Nov 22, 2013 | Post by: mnanda001 6 Comments

Good-bye 30738 Dover Drive…

Ah….it’s that time of year when I go into a self-reflection mode thinking about the year that’s just about to end and the new year that’s just around the corner.   Of course, it’s easiest for me to start remembering the times I could have been a better wife, mother, daughter, sister or friend.  Certainly it’s easy to start remembering all the challenging moments or goals that I haven’t met, but mostly I am happy to say that  I am filled with an abundant feeling of gratitude for the life that I’ve been given, that I continue to create and share with so many wonderful people.  It’s this feeling of gratitude that brings me back to a moment (or shall I say process) that happened this past year.

You see….this past August my mother sold our childhood home after nearly 50 years of living there with my dad and my four older brothers.   The sale of my childhood home is one of those moments this year that touches my heart in way that I can’t explain, but I’ll try.

As a decorator, no doubt I appreciate beautiful things and of course, I appreciate beautiful elements that go into a home.  However, my decorating philosophy has always been deeper than just beautiful things that go into a space.  My design philosophy is about the heart of the home…the story of the people that live in that space. I think it’s fair to say that this philosophy stems from my childhood and specifically how I now think about the home I grew up in.  It’s this foundation that inspires the home I’m now creating with my family and the homes that I have a small hand in creating with my clients.

I grew up in a very middle class neighborhood outside of Detroit.   My childhood home was very modest, but it was very authentic and unique.  It was unique in that it was a 3 bedroom ranch made into a 6 bedroom colonial (of sorts).  My parents added a dormer to the home before my 4th brother was born.   So, yes, the structure of the house was unique, but it’s my unique family’s story that made it a home.

My dad was from India and my mom, from German and French descent, was born and raised in Detroit.  My dad was Hindu, my mom is Catholic and they married in a Catholic Church in the 60s…..not a common practice back then (who knew I was going to repeat the cycle!) and certainly, inter-racial marriages back then were not as common as they are now.    I knew my background was different, but a cool different…I mean who had names like Dinesh, Ramesh, Rajan, Anand and Maya growing up in my neighborhood at that time?  No one.   And we had some really cool artifacts from India throughout our home that my mom  and dad collected from their visits to India.  My dad with his ‘funny’ accent was always the life of the party and my neighbors could smell his delicious curry coming from my home occasionally.    Simply put…I appreciated different cultures at a very young age and our meld of cultures emanated throughout our home.

Being the the youngest of five children (and the only girl) could be considered unique in some respects too.   It’s fair to say my home growing up was chaotic, messy at times and loud….very loud.  (We are hardly considered a quiet bunch of people.)  Did I get beat up/teased  a lot by my brothers?  Yes.  Did I cry a lot?  Yes.  (Made me tough though.) Was I spoiled?  Never. : )

My family is far from perfect, but my family and thus our home was and is welcoming, loving and authentic. The memories I have in that home of the holidays, birthdays, pizza night, popcorn movie night, sleepovers, card games, hours of playing in the basement with my brother, learning how to garden from my mom go unmatched.  And, really, the list goes on and on….Heck! My husband proposed to me in this home.   I don’t have a picture of the proposal, but I’ve always loved this photo  the morning of my wedding day leaving home heading to the church.

To say the least, my childhood home was FULL of life, never dull and certainly represented a piece of our family’s story.

So when it was time for my mom to sell the house a part of me was sad, but more of me was filled with gratitude (lots of gratitude too for my brothers who helped my mom clear out that house after so many years. YIKES!).   Selling our childhood home gave me the time to honor the past, the memories and moments created in that home with my friends and family.   Also, it’s a real testament to my parents for creating a home that gave me sense of security and love.

So on sunny picture perfect summer evening this past August the day before my mother closed on the home and handed over the keys to the next the family my mom organized a pizza dinner from Little Caesars (the pizza we had growing up every Tuesday) for the family.  I drove in from Chicago for a less than 24 hour visit to be there for this pizza dinner.  This was one family dinner I wasn’t going to miss!  I knew it was a time to honor the legacy we were leaving behind in that home and to also celebrate the new journey that my mom was embarking on.  We shared a lot of memories and laughs that day with one another.  It was the perfect moment to honor our memories of our family in our home.

{Here’s some photos I snapped that day…}

{My late 80′s/early 90′s sea foam green bedroom! YIKES.}{Cork wall before it was considered cool.}{Remembering all the times when we slid down these stairs in our nylon sleeping bags!}{Ah! Underneath the stairs….a great hiding place!}{The basement. Still horsing around that day down there. Enough said.}{My mom’s murals peeking through one of the closest walls before the basement walls had paneling.}{The garden.  The place where I first learned and appreciated the art of gardening from my mom.}

{Saying good-bye to neighbors.}

{The Core Family. Dad, you are always with us in spirit.}

So, yes, I think about homes everyday with my work.   Thinking about my childhood home gives me the passion to help create the story of my own family within my own home as well as for all my clients.  Good-bye 30738 Dover Drive.

What’s the story of your childhood home?

Until next time….embrace the good in your life and be grateful.


6 Comments to Good-bye 30738 Dover Drive…

  1. Jennifer Martinez
    November 22, 2013 2:58 pm

    This was such a great story. Made me tear up a bit. Enjoyed reading this very much.

  2. Elaine Jacoby
    November 24, 2013 11:30 am


    This was beautiful! Made me laugh and cry. Keep writing…keep decorating.

  3. Angela Allen
    November 25, 2013 10:19 pm

    This story was so eloquently expressed with such passion, and the pictures show your true sentiment without words. Beautiful story, beautiful family and beautiful heart. Thank you. That was a real treat.

  4. a stetter girl
    November 26, 2013 2:30 pm

    I love this family. I’ve been .blessed to witness their story. LMS

  5. mnanda001
    November 27, 2013 5:19 pm

    I am touched that you all have enjoyed this post so much. Feels so good when we find a common thread. Thanks for your comments. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Pyara Chauhan
    November 29, 2013 10:15 am

    Related as this poignant story is to Dinesh Telang, I’ll say it is very moving. You just cannot help but look back with nostalgia at a home which meant so much to you as you grew up. It must of course mean that much to all those others young and old connected to it one way or another. I was very touched.

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