Walking into Erin Lindsey’s home is like taking a breath of fresh air. Welcoming me at the door with two adorable dogs and decked out in her favorite sweat suit, I immediately felt at home and relaxed. There was a sense of “real” as we sat down to talk – jitters and all – because she is my first “official” interview for Shattered Magazine.
Erin is my friend, so our conversation soon flowed. It had been a long time since we had talked. I wanted to know about Erin’s style and the choices she made for her home, not only giving our readers ideas about what to do with their homes, but also, giving them a glimpse of who Erin Lindsey really is.
Erin is a bubbly beautiful woman with a heart of gold. She truly cares about other people and wants them to see the beauty in themselves and in their lives. Whether they’re in a photo shoot with her as clients or they are people she would consider friends and family, Erin desires others to feel loved, worthy, and beautiful.
A Good Look Around
One day, Erin looked around her home and realized that it was filled with random stuff that had no sentimental value or meaning to her or Will, her husband. She saw nothing that would start a meaningful conversation; something that would cause visitors to pause, think, discuss, and understand the deeper meaning behind their décor. She wanted her surroundings to be a reflection of who they are. Problem was, she was not quite sure what style best depicted that.
Overwhelmed and unsure where to start, Erin and Will decided to begin in one room going piece by piece. The one rule that they established was that they had to sell what they were replacing before they could buy the new piece. This ensured that they made thoughtful, purposeful, and financially responsible decisions. Being the super thrifty kind of girl she is, she was also determined to find everything from second-hand supplies or on incredible sales.
Where did she search? Garage sales, thrift stores, bargain bins, clearance sales, etc… but Erin insists that thrift stores have the best stuff. All she needed was a can of spray paint, and she could turn anything into something that fit her emerging style.
The beginning point of their home transformation was an antique couch given to them from the estate of Will’s great aunt. They sanded and painted the wood edging on their own, but invested in reupholstering the couch. The result is a couch that has meaning. As the focal point in the living room, the rest of the décor revolves around it. Because this heirloom was restored, their family is happy and honored.
As we went around her living room, talking about the different pieces integrated into her design – beautiful conversational pieces – our discussion topics soon flowed easily. I began to learn more about Erin than I had ever known before. Those pieces led us to talk about her and her husband’s families. I learned about their marriages and how the young couple really looked up to the examples that had been set for them. I learned about how Erin loved to listen to vinyl records that reminded her of how she danced to the music around her house as a child.
I learned how Erin loved to read books and what was on her “to read” list. (My favorite that she mentioned was “Anne of Green Gables” – a must read for all women!) The more I learned about her, the more she felt comfortable sharing with me, and the more I felt drawn to her and her realness. There is an incredible strength, confidence, and security in opening up to someone. I was so glad to get to see more of Erin.
More Than Meets the Eye
If you know Erin, or see her work with Erin Lindsey Images, or even read this article, you might feel like she’s got it all together. You might feel like you do not measure up or that your life is not worth displaying quite like hers is – in fact, she’s been approached about this. I asked her how she felt about others comparing themselves to her or looking at her home and her life, wishing they could have the same.
The hallway, a point in the house often travelled and the focal point for Erin and Will to hang photos displaying them as a happily married couple, was the location for this special conversation between us. Her response was so beautiful. “We are a normal couple and I am completely human. We fight; we struggle as individuals and together; and we each need to be reminded from time to time about what is important to us. I, personally, struggle with fear of failure. But we know that, ultimately, life is great, even when it is not. We find that focusing on the good things, being reminded of them in photographs helps us to remember what it is we love about each other and life. I have to make the choice, every day, to focus on the blessings as opposed to wallowing in the insecurities and sadness that come at us during the day.”
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Erin’s business persona is attractive and fun, as seen in her energetic and bubbly blog posts and beautiful photographic interpretations of her subjects. What she loves the most about photography is the realness in the moment when she is shooting. She wants her clients to feel beautiful in their own skin, to celebrate who they are, and to appreciate the moment that they are in – whether it’s their wedding, an engagement shoot, or couples photo – she really wants people to like themselves.
She wants people to celebrate the lives they are living. It is really easy for us to look at others, (especially with the invention of social networking geared towards presenting the most desirable persona to the world) and wish we had someone else’s life. Snapshots of happy couples romping in fields, beautiful children kissing their parents in peaceful bliss, and puppy dogs cuddled up around us, can make us feel as if our marital arguments, morning breath, back-talking- fit-throwing children, and pets that pee all over our floors just do not measure up. It can leave us feeling inadequate and wishing things were different instead of celebrating what beauty there is in our lives. Erin Lindsey and Shattered Magazine have similar desires when it comes down to it. We want to see people celebrate and find the beauty in their own lives – messes and all!
End of the Tour
After going through her beautiful home and enjoying our meaningful conversation, I asked her how the finished product makes her feel. “Love it! Feels like me…” Even though she didn’t know whom she was when she started, the process did much to bring things into focus for her. She revealed more and more of what was truly important and meaningful in her life by being very deliberate in her decisions about what to display.
Now, she simply loves drinking her coffee in her living room, sunlight streaming in, feeling surrounded by just enough to energize her and prepare her for her days. It is a place where she can truly focus and prepare herself to go out into the world. And it’s not because she felt the need to go out and “get more” it’s because she filled her home with what mattered to her and ministered to her heart.