As many of you know, I shared a duplex with my mom. One side was my home and the other side was hers. It was OUR home. After losing her, I panicked thinking I would have to rent her side out to swing the mortgage. That was never the plan for me. I have never wanted to be a landlord nor did I want to share my home with a stranger. But, what other choice did I have? I had a mortgage to pay, right?
After some time and many painful attempts at packing up her life, I realized that I couldn't imagine not being able to go next door to her house freely. I couldn't picture someone else living in her home. I can still "smell her." I look around and relive a lot of the memories made there, where she used to put this or that, what was hanging on this wall or that wall. If I rented that home out to someone else, those memories would fade too much and too fast. Someone else's things would be where my mom's were. And worst of all, it meant I couldn't go there when I wanted to anymore and that thought broke my heart.
Then it dawned on me... a studio!
I could convert her home into my studio! And that is exactly what I did. In just a few weeks, with a lot of backbreaking hard work by my partner in life, Timmy, and the help of his friend Kevin, my vision became a reality. Walls were torn down, old carpeting was tossed, fresh paint; you name it, we did it. My house was built in 1880, so it was like living in a never-ending episode of This Old House.
If you knew my mother, you knew she was the queen of yard sales, repurposing, and all things gently loved. So, naturally, it's in my blood to use the resources I have to create and make my visions come alive.
My mother's legacy is important to me, so as I sorted through and packed up her life, I put aside so many beautiful pieces for the studio. Like her wicker baskets and the wicker trunk she's had since I was a kid, the hat I bought her in Martha's Vineyard and the cashmere scarf she'd only wear on the most special occasions, the glass bottles she collected and the vintage buffet she repainted herself; so many things. My mom never thought I valued her “old stuff.” She’d always say “someday when I’m gone, these things will be worth money.” Little did she know, they are priceless. Incorporating things from my mom’s life into my photography has been part of my grief process. It’s like I am breathing her life back into the world, while still leaving her footprints; long after even I am gone.
So, friends, welcome to Beeden Design Photography’s studio. A unique space, carefully designed and filled with vintage pieces that can tell stories for days. A mix between farmhouse and boho vibes, with a whole lot of history, open and ready to create magic with the world. Take a peep at the collage below and let me know what you think!
Love & Light,
The Candid Beauty
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