The Balancing Act

Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.
— J.K. Rowling

I forgot to take my son to Kindergarten Round Up yesterday. Yelp... big mom-fail. 😔  Let’s just call this Full-Transparency Wednesday. 

Luckily, the school called to ask us if we still planned on coming (so embarrassing), and we made it without missing too much. Adler was so incredibly brave and forgiving of his mama (#secondchildproblems), who somehow didn’t have it on the overfilled calendar.  

I then spent the day feeling terrible in every area of my life.  A year ago, I wouldn’t have missed that big moment on the calendar. We would have gone to breakfast before, and he would have been prepared to let go of my hand and be taken away for the two hour registration process. 

But that didn’t happen. 

Staci and I had an “in-office” day scheduled to double down on some big projects we need to complete.

But that didn’t happen. 

Our project list has exploded in the last 8 months, and as amazing as it has been, it has also been a huge adjustment for our family dynamic. I have the world’s BEST mom and mother-in-law who move mountains to help me with preschool pickups and bus drop off and all the things for which I can’t be there. I have a husband that never bats an eye when I have to run out the door for meetings just as he’s walking in and is my biggest cheerleader. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without them, but the truth is, it’s hard letting go of those things.  I will be the first to admit that I’m not good at asking for help, and I’m learning daily that not asking for it is my biggest mistake. 

A year ago, I wouldn’t have missed Kindergarten Round Up, but I also didn’t have this lady pictured by my side. I didn’t have someone to keep the ball rolling on projects while I sped off to school. I didn’t have someone to say, “Girl, you have no idea how much I forgot when my kids were little” and “You’re not failing, you’re growing”. I didn’t have someone to push me to want more for Inland and for myself. 

inland interiors kristen suding muncie, indiana

I hope my kids can look back and forgive their mama for her failures as she followed her dream and know how much I love them. I hope my clients can forgive me as I juggle the balancing act of mom/designer and know how much I love them, too. 

I say all of this in case you’re feeling it, too. And I’m asking for advice on how you make it all fit in a 24 hour day? How do you do this mom life without forgetting it all?

And how can my baby boy be going to Kindergarten already?

Inland Office Video Tour (The Before!)

I can hardly contain my excitement today and that is saying a lot for a Monday morning in freezing temps.

We are going to FINALLY give you the first look into the new home of Inland Interiors. Shot back in September of last year, there were still so many variables up in the air and pieces that had yet to fall into place. HOWEVER… since this video was (shakily) taken, so many great things have happened...

  • There is no longer a for sale sign on the front. Yay!

  • We have to wear layers of clothes and (choose to wear) cute construction hats because it’s freezing and full of amazing construction.

  • It is now floooooooooding with light which I can’t wait to show you.

  • The long-shot dreams that once filled these spaces are quickly becoming reality.

It’s far from “After” but so much further from the “Before”.

Check out the video below!

Stone Street Dining Room

I’m back with another space from our #iiprojectgrowinguponstonestreet, and I’m so excited by how it turned out.

Before

Before

Small changes can have the biggest impact, and our new focal wall is a prime example of that.  Simple wall molding on the lower two thirds of the main wall painted two shades darker than our wall color throughout the space helps to give a little drama and makes the space feel just a little more special.

After

After

The new chandelier is the perfect update to the existing table and chairs.  I love the strong black lines and how it instantly modernizes the space— a fun juxtaposition to the more traditional table and chairs.

New floor-length curtains help layer the space, and the fun vertical stripe ties in the theme in the Living Room. The addition of the simple frames full of pictures of this gorgeous family above the molding and a few table accessories were the only accessories we needed to freshen the room.

I’m just so excited for the fun dinners they will have in this space.


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Curtains: Pottery Barn

Chandelier: Wayfair



Stone Street Living Room

On Instagram last week, you saw a sneak peek of our most recent install (#iiprojectgrowinguponstonestreet) and a glimpse of the more sophisticated yet family-friendly foyer.

Just off the entry, we continued that same vibe.  The homeowners were just “ready for a change” after having the same paint color and furniture from when they had first moved in years ago.  It’s amazing how a handful of birthdays and becoming parents can change your whole sense of style.

