stage. In fact I didn’t even have social media; no Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook. I actually took an entire year hiatus from it…and it was splendid. [ but hey, I’m happy to be back with y’all ]
So if you’re thinking, hey, that’s great…but where does this connect? I’m getting to that..
I had crippling anxiety at the time, and arguably was depressed. I moved to a place where I didn’t have many friends anymore, I was starting fresh, and working from home part-time. I was alone most of the time, and really just trying to pick my life back up after a series of unfortunate events. I couldn’t control a lot at that time, but there was one thing I could control, and I knew how it was effecting me – my environment. I couldn’t change my mom’s house – nor did I want to – to be what I wanted. I couldn’t move into my own place, and I wasn’t up to socializing and getting out to fun environments that may have boosted my mood, but I had my room. I had a bedroom that was a blank slate, looking for love.
I nourished the room, loved it, put life and light back into it. I made it a sanctuary; somewhere I retreated to when I was anxious, a place to do my work, to journal, to meditate. To be honest, after making all the changes, especially the addition of the canopy, I slept better and woke up in a better mood. By nourishing and lovin’ on my home decor, I inadvertently took care of myself.
I, of course, pulled myself up by my bootstraps, and am not in that dark place anymore, but I do still struggle with anxiety. It never fails; creating a home filled with things that make me happy and a space conducive to a happy and healthy lifestyle…well that makes all the difference.
I’m telling you this because I believe in the power of environments, good vibes under your roof, and creating a space that not only you take care of, but in turn, takes care of you. And you don’t need a whole house and big budget – start small with what you have. You’ll feel better, promise.
I guess you can call it designing with intention.
Much love xo