Welcome to Creating Space! A journal series where we get to talk with some of our favorite people around the country (and the world!) to learn how they create personal meaning in their homes and lives.
We are so excited to start off with Kelsey Johnston from MySimplySimple. A fellow midwesterner, Kelsey has a beautifully grounded and approachable style that shines through on her site and IG feed. We feel lucky to know Kelsey and we are sure you will love getting to know her as well.
Tell us a little about yourself. What is your “story” and what do you do for a living?
My name is Kelsey Johnston. My husband, Tyler, and I live on 8.5 acres in rural Indiana with our 18-month-old daughter, Marin. I graduated from Purdue University with a degree in engineering and worked for a healthcare consulting company for 8.5 years until I decided the corporate world wasn’t a good long-term fit for me. I now run My Simply Simple full time as well being a Mom, Wife, Homemaker, and novice gardener.
At Territory, we use the term “creating space” to mean both the creation of a beautiful physical space but also a space that allows us to relax and be present. What are some of your favorite pieces to create that home sanctuary?
We built our home with a focus on energy efficiency and the ability to experience the change in seasons year-round. We kept the indoor decor simple in an effort to draw the eye outside, and to create a truly indoor/outdoor living experience. So, whether it’s a day of abundant sunshine, a snowstorm, or just an overcast day in the middle of winter, I like pieces that are simple, purposeful and add a touch of comfort – pillows, plants, a throw, and always a few wood accents.
How do you stay grounded when things get stressful?
I’m a very analytical person and rely on routines, organization, and processes to keep me calm. When things start to get stressful, making a list is my go-to. It calms me down and allows me to prioritize.
What are three things you can’t live without?
– Quiet. The pure quiet and stillness found in the middle of nowhere is my solace. I’m an introvert, so quiet time allows me to recharge and is vital for my wellbeing.
– Clothesline. I grew up with a clothesline and still use one religiously today. I love the smell, the routine, and the dependence on mother nature.
– Diffuser. I have curly hair, so a diffuser is my BFF! I don’t go anywhere overnight without it. Ha!
Who is someone that inspires you? Why?
Two words: Marin Mae. We welcomed our little girl in July 2019, and it has been the wildest ride of my life. I’ve never experienced such intense highs and lows or a love that could run so deep. She is our entire world and inspires me in a way I never knew possible – not so much to aspire to be or do all of these grand things, but rather that with her and her Dad, I have everything I need.
At Territory, we are always balancing our relationship to material goods with consciousness. What are some buying practices you engage in to make sure your consumption habits are balanced and sustainable?
It feels like a continual work in process, but I’ve had a lot of success in the “fewer, better things” methodology, especially since moving into our home. I find so much joy in finding the perfect solution and saving up for it. In a world of instant gratification, slow and thoughtful can really test your will, but those purchases are often the ones most revered, used, and truly make a room/outfit/etc.
What are some of your most important self-care routines/rituals you engage in?
We go on a walk as a family every single night, rain or shine, and it is the best part of my day. Fresh air does wonders for clearing the mind and helping me process thoughts/ideas.
Last year was a crazy yet transformative year. What are some of the lessons you gained from that time and how are you applying it to your life now?
As luck would have it, I decided to leave my corporate job at the end of February 2020 to spend more time with our little girl and to pursue a few passion projects. I obviously had no idea a pandemic was on the horizon, so initially it seemed like horrible timing, but this past year has been one of the most eye-opening periods of my life. Emotionally. Physically. The state of the world has forced me to slow down, way down. I’ve never been so keenly aware of what is truly important to me and what I need to achieve success in life. We live in a society where we’re told that the only way to be happy is to do more, have more, and be more. IT ISN’T TRUE. Being a Mom, Wife, and Homemaker is the career path I never saw coming, but it’s already my greatest achievement.
Thank you Kelsey!