Transformations & Baby Nesting

So I’m a designer, I get paid to make homes beautiful and I’m good at it; for myself, its been a much longer process. We moved into our home 3 and a half years ago and have mainly bought furniture pieces here and there for the house. We hadn’t done any work to the house, we were waiting. We like waiting. Apparently procrastination is good when making decisions.

This summer we were looking to expand on our guestroom, that’s off the laundry that was converted from a garage by the previous owners. This is our “fourth” bedroom. It was the size of a closet, so it just fit two beds, so guests were able to sleep there and nothing else. Because it was off the laundry room which was a converted garage, there was no AC. We had a small unit in the window but that will not do in Miami between the months of March – February. Our guests are also usually family so they would come often and stay a while – so we were ready to create a bigger space for them that was more outside of our space. We were originally thinking to move the wall over to make the room 3 or 4 feet bigger and have a smaller laundry / storage room – Ezzy, not me the designer, but the husband of me the designer, said we should just knock down the wall entirely leaving one big open space. This turned out to be an amazing idea, now we have one big, light open guestroom and a spacious and beautiful laundry room /storage room. We feel like we have literally expanded our house and we love being in this space. We love it so much that we are no longer open to having people stay at our house. We need to make a fifth bedroom now for guests #anyideas?

Thanks to Ingrid, we have finished the organizing phase and it feels amazing. Ingrid is very good at what she does. I want to talk a little bit about the difference between Ingrid and Kon Marie. I did the Kon Marie method 2 years ago – went through all my clothing, accessories and books. I did the kids clothing and toys because they’re too young to really know what brings them joy.  And I have to say that from two years ago, I still only have the essentials that make me truly happy. I know exactly where everything is. I also take care of my things better now, Kon Marie is a big believer in “talking to your clothes” at the end of the day and I took that on two years ago. I don’t start up conversations with my clothing but after I wear them instead of hanging them up right away, I lay them out on my bed and let them “breathe.”

The method of Kon Marie is very useful when you need to go through and get rid of things that you’ve held onto for years. The order in which she tells you what to do and the technique of only keeping what brings you “joy” is very effective. However, realistically, I cant get rid of everything that doesn’t bring me “joy”- like my kids make weird shit all day long that not only doesn’t bring me joy but irritates me. I can’t get rid of it, they made it and it’s special to them. So in this realistic lifestyle Ingrid is an amazing solution for figuring out how to find a place for everything that makes you miserable and then being able to easily access it, therefore maintaining the organization. My kids love to take paper, cut it out and make books – so cute right? Wrong – because I have a bunch of tiny useless books that I need to consider whenever I’m putting things away. So after a few days of finding some drawer for these tiny useless books – I start to feel my blood pressure rise. This is when I call Ingrid and say “find a place for your grandchildren’s things so you don’t lose your daughter to mental insanity. ” My kids also love to collect rocks from around our house and call them “treasures.” Even if I don’t agree with it, these treasures need shelter and outside under a garbage can isn’t considered shelter, at least not to my kids. So ultimately I think when one is organizing their home, really knowing and understanding their lifestyle will help tremendously in maintaining a home that feels organized.

Thank you for watching along as I went through the process of #INGRIDYOURSELF. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

CW Design; The Mommy Edition

In general, posting personal things on social media makes me uneasy. I’m not talking about personal content that’s design related or mother related – I feel that if I didn’t share that I would be doing a disservice to the world. I’m talking about personal content like my relationship with my husband, my kids, my pregnancy. Those topics feel more untouchable to me, for whatever reason and it’s completely personal to me. I’m not here to advocate for one way or the other (anyone else here sweating right now?) Having said that, I’m going through this funny thing where I feel like I haven’t been pregnant for the last (almost 10 months) because I didn’t post a picture of myself in front of a wall with my hand over my belly. I didn’t post a picture with a two paragraph caption about being pregnant, so does that make it less real? I didn’t post pictures every couple of weeks of my growing belly with a hashtag of the number of weeks. Is my pregnancy less important now? The rational answer is, of course not. That makes no sense. But for some reason that answer is harder for me to internalize than I would like to admit. It got me thinking about how I struggle in general with feeling  content and happy without external validation. I shouldn’t need people to validate what I’m doing in order for it to feel real or for people to follow me on social media to feel relevant, and yet with every new follower I feel like I’m one step closer to being the female Moses leading the masses to redemption. In this case, redemption being my obliterating talents when it comes to design.