Before

Before

After

After

Here’s what we did…

A new paint color was imperative, and it had to be just the right one because we wanted to carry it throughout the whole main floor.  All too often, I hear homeowners wanting to do an accent wall or various paint colors in rooms that either have massive ceilings or dramatic changes in architecture.  The truth of the matter is that when you have so many different surfaces collecting natural lighting from various windows you will be surprised how many shades one color can take on.  Just be sure to sample colors in ALL the rooms before commiting.

They needed a new family-friendly sofa.  I had been dying to use one of the sofas from Interior Define, and I was so happy to see it installed.  It did NOT disappoint with its incredible lines, and it was equally comfortable. We went with a dark navy (i just can’t quit this color) for its dramatic weight it gives the space as well as its ninja skills against cheesy Dorito fingers and other snacky stains.  

The new ottoman offers a comfortable place for your feet, storage for toys, and a concert venue for Greatest Showman performances (we can’t be the only family that does this), in addition to the new striped chair that we absolutely love.

More focus was brought to the fireplace with the addition of some simple moldings painted white, and I just love that it's one of the first places your eyes go when you walk in the front door… perhaps only second to the massive chandelier. Isn't he handsome? We hung him nice and low not only to help with lighting in the evenings but also to bring the towering ceilings down a little.  

large round chandelier navy and white living room

We continued with hints of blue in the oversized artwork (Homegoods ftw!), textured pillows (did I already say thank you Homegoods?), and the new rug that will help hide any spills that will inevitably happen.

A big (real looking… wink wink) tree in the corner gives the height we need to that area as well as the floor lamp at the end of the couch.  The round wood side table is one I have used so many times (including my own home) because you just can’t beat it for the price.

Come back later this week for the amazingly simple dining room transformation!  Huge impact… low dollars… my favorite combination.


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Paint: SW Worldly Grey

Chandelier: Overstock

Sofa: Interior Define

Ottoman: Pottery Barn

Rug: Lulu and Georgia

Side Table: Target

Moving Inland!

Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement when we shared the exciting news that Inland Interiors is growing up and finally moving out (of my house). I say finally, but the truth is it’s happening even quicker than I could have dreamed it would.

So for a little back story, after working for five years as a commercial Interior Designer in a firm in Indianapolis, I decided in January 2011 to step away in hopes of starting our family (that’s a story for another time). My dream of being a mama came true, but I missed my creative outlet. I took on a couple clients (toting my baby girl right along with me in her carrier) while we lived in Fishers, Indiana.

Before long, my husband. Eric, and I decided we wanted to move back to our hometown of Muncie, Indiana, so our kids could grow up near their grandparents. Moving back to our hometown after five years wasn’t always easy because we changed so much in that time and our little college town (#chirpchirp) seemed to have changed a lot, too.

Muncie can often be the butt of a joke (a joke you get away with only if you’re from here), and it certainly has seen better days, but it’s full of great people doing great things. There is such a powerful undercurrent of energy and inspiring people who live to give back to our community. Muncie pulls on my heartstrings because it’s my home. It’s my husband’s home. Now, it’s our children’s home.

I continued to take on clients by word of mouth as we settled back into our town and added another child to our family. Eric had just opened up his dental practice, and I tried to help get his business up and going all while juggling our two kids under two years old and a handful of clients. Being a mom was always my greatest dream, and I loved getting to be a stay at home mom while still keeping my creative juices flowing. I had (and continue to have) the greatest clients who welcomed my little “assistants” whenever they tagged along with me to meetings. I also have the best mom and mother-in-law who remarkably always jump at the chance to take over on Gramma/Grams duty.

Bigger isn’t always better, and that’s never been more true than when you talk about the power of word of mouth in a small town. I continued to get more jobs this way and finally decided in January 2017 to change my business name from Kristen Suding Design to Inland Interiors (courtesy of a late night in Cabo with two of our favorite friends). Inland Interiors became “Facebook Official,” got a new logo, and launched an actual website, which was basically like walking a red carpet for this introvert. As overwhelming as all of this was, it was exciting to see this little “third child” (as I like to call Inland) grow more.

