The past six years have been quite a journey. In 2009, we bought our foreclosed fixer-upper and I started this blog to journal the renovations. At that time, a nascent interest in interior design began to explode as we knocked down walls, tore out carpet, and ripped up tile. Then we built walls, installed drywall, and tiled floors. We painted walls and never-ending piles of trim. It was hard work and I loved it. We got our hands dirty—really dirty. It was the start of something exciting.
During that time, I was looking for design inspiration through blogs, magazines, and interior design books. I enjoyed (and still do enjoy) these types of resources. But at that time, my heart wasn't right and my view of home was totally skewed. All I seemed to see in these inspiration photos was a pristine sort of perfection. At that time, I thought my home needed that pristine perfection to be beautiful. So even though I had a brand-new kitchen and other gorgeous renovated rooms, something in me wasn't content.
After writing a post in the spring of 2013, I took an unintentional two-year break from blogging. Life got busy with two little girls at home, but my interest in interior design never went away. And during that time, God was refining me and changing the way I thought about my home.
That change was that God caused me to be content in where I live. He showed me that perfection is not the goal. Our house is not perfect. Let me say that again: Our house is not perfect. Namely, I really wish we could have an open layout between the kitchen and living room (and if we ever build a home—which is my dream!—you better believe it will have an open layout). But our house is fantastic for our little family of four at this moment in time, and God opened my eyes to help me see that.
There's something else I need to make clear here. Learning to be content in my imperfect home does not mean that I threw out my desire for a beautiful home. Oh no. Instead, God changed my view of what my home is meant to be and helped me work on my home with that new mind-set. My home is my "tent"—I can't take it with me when I die. But, my home is also my embassy. It is where we do life, home ministry, and raise our girls. It absolutely can be beautiful—in fact, it should be. And I am going to keep working to make it so, all the while remembering that having a beautiful home is not what ultimately gives me value or worth.
Our home is a special gift to be shared with others through hospitality and even through this blog. And that is my heart for this new space, Modern Chemistry at Home. I've been in that place of discontentment, believing the lie that my life would be somehow better if my house was like that "perfect" picture. Have you been there? Because it is paralyzing, isn't it? Pretty soon, it's all you can think about and you stop enjoying the wonderful place you live in today. And enjoying your current home is where I want to help you focus. That's where we enter the laboratory together.
I've made a lot of mistakes in my house. I've repainted rooms and regretted my choice in carpet color. But by God's grace, I've also had a lot of successes. I've found a great furniture arrangement for my living room after lots of trial and error. It works great for playdates. I've styled the top of my dresser and been insanely happy with how it looks. I've learned that white paint changes everything. I've made my home into a beautiful, cheerful, functional place for me and my family. It's not finished, and again, it's not perfect. But we really like it here. And I hope that when others come into our home they feel welcome, encouraged, and cheerful—and not like they shouldn't touch anything for fear they'll mess it up.
Do you long to bring beauty, creativity, and function to your home? I'm here to help and encourage. And that's what Modern Chemistry at Home is all about. Let's stop focusing on the things we don't like about our homes and instead use that energy to make them beautiful. I'd love to help you with your home. I dream of working as an interior stylist who actually touches her client's homes. Until that day comes, I choose to use this blog as a place to virtually touch your home, dear reader. So put on your lab coat and experiment with me. Together, let's observe, measure, rearrange, paint, power tool, and create the beautiful homes we've always wanted—right where we are.
Welcome to Modern Chemistry at Home.
Do you like what you've seen and read here? Then come back later this week. Up next in the laboratory is a tour of my house. It has changed a lot since I last blogged and I'd love to show it to you.