welcome

everyone meet allie, our newest teammate!

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I am so excited to be working with Help You Dwell. I am an organizer at heart and have been exploring the world of perfecting, rearranging, and reordering for years, so what other job could suit me more? I began dabbling in professional organizing this year when I started my company Settled Spaces. I couldn’t believe that this was an actual possibility for a job. I'm glad to now share my love with the team at HYD. 

Being young and out of college, I am glad that organizing has given me the ability to combine a profession with a lifestyle. I’m happy to begin my career life working in an environment that engages my strengths and pushes me to grow in them. Helping others experience harmony in their lives is the most joyful part of organizing to me. 

Okay, a little bit about me: I love dancing and I love seeing movies IN theaters.

Allie & her family at her wedding. 

Allie & her family at her wedding. 

Someone once asked a group of us, “What is your favorite place in the whole world?” People said their grandparent’s house, the ocean, or the mountains. My favorite place in the world? The dance floor. I don't know of any other place where I feel so alive and full of joy, fully in the present moment, loving life, and so happy. Seriously! As for movies, I was totally conditioned by my parents to love them when I was young, since they would often go see movies back to back and my mom would arrive an hour early “to get good seats”. 

My need for perfection and order can sometimes be my greatest fault. However, as it goes, it’s also one of my greatest strengths. It’s something that has always been within me. I was a gymnast, so we were literally scored from the perfect 10.0 and received deductions for moves that weren’t perfect: a wobble, a bent leg, a wrong step, a fall. Also, when I was young, like the other HYD ladies, I would consistently be changing the floor plan of my room, the system for my dresser and getting rid of the junk that was under my bathroom sink. Basically, perfection is in my DNA. 

Allie and her husband Taylor. 

Allie and her husband Taylor. 

Again, SO thrilled to be working with this company and thankful for all that they stand for : ) 

welcome cassandra....

1.5 years ago this small town mid-west girl up and moved her life to East Tennessee for a job. I currently work at Blackberry Farm as a Junior Interior Designer, but that is only where the story begins. 

Image by  Texture Photo

Image by Texture Photo

I started chasing this dream with one goal in mind: to get out of Kansas. I had no idea I would  fall so in love with Knoxville, TN and the people it has brought into my life.

My love for design became more than a hobby when I was in college. It wasn't until I was three years in and crying my way through pre-med classes that I knew something had to give. With a little help from a best friend, I switched majors and never looked back. I graduated with a small group of girls with a Bachelor degree in Interior Design and a minor in Construction Management. Space planning, simple, yet functional spaces, and tiny houses are where my true love for design soars.

I always thought the west part of the country was where I'd land, but the second I got the call to move to East Tennessee I knew God had much bigger plans for me than I could have ever imagined. When I stumbled across HYD I knew this was it. This was my passion, my goals, dreams, the whole reason I got into design; to help others. To help the everyday person find comfort, ease, and happiness within their home with a bit of rearranging, re-purposing, and overall function of their space. 

In my free time, you can find me trying to save my plants from dying, adventuring into the Smoky Mountains, or more than likely, cleaning up dog hair from my two husky pups.

I can not thank the #girlbosses of HYD enough for helping me pursue this dream alongside them. I hope you will too! 

sidenote: I have to give a shout-out to my husband. Not only did he follow me across the country but within the last year we have purchased a house, gotten married & enjoyed every minute of life together in our new home. ah, life is good.

Home as an offering

We sat down this week to interview the lovely Lindsay Heath about her house, her decorating style, and her philosophy on home. If you've never met Lindsay, the best way I know to describe her is that her presence feels like a warm hug.

Honestly, to focus on Lindsay's decorating style and her home in it's purely physical sense would be a disservice. Lindsay has a natural eye for creating beauty but what struck me the most about our visit was the overwhelming sense that when you walk into her home, the pressure is off, you are invited, welcomed, and appreciated.

With a knack for quirky items and for the cast off's of both friends and strangers, Lindsay and her husband Jonny have created a patchwork home that incorporates the practical, lovely, and eclectic parts of life in every sense. One thing Lindsay said that I've been thinking about a lot is that "space is defined by the people who inhabit it and use it". With a desire to make the people around her feel more important than the things she surrounds herself with, she aims for making spaces feel touchable and approachable; like you can enjoy yourself without having to worry about your surroundings. She mentioned that over the years she has come to find that an object can evoke a memory but that she doesn't have to retain the object in order for the memory to continue. Lindsay loves the creative aspect of decorating with objects that can be repurposed or reimagined. She loves finding unwanted objects and looking at them in a new way... kind of like when you find a house that's about to be demolished so you pick it up and move it two blocks over to save it... yes... she actually did that!!! (more on that at a later date) She shared with us that many, if not most of the things, in her house have been given to her and she in turn passes things along when she no longer has the space or need for them.

Lindsay is the first renter we have interviewed and we were especially interested in what she had to say about decorating a rental. Upon moving into their home they were asked not to paint or hang large things on the wall. As a result, Lindsay has used her limitations to find creative ways to dwell and make the space feel like home. Large art pieces lean against the walls, thumb tacks or Velcro strips are used for lighter objects. Lindsay has found that sometimes limits help you see things in new ways, limits force you to think creatively.

We asked Lindsay what "home" means to her and she mentioned the end of a stanza in the daily reading in the book of common prayer. It reads, "May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors." The lines resonate with Lindsay in that to her, home is a place to welcome people in from the weariness, from the pace of the world.

"Home is a place for gathering and celebrating and for relaxing and eating: the really elemental practices. Home is the hub of human activity. The way that we relate in homes can be so formative- be it through decoration, presentation of food, accessibility to objects.  Our relation to all those things that make us human make up a home; a place that can encapsulate all of the best parts of human life. "

Another unique thing about Lindsay and Jonny is that since they were married, they have always lived with other people- sometimes other married couples, sometimes single folks, but always someone. We asked her to tell us a little bit more about that decision. "On a practical level, when we got married, it made sense financially to share the expenses with others along with the fellowship, the space, the being known and knowing. The incidental disciplines and sacrifices of being not as able to hide the things that as humans we are tempted to hide and the discomfort of sharing space have been an unexpected and challenging reward. With the different people we’ve lived with, we always sit down and talk about all the reasons to live together, economic, practical, division of labor, fun -- but the primary reason we share a home with people is to become more like Christ. It’s been a very consistent practical way to be challenged and to challenge others in the comings and goings of every day life. Living with others creates a lot of opportunities to do that hard work. It has been a great way to keep in check the temptation to hold onto things tightly. Living with others is often inconvenient but there is an ethic of being uncomfortable that I’ve found to be a wonderful crucible-- that’s been a refinement of my walk towards Christ."