You guys know I've always loved interior design and are probably totally sick of hearing about it, but what I've learned these past few years goes beyond just the technicalities of design. This is going to be a longer post than normal because, well, I've had a realization and I have a lot to say. We're about to get real here.
I was asked recently while talking about design with my housemates: 'Why do people spend that much money on decorating their house?'. One of my housemates responded by saying 'Because they're vain'.
Now...here's the thing. In that situation, I completely agreed. The industry of interior design can be super materialistic. It can be an industry that causes people to feel discontent with what they have, and makes them continually want more more more. It can be an industry where people spend ridiculous amounts of money on frivolous things, and yes, that can be vain. This concept is something that has certainly crossed my mind more than once in college...the question of "Waiiit...am I encouraging vanity and discontent by getting into this industry?"
I can say with confidence now--that is not the case. There is so much more to design than meets the eye, and I don't think everyone understands it. This past year has been SO eye opening for me on why I'm passionate about design. Yes, I love beautiful architecture and pretty velvet headboards. But would I say I am passionate about those things? Nope. There's certainly nothing wrong with loving beautiful things.
But I'm not passionate about things.
What I am passionate about is creating spaces that make people feel at home. There is so much value to having that feeling of comfort in the place that you live--having a feeling of safety and order. For me, that starts with good design in a home.
Here's a little back story about what brought this realization to my attention. My family and I started a church in 2009 called Voyage. We packed up our lives, moved from Oregon to Washington, and have been on this adventure ever since. Church planting is a huge commitment and my family has been both challenged and blessed beyond words these past four years. Because we quickly moved and started planning the church right away, we have never fully felt 'moved in' to our house. We planted the church from scratch and met in a school for the first couple of years, which meant that we didn't have a permanent place for a lot of the church's supplies, so some of it ended up hanging out in our house. We even had a drum set in our living room for awhile and held music practice here. We didn't have much time or money to quite settle in and make our house our own.
Since then, Voyage has moved into a permanent facility--a building that finally feels like a home for our church. We wanted that so badly for our church family...to have a place that felt secure and welcoming. To create a place that they enjoyed being in and that encouraged conversation before and after each gathering. It seemed like a far off dream, but God made it happen. The building started as a big white box and we had tons of help to make it what it is now. You guys, God has been blessing Voyage like crazy lately. I look around and am amazed by how far we've come. We have amazing people that have total servant's hearts. I know there's a lot that goes into making a church feel like a home for people, but I really believe that having a welcoming building has played a role in that.
Now that we feel settled into this building, we are finally getting settled into our own house. My mom and I were on a roll all summer of organizing, painting, rearranging, brainstorming...and just all around making this house our home. We aren't done yet but we already are in disbelief of how different we feel in this house. We switched a few rooms around to make sense for our needs. We are creating a comfortable guest room and making a second family room out of a room that was mostly used for storage. These things mean a lot to us. They mean that we feel more equipped to host guests...we feel more effective as we work from home, we feel accomplished looking around and seeing things we created together, we feel more organized as a whole, we feel like we have a place to recharge, and we simply enjoy being in our home.
This is the longest post of my life. But it might just be my most important one yet.
My point is...I've learned what makes me happy about design. I have such a joy in learning how a family works and what role a house can play in their life. I have an opportunity use the things I'm talented in to benefit people's lives.
That's what I hope to do. We all have that opportunity in different ways, and that is such a beautiful thing.
*beautiful illustrations above are by: Rebekka Seale
*images above are of Voyage!