My Secret Personal Struggle as an Interior Designer


Whenever I meet someone new, the usual introductory questions are exchanged to better get to know each other.  Those questions of course include, “where do you live” and “What do you do for a living?”  When I answer that I am a professional interior designer, 9 out of 10 times some variation of the next statement follows:  “Oh wow, that is so much fun!  Your house must be amazing!”

I spend most of my waking hours sourcing and purchasing amazing and beautiful goods for my clients homes.  My goal is to make them gasp or even cry with delight when they see their space transformed!  (Seriously, I live for those happy tears.). It is a wonderful feeling, and giving my clients this transformation that they can enjoy and use everyday is hands down the best part of my job. My hope is always that the new design propels my clients to have the confidence to share their homes with others - for entertaining, holiday gatherings, community, bible study, girls nights, barbecues, and more.  That their homes will be the place they want to spend the most time, because it is special, personal, thoughtful and inviting.

For the past 3 years, I have struggled to have anyone in our personal home…even friends that I have known for decades, and that is not an exaggeration.  I can count on one hand the number of gatherings I have hosted in our home in the last few years.  I have wanted to host numerous parties, events, or get-togethers, but have never vocally volunteered. I have been plagued with self-doubt and low confidence about the appearance of our home.  After hearing other’s expectations for years of what my house is probably like, I have become paranoid and ashamed of the reality of what my house really looks like.  

My inner dialogue goes something like this:  “Our house should be amazing.  I am an interior designer.  I completely understand why people make an assumption that our home is always magazine-ready.  But it’s not good enough.  It’s not big enough.  It’s not pretty/interesting/special/new/well-designed enough.  Why am I good at designing spaces for others, but paralyzed with indecision when it comes to my own home?”  

The truth is, I know for certain that the people in my life that truly care for me would never judge me for the appearance of the interior of our home.  Our home at it’s basic function is a place for shelter and gathering and rest and pleasure.  And when I push my pride aside, I can so gratefully recognize that our home has served it’s purpose!  I am safe and protected and rested and happy.  For the past few years, resources like money and time have been dedicated to more important matters.  Let’s be real, a new sofa gets pushed to the back of the list when life throws you unexpected events and expenses.  And that is ok.  

My resolution for this new year is to practice gratitude daily for our home as it is now.  To not live in the fantasy home future, when I think I will have things finished in a way I am proud of.  To recognize that sharing my time and my life with my people inside of our home, in the present, will bring so much more joy than waiting for things to look perfect.  Basically, I need to get over my assumptions of what others are expecting.       

And for all of the desires for our home’s aesthetic - I have to accept that it will actually never be perfect or finished.  Because my ever-changing style and likes and desires will keep it changing for the rest of my life, and I should just take a chill pill and have fun with it.  In this upcoming year, you can expect to see more behind-the-scenes of my home’s slow-and-steady transformation.     

So if you are struggling with “house shame”….I get it.  I get it a little too much!  I want to encourage you to set yourself free…don’t limit yourself from hosting or gathering in your home now for fear of what others might think.  Chances are, nobody is really thinking about your house at all - they have their own homes to dream about!  

If you have thought about your home or room transformation for years, and your are ready to take the plunge, I would absolutely love to help you get there.  My design process is tailored to make a space that is 100% personalized for you and your family.   I can walk alongside you in the process to get the results you can’t seem to execute on your own.  Reach out below to schedule an initial consultation - and we will talk about what it takes to make your home your dream! 

Lauren ThomasComment