It was at this same time that I envisioned my dream of opening an office in Downtown Muncie within the next five years. Never before had I even put that idea out into the universe, but it became something to shoot for.

My clientele continued to inspire me, and I just wanted to take on every job that I could. As my business grew, my plate continued to overflow, and I could feel myself becoming overwhelmed rather quickly, even with incredible grandparents available to help with the kids. As mothers, we often feel like we need a twin so we can be full-time moms but also full-time “dream chasers.” When you feel so compelled by and passionate about both roles, it can make you feel like you are just doing a half-assed job all of the time.

It was almost as if someone heard my cry for help without me actually asking for it. I had said for months that I needed to find someone to hire, whether it was a design intern from Ball State or a part-time accountant to help me with billing, but I just couldn’t decide how to go about it. When it’s your “baby,” the first official hire can feel like a very important role. Not only is the person going to have to be able to put up with me and my crazy “system” that has literally just gotten me by for years, but I need to be able to trust the person in my home with my family and with my business that I have worked so hard to build.

In April 2018, I received a message from someone that I had known for a few years but only socially and through volunteering. I didn’t know her all that well, although the first time we met, she told me she was getting her real estate license so she could help grow her husband’s business, and I told her I had just gotten a bikini wax. True story.

She asked me in this message if I would like to meet for lunch because she wanted to learn more about my business. We met downtown at a little restaurant, and after I left, I just knew she was the one— my first employee!

Staci and I share so many of the same hopes and dreams for our town and see the potential it has. She has a fantastic eye, is impeccably organized, keeps me focused, and she pushes me when I am scared to jump. I couldn’t have asked God to send anyone better to help me grow Inland Interiors.

When I told Staci my dream to have a studio downtown, she, quite literally, started looking for spaces the next day. I told you she was great! Being that she and her husband are incredible real estate agents, they had more knowledge of how to find the perfect space in their pinkie fingers than I ever will. My hope was that we could have a storefront because people watching is my jam. I wanted people to be able to pop in and visit us all the time. I just wanted to be in the “thick of it.” If you haven’t been to Downtown Muncie in a while, then you haven’t been to Downtown Muncie. It is so full of energy, great food and coffee, and local business owners who know your name. If I was going to have a studio, I wanted it to be there.

Fast forward to today! Staci and her husband, Steve, have purchased the most terrible building in Downtown Muncie that I will be leasing for my studio, and it. Is. PERFECT! It’s a three-story (including the basement) old beater of a building that came with holes in the roof, dangerously old wiring, stairs falling apart…the works! It’s a dream come true because a “finished” space would just not be as fun. We want to show not only what we can do for this sad building, but we also want to encourage others to do the same.

To be designing the new home of Inland Interiors just feels like a pinch-me moment that still doesn’t always seem real. It has already proven to be quite the challenge, but it is such an invaluable learning experience. We can already see the light at the end of the tunnel (and no longer through the holes in the roof).

inland interiors downtown muncie indiana

We are so excited to open the doors this summer, but we promise to share what’s happening as we go along!

Later this week, I will show you the “before” video that I shot several months ago. Just brace yourself…it’s rough!

California Cool Office for a Boss-Lady

Working from home can be hard and sometimes uninspiring, so we knew this boss-lady needed prime real estate that she actually wanted to be in.

Located between the foyer and the living room, the previous homeowners used the space as a formal lounge, but when its incredible natural light and view of the bus stop, it was the perfect place for the new office.

Before

Before

After

After

By adding two custom designed barn doors, the office can easily be closed off when needed but act as artwork when open. New lighting centered over a dining table-turned-desk gives her plenty of working space, and a floating credenza gives her plenty of storage. We brought in some fun textures and colors with the new rug and re-envisioned side chairs (shout out to my mom for reupholstering those caned beauties).

