Interior Design with ALL the Feels.

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I have an emotional relationship with houses.  For as long as I can remember I’ve been that way.  I feel this forward attraction towards a random structure that always seems to come out of left-field and leave me with this longing to experience it.  I generally feel this way about older homes because I just feel the history begging me to come become a part of its long story.  Growing up, there was this great bubble-gum pink Victorian house with all the gingerbread trimmings along the route we would take to visit my grandmother. I was in love. I so desperately wanted to play inside that life-sized Barbie House. I always begged my mother to paint our house pink (she said no), and I couldn’t understand why she didn’t also see it as the most Beautiful Place In The World.  Even today, while I no longer crave a bright pink house, I have a sweet nostalgia for the memory of that place and how it began my love of home. There is a certain instinct we possess when we just know something is the right fit. When it comes to houses and the objects within them, our senses are finely tuned to the exact shade of blue we need for our bedroom, the placement of the fireplace in our future library of wall- to- wall books, and the great window that looks over the garden of wildflowers with buds the exact shade of pink from that childhood memory house.

I moved around a lot as a child and teenager due to my father’s job.  I learned that homes were most likely temporary until we picked up and left newly-made friends and neighborhoods.  It wasn’t until I was an adult with my first home that my difficulty with designing my space became apparent. My biggest problem?  I couldn’t commit. Not to paint colors, furniture, fabrics, rugs, you name it.  

As a designer, I had absolutely no problem making these selections for other people, but when it came to me I was a wreck.  

As a result I tried on styles I designed for other people that made their space fabulous.  The experience was a lot like buying the outfit on the store mannequin without trying it on, because it looked so awesome in the store.  But when you got it home you realized the cut was all wrong for your body type and the color made your skin tone look like you’d just gotten off a ship on a three day voyage through a hurricane.  It was all wrong.  And none of it looked good.  And I felt miserable because I’d invested time and emotional energy in trying to make my home a warm and welcoming place that I actually wanted to spend time in.  And I was all that much more annoyed because I had finally braved to commit to said items...and my biggest fear came true- I hated all of it.  And then I pouted. Because how in the world could I justify going through the process again right away? I’d already spent my money and my energy.  And now I was mad AND broke.  

Trying to find a way out of this madness and desperately searching for a way to offer more meaningful services to my clients, I stumbled upon a continuing education program that focused on Design Psychology, a new discipline in the psychology field.  The program taught designers how to take clients on a deep, intuitive dive into their past history of place, helping them learn how to identify design that speaks personally to them.  This technique focuses on our basic need for shelter - by climbing this pyramid of specific and intrinsic needs - we are able to help clients discover their ideal home design, all of which originates from their own meaningful experiences of place.  I was deeply moved by the experience of this process on a personal level, which led to me studying for a year to receive my certification in Design Psychology.  And so The Enlightened Nest was born.

I hope you will join me on your own journey of personal and soulful discovery.  

Join me for the FREE Mindful Home Challenge. Register here.

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Amanda Laurence