Making Room for Peace: Rachel King
Let's just lay it out there: Newport News interior designer Rachel King is the epitome of cool. Her latest design project features a 1940's kitchen with dark green tiled walls, brass detailing, and wood accents. This is just one of the many projects she has going in the Hampton Roads area, a place which she calls home. Having grown up in the area, Rachel is the person to know as she is always connecting people, whether it be with the focus of friendship or a business opportunity. Her gift has led me to a lot of the girlfriends that I have now, so to say that I am grateful is an understatement!
Along with connecting people and fostering a sense of community, Rachel is all about sharing life together. In this interview she shares how her current motto is showing up. For her this means obedience to God's leading and finding the courage to face the uncomfortable, hard things. As a wife, mama of two, and a business owner Rachel is in a stage of life where she often finds herself trying to balance it all. Here she shares with us her tips for having grace on herself and others; what’s inspiring her these days; and a lot more!
NAME: Rachel King
NICK NAME: Rach, Rae
PROFESSION: Wife + mama of two, interior decorator, stylist and owner of Rachel King Design
MISSION: To bring beauty and order to my clients’ homes by creating functional spaces that enhance their lives.
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
Here in Newport News! I’m a rare bird because I’m actually from this area.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
In Newport News. My husband and I have lived here for 8 years.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO INTERIOR DESIGN?
I took an interest at a young age. Sometime in junior high my mom let me completely redecorate my room and I loved every second of curating my own space. We had roman shades made out of sheets that coordinated with my bedding, I used lockers as a dresser and a vintage chrome diner table as a desk. That experience began my passion for interiors.
WHAT LED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS, RACHEL KING DESIGN?
After working for a few years managing designers and serving as a project manager, I went to work in a corporate setting. I started getting inquiries from potential clients so I got a business license and began taking small jobs on the side. RKD started officially in 2013 and I’ve been slowly growing ever since.
WHAT IS THE BEST AND THE HARDEST PART ABOUT OWNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
Best: It’s incredibly gratifying to build something of your own. You’re the boss! Right now, I most enjoy the freedom and flexibility to create my own schedule, especially while raising my kiddos.
Hardest: I miss the camaraderie and the speed of working in a team, that dynamic is my favorite. Being a one woman show means everything starts and stops with you. It’s hard to mentally escape.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? I’m a modern traditionalist. I enjoy a classic foundation layered with a mixture of genres and unexpected accents and always a nod to MCM.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU ARE WORKING ON THAT YOU ARE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT? I’m working with some new clients on a kitchen remodel in a 1940s home! The homeowners have really great style.
ARE THERE ANY DESIGN TRENDS THAT YOU ARE REALLY LOVING? WHAT ARE YOU READY TO SEE GO? I am excited to see a resurgence of rattan, deeply saturated wall colors and unexpected tile applications such as contrasting orientation and color blocking. Anything that gets replicated over and over starts to wear on me fast.
IF I HAD TO PICK ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE YOU IT WOULD BE PROBABLY BE “CONNECTOR”. YOU TRULY HAVE SUCH A WAY OF CONNECTING PEOPLE TOGETHER WHETHER IT BE AS FRIENDS OR BUSINESS PARTNERS. HAVE YOU ALWAYS HAD THIS GIFT?
That’s kind, thank you! We are meant to live in community! Surrounding yourself with like-minded people who bring genuine encouragement and accountability to your life becomes a greenhouse for personal growth. I want to draw the circle bigger!
AS A WIFE, MAMA OF TWO SMALL CHILDREN AND A BUSINESS OWNER WORKING FROM HOME, YOU’VE SHARED THAT LIFE CAN SOMETIMES BE A BIT HECTIC. WHAT PRACTICES DO YOU DO TO MAKE ROOM FOR PEACE IN YOUR LIFE?
Time in the word and working out are peace-making practices that I desperately need. I’ve also been trying to take one unplugged rest day during the weekend to be present with my people.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR MOTHERS WORKING FROM HOME?
Ha! I’m not even close to having this thing figured out. I think that if you want to be both productive and attentive to your family you’ve got to have some structure. Having a routine is important for us. What’s tricky about parenting in general is that things are constantly changing, add to that a pressing to-do list and it can quickly feel overwhelming. Just keep building an armory of good time management, resilience, creativity, patience and grit. And don’t be embarrassed to ask for or receive help!
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THE MOTHERS OUT THERE WHO FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE TO DO IT ALL AND BE ALL?
We all feel this pressure, whether we are comparing ourselves with others or we are competing with an idealized version of ourselves. It is healthy to have goals and to use our gifts as long as you don’t let those desires distract you from the beauty of the present. Writer Emily P. Freeman says “If you focus on what’s missing, you miss out on what’s already there.”
We have to accept that we are finite people with limited energy and time. We could say ‘yes’ to dozens of perfectly good educational, professional, ministry and recreational opportunities but not without having to say ‘no’ to something else. At times declining an opportunity has meant surrendering my deepest desires to God, trusting him to meet my needs. I have to look at the things he has already given me and give them my best. I want to be fully present for the people I am called to love and serve.
I struggle with this. I get distracted, I stretch myself thin, I look to other things to bolster my self worth. The beauty of the gospel is that I don’t need to do it all to be loved by the God of the universe. When my identity is found in him I am confident in who he made me to be and I can celebrate his unique plan for my life.
THE WORDS THAT WE SPEAK TO OURSELVES HAVE SUCH POWER OVER OUR LIVES. DO YOU HAVE A BIBLE VERSE, MANTRA, OR WORD THAT YOU ARE CURRENTLY MEDITATING ON IN THIS SEASON?
Right now my motto is to show up. This can mean a lot of practical and theoretical things. Showing up for me means obedience to God’s leading. It means finding the courage to face uncomfortable, hard things. It means being vulnerable and available in my relationships. It’s laying aside excuses and shame. It’s being intentional. It’s loving unconditionally. It’s doing everything I can with everything I have. I’m finding that there, exposed and empty - the supernatural happens: God shows up. He uses me in spite of my shortcomings. He changes my heart. He uses the painful, broken places for my good and for his glory. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that “God’s power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” I want to show up every day, surrendered to him and covered in the sufficient grace of Jesus.