The Sea has always soothed my Soul. Growing up in Eastern North Carolina, I was never far from the water. Whether crabbing on the Trent River or spending days as a child playing in the ocean at the Oceana Pier, having proximity to the the sea was something I took for granted. Then life happened.
A Long Story Short.
"From NC to DC, with a marriage, a child, a thriving design business and a subsequent divorce, after 20 years living outside of Washington DC, suffice it to say I was ready for a change."
I remember telling my daughter Wallace when she was preparing to head off to college that when she was ready to spread her wings, I was going to spread mine too. So when she decided to go to school in Florida, I thought hmmmm. Maybe I can kill two birds with one stone. Spread my wings AND create a little home away from home in FL for Wallace. So I did.
The Adventure Begins.
It all started in June 2016 when I found a condo to rent in Palm Coast. It was furnished, reasonably priced, in a gated community and had three bedrooms and three baths... a perfect getaway place to test the waters and see how I was going to like Florida. I chose Palm Coast because it was close enough to my daughter's school that she could come on weekends, yet far enough that we wouldn't bump into each other. (You know, mom's are SO, like, embarrassing).
Anyway, during that time when I was bouncing back and forth between Florida and DC I discovered two things: First, I didn't just like Florida. I loved Florida. I adored being so close to the sea, and I loved the authenticity of Palm Coast, especially The Hammock, a barrier island across the Hammock Dunes bridge. Second: I realized that it could be a gold mine for my interior design business. Multi-million dollar homes are being built here at a staggering rate, yet no one had ever heard of this town. (No, not Palm Beach. Palm COAST). I could feel the ideas taking shape in my mind...but I needed a real base of operations, not just a furnished condo. I toyed with the idea of opening up an Interior Design Boutique on The Hammock, but knew I would really prefer working out of my home as I had been doing for years. I needed a house.
From the Suburbs to The Swamp...
I thought I was going to get murdered while following the Realtor's directions to check it out for the first time. I mean, legit Confederate flags hanging in windows of a house one dirt road over (yes, muddy, stinky dirt roads) and a wild boar that darted in front of my bumper that almost gave me a heart attack. I could hear the theme from Deliverance running through my mind. Then I saw it. The perfect house right on the water. It was a beautiful blue house covered with Hardy Board shingles, complete with an attached barn (yes, perfect for a Design Studio) and wrap around balconies on all three floors that provided a view of the water from every room in the house. I forgot all about the wild boar because suddenly my heart started beating for a completely different reason. I knew this would be my house. And that everything in my life was about to change.
“I didn't want to wake up one day and realize that my life had passed me by because I was afraid to take a chance on a whole new adventure.”
She believed she could so she did.
I had worked for over 20 years building my business, and my brand as a designer in the DC Metro. I have been named one of the Top 100 Designers in the area for years. Why in heaven's name would I give all of that up to start over again from scratch? Because I was willing to take the risk to live a different kind of life...a quieter life without daily traffic snarls on The Beltway and one where it didn't take me six months to set up a dinner with a friend because we couldn't find dates that worked with our busy schedules. A life that allowed me to walk on the beach every day, and walk into any restaurant without a reservation. I started my business from scratch in DC...I could do it again.
So, that long story short pretty much leads me here, to this place, where I wake up every day and instead of turning on the news (living in the DC Metro pretty much predicates this daily) I sit outside on my veranda with my coffee and watch the boats go by, or if I'm really lucky a pod of dolphins will frolic at the end of my dock. It's a good life here...slower, more peaceful. I've been craving authenticity for so long that I have to remind myself that not so long ago I didn't even want to go to the grocery store without makeup on. Now, the Publix is full of people like me that just throw on a t shirt over their bathing suit without a care in the world. Awesome.
And here we are...my new blog begins.
I've decided to make a blog about my new adventure and all of the things I love...transforming my barn into a Design Studio, introducing you to The Hammock (the island that I now call home), sharing Design Inspiration, Trends, Travel, Entertaining, you name it, I'm going to write about it. Hopefully people will join in and read along, and maybe be inspired to take their own risks to live a life they've only dreamed of. The magic happens when you take that first step.