The above photo and ALL of the photos that I am sharing in this post were taken by Kelly ... who wrote me several emails and generously allowed me to share the following one with you that describes her personal and heartwarming decorating journey:
Thank you so much again for being excited with me about my little 711 sq feet!
After my divorce 14 years ago, I started my life over with my two sons and took great pride in making a comfy, cozy home for them no matter how small or simple it was.
I worked really hard in my career and finally managed to purchase a condo which I lovingly toiled over. I replaced the metal shades with wooden plantation shutters, the cracked linoleum and stained carpet with wood flooring and thick new carpeting. I painted every wall in fun colors and rearranged my furniture almost every weekend just for fun. I collected vintage goodies and flea market baubles and had a grand old time making it my own little retreat. I adored having parties with friends and delighted in lighting candles, baking goodies, turning up the music and really being "home". I was proud of my little place and it broke my heart to have to sell it...but we needed more space. I was able to afford a house after 8 years in the condo so we moved to a place to double the space.
But I was working far too many hours, a workaholic really, and I didn't paint, decorated minimally, and never entertained anymore. I got in a rut of one work week running into the next and really lost myself for about 3 years. I was then laid off from not one but two jobs in a row and my Mom passed away from cancer. Everything just went way wrong and I lost my house.
I sold many of my things, gave the rest away and put some things in storage and we had to move into a place less than half the size. After paying for storage that I really couldn't afford, I had to part with even more loved belongings and started really feeling like a failure. I had worked so hard and for what? I felt I had nothing to show for it and even though "things" are not important, the memories tied to them were and it hurt.
After 4 years of living with white walls, and with many of my beloved treasures stored away in boxes in the garage, my creative spunk dried up. I hated my surroundings more and more each day. After losing my Mom, I kind of gave up on so many parts of life. I was depressed and blah.
But the Lord is good and He kept prodding me along - providing healing and rest, stable employment and many blessings. It's been 17 months since we lost my Mom, and although I miss her dearly - especially how she was always a big fan of my creative projects, I am feeling better and able to create again.
So long story short, I found the Daisy Cottage blog through the Blogging for Bliss book by Tara Frey. I put the book down, looked up Kim's blog and literally burst into tears when I read the first entry. It was the day she shared her letters written by her father and of course that brought back emotion for me too, plus the lovely music in the background and her creative use of lively color just struck a deep chord within me. I love red, yellow, blue, green, patterns, BRIGHT things and always felt a little apologetic for my style when all of my friends favor earth tones and more traditional styles. I poured through page after page of the Daisy Cottage blog for hours that night, loving every minute of it, staying up way past The Tonight Show and even the Late Late Show!
I vowed that night to change my surroundings even if they are temporary and dig out the things I love and make this tiny apartment my HOME! I went to Lowe's the next day and purchased 4 gallons of paint and primer and drop cloths and brushes and started right in! I got sidetracked with my 'real' job, my small website business, and my parenting duties, but I've had such fun the past 3 weeks creating a new space!
I painted furniture, mirrors, and candlesticks, rearranged furniture, re-did all my vignettes, did some flea market shopping, scrounged through TJ Maxx and Ikea and just whipped it all together. It won't ever make the pages of a glossy magazine but it's "my own" again and has a personality. I feel happy when I come home at night and for the first time in over a year I will be having a little party! I don't feel embarrassed anymore!
I still have to do the bathroom and I think I will paint all of my shabby chic white furniture in my bedroom in a new color scheme, but that will have to wait a little bit while I catch up on the rest of my life! But I'm excited again about my space and have Kim and her unending inspiration and sweetness to thank for jump starting me!! She's truly an angel--maybe my Mom sent her?
Now, we ALL know that I am definitely NOT an angel, but perhaps Kelly is? What a heartwarming email to receive! For the past three weeks she has been decorating LOVING her 711 sq. ft. apartment and here are the results:
Amazing isn't it?
HOME IS WHEREVER YOU ARE!
Celebrate it, embrace it, LOVE it.
Thank you dear Kelly for sharing your story and your BEAUTIFUL HOME with us.