So what do you do to stay motivated and enjoy your work space? I love to turn on a good podcast and have a clean desk. Is there something that makes you feel less productive and distracted? Clutter? Uncomfortable chairs? Depressing weather? Squirrels?


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Pendant Light: West Elm

Rug: Target

Westwood Wonder Lounge

Remember the wingback chairs that were in the before picture last week in our Westwood Wonder Living Room? Well look at them now!

wingback chairs with brass pendant light and white coffee table

Welcome to the Lounge!  I know what you’re thinking… “Kristen, don’t you always paint old paneling?”

You wouldn't be wrong. Yes, that would typically be my suggestion in a dark paneled room that is centered in a home with little to no natural lighting.  Painting would make it instantly brighter and lighter, but there was something about this cozy little space that we loved just as it was! It was this dark little unexpected pause, and, by keeping it, we created an adult (yet kid-friendly since they just follow us everywhere we go, amiright?) lounge where the sophisticated homeowners could catch up over drinks.

When we arrived it wasn't feeling quite as Mad Men as we would have liked so here is what we did to bring it out of the dark and dreary.

wood paneling in lounge
wood paneling in lounge

The room scored points for having two wall sconces already, but we knew we could bring in more light and style with new ones.  We decided adding two more to the other side of the room not only helped balance the lighting but also eliminated the need for table lamps, which wouldn't have worked with the new layout of the room.  The new chandelier is my favorite part though, and it really elevates the room— making it youthful and fun.

The existing fireplace was the show stopper, so all we needed to do was add a beautiful modern mirror to accentuate it further as well as help bounce light around the room.

midcentury modern lounge with brass pendant light and fireplace

As I mentioned, the two tall wingback chairs are looking so handsome in their brand new navy herringbone fabric.  We positioned them on the far end of the room to add height and paired them with these two beautiful cognac leather chairs.  The traditional lines of the wingbacks juxtaposed with the crisp mid-century lines of leather chairs is a storyline that we have tried to repeat throughout our other rooms.  The gorgeous animal print rug added another layer of fun pattern, grounded our furniture layout, and brightened the space immensely.

cognac leather chairs with marble coffee table
greenery in blue and white pottery

You know I love some good built-in shelves, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on these beauties.  The homeowners had so many wonderfully sentimental pieces already, but we filled in where we could with new pieces that were either white or reflective— and of course some greenery to add some life!

built-in shelves

Doesn't it just make you want to drink something on the rocks and play Backgammon?? I don't actually know how to play it, but in this room, I would learn.


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Cognac Leather Chairs: World Market

Coffee Table: Overstock

Pendant Light: Overstock

Wall Lights: Overstock

Westwood Wonder Living Room

As promised (you thought I would forget?), I bring you the oh-so-perfectly casual living room of our Westwood Wonder home.

When we arrived for our initial consult, we learned that this room, although historically was used for more of a sitting room, was going to be used as the main entertaining and living space. Because of this, we needed to accommodate a large group of guests, but it still needed to be homey and comfortable for when it’s just the (almost) four of them. Here are a few key things we did.

outdated living room

We kept the homeowners’ sofa because it was recently (and beautifully) recovered and perfectly vintage. We had custom pillows made to liven it up a little and make it the focal point in the room.

custom throw pillows and bay window

We didn’t want to disturb the beautiful bay window, but the window at the end of the room was feeling a little left out and lacked style. Custom curtains hanging high and wide give such great balance to the room, and the colors were exactly what the homeowners were wanting.

navy blue chairs with tall indoor greenery

The room is very long and needed to have a furniture plan that kept it cozy. These four amazing navy chairs are not only big and comfy for movie nights, but by placing them in close proximity to the new, taller coffee table, they are perfect for game night too.

Floor plants always add height and texture to otherwise sad corners, and there’s no shame in fake trees if you’re a black thumb (like this girl).

modern living room furniture

We carried in the paint from the foyer which helps the rooms feel more connected, and paired with new can lights (can we get an amen for can lights?), the room is so much lighter and brighter.

Are you thinking to yourself, “Hey, I like those tall wingback chairs!”?  Well, I did, too, but they needed a makeover. Come back next week for the final Westwood Wonder space and to see those chairs looking oh-so-handsome!


