Black Lives Matter. Today. And Everyday.

Black Lives Matter. Today. And Everyday.

Y’all. What the hell just happened?

My White Privilege just showed itself.

I had NO IDEA that things were still SO BAD for our black brothers and sisters.

I say brothers and sisters because we are all HUMAN KIND. We are all children of God. We are all on this earth together, sharing her resources.

I am still reeling from the events that have recently unfolded…and have yet to find my words or my position…other that IT HAS TO STOP. And in order for it to change, we have to be the change.  It sounds so small. And like a bumper sticker. But it literally has to stick this time. These stories we have of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown…and the list goes on.

What strikes me deeply, is that these individuals have been brutalized – killed – by the police. BUT that isn’t the only problem our black brothers and sisters have…there is a systematic injustice that is built into our country’s infrastructure. Last week, I watched “13th“…this is a documentary about the 13th Amendment and how we have FAILED to honor this Amendment…how we have skirted around it and done such a disservice to the black members of our community, members of our faith, members of our country by criminalizing them in such a way that you & I (whites) can never understand. You don’t have to have Netflix, you can watch it HERE – I highly recommend it. It’s eye opening. Well, it’s a start anyway.

BUT in reflection, when I’m not making excuses for myself, this isn’t the first I’ve “heard” about the unfairness of our system. I read a book called Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson a few years ago and it is about the broken system of justice we have for our black community. What did I DO after reading it? I cried.

But then I went on my merry, white privileged way. And did nothing. Because it didn’t affect me. (If you’re not into reading, you can watch the movie for free HERE. I haven’t seen it, but it’s on my list.)

I hid behind the fact that this didn’t affect me.

My dad is a cop.

My dad (technically stepdad, but he’s been around for us forever) is in law enforcement and has been a police officer since we met him. He’s now a Police Chief in a suburb of Albuquerque, NM. And he is a good man. He stands up for what is right and has honor and integrity and leads his team by example. So I was an advocate for Blue Lives Matter because it was closer to home for me.

However, these beasts wearing the uniform who kill black people are NOT police officers; they are hiding behind a badge, but are not law enforcement officers…they are cowards.

Having family in law enforcement is not an excuse to hide behind either.

I’ve intentionally looked black people in the eye and spoke TO them. I acknowledged their presence with respect. I complimented them when I saw something beautiful in them, just like I would a person who wasn’t black. But what does that really do? Nothing. Except make me feel better about myself because I was being “inclusive”. It’s the basic dignity everybody deserves.  In retrospect, it was a shitty ass form of racism that I was practicing. Reverse racism? I don’t what you’d call it. But it wasn’t ANTI-RACISM, which is what we need now.

So. What am I going to do to be a part of the change?

I cannot just hide behind my white skin anymore. And wow. Just saying that hits home. It is exactly what I’ve been doing. But I’m DONE with that.

Because, you know what? I am brokenhearted along with most of the rest of the country. (Sadly, I still can’t say the “entire” country.) There have been days in the past week or so where I just wept. I wept for the loss of lives, yes, but I also wept because my eyes were finally opened and I’m seeing what I turned my eyes away from.

And I wept, because I have a daughter who is black. So now, this situation got real close to home. It’s a shame that it took bringing home a mixed race baby to get my attention, but it has. And I’m ashamed that I didn’t pay attention earlier.

This post is not about me and my guilt and my shame…it’s about acknowledging my ignorance, and moving on to make a difference.

I don’t know WHAT I am going to do. But I’m going to lead by example. I’m going to be a force for change. I’m going to be a force for good. I’m going to be a force for God.

Jesus calls believers to pursue peace and oneness, so that is what I’m going to do. Love my neighbor includes ensuring they have justice.

IN ADDITION TO THE 99 BOOKS I’M GOING TO ORDER ON AMAZON TONIGHT, HERE ARE A FEW RESOURCES THAT I HAVE GATHERED IN ORDER TO START TO RESEARCHING WHAT RESONATES WITH ME TO GET PLUGGED IN TO.  I THOUGHT YOU MIGHT FIND THIS INFORMATION USEFUL TOO:

Campaign Zero Campaign Zero’s data-informed platform presents comprehensive solutions to end police violence in America. joincampaignzero.org

Color of Change Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization, which helps people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. (https://colorofchange.org/)

Community Change Community Change is a national organization that builds the power of low-income people, especially people of color, to fight for a society where everyone can thrive. communitychange.org

Equal Justice Initiative (IF I RECALL CORRECTLY, THIS IS THE ORGANIZATION THE AUTHOR / ATTORNEY BRYAN STEVENSON STARTED) The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. eji.org.

