Welcome to Tara Lenney Design! I’m thrilled that you’re here. I wanted to take a moment to tell you a little bit more about myself and how I got to this place that just wouldn’t fit into the “about” page.
I have always been a designer, but I didn’t always know it. At about the age of 6 I started redecorating my bedroom…constantly. While some kids poured over the toy pages in the Sears Catalog, I wore out the pages with the bedding and lamps and accessories. You know, totally normal kid behavior.
Fast forward to college (TCU – go frogs) and I found out that what I loved in fact had a name, and you could study it in college, and then someone may actually pay you to do it. I was in. I sort of had to trick my Dad into thinking I was a business major and then pull a bait and switch to an Interior Design major to make that happen. Sorry Daddy! Although now, it certainly looks like he was partly right. Perhaps I should have minored in Business at least. That Art History minor isn’t getting much use these days…
Aaaanyway, I got married to my college sweetheart and after graduation I was hired by an architecture firm in Dallas. I worked with some crazy-amazing people there and worked for wonderful clients, big and small. The job was demanding but enjoyable. Then two things started slowly happening while I wasn’t looking – 1) I was insecure about my creative abilities as a designer and 2) I was doing a pretty good job and started to move up into management.
(And yes, I acknowledge that the two above statements don’t seem in sync, but trust me, all designers are occasionally – or constantly - insecure about their abilities and sometimes this can have very little to do with actual job performance.)
So I let myself get deeper and deeper into the management track, which it turns out that I liked and was pretty good at, but the consequence was that the creative part of me – that had been there as long as I could remember – was getting used less and less, until one day I woke up and I wasn’t really designing at all.
In the midst of all of this, I had 2 babies. After the first (Henry) I went back to work full time and had some of the best years of my career. I worked with some top notch clients, traveled around the country, and got some really solid leadership training. I learned the business side of design (invoicing, revenue, other businessesey words) and learned how to run projects and lead people. I learned so much about myself and how I like to work in the process.
When the little guy (Max) was born I made the difficult – yet not so difficult – decision to stay home and be with my boys. I knew in my soul that this was the right decision for our family. That amazing architecture firm let me stay on and work part time from home, which was a godsend. A few months into my permanent maternity leave I started a blog because I desperately needed a creative outlet. Y'all, that blog was all over the place. I wrote about design, food, parenting, DIY projects, couponing, quilting. You name it, I wrote about it. And it was the exact thing I needed at that time in my life. (The blog is actually still there, although I’m not updating it any longer because now I have this space to be a bit more focused. Feel free to go back and read about all of my crazy. Don’t judge too harshly).
Wonderful things started happening from that blog. I was energized creatively again. Soon, friends and family and neighbors and blog readers began to reach out for design help. And I loved it. Little by little I began to design more and get my creative confidence back. Then those people told their friends, who told their friends, and lo and behold, I know own a small business.
I should have titled this post “How Tara Got Her Groove Back.”
So that is the slightly longer yet still pretty condensed version of how I got to this place. I love helping people design their homes. Home should be your happy place, not a source of stress. It’s one very important piece in the puzzle of how to live your best life, and I’m blessed to get to help so many folks with that.
The other phenomenal part of this is that I’m in charge of how this looks. Most days I hang out with my boys all morning and then do some work during naptime, mid-afternoon while they play in the backyard, or after they go to bed. Sometimes all three. Sometimes none. It’s freeing and refreshing and invigorating and perfect for this stage of life when they are still so little.
I look forward to sharing more with you as this little business grows. Check back for new blog posts from time to time. Also, follow along on Instagram for fun snapshots and behind the scenes photos from projects I’m working on. I also can’t rule out a photo of my cute kids from time to time either. Or me with Batman.