April 6, 2021
Although my business, Crosswinds Design, is new(ish), it has been in the making for many years. I cannot remember a time when I was not overly curious about houses, and how some homes encapsulated the souls of their owners until they became extensions of each other.
As a young girl, I was possibly TOO interested in interiors, and at times preferred them to their owners. I clearly remember selling Girl Scout cookies door to door as a fifth grader – throwing the admonishment of “never enter a stranger’s house” right out the window if a house piqued my curiosity in any way. I loved the bookshelves, the art and photos on the wall, the bric a brac – anything that provided a little snippet of a hint about the house itself or the people who resided within its walls. Sometimes, I got lucky and got to hear the stories that went with the homes, from the owners who loved their houses as much as I knew one day I would love mine.
By the time I was in seventh grade, my family had moved to an older part of the city that fulfilled my old home love daydreams. Every time I set out from my home to walk to my very old school building, I would watch the homes that I passed as they moved through the seasons, and I would wonder about their histories, their owners, and their interiors. Some were so well cared for, and others showed so many signs of neglect. I yearned to “save” the houses that looked sad and vowed that someday I would do just that.
It was during this time that I devised a “plan” to see as many of the interiors of the homes that I could on the most beautiful old street in the area. Luckily for me, my best friend and partner in crime at the time, happened to live in one of these homes, as had her family for generations, so she knew a lot of the home owners on her street. We started out with the Girl Scout cookie ruse, but quickly decided that it wasn’t sustainable. That is when we did the unspeakable – we just told the truth – that I was insatiably interested in seeing the inside of a home, and would the homeowner PLEASE take me on a tour? The BEST people did, and I was rewarded over and over again with lovely old interiors with truly remarkable stories of the homeowners. Of course, these homes were fabulous – they reflected their loving homeowners in such a rich fashion that every single one had its own charismatic personality. I equated the owners and their homes in my mind to characters in a book that must be revisited again and again.
After securing my driver’s license, a whole new world of home interiors possibilities were discovered in other pockets of town that needed to be investigated , but I didn’t have an “in” at the time. Although I tried, I was clearly too old and too tall to Trick or Treat to get some magical glimpses of theses homes – even though I gave it a good shot. As serendipity and coincidences go, a few years later I was traveling each day to my summer job down the most beautiful and sought after drive in town to work at the gracious old country club that was nestled amongst the grand old houses. House after house was filled with the tennis players who I interacted with daily at my job, and my next opportunities opened up quickly. The owners of these homes blessedly traveled abroad constantly, and who better than an up and coming school teacher to watch over their children – and more importantly – their gorgeous old homes than me?
My passion for homes only grew deeper. I spent hours living the “if this was my house, I would_______” daydream.
After I got married, a Sunday form of recreation was going to open houses. What? Now that I was an adult, I was allowed to walk through other people’s houses, and I didn’t even have to beg to see them! This was too good to be true! I carried on long and lovely conversations with realtors about what I would love to do with each home.
Finally, I was actually able to BUY A HOUSE! We bought and renovated four of them over the years before I moved from my hometown to Door County, where (surprise, surprise) I renovated Crosswinds Cottage for my forever (?) home. Through those years of renovations, my dormant knowledge and love of gardens – learned from my grandmother – also grew, and I became just as passionate about saving gardens and exteriors as I did interiors. Each home represented a period in my family’s life, and each was filled with the meaning of those precious days.
For all of these reasons, I chose to name my business, Crosswinds Design, after my home. My goal, as a designer, is for my clients to love their own homes as much as I do mine. Truly loving a home is akin to loving the people and pets in your life – knowing that the time together is too important not to make it the best that it can possibly be for your family, your friends, and yourself. The memories held by our homes are so very worth the time and effort that it takes to make them our personal comfort zone to share with those who mean the most to us.
Take the time to think about your home…………. what speaks to you, what no longer serves you? What makes you smile, what inspires you? Most importantly, how do you feel inside your home? What are the nuances that whisper to you or the grand gestures that proclaim how you want to show up as in this world? What emotions will be remembered about your space years down the road? Take the steps to make the memories that will sustain you both today and tomorrow. Love your home by investing in its unique personality, and it will return that love to you in the many years to come.