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Nesting Coffee Table: World Market (out of stock online)

Blue Chairs: Target

Westwood Wonder Foyer

I can’t believe it’s already 2019 and almost two months since I first shared our Westwood Wonder Dining Room renovation. I don’t know where the time went, but I’m so excited to show you another room from this gorgeous home!  

Right outside of the dining room is the foyer.  Being that it is the very first room you enter in the home, you not only want your foyer to feel welcoming and inviting, but it should serve as a “meet and greet” for the rest of the home.  

Before

Before

The thing I love about the homeowners is that they have the coolest style.  We were able to keep the midcentury style of the home, add some cool bohemian touches, and keep some traditional sophistication, all while not being afraid of color. I’m so proud of how it all came together!

After

After

We added the chair rail throughout the entry and hallway which instantly added architecture, and by painting it white, we lightened and brightened the otherwise dark space.  Can we just talk for a second about the amazing front door with the knob in the center?!? We wanted to give it even more impact, so we duplicated the simple molding detail that appears on the exterior side of the door on the inside and painted it the perfect shade of navy.

Just because you have low ceilings doesn't mean you HAVE to succumb to the “boob light”.  If you don't know what I’m talking about, call me, I’ll explain it. There is a whole world of lights out there that you won't knock your head on but will add not just better style but also better lighting to your low ceiling spaces.  We love the new pair of black semi-flush lights that draw your eyes right in from the second you walk in the door. In a room that requires very little like the foyer, you want every piece that makes the cut to be something that makes a statement, and these fit the bill perfectly.

To balance out the modern lights, we just had to find the perfect vintage turkish rug.  Going this route was going to solve two common foyer problems. The first being the awkward size of the space.  Vintage rugs come in so many different sizes compared to new rugs that typically only come in standard (2x8, 5x8, 8x10, 9x12) sizes that just wouldn't have worked here.  Vintage rugs also have such great textures, colors, and patterns that make them perfect for this high traffic area. The cherry on top? IT’S GORGEOUS!

We love a console table and mirror at our front door whenever we can, and this piece is one of my favorites.  The wood finish of the cabinet is perfection, and the round mirror in gold helps break up all of the straight lines for a moment.

Come back next week for a peek at the living room!


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Mirror: Wisteria

Light: Golden Lighting

Console Table: Wayfair

The Tree HousE Kitchen

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to FINALLY share this space with you guys!

The before shots were taken on my very first visit to the old Farmhouse, almost exactly two years ago, and it just makes me so happy to see how far it has come. Getting the opportunity to work on this project with these incredible people has been nothing short of amazing.

kitchen renovation
kitchen renovation

This sweet family took on so much of the project management and installation themselves, all with four little kiddos. They truly poured their whole hearts into it, and it shows throughout. I can’t wait to show you more in the next few weeks, but what better place to start than the heart of the home — the kitchen.

modern kitchen with floating shelves

Affectionally called The Tree HousE, sitting proudly in the break of the trees, the home has become such a modern and streamlined statement piece. We knew we wanted the inside to have the same architecturally modern feel, but we also wanted to keep a little bit of history and character from what was there before.

Simple dark gray cabinets that tie into the navy shiplap walls give such beautiful drama to the space without feeling too fussy. White quartz countertops, white ceramic tile floors, and wood floating shelves are the perfect contrast and add just the right amount of texture.

navy ship lap kitchen wall with floating shelves

My absolute favorite parts of the kitchen are the pair of vintage farmhouse lights that hang over the peninsula, complemented by the uber modern barstools. It makes me just SO happy every time I see it.

modern black barstools

And you know how much I love a good #shelfie, especially when they include personal touches like sweet, hand-drawn family portraits.

floating shelf in kitchen

They waited so long for this space, and it makes me so incredibly happy to see them in it and loving it, especially this time of year.


