Updated: May 19, 2020
Oooh, Yay! It's time to talk about Kate!
So – if you remember, Kate and Lorraine are my grandmothers. Click the link here to read the introduction to these gals
Kate is a Maker. Think: Uber-talented-Martha Stewart-level-perfection in all things design, arts & crafts, entertaining and cooking. Kate is on trend. Kate is a talker. Kate is Air and Fire. Kate is spunky and dynamic and restless. You can’t keep up. Kate is shiny jewelry, a quick wit, and curling irons. Kate evokes action, paint brushes and tools, wallpaper, fabrics, canvas and paints. Pop Culture vibes.
Kate gets me all excited about a new coat of paint just thinking about her! After I finish writing this – I just might have a ton of ‘Kate energy’ so I just might dig into a fresh can of paint that has been waiting for me to open and re-paint the foyer! That is just the type of thing that Kate would do. She would open the can of paint at 9:00 p.m. and work joyfully into the wee hours of the night on her project. The other inhabitants of her home would wake the next morning to a whole new house 😊. Aaahhh, Heavenly. I know the feeling of painting a “clean slate” overnight. This is when I’m in the zone and I have the energy of 100 armies. I don’t know why. I guess I was born that way. It’s in my genes. Kate’s genes, to be exact. And I feel lucky for it, because I LOVE the energy that courses through my veins when I’m riding the wave of interior design/decor inspiration (aka “design delight”)! It is one of the joys that I live for.
So – what’s the project??? With Kate, there is ALWAYS a project. The month of May’s theme is “Nest & Bloom” so I had to think of a bedroom (nest) – related project. I thought and thought. What bedroom-related project could I share? What bedroom-related project can I share … and then laughed out loud when I realized that within this past month I overhauled not one but two of the bedrooms in our house. In one weekend. That is Kate energy working for me at its best. The Kate energy takes over and you overhaul two rooms in your house without any planning and without thinking twice and then you move on and forget about it. Just another day in the life with Kate energy. My housemates are used to this. So! I’m going to walk you through the details of that project: the Before, the Why-did-I-do-this, and the After.
But first – what’s the Bloom? The theme is Nest & Bloom. (click here to learn more about the theme) Blooming is all about opening up -- stepping out of your comfort zone and growing. I decided that a “Bloom” exercise we can all go through in Kate-style is to uncover our home aesthetic style. It took me 44 years to uncover my style – to define it – to claim it – to speak its name – and to own it. I have so much Kate-energy inside me that I’ve spent a lot of time (and energy) on projects that I ended up disliking, only to re-do them a year later. It’s because I didn’t know what my style was – so I tried a little bit of everything. All over the house, all at once. Finally, two years ago, at the age of 44, I determined my style. My style is bohemian eclectic. I don’t really know anybody personally who has the same style, so I was always feeling a little confused by it. There’s no playbook to “bohemian eclectic”. At least I hadn’t come across it – until I was 44 years old. If I’d defined my style when I was 25 I would have saved myself a ton of grief and a ton of money and a ton of time!!! The clarity of defining your style lines everything up and makes decisions easier. It is definitely something we should all accomplish. Define your style. Yep. It will feel good. Trust me. I'll dig into this topic later this month.
Okay, back to the project: Moving 16 year old daughter into a new bedroom. Why do this? Why unearth the deep roots that a teenage girl furrows and burrows into her haven over the course of 1.5 years. That’s right. She had inhabited that particular bedroom for a mere one and a half years. Before that, she inhabited the bedroom that I have now just moved her back into. This deserves explaining:
2013 – we move into the house. This youngest daughter (age 9) moves into the littlest bedroom.
2015 – we remodel the basement and move the two older teenage girls’ bedroom into the basement, freeing up the bigger upstairs bedroom for the youngest daughter. Youngest daughter (age 11) moves out of littlest upstairs bedroom and into biggest upstairs bedroom.
2018 – teenage girls are now college girls and the boy-of-the-house is itching to move down to the coveted groovy teenage basement space. We swap out the teenage-girl-style-basement for teenage-boy-style and move the boy down to the basement. The youngest daughter (age 14) spies this free upstairs space and decides she needs to experience this bedroom. This is the last of the three upstairs bedrooms that she has yet to live in. So … we repaint the boy’s old upstairs bedroom and fashion it for a teenage girl. We repaint the biggest upstairs bedroom and fashion it for two college girls.
2020 – Last month when Covid hit and suddenly we were all home all of the time, the Kate energy started kicking in. It’s like the Hulk bustin’ out of Dr. Banner’s collared shirt and khaki pants. You cannot contain it. I knew what had to be done. For 18 months I’d been walking past her bedroom, door ajar … clothes all over the floor, closet and hamper and wardrobe and dresser drawers over-stuffed and never closed … just busting at the seams. Also – it was a bad year. Just all kinds of bad. I knew she had to move out of that room. New space, clean slate, fresh start.
When I was a kid, I rearranged the bedroom I shared with my sister constantly. I’ve never heard of any other kid that rearranges his/her bedroom ALL. THE. TIME. I know now that it was the Kate energy in me. I know now that I sensed stuck energy (or stuck chi as they call it in the eastern philosophy of feng shui) in the room that needed to be loosened and freed up. (Here’s a link to an article all about the psychological benefits of rearranging: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/amp/entry/rearrange-furniture-benefits_ca_5dd011bae4b0d2e79f8d8370/ )
But back then, I was simply possessed. Every six months or so, that room was re-arranged. And thank goodness my parents just let me have my way with it. It had to be done. I was heeding the call. Just like I knew that I had to get that kid out of that particular bedroom and move her into new energy. Why? I don’t know. Her brother lived in that room with no problems for five years. And now that the swap is complete, this same room that gave the youngest daughter such a hard time feels safe and cozy and happy. We can explore all of that later. For now – just know that the Kate-energy took over and for two days I dove into the vibes of my daughters’ bedrooms and I emptied and cleaned and re-painted. I pushed and lifted and pulled at furniture, unscrewed, hammered and re-hung ….
And here’s the happy result:
Top to bottom / Left to right:
1. Scout's new and improved nest. It feels open, fresh and light.
2. Her new room is big enough to add this awesome hanging chair (Linked in Amazon). She spends a ton of time in her room, in her nest (bed), so it's great for her to now have a choice of two nests!
3. The only pic I have of the room before the swap is this from when we participated in our local Chrismas-tour-of-homes. Super cute, but when we removed all the xmas decor, it was a bit dark and cavernous.
Top to bottom / Left to right:
1. Scout's new nest after the swap.
2. Extra space all around, and the dresser drawers are shut!
3. More floor space and more wall space for her creative expression
4. Scout's idea: she cut out these beautiful pages from a picture book she'd had for years and created a wall gallery. Now she can see the beautiful pages every day :)
5. More wall space for organized collections
6. Scout's old room - before the swap
Top to bottom / Left to right:
1-5. College Girls' new and improved nest
6. This same room before the swap
Your homework for today: Change one little thing in your bedroom and see how it feels! Move a stack of books, swap out a lamp or a pillow, bring in a vase of flowers. It will lift the energy of your whole day and you will smile each time you enter the room. Take this a step further when you're feeling stuck in your life. It is a feng shui discipline to find 27 things to move around in your home when you need things to shift in your life. Remember, these can be small things! Trust me, you will feel the shift. Happy rearranging! :)