Remembering to Take it All In

Our family, breaking bread together.

Every time I sit down to write a newsletter, I am flummoxed about what to share. The interior design world is choc-a-bloc full of things to talk about, including design trends, things that inspire me, construction details, in-process and completed projects, and events like art shows and trips abroad. (If there is a topic you’re curious about or would like my take on, please reach out and let me know!)

Looking over this list, I realize what I really love to talk about are the things that make us feel human. There are plenty of bloggers who write about trends. I love to write about how to create environments that welcome stillness, connection, and beauty. Things that allow for an emotionally-fulfilled life, and spaces created with love.

Our daughter, Jett.

So much of the interior design world is focused on consumption. While that is a necessary part of what I do, what I feel truly fulfilled by is the impact that warm, welcoming spaces have on creating deeper connections to ourselves and each other. I truly believe that healing humanity starts at home in the words we speak, and the time we spend doing human things from breaking bread together to taking out the garbage. While these daily activities may sometimes feel like mundane parts of our busy lives, it’s the stuff a good life is made of when they are done from love.

When our kids Dane and Jett were in high school, Dane came home from school one day and asked if we would consider letting his friend Tristan, who was struggling in his own home, move in with us. He already knew the answer. In my heart of hearts, I know that humans are meant to take care of each other. And since I was so impacted by a family taking me in when I was a struggling 16-year-old, I felt like life was bringing me an opportunity to pay forward the kindness of the DeMars family by letting Tristan live with us.

Our young men, Dane and Tristan.

As a result, instead of parenting just two teenagers, Scott and I found ourselves with a very full household. Three teenagers, two dogs, and two careers to manage under one roof. Throughout the three years Tristan lived with us, my most treasured memories became the meals we made and shared together as a family. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t always easy to make family dinner happen — but we managed to pull it off at least twice a week. And I miss it. I wish I had paused more often to be more present with them, but I allowed stress and worry to rob me of those precious nights too often.

When we were in the throes of that era, I hadn’t learned the fine art of delegation quite yet and my codependency was at an all-time high. Scott wanted the kids to do chores and help, but the way he asked sounded too much like my strict father, all bossy-like. I took on doing it my over-functioning, over-capable self, so I wouldn’t have to hear him raise his voice with the kids. At work, it’s easy for me to get help. I ask, they do. At home, not so much. At least, that’s how it was then.

Savoring the bountiful spread.

Fast forward to dinner last night: we all gathered to enjoy a meal the five of us made together. Dane moved back from Portland this week. Tristan is home visiting from college. And Jett, who has become used to being an only child for the past year and a half, is a little sister again. We sat around our warmly lit dining room with a bounty of beautiful food, Mazzy Star playing in the background, and each of us sharing about their day… the dogs roaming around, Kiko under the table and Dane’s puppy Paco, sneaking off to piss on the carpet. In that moment I remembered to pause and take it all in. There will be a last time this happens, and I want to know I took in every detail.

For those of you who are thinking about a remodeling project, or if you are ready to upgrade your furnishings for this new year, we are wrapping up a couple of long-term projects and would love to talk with you! Click here to submit a new client inquiry if you have friends or family who are ready for us

We greatly appreciate this community and your generous referrals over the years. We wouldn’t be here without you!

By Laura Martin Bovard. Photos by Laura Martin Bovard and Scott Bovard.

Our evening’s photographer, and my husband, Scott Bovard.