Letting go of our “dream home”…

Oct 27, 2017

When Matt and I bought this house 4 years ago, we had every intention of making this our forever home. We spent countless hours planning out every square inch with the mindset this would be the home our growing family would create memories in to last a lifetime and the foundation to secure our future. Back then, I consumed most of my free time watching “Fixer Upper” and coming up with plans of how I could recreate one of Joanna’s designs in my home. Together, we envisioned Christmas dinners, birthday parties, sleepovers and rocking away with a glass of wine on our front porch. At the time, our son had just turned 1, I was working part time at a job I hated, battling drop off, pick ups and the dreaded first year of daycare (all you mamas know what I’m talkin’ bout 😷) while Matt was on the road away from us throughout the week. Our home has always been a place of sanctuary and comfort and we take real pride in how hard we have worked to be able to have the things we do. However, the past few years have taught me I don’t personally think I ever realized the true value of a dollar or what we sacrificed to have “things”.


The day of our move I was 9 months pregnant, we were all super emotional and totally drained. Walking through the doors to this house gave me energy I didn’t know I had (could have been the hormones, I’m just sayin’ I felt goooood). Never the less, we had created something we only could have dreamed of and we know our parents would have killed to have at our age. I felt truly at home and a sense of peace with all the chaos around us. Two short weeks after our move, I gave birth and she came fast! Ultimately, I ended up giving birth in the room she now rests her head and if ever a time to feel like this was 100% our forever home, the moment I received her birth certificate in the mail with her place of birth detailing this address on it really solidified it for me. I was never EVER moving!


The next year would be full of many changes and the pressure was on to keep up with the illusion we were doing perfectly fine. I finished design school while on my maternity leave, went back to work part time while starting the business, Matt was on the road Sunday through Thursday, Mason was about to start school and Brooklyn was getting busier by the minute. At the beginning, we were like every other parent, barely keeping our head above water and going through the motions each and every day. For the first 6 months of the business, I had no clients or potential work and felt a ton of pressure to create content that was “perfect” in my own home to generate business. I would spend hours picking apart my posts and changing minor details no one would even notice, feeling this sense of insecurity in such a big platform that is all visual. I spent an absorbent amount of money changing, re-arranging, adding to the already perfectly fine pile of things I started with, just to keep up with the pressure and relevance of what was current that week. I was in a social media delusion and I’ll be the first to admit one of the biggest sacrifices I made in starting this business was loosing myself in the saturation of perfect lighting and filters. 


Late last year, my brother in law and sister in law bought a custom home. This house would later be known as my “Niagara Project”. Other then my own home, I had no portfolio and they took a chance on having me design the entire house, top to bottom. This is the kind of project most amateur designers don’t get the opportunity to do out of the gate and their faith in me essentially started the beginnings of my business.


Thinking back, starting this business at the already insanely intense and high pace stage of our life with zero idea of what would truly be involved was a crazy, unplanned decision. Truthfully, I never really imagined or believed this being anything more then a hobby. I never considered this business taking off or the pressures that would come to keep up with the demand of wearing 10 different hats daily. I was distracted, overwhelmed, disconnected and losing focus of why I started this in the first place while my children were struggling with their daddy being on the road. Matt and I were both feeling the effects of this and it seemed as though our heads were below water at this point.


The day I revealed my Niagara home tour, Matt was offered a job close to home. No more travel, relaxed hours and tons of time off to help and be home with our kids. The only downfall was a significant pay cut. We didn’t care, our family needed him and being a weekend dad broke his heart. We had just used all our savings for my business and with no plan for how we would make it work, we jumped all over it.


The business took a shift pretty quickly after the reveal in Niagara. It started growing at a rate I couldn’t keep up with and a decision had to be made, the career I always knew and grew to hate or the business that was demanding, unpredictable and my true passion. I now needed extra hands and help with the design work and I didn’t know the first thing about having an employee. It really felt like for every 5 steps we went forward, we fell 10 steps behind somewhere else. Design feeds my soul, it excites me and I love it so much but being on someone else’s payroll, working a 9-5 job and leaving it at the door at the end of the day seemed so tempting.


The decision to move was tough. Months of debating, fighting and feeling stressed about how we would make this all work was hard. When we talked about this with friends and family, they were surprised and really couldn’t understand our decision to give up so much. We had to get real about our life and financial future, what we wanted for our children and our lifestyle. We had to dive deep to gain clarity on the right choice for the business and how we could work together to make this easier not only for me professionally but also personally and for our babies.


Ultimately, we can make any place a home and our happiness is what matters most. Its hard and draining and often I wake up and think to myself what are we doing? I could just go get a predictable day job but I know down in my core, this move is about to bring many amazing things to us whether the business is successful or not. In total fairness, I’m scared. I feel pressure to succeed after asking my family to cash in the farm with the hope this works. On the same token, I feel so loved and supported that Matt is so sure and believes so hard that this is what is meant for us. He continues to remind me that sometimes success happens after you’ve survived all your mistakes and what would life be without a little adventure right?!


Enter Meighen. The best decision I’ve made thus far was following my gut, taking the leap to give up control and putting it into the universe that I needed help. I don’t believe in coincidences, I believe things happen for a reason. Our paths crossed at just the right time in the most random circumstance and I genuinely feel as though it was meant to be for us to work together. I couldn’t be more relieved and happy to have her and I know exciting things are on the horizon for us.


So. This is the real, raw truth why we made the decision to let our dream home go and move on to the dreams we have for our future. We took on a bit of a project with the new house intentionally. We wanted something to sink our teeth into and really make our own. No timelines or expectation, just a project of our own on a seriously tight budget. Plus, what better way to start creating memories then putting two self proclaimed non-DIYer’s together to tackle an entire house… this should be interesting, you should stick around for the ride.

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Based in Bowmanville, Ontario and the surrounding GTA area