Have you noticed? The holidays are a bit bittersweet for many of us. The longer we live more the reality of life - loss and heartbreak - seems to walk with us. This can add an extra layer to the holidays that is not exactly festive. I've had my share of blue Christmases including miscarriages, bad breakups and the loss of my dear dad. I've written about my best advice when feeling blue in this post. Though I'm having a pretty great holiday so far, I'm keenly aware of feelings of stress, sadness and loss in many of those I care about.
My talented friend, Deverie, is a well-known interior designer in Chico. She is also a member of my upstart FEISTY group for female entrepreneurs, and a trusted friend. We met while volunteering at the Celebration event for breast cancer survivors two years ago and have enjoyed getting to know each other. We just clicked --some friendships are so easy!
In browsing through Facebook one evening I read that Deverie's mom, fighting a long, courageous battle with cancer, had been in the hospital for an extended period. As a new retiree/travel consultant, I am blessed with a newly flexible schedule. I knew that Deverie had a lot on her plate so I reached out to see if I could help her with errands, meals, sitting with her mom, or whatever she needed.
To my surprise and delight, Deverie took me up on my offer of help. I had no idea the help needed would be a decor project, holiday decor, for one of her best clients. I can't tell you how much fun we had with this project. We started at Michaels to gather holiday supplies. I arrived first so I gathered a few different looks, not knowing what design scheme would work with her client's style. When Deverie arrived, we went to town! An hour later we came out with three overflowing carts filled with decor elements and a huge appetite. Who knew that sushi and sauvignon blanc were an essential part of a design project?
The next day we put the design ideas into place. Deverie worked her magic and I walked around with a huge grin thinking, "This is my work day?". This is a far cry from my previous career as a school psychologist. In fact, if I had not gone into the education field, many years ago, design would have been right at the top of my list for a profession.
A two-story banister, mantle and centerpiece took us several hours to complete. We considered it part design and part cardio for the day. In the end, we were very pleased with the result for the client. We went for a natural but luxe look. I love the frosty needles we added to the gardens. The candles with ombre sparkle are a set of six from Michaels that are on a remote. The touch of silver and white hydrangea is unexpected for typical holiday decor but the client wanted something a bit unusual. According to Deverie, the life of a designer is not as glamorous as it may look from the outside, but the creative aspect is truly satisfying. One tip from Deverie is to always start with the biggest, or most important part of the project, not the easiest one. If you run out of time, or materials, this method will give you some options as you work your way through a design project.
In the end, we had a festive decor scheme for the client, Deverie had an extra pair of hands to lighten her load and I worked for a day in a field that has always interested me. A surefire way to feel merry this season? It's simple, reach out to help someone else, it works every time. The best news is Deverie's mom, in a nearly miraculous recovery, has been released from the hospital and is able to enjoy the holidays at home with her loving family.
For more on Deverie Jarrett Design
More design inspiration from my Holiday Style Pinterest Board:
Our FEISTY Group (it's growing!)
I want to thank my blogger friend, Nancy from StoneCrop Sister, for the mention on her blog. If you haven't check out her stylish, thought-provoking blog, do so. It's a must read for me. Thanks for the blog love, Nancy!
Thank you for stopping by today and WARM wishes for your holidays!
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