My House and I: An Introduction

by Carrie Meier

With this, my first article, I want to introduce not only myself, but the true star of my interior design journey and our current quarantine VIP, my house. I must immediately disclose I have a vigorous obsession with interior design; therefore, my articles will certainly take on a personal tone. I can’t help it. Our house is us. Its hallways are fashion runways and festive parade routes. Its walls; exclusive exhibit space for my children’s art. Its rooms have harbored us without judgement during the most difficult conversations my husband and I have ever had. I have brought my babies home confident it will provide them safety in their most fragile moments. My house is a testimony of unconditional love, and if you and yours are like me and mine, practicing safer-at-home guidelines, “home” has taken on a profound new meaning.

Don’t get me wrong, our house has put us through the ringer. While MANY buyers ran for the hills, my husband and I purchased it 10 years ago, and have committed much of this decade to tearing it apart and putting it back together. We’ve done everything from foundation to roof, replacing windows, rewiring, replumbing, adding-on, redecorating, landscaping a pond, a waterfall, paver patios, a hardscaped fire-pit, and heirloom gardens. We’ve labored to maintain the character of our 100-year-old home, while creating functional, updated, stylish spaces that work for our modern family. We began as a crew of 2, quickly recruiting family and friends working for pizza and 6-packs. Transforming our house to home has been a marathon effort!

DIY remodels are not for the faint of heart. They aren’t ideal for young newlyweds who would seek college degrees, career changes, face a grounding diagnosis of M.S. and its roller coaster of treatments, and a 6-year journey of unsuccessful fertility treatments, all to end up with the unscientifically-aided birth of four children in four years! Life has been chaotic and sort of a blur. I’ll never forget that my house lacked a kitchen for three years, that only naked rafters divided my first and second stories for months, or being six months pregnant, bathing in a kiddie pool, using a shower hose attached to the free mud sink I had picked up off the roadside. It sounds crazy, but it brings me IMMENSE joy and pride thinking of those moments. Within those stinky, sweaty hours of work, there were moments of learning, growing, and connecting I could not have experienced in any other capacity.

I realize I haven’t provided any specific design tips, so here’s my first bit of advice (and the moral to my introductory story): love the project THROUGH the pain. Just like my house, one that has put my husband, myself, and many of our friends/family through hell, it is to be appreciated at EVERY. STEP. OF. THE. PROCESS. Because even if you find yourself enduring a project that stretches your patience, your ability to see the good bones and maintain the vision will end up paying in dividends. 

Don’t lose faith in it, and your home will be fiercely loyal, providing you solace, safety, and escape, no matter how chaotic its contents may be. And for that, my friends, you must know its worth, no matter what stage of life you are in!