Thursday, October 19, 2017

Soul Keeping Lessons from a DIY Renovator (Hello Lovely)

Well friends, today is the day!

I've got my welcome mat out, my Dutch door is wide open and my special guest has arrived!!

If you don't already know Michele Ranard from Hello Lovely you are in for such a treat. Besides being an accomplished DIY renovator (two houses in two years) she is a prolific writer and artist who somehow finds time to maintain a gorgeous design blog.

And yet, what makes Michele stand out from the crowd --in my mind--is when she weaves her unique wisdom and serenity into her topics the way she did in this post.  

If you've ever been part of a long-awaited home renovation or a simple, blood-and-sweat DIY project you'll want to read Michele's reflections on her own experience.

Reading Michele's post made me stop and realize how our home projects--with all the sacrifices and stress and delays along with way---can be 'gifts' that help us grow into a better person. 

I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did! 


Peaceful neutral decor with Belgian linen in kitchen by Hello Lovely Studio
My Kitchen - Hello Lovely Studio

What a treat to be a guest of Gwen Moss today!

I'm Michele of Hello Lovely, and like you,
I admire Leslie's design style and
lovely heart which has been inspiring
mine for years now.

Home for me is in Northern Illinois, and
while I have always been a summer girl.
in the second half of life, I have
fallen in love with the unfolding 
beauty of autumn.

Fall brings:
fresh apples from the orchard,
crisps and cobblers bubbling over in the oven,
shopping for vintage at fleamarkets,
and hiking outdoors where the
changing colors delight.

This is the first fall in our home
where we're not swamped with
DIY whole house renovation,
and it's a great time to reflect
on how downsizing and renovating
has deepened us in profound ways.

Let difficulty transform you Pema Chodon quote - Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio

The kitchen needed to be completely
gutted, and the reno process brought
disappointments...for example,
learning we wouldn't be able
to lose a wall to create a more
spacious hub for our family to gather.

The gift that emerged instead?
Cozy intimacy.

 Rubbing shoulders with
people you love is not the worst
compromise one must make.

Modern farmhouse white kitchen with farm sink and Shaker cabinets by Hello Lovely Studio
My Kitchen - Hello Lovely Studio

Belgian style farmhouse decor in living room with white oak by Hello Lovely Studio
My  Living Room - Hello Lovely Studio

I was not a huge fan of the fan windows
we inherited with this fixer upper,
yet when a blog reader called them
"church-like," I changed my tune.

Slight shifts in perception
can pack a huge punch. 

Church-like is perfect for someone
who longs for her place to feel prayerful.

French inspired pea gravel courtyard by Hello Lovely Studio
My Courtyard - Hello Lovely Studio

Weeds and dead shrubbery had overtaken
the front entry area, and the remedy?
Subtraction and creativity.

With a limited budget, we simply erased
all but one plant, and brought
in boxwood and pea gravel for an
airy French-inspired courtyard.

Letting go is also good for the soul.

Exterior of our home on a hill - Hello Lovely Studio
My Home - Hello Lovely Studio

Every act of love is a work of peace - sign by Hello Lovely Studio
My Courtyard - Hello Lovely Studio

Galvanized buckets and pinecones in fall by Hello Lovely Studio
My Courtyard - Hello Lovely Studio

A few more peeks inside...

Vintage chair and white decor by Hello Lovely Studio
My Studio - Hello Lovely Studio

White painted pumpkins and vintage bag by Hello Lovely Studio
My Studio - Hello Lovely Studio

What's inspiring you this fall?

Vintage rusty white bicycle in peagravel and fallen leaves by Hello Lovely Studio
My Courtyard - Hello Lovely Studio

Thanks so much for having me, and
I hope you'll come visit Hello Lovely,
where Leslie is my guest!

Peace to you right where you are.


Thank you again Michele... for sharing your beautiful home and your inspiring perspective with us!


I'm sharing this post with friends:
Feathered Nest Friday
Imparting Grace


Simply LKJ said...

Thanks for sharing Michele with us. So much truth in her beautiful words. So many times we just need to view things in a different light, with new eyes. I needed to read this today. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to following along over at Hello Lovely.

michele said...

So grateful to be here today, Leslie. Renovations can push you to your limits but can also reveal what you're made of! Blog reading can be good medicine, and yours always brings me deep peace and encouragement so it feels very natural to join the lovefest. xox

Leslie Harris said...

I needed to read it too Lauren. Our work on our fixer has slowed down for various reasons and I notice how hard it is for me to be completely OK with my surroundings. I have spurts of being on the pitty pot and feeling impatient to get my kitchen d-o-n-e with an " I don't want to wait anymore" attitude ....

My favorite line in Michele's post was when she was accepting that the wall in the kitchen wouldn't be coming down,

"Rubbing shoulders with people you love is not the worst compromise one must make."

How's that for reframing a bummer realization?

I love that.
Sending love your way,


Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I needed to read this lovely post today. Letting go of our longtime home and remodeling another has me ready to run some days. I feel like I had a real attitude adjustment reading this. Thank you for sharing some of your learned lessons.

Laura said...

I feel restored after reading this lovely post.
The timing of this is perfect for me.
Thank you Leslie and Michele.
As I face remodeling and issues in our new home, I know it will all be ok:)

Carla from The River said...

Thank you, Leslie for sharing Michele with us.
We have a This Old House project that we have worked on thru the years. It can be frustrating at times, once the project is complete, it feels so good.
I enjoy sharing our scrapbook with friends. It is wow! We did this!

Leslie Harris said...

I'm so glad you mentioned timing Laura, I completely understand. I've found that I can intellectually "know" something to be true yet it's not until I hear it in a different way or at the Right time, when it truly feel it. Leaving a home that was mostly "done" and moving into a fixer has been a wonderful lesson in patience and humility for me...we have to be kind to ourselves through out the process. I'm so excited to see what you do to your new place!

Leslie Harris said...

Carla can I just say how much I love your positive attitude? It's SO you to highlight the fun of sharing our before and after with friends. You're right, that's one of the best parts of the renovation process and hey, the longer it takes... the more pictures we can take right? Sending a big hug to you!

Art and Sand said...

Thanks for the introduction.

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