Arts & Crafts Magazine

Soul Keeping Lessons from a DIY Renovator (Hello Lovely)

By Laharris1

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!  --Leslie

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 andlovely heart which has been inspiringmine for years now.Home for me is in Northern Illinois, andwhile I have always been a summer the second half of life, I havefallen 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 thechanging colors delight.This is the first fall in our homewhere we're not swamped withDIY whole house renovation,and it's a great time to reflecton how downsizing and renovatinghas deepened us in profound ways.

Let difficulty transform you Pema Chodon quote - Hello Lovely Studio

Hello Lovely Studio

The kitchen needed to be completelygutted, and the reno process broughtdisappointments...for example,learning we wouldn't be ableto lose a wall to create a morespacious hub for our family to gather.The gift that emerged instead?Cozy intimacy. Rubbing shoulders withpeople you love is not the worstcompromise 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 windowswe inherited with this fixer upper,yet when a blog reader called them"church-like," I changed my tune.Slight shifts in perceptioncan pack a huge punch. Church-like is perfect for someonewho 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 overtakenthe front entry area, and the remedy?Subtraction and creativity.With a limited budget, we simply erasedall but one plant, and broughtin boxwood and pea gravel for anairy 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

My Studio - 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

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, andI hope you'll come visit Hello Lovely,where Leslie is my guest!Peace to you right where you are.~Michele

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

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