You may have noticed that my social media posts this past two weeks have had a focus on how small change can have a big impact on not only the visual appeal of a space but also benefit your quality of life within it. When I lost my father six years ago, he had been bravely enduring multiple sclerosis for over twenty years. As a result of his disease, my mother had been working full time while serving as his caregiver. As part of my mom's healing journey, not only did she decide to let go of the home they had shared, but to find a new space for herself and make it her own. It would be a bittersweet endeavour for her, but one she herself recognized she needed and, more importantly, deserved. With a home being more space than needed, she opted for an apartment. Since it was a rental, a renovation of any sort was not feasible, so what we did was transform the space by using many of the small changes I've shared over the past week.
Before: Dated galley Kitchen
After: Added an extra base cabinet, painted the cabinets and added decorative shelves and decor to personalize and brighten the windowless space.
Colours and textures were pivotal, as were furniture suggestions, shopping her home before it sold, and utilizing all the functional decor. We had a minimal budget, and with help from her family and friends with painting, installing light fixtures, assembling furniture, and hanging shelving and decor, we were able to create a cozy and inviting apartment my mom called home for the last 5 years.
Before - Looking towards the Dining Area and Entry Door
After: Dining Area with family heirloom curio now painted with mix of personal and family cherished items, with new transitional dining furniture and light fixture. Her grandmother's photo and vintage globe bar my parents bought when we were little in the corner.
For the first time in her life, she had a space that reflected who she was and who she wanted to become going forward. It was filled with furniture and decor that she loved and that meant something to her. She took great pride in it, and the impression it made was so great that the building owners regularly asked for her permission to show it as a demo model for prospective new tenants!
Before: Living Room Area
After: Large navy chaise sectional with group of seven prints gifted from my Dad, painted antique floor lamp with new shade, and her own watercolour paintings with a rocking chair my Dad bought when first grandchild was born.
My husband and I always figured one day she'd eventually move in with us, and we thought we'd likely build her a tiny home on property wherever it is we end up next. Until then, she was very happy in her own space, filled with a mixture of meaningful objects, modern embellishments, and custom furniture that married her taste with a zest for hosting company. The colours we chose gave her a sense of peace while modestly encouraging a sense of the energy she was bringing to the next phase of this adventure of hers.
Before: Bedroom, Bathroom & Hallway
After: Bedroom - New window treatments, painted furniture and new bed and lights. Bathroom - paint, new mirror and sconce and decor, and a family gallery wall nook between the bathroom and bedroom.
That adventure unexpectedly came to a close last month. The difficulty of losing a parent will always be enough for anyone to experience, but then returning to where they made a home for themselves and beginning the process of essentially deconstructing their life through their possessions really makes the loss feel real. But something else happens that was unexpected. I began reflecting on this home she made for herself and I started reminiscing fondly. She had made creating this space for herself a means of processing her grief and a source of empowerment to have exactly the life she wanted going forward. Her determination to be happy, to be active, to live was rooted in her home. It brought her so much joy and standing there now and taking it all in, I can feel joy. Joy at her strength, joy at her determination, and joy in her joy.
After: Shelves above toilet / Patio / Dining area and entry sideboard
So. In the spirit of the joy small changes bring, and in my mom's memory, I'd like to offer something I've never done before. I would love to help someone create a positive impact on their home through some small changes. On Wednesday, November 22nd, I will draw the winner of a Free Design Consultation Package. This is a popular design package that helps people get going on their home's transformative journey. Many people use it as a first step towards becoming comfortable with working with a designer, and getting guidance with making some first steps in their home. Others use it because they feel they need big changes in their home but are stuck or have no idea where or how to start. As I shared in my recent social media posts, a Design Consultation can be used for selecting paint colours, help with furniture layout and general furniture and decor concepts, design advice to help your home look better AND function better, determining what items should stay or go, or perhaps can be used in another room.
And if you know you need more than that, and if you are the lucky winner, it can be credited towards another design package.
Wanting to make some small changes in your home that can create big impact in your life?
Are you ready to enter for your chance to win?
In memory of my Mom.
Click the image below to take you to our Instagram post and giveaway details. Good Luck!
Yours in Design,