Everyday Icons: The Interior Designer

Read our inspired interview with Boise-based interior designer and adoptive mother, Kirsten Grove.

Image Credit: Dylan & Sara Photography

Kirsten Grove

is one of those sweet souls you encounter that leaves you feeling peaceful, at ease and endlessly serene - even despite life's everyday hiccups. As an interior designer, she works that same magic on homes, creating cozy corners and tranquil nooks in homes all over the country. Today, she shares with us her journey to adoption, a few pinch-me career moments and what life is really like in Boise, Idaho...

So, you're not only the mother of two supermodel children(!), but you're an amazing interior designer. How do you juggle those roles? Do they coexist, or do you like to compartmentalize work?

Yes, my children are pretty fantastic! I'm a super blessed mom and I wake up thankful every morning. As of recently, the two worlds have co-existed. I work from home, so there's not a lot of separation. But now that both kids are in full time school, my life has drastically changed! I'm married to an amazing man who loves to help when I'm traveling. And I'm also surrounded by great friends and family who lend a hand when I need.

Tell us how you formed your love for interior design into a career. Have you experienced any pinch-me moments thus far?

I've always had a passion for interior design. It started in elementary school and blossomed when I first got married. I started working for builders and giving a hand with new construction. My kids were both babies when I started brainstorming about starting a blog. When I first started it, it was a great outlet for me to express my love for design. After awhile it became a great place to meet future clients and collaborators.

My pinch-me moment was this past summer, when I had the opportunity to decorate a bedroom for Habitat for Humanity. It was an amazing experience that I will remember for forever.

Do you ever struggle with your love for interior design and the sometimes-materialistic nature of this career?

At times, yes. But then I look at it from this angle: I want to help people create a sanctuary that they can come home to and feel a sense of hope and peace. I want to work with any and every budget, showing clients along the way that it's possible to live in a home that you're proud of and that your family can be proud of. For me, it should go beyond the fluff into helping people along the way.

Beautifully put, Kirsten! Speaking of home, your two children are adopted. How did this journey shape your perspective and life philosophy today?

I am who I am today because of my experience with adoption. (I'm tearing up right now as I write this.) My two kids are my pride and joy. They are my little miracles. Adoption gives hope on all sides. Obviously it gives hope to the children who are placed in new homes. But it also gives hope to the adoptee parents and to the loved ones around them. Each adoption story is different and unique but all can have one thing in common. Their destinies are re-written because of the beauty of adoption.

We're tearing up, too!  For the Groves, home is in Boise, Idaho. What do you love most about living in a lesser-known (relatively speaking) city of the U.S.? Do you feel like your city gets the credit it deserves?

Boise is a hidden treasure. It's not a city that you "pass through" and it's relatively hidden away. It's become a city where people come to get away from the fast-paced hustle and bustle. Sure it still has its small town tendencies but it's quickly evolving into a fantastic place.  And we have fantastic food and a great art scene. Oh, and can we talk about how safe we are??! Seriously, the safest city in America right now.

What's your go-to trick for updating a space on a budget?

If you're looking to update your living space, start with new throw pillows and other accessories that won't break the bank. For your bedroom, change out your bedding for all white - it instantly gives your bedroom a hotel-like feel. And for your kitchen, clean off all of your counter space, display clear canisters with grains and pastas, fill a white ceramic vase with all wooden utensils and display some of your favorite cookbooks.. Voila! You have a fresh kitchen space.

What is your personal motto or mantra?

You only live once, so live happy, healthy and honestly.

What are five everyday items you can't bear to live without?

(1) Lotion! I have to put lotion on everyday. I can't handle feeling dry. (2) A fan. I can't sleep without a fan blowing in my face. (3) Avocados. I know, it's fat. But at least they are healthy fat! Right? (4) My phone, sadly. It's my connection to the world. I really should fast it one of these days! (5) Dry shampoo. My hair can get greasy easy so I am constantly spraying dry shampoo in my hair.

p.s. Thanks to Kirsten for sharing her soul with us! Want to read about another inspired designer/blogger? Hear from Joy Cho of Oh, Joy fame.