A soul oasis is a space that fills you with joy, nurtures you, reminds you of happy memories, and inspires you to follow your dreams. It is a space that is a reflection of you. It is a space where you feel comfortable and want to welcome guests. It is a space that reflects one's heart and soul.
A soul oasis does not follow design trends. Instead, it guides you to use your heart as your compass.
Architects design buildings.
Builders build buildings.
Interior designers design the interiors.
Kitchen designers design kitchens and maybe a bathroom.
Sales people sell.
Everybody has their specific job to do when it comes to building, decorating, and furnishing a home but who is listening? Who asks the homeowners the right questions in order to offer the right options? Who is trying to understand how the family will live in the house so that the house is designed specifically for their needs instead of the customers who proceeded them?
Building a dream home works best when we care enough to ask the right questions and listen to the answers from those we serve.
Two years ago, Cheryl and her husband downsized and moved into a smaller home. After several renovation projects, their new house was still not comfortable for them.
It didn't feel like home until their most treasured items were unpacked and displayed.
Neatly folded quilts, handmade with love, are placed on top of the secretary in the guest bedroom. Hummel statues, gifted by her husband and sons, each one with special meaning, are displayed on shelves behind framed glass doors. A grandfather clock that doesn't go with their new decor is tucked away in the corner of their home office, reminding them of their wedding anniversary.
The unexpected splashes of color above the kitchen windows are old children's books that Cheryl read to her sons when they were little. When the grandchildren visit, they often ask for the books to be taken down and read to them.
A few colorful Pewabic Pottery tiles are adhered over top of the gray subway tile.
A wall of narrow shelves and another counter top display artwork, cards, and letters from their grandchildren.
There are new stories developing and happy memories beautifully preserved and thoughtfully displayed throughout this entire house. Do you decorate with intention?
In this bathroom transformation, I didn't select new tile, a new paint color, fixtures, or lighting. I simply added pictures. I've been experimenting lately with ways to bring more joy into the workplace. I wrote about the Joy & Wisdom focus boards here. People LOVE them and I get so much joy out of seeing people embrace the beauty and randomness that is being shared on the boards.
Labor Day and early spring seem to spur me into a cleaning, downsizing, and organizing frenzy. For several years now, I have been regularly getting rid of things that I don't want or need so these frenzies now only take me a day or two as opposed to a week or more to sort through our closets, drawers, and basement.
I entered the grand foyer with a sweeping staircase and windows spanning two stories and noticed there are several different colored rooms visible from the entry in this open floor plan. Walls, the color of sunshine, are the most visible and they are swirled with several layers in varying shades of yellow giving visual depth and texture to the surface. The Merlot colored walls in the music room are topped with subtle shapes of green/gray, offering an unexpected surprise as I got closer. Then there is the shimmery indulgence of a harlequin pattern on the dining room walls that is visible just beyond. The deep forest greens of the office walls are topped with a gilded crown molding. The kitchen walls are another shade of Merlot with the texture of sand captured in the layers of paint.
This photograph of a sailboat at sunrise is one of the first gifts Larry gave me. With it, he made the promise that we will have many adventures together. It was taken by Ken Scott, a photographer in northern Michigan. This picture has moved from my condo, to our house, and it has hung in nearly every room since. It was next to the chaise lounge because the colors coordinated. It was in the living room because it worked well with the yellow walls. It was in the guest bedroom because it needed to fill an empty space.
These are the items I have displayed on my desk at work. According to the Bagua Map, this is the career area of my desk. Each item in this collection symbolizes something personal to me and together, the items tell me a deeply meaningful story. I feel inspired and motivated to take steps towards my dreams as I tell myself, "It all starts with me. The foundation of Jody Pear Designs is to teach others that a house with love is a home. This is a positive difference I want to make around the world; joyfully, and beautifully." What story is displayed on your desk? Does it inspire and motivate you to follow your dreams?
Every summer I end up asking Larry, "What are we going to do about our kitchen?! The floor needs replacing, the cabinets and back splash are outdated, the appliances aren't going to last much longer (and yet they are)," and so the familiar conversation goes on. He replies with something like "Well, you're the designer. Treat me like a client and show me some options." So this year I did exactly that. I took measurements and created three-dimensional drawings for every possible option I could think of. We looked at them together, tossed around more ideas, and then I went back to do more drawings.