Welcome to the Oakstreet Blog

My name is Jordan, and I don’t know anything about interior design. I like a cute house as much as the next guy or gal but actual design? Clueless.

So I’m going to start a design blog.

This might not make sense upon first glance. You might wonder, But are you qualified? or Why would I care what you have to say? I don’t know but let me try to explain.

About a year ago I moved back to my hometown of Abilene, Texas after nearly a decade of bouncing around the state. I was selling the business I’d been running for the past seven years (a blog—saying that for clout), and deciding if I should go back to teaching 6th grade math. But did I want to work 57 million hours a week for pennies? Did I still have the same capacity for attitudes and hyperactivity after having three kids of my own? I just really wasn’t sure.

But I knew a girl.

I’d met Rebecca Gibbs within the first few weeks of college (or back then, Becca Steffins). We loved each other a weird amount and spent more time together than her boyfriends would have liked. We matured at a very slow rate and thought we were funnier than we actually were (*are*), but we were also kind, which I think trumps a lot of that.

 

 

She ended up marrying my childhood friend and together they started a ridiculously good looking interior design and custom home building company, Gibbs Design+Build, in Abilene, which came as no surprise to anyone who knew them.

When I called to tell her we were moving back, she told me to shut up in the sweetest way and then called me back a couple minutes after we’d hung up. “I mean… what do you think about… working for me? No pressure. But I think I have a spot. But seriously, no pressure. I'm opening a shoppe and I have ideas.”

I started as her Design Coordinator a month later, which is a title that means a lot of things but most days I’m neck-deep in spreadsheets of specs and shoppe products. I'm learning a lot everyday, one of which is that loving your job might have more to do with who you're with than what you do. Bradye and Marilyn (the other two designers on staff) have quickly become like family. I enjoy being at work everyday.

 

From the get-go, Rebecca and I talked about me writing something. What would that look like? I’d been writing for the last several years for different platforms, but none of it had anything to do with design or houses or building or decorating. I mostly just wrote about what I was thinking that day, and I admittedly never really thought about that stuff.

For years, we’ve had conversations about her career, the heart she put behind her projects, the way some of it can feel shallow but all the things she’s learned along the way that give depth and meaning to what she does. Design is more than just decorating, it’s intention and decision-making and a good-eye that you either have or you don’t … but it’s also soul. And how do you convey that?

So that’s what I’ll be trying to do. Finding, parsing, conveying, and searching for the soul of design. The parts that move her and the parts that move me. The things that feel important and the things that don’t. And I’m still learning. I’m an outsider looking in, seeing everything as a layman, watching the mice sew the dress in complete awe. It’s actually alarming to watch the way it all comes together, from inside someone’s head to real life beauty. 

 

So I'm gonna write about that. This won’t be “10 Ways to Style a Bookshelf” or “5 Paint Colors That Will Never Go Out of Style.” And that’s not to say those articles aren’t important. There’s a place for them. But one quick search and you can have your pick. You don’t need another designer telling you what you should or shouldn’t do. 

What we want to do is infuse conversations about design with emotion, bring life to something Pinterest and Instagram have made sterile and cold, easy to copy but hard to feel.

We want to talk about design in a way that matters. And while I’m the writer, I’m really just the observer, or relayer of gathered information. I’m sharing what I’m hearing, what I’m seeing as a person who is exactly like you (if you are also someone who knows nothing about good design but appreciates it when she sees it). 

So that’s it. We want to invite you into these conversations, challenge you to think differently about what good design is, give you freedom to break away from what’s expected, and help you feel more comfortable and content in the home you live in RIGHT NOW. And that’s just a nibble. Rebecca sent me a whole long list of topics, some of which are rather spicy. Buckle up, folks. We’ve got words and pretty pictures and can’t wait to use them.

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