Photo by Alizee Baudez on Unsplash

By Tiffany Edison

Have you ever sat down and made a list of the things that you’re truly grateful for? It can be a highly rewarding experience, and one that brings about a much-needed dose of self-awareness, especially in challenging times. I find it unfortunate that Thanksgiving seems to be the main event for this, when in fact practicing gratitude on a daily basis is beneficial to both our hearts and minds.

Over the years, nothing seems to bring me more pleasure than hearing my design clients express how grateful they are for our shared time together, collaborating on creating spaces in their homes that enrich their day-to-day lives. It’s exactly what drew me to the profession in the first place, as I am no doubt a “people person.” I’m touched by those I’ve been lucky enough to work with, because the design process in and of itself is incredibly personal. Our home is our place of refuge, and holds our most precious memories.  

It may sound contrite, but if we’re lucky enough to have a roof over our heads, then we’re lucky indeed. The pandemic has brought about incredible strain on many, not only financially but on family life as a whole. People are now spending more time in their homes than ever before, and our attention has refocused a bit; we are working to distinguish true “needs” from “wants.”   

I’ve had countless consults for designing new “flex spaces” — flexible spaces that allow for work as well as a place in the home that the entire family can utilize and enjoy. These are challenging times for sure, but there’s a refreshing air to having to prioritize what we truly need, and what we can live without.  

I love the creativity and resourcefulness that I’m currently seeing from my clients. I’m grateful for their trust in determining which space in the home could be both a classroom and a home office at the same time. (Hint: It’s most likely the dining room!)

It would be an understatement to say that it’s an interesting time for home design. There is a re-emergence of adult children returning home due to job loss or other financial reasons. It’s comforting to know that one can always go home, even if it’s just for a short time. And then there’s the issue of a home gym. But the good news is that this can all be addressed. Families are getting closer these days, physically and mentally.

Typically, I like to give practical advice regarding interior design within these pages, but lately, I’m feeling a bit more sentimental. These days, my advice would be to take a deep breath and think about what you are most grateful for. Perhaps it’s your health, your family, and hopefully a fulfilling career. This is our new normal, and though we can’t always change our situation, we are always given the option of changing our perspective. I supposed that’s where the catchphrase “Gratitude is the Attitude” came from. We all need to give ourselves a break and accept that we’re (hopefully) doing the best we can with the hand we’ve been dealt. Seek some solace in the nest you’ve built.

BIO: 

Tiffany Edison has been an interior designer since 2002 and specializes in both
residential and commercial projects.  She holds a Master of Social Work degree
(ACSW) and utilizes interpersonal relationship skills on a daily basis with her client
base, largely comprised of Ann Arbor, and Metro Detroit residents.  She has a
wonderfully large blended family residing in the city and enjoys the comforts of home.
When she’s not fully immersed in client projects, you can find her active on the golf
course, a favorite pastime.

www.birchdesignassociates.com

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