When I walked into Laurie’s home a few weeks ago, I was instantly enchanted. I asked her to walk me around and show me each and every nook and cranny. Every spot was purposeful and full of meaning. I loved it because it was so obviously, uniquely her. She didn’t run to the newest aisle at Target or head to West Elm for all the things. Her home was curated. She told me about art she’d made, pieces she’d found at local thrift stores or ordered off Ebay.
I think the reason I was so intrigued and had so many questions about her style/decor was because of how unapologetically her home portrayed her. I could tell she really loves her home, and she put in a lot of sweat equity and creativity to make it her own.
I left her house feeling inspired. I found so much freedom in realizing that she did her own thing and it was beautiful. I kept thinking “her house was so her, and I’m a me – my house can be so me!” And then I couldn’t help but be brought to this analogy: Just like I was inspired by her home being a genuine portrayal of her, I walk away feeling inspired when I spend time with someone that is comfortable with and aware of who they are becoming. People like that are like a breath of fresh air. There’s no weird dance of keeping up or comparing. I’m not good at that kind of dancing; it leaves me empty.
I will say it could’ve been easy to be jealous of how pretty her home was. But jealousy makes it about us, and keeps us from discovery and relationship. I want to grow and learn, and I especially, ESPECIALLY, want to connect with other people. Jealousy is a big wall we build between connecting with someone else. But gratitude and belief in abundance over scarcity will knock that wall right down.
Because I was so inspired by the home she’s created, I asked Laurie if she would do a little interview and home tour for us.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Kansas and my childhood was split between two towns… Kansas City, Kansas until 7th grade, and then De Soto, Kansas from 8th grade until I got married at age 22. Both of the schools/communities I was raised in had small town vibes.
What did you like to do as a child?
As a kid I was outside all. the. time. I lived near farms and had lots of room to explore with neighbor friends. Somehow my parents would let us be gone for hours in a hundred acre woods of sorts! 🙂 I also knew I loved design and all things houses from a young age… I would look at home magazines and house blueprints for fun! I was a decent athlete and played lots of sports, I took every art class possible, and was a bit of a perfectionist.
Tell me about your current job and what brought you here.
My job changed dramatically at age 31… I decided to quit my job as a part-time nurse practitioner to focus on home design as a career. It’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever done and sometimes it still gives me anxiety to think about! 🙂 I realized I was tolerating my nursing job and only working for a paycheck. I wanted to do something where I felt confident that I was using gifts the Lord had blessed me with… so that’s what pushed me to change! I now stay at home with my two boys part time and then work as an interior designer part time!
When I was in your house a couple of weeks ago, I asked you to take me around to each little area and explain it to me – the vision, the how, the why. What is your favorite story to tell in your house?
I think it’s just every little piece here and there that is special to me… some items were my late fathers, so those are very precious to me. Some were amazing deals I scored at an antique store or thrift store (like my pink chairs that were $20 each!). I love to explain to people how hideous all the paint colors were when we first moved in (orange and purple kitchen)… and how literally every color of the rainbow was used in the house! Previous owners also found an old lace dress in the walls during a renovation… the dress has stayed with the house and it’s a neat artifact to show people!
What is your non-negotiable decorating rule for your home?
I gotta absolutely love it to buy it. This is a rule I learned over time… but if I need a chair or a piece of art, I don’t just go to a store and pick one (like I did when I first got married). I wait until I find something that I really adore. That’s usually how I’ve scored amazing deals… I’ve learned to be very patient.
What are some things you do when you want to feel more inspired and tap into your creativity?
I love art so much, and so a lot of times I’ll look at the work of my favorite artists and see what colors they put together, or what patterns or textures they mix. I also love to go to stores that do amazing styling… so locally for me, this is Nell Hills or Anthropologie.
Who are two of your heroes and why?
Other than Jesus? Too obvious?? 🙂 I’m not sure I’ve thought about this question before… hero might be a strong word for these people but here are two celebrities I admire:
Jerry Seinfeld because I love to laugh and the creativity of his humor amazes me. I could watch him all day, and I wish we were real life friends. I love funny people, they are my favorite.
Martha Stewart because she went to prison and still ran an amazing brand. Dang. And because everything she does is perfect. Seriously though, has there been anyone else to change home decor as much as her?!? And she’s been around for so long and still so relevant! She’s not trendy in her design either, which I love.
How do you think other people view you?
I think others view me as creative, reliable, and loyal. I tend to come off very private and quiet to people at first, because I’m not super outgoing. My friends would probably say I’m funny because I don’t take anything too seriously.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
Tell me about your proudest moment.
I think one day I’ll look back at this time of my life and be proud of this major shift in my life/career. Even if it doesn’t “work out” like I see it potentially working out in my head… just the fact I took this leap. I think right now I’m still a little too wrapped up in the emotions, nerves, logistics (aka…paying bills), to say I’m proud of myself. But if my kids find themselves in the same boat someday, I hope they take the leap too and I’d definitely feel proud of them for following a calling.
What’s your favorite quote?
I’ve been thinking of a line from a song a lot recently as I’ve been starting my own business and trying to keep my heart in check:
“To you who boasts tomorrow’s gain, tell me what is your life? A mist that vanishes at dawn… all glory be to Christ.”
You can head over to her Instagram page @lauriechampdesign for all sorts of inspiration and ideas.