DESIGNER IN RESIDENCE: A MAXIMALIST IN QUARANTINE

Once upon a time, there was a colorful maximalist named Rachel isolating in quarantine with her family.....

It's Good Friday and I'm sitting in the living room, it's early, cold and rainy in San Diego. The rest of the house is still sound asleep. They sleep later and later these days which gives me the opportunity to enjoy the peacefulness of the house by myself.

The coronavirus pandemic is sweeping the globe and the world has come to a looooong pause. I honestly feel like this whole situation has gotten real over this past week for me. At first it was sort of novel, like a snow day but just this past week they announced that the kids will not be going back to school until the next school year, my son's earned 2 associates degrees but there won't be a ceremony to attend and my husband has been home of family medical leave because I fall into a "high risk" category and he's worried about potentially getting me sick.


So ALL of us are at home together. We've had some stressful moments as a family with all this "closeness". We've had mostly great days mixed in with a couple of not so great ones. After coming to the realization that we are going to doing this thing called quarantine for several more weeks we came up with some things to do as a family. By the grace of God, the whole family has gotten onboard and I cannot remember a time that we were closer as a family unit.


I don't know about your but sheltering in place has renewed my gratitude for both my family and my home. I'm noticing all of the little things about about my home that I love. I notice the way it gives me solace and how all of the items I've curated over the years not only comforts me but supports the function of my family and business. I wake up each morning, open all of the windows, pour a cup of coffee and ask Alexa to play Billie Holiday quietly while I journal and just....appreciate.


I'm also using every nook and cranny of my home now. My bedroom is getting way more action than it used to....not in that way! For example, I never used to work from my bed, it's a Feng Shui no-no, but now some days I do it just for a change of scenery or to give another family member space in other parts of the house.


The back garden has become somewhat of a sanctuary for us. Another place, I never used to spend much time in but now I'm noticing how abundant our garden is with all of it's flowers, fruit trees, fruit, vegetables and herbs. It's so quiet now during quarantine, I notice how many birds are in the garden and how loudly they sing all afternoon.


I love piddling around in the She Shed that my husband built for me. My love language is "acts of service" and this was a big one! He has his Man Cave, which is the detached garage, and I have my happy blue She Shed. I never thought that we would need these extra little spaces as much as we do now. I spend most afternoons outside in the hammock with my daughter paging through design books and catching up on a backlog of magazines I've been hoarding.


And in the evening, we sit outside around the fire pit, stare up at the stars in the sky or get mesmerized by the large crackling fire.


Sheltering in place as a family has also meant all hands on deck! There are plenty of projects to do around the house and I love orchestrating all of it! We’re gardening, cooking, baking, drawing, cleaning, reorganizing, painting, changing out light fixtures, decluttering and doing creative mother/son and father/daughter projects. We're finding ways to connect and have fun too! Virtual cocktail parties over Zoom with extended family and Club Quarantine Dance Parties with DJ D-Nice on Instagram.


In the end, this break with the family is a huge blessing in disguise. We are happy and healthy and I think I will remember this time fondly.


Creative ideas are bubbling just under the surface. New services to offer, new ways to do business and new ways to show up for you to share the good word that our homes are not only a safe haven but can be a beautiful place to shelter. I've started live-streaming again on Instagram and Facebook for some much needed connection to the outside world.

I'd love to know how you're viewing your "home" after weeks of quarantine! Have you come to appreciate the deeper meaning of home or are you looking around your house and noticing that it could use some sprucing up? Either one is perfectly normal. I've had several clients over the years contact me after an injury has left them laid up in their homes for extended periods of time. There's a lot of "noticing" that happens when you can't leave your home or your room. Please know that I'm here for you if you need help. Use the Contact tab to schedule a call. I'd also love to know how you're managing through this quarantine!

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