Leadership Conference on Civil Rights The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition. civilrights.org

Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals working to undermine white supremacy and to work toward racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability.showingupforracialjustice.org

I was watching an interview the other day on Right Now Media…that if you’re at Niagra Falls and see a baby in the water you scoop it out. And another baby comes down the water, and you scoop it out and save it too…but then there is another baby, so you rescue it too…THAT IS CHARITY. Instead of just “saving babies”…it’s our job to go upstream and STOP whomever is tossing these babes into the water and THAT IS JUSTICE. I probably just butchered that example, but you can watch the short video HERE. … it’s not what you’d expect. And definitely worth your time, I promise. And VERY relevant to today. Watch until the end…the conversation around the fire at the lake is key.

So, my dearest black friends, family, brothers and sisters I have never met. I stand with you and will stand for you.

 

XOXO,

 

How To Style Functional Open Shelving

Last week, the third client in 2 months balked at the idea of open shelving in their kitchen because they did not know how to style open shelving. They also didn’t know if they could keep it looking pretty when it was installed. So. I’m here to take the fear of out of open shelving and walk you through the process. Step by step. And I’m talking from personal experience in addition to the our client projects, so I know my shizzizle on this topic first hand.

In fact, when I suggested open shelving in the kitchen for the kitchen refresh we did last year, it was the same question from my husband. How does open shelving work from a functional standpoint? And do we REALLY want to display our stuff 24 / 7? Will it look good? Is it difficult to maintain? And on and on and on. Yes, folks, my husband still has to be reassured even though this is what we do all day, every day. So you’re in good company if you have the same questions.

Kitchen Remodel | Kitchen Design | MLIG | Dallas Interior Decorator

My little kitchen (for more, see #ProjectCaulfieldDrive on Instagram)After I convinced him that removing the cabinets and replacing them with open shelving will make the kitchen feel bigger (this is true in all kitchens, not just my little one), he breathed a bit of a sigh of relief. Then we dug into the same details we review with our clients:

Confirm you have enough storage.

You’ll be re-arranging a few things in your kitchen. Exposing some of the items (obviously – on the open shelves) and tucking others into different locations. Open shelving should be functional, so we are going to want to display the most relevant items.

Start with what you use.

Depending upon where you install the shelves will determine the foundation of the styled items. Look, you’re not just “accessorizing”, you’re creating a functional space within arguably the most used room in the kitchen. Plates, bowls, and everyday dishes are what we always begin with for our clients, and it was the same at my house.

Do you need have all 12 – 16 settings on the shelf at once? Probably not. We run the dishwasher often enough that 4 – 6 of any item is enough. So the rest of the dishes can go behind a cabinet until they are needed again. And do they need to match? Ummmm…no (I say with uncertainty)…if you enjoy the eclectic vibe of mismatched coffee mugs. For me (and our clients), matching IS a key factor in the aesthetic. I was able to convince the hubs that a set of white dishes would last us for much longer than the style specific dishes we selected for our wedding gifts. Hindsight is 20/ 20, right?

You don’t have to limit the shelving to just dishes. Again, depending upon where the shelves are located, they could house your barware and liquor. The options are endless!

Kitchen Decor | Open Kitchen Shelving | ML Interiors Group | Dallas Interior Design

For more, see #ProjectWoodcrest on Instagram

Add some decorative function.

Maybe it’s canisters. Unique salt and pepper shakers. Your favorite teapot. Candlesticks you often pull from behind the cabinet doors but are pretty enough to display. Cookbooks that you’re continually creating from. There are all sorts of things that you probably use, but never thought of displaying. Plants (real or faux).  Metal wine glasses.

A Grapevine area kitchen renovation brings organic wood shelves, contrasted with a black and gold range hood | Design by ML Interiors Group | Dallas best interior design

For more, see #ProjectBuckinghamDrive on Instagram

Or maybe you just go for decorative.

And keep your functional behind closed doors if your dishes and such don’t really match. (You know, that eclectic coffee mug collection you add to every time you travel?) This is a nice space to add photo frames, faux fruit so you always have a hint of color, flowers, or maybe you switch it out seasonally.

Kitchen Design | Kitchen Decor | Michelle Lynne Interiors Group | Dallas Interior Design

For more, see #ProjectNottinghamDrive on Instagram

All of our client’s kitchen shelves have been made custom for their space, but if you’re looking for an easier and faster option, check out THESE or THESE shelves from Ballard Designs. Just make sure they are installed in a wall stud, so your cute styling doesn’t fall to the ground.

And keep in mind, that if you decide you’re not a fan of the open shelves in a few years, adding cabinetry back in place is not difficult. BUT. I’d be willing to be that – so long as you have enough storage elsewhere – once you’ve livened them up functionally, you’ll love them for a long time!

For more images of the above projects, you can see them HERE in our portfolio…and of course by checking out the hashtags on Instagram.

Contact Us

Are you ready to discuss your own interior design or renovation project?

Let’s schedule a time to “interview us”!  We have years of experience creating happier and more efficient homes. We begin every project with a (free) in studio Meet & Greet. Contact the team at ML Interiors Group today at 972-248-4733 or via the website contact form. We offer interior design services in all of DFW and beyond.