My Design Dilemma. And your's too!

Today is sharing day and I just pray that I'm not sharing too much.  If you feel the same way I do or deal with this in your own world of design - please say hi and be my little support system.  Or tell me to take this crap down because I've taken a nosedive into TMI.  Either would be helpful!  Thanks <3

Meridian Abbey Interiors - Indianapolis, IN - Interior Designer, Kitchen and Bath Designer

I love high-end, jaw-dropping, heart-swelling, lust-inducing design.  You see it in Architectural Digest and Dwell and, well, you know where to find it.  I love that.  I love looking at that and I love designing that.  There are at least a couple of issues here, though.  The first one being that the typical (and wonderful) client does not have the budget for an Elle Decor worthy home.  The second being that I can't post personal images of my home that look like this because although I can design it, I personally cannot afford it, either.  It is a humbling thing and painfully frustrating to desire a master bath dipped in marble and dripping with nickel, and realize that I will not have that in my life (for the next few years, anyway.  I have long term goals).  

So how do I deal with this without feeling like a fraud?  A limited budget always stretches those creativity muscles, but at times I become stagnant with the thought that if I just wait a little longer... I will be able to buy those window treatments that would imbue the living room with texture and diffuse the ample afternoon light to an inviting glow.  

Meridian Abbey Interiors - Indianapolis Interior Designer, Kitchen & Bath Design

So far, I've pushed that purchase off a good six months.  

In other instances, I procrastinate even doing the little things - like hanging artwork - because it isn't exactly what I want up on my walls.  The 60" square painting I want by Amy Kirchner that would finish the wall brilliantly will have to wait, and in the meantime I guess I'd rather live with blank walls.

Examples of Amy Kirchner's work from her Instagram account.

I did feel remarkably improved once I purchased my sofa in cream with clean lines and soft, perfectly lounge-able cushions, and the 80" long by 30" deep dining table I had made to gather around with clients or family.  I was able to sell or pitch the random pieces I had been using for these items before.  Now I could invite people over without feeling self-conscious to the point that I couldn't relax and enjoy the company.  Still, I would feel even better if I could rip out my fireplace and start from scratch there.  Or - my ultimate desire - widen the doorway to my kitchen and gut that thing completely.  

So how do I cope?  I try very, very hard to be nice to myself.  Gentle and supporting.  Because no one is as hard on me as me.   High standards and expectations are as much a part of me as my sarcasm and work ethic.  I remind myself that even if I could afford to do all of the things I desire, my family and friends wouldn't change their opinions of me.  I don't have meetings in the dining room yet as I plan to, but living in the simple and simply beautiful home I have created is a pleasure I have waited years to experience.  I try to find solace in my simplicity by adopting not a minimalist lifestyle - which I admire, but realize I am not 100% able to commit to without the budget to make it beautiful (vanity in minimalism.  Hmm...) - but by living in hygge.  

Meridian Abbey Interiors - Indianapolis Interior Designer, Kitchen and Bath Designer

Pronounced “HUE-gah”

So far, the best description I have come across for this word is this: "A fundamental quality of Danish culture, [it] cannot be translated using a single word.  Rather, it includes many of the pleasures we associate with everyday living - relaxing with friends, enjoying good food, and creating a cozy evening by lighting a candle or two."  Thank you Skagen, a Danish website, for the description!

It isn't going to keep me from dreaming of my lavish master bath or extended deck and lush gardens, but it does help me to recognize the beauty in simplicity.

And that is what I will hold onto until the time that my home is covering the pages of House Beautiful! ;)

Now - PLEASE - share your design dilemma with me and how you overcome it.  Or tell me to shut up and take this post down as soon as I am able.  I know you have an opinion, and I really want to hear it!  Thanks :)


Have a great weekend,

Meridian Abbey Interiors - Indianapolis, IN Interior Designer, Kitchen and Bath Designer


Warning: Hygge has hit the states and I predict it is going to be trendy as hell.  Remember - its a quality of living - not a style.  Don't buy something because its marketed as "hygge".  That is literally the opposite of the whole dang thing!

 A great blog by the adorable Alex Beauchamp you may want to check out is HyggeHouse.  She is Danish and shares of her perfect hygge house and the joys she has found in it.


Welcome to the Meridian Abbey of 2017

Meridian Abbey New Year Goals

Welcome to the Meridian Abbey of 2017!!

About a month ago I realized for the first time all year that the last blog post I put out into the world wasn’t even in 2016.  

That’s terrible. 

Hopefully it tells you that I had a stinkin’ busy year, which is true, but could just as easily read (and most likely says) that I had fallen off the face of the planet.  Bad, bad professional move, Abigail.  

I am still among the living and my goal is to write MUCH more consistently this year.  I guess writing at all would be a good place to start, but I’m aiming high.  With a calendar and everything.  It’s gonna be greatness!

In the spring I am doing photo shoots for two (possibly three) of the kitchens I completed last year and will be sharing those.  The travel bug hit hard in October and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight, so I’ll be sharing the beautiful things I see and do on my travels as they come along.  You can keep up with ongoing projects, as well as impulsive tidbits of charm and elegance on {my Instagram account} and on the {Meridian Abbey Facebook page}.  I pin like crazy, so you should {follow me on Pinterest}, too.  Please, please follow, like, heart, pin, or whatever your means of sharing the love is!  I sincerely appreciate it :)

In addition to blogging pretty things, I thought I would test out a design question and answer thing once a month for people with design problems/challenges/hang ups/or just general questions. If you happen to be one of those individuals, email me with your issue at  Send photos, too, if they would help.  This experiment is not intended to provide you with a full design of whatever room is being a pain in your ass.  The help I want to provide will be applicable to you, but potentially to a dozen others as well. I may be able to help you make a final selection from the eight wallpapers you are considering with an explanation of why you really do want to select that one, or suggest a floor plan for your awkwardly shaped living room.  I’m not totally sure how this will work out, but I’m looking forward to the trial run!

Thanks for sticking with me and I look forward to a year of consistent(ly excellent) blogging.   :)

Happy New Year!



Next week: I'm going to share some of the photos I took on an incredible trip to Chattanooga over the Thanksgiving holiday.  I had NO IDEA this city was such a design powerhouse!  Every time you turn around there is something stunning staring back at you: a building or restaurant or hotel (The Dwell Hotel.  Oh my goodness.  It was love at first sight).  Can't wait to share!