I write this to you in the comfort of my home while the news reports on the siege of the Capitol of the United States that occurred yesterday, January 6, 2021 and subsequent fall out. If 2020, as not only a year that felt like a decade but an entity itself, proved nothing else- it was that our own homes are our havens- our place of safety and refuge. As an interior designer, my work revolves around the creation and development of these havens for my clients. I work diligently with individuals, couples, and families to design spaces that will hold their most precious moments in ways that support and honor their unique styles, needs, and values. Together, we create rooms and nooks that uphold the term haven and enable retreat to comfort and joy.
However- even in our retreat to our safe places (and at times, since March of last year, confinement) there are times we can be and are overwhelmed by them. I think of working from home parents with children who are also schooling virtually, any of us who get caught in the endless news cycle of the bizarre and terrifying and find difficulty escaping our sofas and screens, singles who have found the depths of social isolation, individuals dependent on the interaction with their friends and families for mental health support, essential workers who work overtime in highly stressful environments and return to their haven to responsibilities that do not get to be put aside just because they are sacrificing themselves outside of the home- this list is endless. Our homes as our havens have taken on new meanings beyond beautifully styled rooms with cozy blankets and coordinating shelves and throw pillows. The development of havens with my clients has become the process of creating thoughtfully design places where hopefully the bathroom door locks so mom can find a spot to cry it out for 5 minutes- a place where a corner of the apartment can incorporate a set of hand weights and stationary bike for release- a WFH background for endless Zoom calls that were once fun, became a burden, and now are necessary for survival- a sitting area to support warmth and comfort in the bleak winter months where outdoor physical activity is not possible- a bedroom that is easily organized and is encapsulated with tranquil colors, intentional scents for relaxation, and thoughtfully sourced bed linens to comfort the most tired of us all.
In this development of havens in the last year- there there has been one group which stands out the most to me and perhaps it is my work as a mental health therapist and child play therapist that has trained my mind to immediately attend to those who cannot find a haven within their own homes- those that it is just not possible for irregardless of thoughtful design or intentional sourcing of furniture and accessories. Specifically, I think of women (and men) entangled in abusive relationships and the children that are then ensnared as well. For these individuals home cannot be a haven. Often their place of work or school is their safest escape- often a domestic violence shelter or friend’s couch becomes a temporary retreat- but “home” can never be this place of refuge.
A fellow interior designer and highly respected friend I have made in the last year, Tara Cady of @TLC_athome, has shared her brave yet harrowing story of domestic abuse, her escape from that relationship, and her rise to the success she experiences now via her Instagram page. I encourage you to listen to this via her Instagram profile in an IG TV called, “I am a Survivor.” NOTE: It is graphic and you should take caution should it be a trigger in any way for you. Tara discussed her first hand understanding and empathic knowledge of the impossibility of designing your home to be your haven if you are in an abusive partnership. However, with her incredible courage and fight for herself and her family, she has created just this for herself and her children in a home I find myself in awe of more often than my double-tapping on Instagram can convey. Inspired by Tara’s story and her strength in conjunction with my own work as a therapist and with much reflection it is my desire to outline the pro-social mission of Oak and Honey Interiors as I end this post.
Oak and Honey Interiors, and therefore my, first mission is to serve our clients to create the places and spaces they and their families desire and deserve. My second mission is to continue to provide connection and inspiration to you through design education, how-tos, and ideas through this blog as well as through social media- because I truly love connecting with you through these spaces. Finally, Oak and Honey’s pro-social mission here-to-forward will be to donate at least 10% of profits to support the up-lifting of women and children from adverse backgrounds (my hope is that this amount will grow as my company is established). This is a broad group, I do understand- however, it is my hope to continue to build relationships and knowledge of organizations and causes in order for my philanthropic focus to become more narrowed. This Spring, once the pandemic has hopefully started to quell - I plan to re-enter my work as a therapist and my ultimate goal for Oak and Honey Interiors is for it to be a financial foundation to enable me to provide pro-bono services to families and children in need.
I so appreciate your support as I pursue this passion project. As a bit of insight into additional steps being taken towards this goal, the majority of the pillows and blankets you may purchase via my web-site are sourced from Tajik Home- a company I intentionally chose because of their partnership with women’s shelters and mission to donate 5% of their handmade products to these shelters as well as their partnership with Feeding America.
Please leave ideas below or feel free to email me if you have any favorite organizations or causes that fit this umbrella which I can research. Again, I am humbled to work with you, to develop relationships with you here and via my social media accounts, and am deeply grateful for the additional work you enable me to do via our work together.
As a kick off to 2021- I would love to offer an extra 10% off for those of you who took time to read this blog for any products purchased via OakandHoneyInteriors.com! Use code [ bettertogether2021 ] to place your next order!
Sending love and gratitude always,
EVERYONE deserves a home that is their haven. If you require assistance with or regarding domestic violence please visit The National Domestic Abuse Hotline’s Web-page (designed for quick exit if you are at risk of being monitored) or phone the hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233).