I want out of this way of thinking, I want to do things differently this time. I want to make choices that are true to me and what I value (as long as Ezzy agrees with them) I pay way too much attention to all the noise around me. All that loud, contradicting noise. It’s like I’m a bird who was born while its mother was out hunting food & any time I hear an opinion my initial reaction is “mama?” as if that’s what I’ve been looking for.
I end up taking on all these opinions & then those opinions cause me inner turmoil for 3 days. It makes me question what I’m already doing and think it’s not good enough. Then I feel overwhelmed by the thought of needing to change what I’ve been doing, do something new, and worry about all that time I spent doing the “wrong” thing.

When I’m working I feel guilty I’m not spending enough time with my kids. When I’m not working I feel guilty for not contributing, as if contributing to my kids isn’t enough.
When I’m spending all my time with my kids, I feel exhausted and worn out. When I take time to do things for myself, I feel guilty and selfish. When I’m involved in everything my kids do, I feel that I’m stifling them. When I take a step back and forget to feed them for 3 days, I feel like I’m neglecting them.

My goal is to gain strength from within ME, within my quiet self who is far from perfect. Who doesn’t buy organic fruits and vegetables, who has a daughter who doesn’t eat her vegetables, who has a two year old who leaves the house in a diaper and nothing else (but isn’t he cold?) maybe, but I’m too lazy to get him dressed 3 times a day. I need to gain strength from someone who brushes her kids teeth twice a day but also lets them eat an abundance of sugar, from someone who is screen free around her kids but has the patience level of a 72 year old man, from someone who needs visual confirmation every time she drops her kids off at school or camp. Yes this person, which is me, is who I need to gain strength from because this person is the only person who can change me and help me grow.

I just got a mosquito bite, zika?

CW Design, The Summer Edition

Right now I decided not to take on any more projects. After finishing the boys bedroom, I was approached to come onto a few projects, two bigger, commercial projects and then two smaller spaces. After going back and forth about it in my head I ultimately decided to take on less, I’m going to be doing work on a small apartment in South Beach and free up some of my time.

My kids are in day camp for the summer and we’re not travelling this summer, due to a pending delivery in August (Gd Willing) For those who don’t know or weren’t sure about that last sentence, I’m pregnant. So I decided instead of working full time, I wanted to work less & use my time productively to focus on things that are always being pushed to the side all the time, like changing my last name or sending out thank you cards from my wedding. No, its not too late and I will be sending them out. I actually wrote them all out and thanked everyone personally and then let them sit in a box. Once they entered that box, it was all over for them. This summer they will be exiting the box, labeled with addresses and kissed with a stamp… so whoever gifted us back in 2011 get ready for a sweet little thank you coming your way this summer.

For those following my stories on Instagram, you know about another project that’s been happening, Ingrid Yourself. This project is focused on highlighting my mothers talents and abilities to create an organized and well run space no matter where you live or who you are. My mother’s English name is Ingrid, so that’s where the concept comes from and the rest is me documenting who she is and sharing it for all of you who weren’t privileged enough to be brought up by someone who gave us way too much love and not enough boundaries (yes there are down falls to that)

There’s also some work to do around my house – all small jobs – like knocking down a wall in the laundry room to create a guest room, fixing up my kids bedroom with a bunk bed/ paint and reupholstering some furniture. All these projects are small but will have big impact so I’m excited about them. All these projects will be documented for you guys of course – my client, Ezzy is very frugal, he believes in spending money on necessities before “things we don’t need.” If any of you understand this concept please reach out and explain it to me, because it holds no weight for me. Nonetheless, we’re moving forward with the above projects and I can’t wait to share them with you. So have no fear, I may be working less, but I’m still interesting, creative and worth watching/ following on Instagram (tell your friends.)

On a personal note, I started meditating this month which has been calming but also really stressful because going beyond all the chatter in brain is exhausting. Ok, bye.