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Floating Shelves: Hurd and Honey

Barstools: Wayfair

California Cool Eat-In Kitchen Area

If you were here last week, you saw a great before and after in the kitchen of one of our clients. As promised, here is the beautiful other half of that room! I really love a great kitchen renovation where we can incorporate little moments like this one here.

pendant light over white oval table and wishbone chairs

The sweet homeowners had a dining room adjacent to this area, so we knew we wanted to create a less formal, more intimate and cozy space for the eat-in kitchen area. As with most kitchens, this area was going to get used for so many of the day to day activities. Whether it’s by the family of four at dinner, homework after school, or girls’ wine night, the goal was to accommodate numerous scenarios since we knew it would be the hub of the home.

pendant light over white oval table and black leather bench

We really love the way the custom bench and oval table allow for better range of motion by allowing us to move a little closer to the wall. Not only is the black faux leather on the seat cushion easy to keep clean and extremely durable, but it brings such a cool sense of style to the space. Another thing that gives us all the heart eyes is the vintage Kilim rug. Standard size rugs would have just laid too wide and short in this area. So with a little eBay searching, this one not only fits the space perfectly and brings in the most stunning muted colors, but it hides a multitude of sins (i.e. dinners and girls’ wine night).

serena and lily pendant light

The straight lines of the bench really set the stage for the gorgeous modern lines of the Eero Saarinen style table. The warmth and texture of the wishbone chairs keep everything from feeling too sterile, and the gorgeous pendant light from Serena and Lily carries that vibe right up to the ceiling. The simple art and accessories keeps everything fresh, clean, and oh-so-lovely.

white vases table centerpiece

Casually cool, California modern style, made approachable, livable, and uber functional for this cool midwestern family. I just can’t get enough of it!

Don’t you just want to spend all your lazy Sunday mornings here?


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Table: Amazon

Light: Serena and Lily

Art: Oh Finale on Etsy

California Cool Kitchen

As we head into the long weekend and all the feelings of love and thankfulness, I felt like it was only appropriate to share this beautiful kitchen space.

black and brass lights in white kitchen

The incredible lady that lives here with her husband and two sweet kiddos is someone I am so grateful to know and call my friend. This is the second home I have had the privilege of working on with her, and she never misses a chance to show her gratitude and appreciation. She’s the kind of person that shares what she loves and you instantly want it, too! I’m so grateful for the support she has shown my business as it has grown over the years, both as a client and a mentor (this girl knows business!).

modern white kitchen with white subway tile

When they moved into this house, the design direction was so clear from “go”. With a kitchen that needed some updates stat, we started there. Removing a pantry to add room for a big, beautiful island completely opened up the room. The combination of white subway tile from countertop to ceiling, cool black wall sconces over black painted windows, gorgeous quartz countertops, and I mixture of high contrast finishes balanced with wood tones sets off the California modern feel.

floating shelves on white subway tile and letter board

Custom-made shelves fit the space so perfectly, and are the perfect place to incorporate the homeowners’ hysterical personalities.

I’ll show you their eat-in dining area next week once the turkey clears!

Until then, here’s what the kitchen space looked like before.

outdated white kitchen
outdated white kitchen

Westwood Wonder Dining Room

This space belongs to a super sweet family that recently moved into one of my favorite neighborhoods here in Muncie.

midcentury modern dining room with white beaded chandelier

This mid-century ranch home has rooms that seem to go on for miles, and we were honored to get to bring new life in a style specific to the homeowners.

white beaded chandelier and animal print chairs

We had the challenge of creating a space that was both fun and fresh. The eclectic mix, including animal print upholstery, vintage wood furniture, modern gold and velvet chairs, grasscloth wallpaper, and a gorgeous beaded chandelier makes for a space that is completely unique, unexpected, and stylish.

animal print chairs with green velvet chairs

Floor to ceiling custom curtains were a fun splurge, while inexpensive lattice applied to the outdated mirrors was easy on the budget.

caned serving tray with fake plant

We are so excited for the dinner parties this soon-to-be family of four will be hosting here.

Here’s a glimpse of what the room looked like before the transformation.

outdated dining room
outdated dining room with wall mirrors

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Chandelier: World Market

Green Dining Chairs: Wayfair