Detroit Mom Welcomes Orna, a Northville Mom

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Hi Detroit Moms, my name is Orna. I’m Australian but have lived in Metro Detroit for fourteen years. I consider Detroit home and regard myself as a Detroit Mom. Living here has been so wonderful for us, we are so blessed to have a wonderful community of close friends. But being so far away from our families has been really hard!

Orna Fathers Detroit Mom Interior Designer
Photo: Ingrids Interior Photography

How I Got Here and Why We Stayed

I moved here in 2007 with my husband for a short-term work assignment for my husband’s job in the automotive industry. We lived in Germany for a short-term assignment previously; we had enjoyed the adventures of traveling and experiencing other cultures so we were excited to do that here in the US. It was a difficult time for Detroit, but the resilient nature of the city has been such a source of inspiration for me! I love the creativity of the people here, the spirit of Detroiters, and seeing Detroit come back bigger and better than ever!

After our first two-year assignment here, we had the opportunity to stay another two years. We still had so much of the US left to explore and were enjoying our lives here, so we decided to stay here and start a family. As someone who doesn’t like the typical kitschy souvenirs, I told my husband it would be fun to take back a little American as our souvenir. Little did we know that we would extend again, have two more babies, and finally decide to stay indefinitely!

I really enjoy living here. I’m a total homebody, so I love the long, cozy Michigan fall and winter seasons to hang out at home with my family! And nowhere can beat the amazing Michigan summer! Michigan is so rich in people, history, and places to visit. There are so many fun things to do locally and great opportunities to learn and explore, it has been a great place to raise our family!

What I Love To Do

Reading and also being creative in different ways really feeds my soul. I enjoy getting my kids involved too and teaching them different skills and art forms; art projects are always encouraged at my house! Taking art classes from local artists whenever I can and experimenting with different forms of art is something I focus on. Right now I’m enjoying watercolors! I really enjoy spending time with my family. They are getting to the ages where game and movie nights are lots of fun! I also love spending time with friends, having great conversations. It is so wonderful to be able to live life with good friends by your side!

Work

I run my own business, Grace This Space Interiors. I lead a team of incredibly talented women (most are Detroit Moms too!) to create beautiful and functional homes for our clients. My team does interior design, home staging, home styling and decoration, as well as professional organizing. We go into homes and create spaces and systems for busy moms. It is so rewarding, to get to know our clients and transform their homes according to their needs, unique design styles, and lifestyles!

In my past life I was a lawyer. When we first arrived in the US, I started the process to apply to sit for the Bar exam. It was going to be an intensive process and involve further study. I decided the investment of time wasn’t worthwhile, as I would be leaving shortly after being admitted. At that point I didn’t know that a two-year expat assignment would turn into something more permanent!

When we lived in Germany I had just completed my law degree. With the time I had left, I decided to do something a little more creative and study interior design. I was so inspired by the rich interior design history in Europe. When we decided to come to America I had the intention of seeing the country, working a little, then heading home to pick up my career in law where I left off. Our plans changed and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

My Children

I have a daughter and two sons! My eleven-year-old is the most incredible girl I know! She has a passionate interest in all creatures and knows so many facts about them. She loves to read, draw, and hang out with her friends. My middle son is the male (and improved!) version of me. He loves to listen to audio books, play Lego, and take apart old electronics. My youngest is such a character! He keeps up with all the other big kids and assumes (mostly correctly) that everyone is his friend! I love seeing them grow in character and develop into their own little personalities and grow their talents and passions. They have taught me so much about life, myself, and others. They have forced me out of my comfort zone and helped shape who I am now!

What Kind of Detroit Mom Am I?

There are so many different categories of moms that I fit into. I’m a closet crunchy mom with a mix of Pinterest, structured, and relaxed parenting. I homeschooled for a year so I love hanging out with homeschool mamas. I have a lot of respect for them! Owning my own business, I also fit into the category of working mom as I juggle my business and family! I do my best to take care of everyone’s needs and deal with a good dose of mom-guilt!

What I’m Excited to Share With You at Detroit Mom

As an immigrant, I have felt so warmly received by everyone here in Detroit; it is such a welcoming and inclusive community. I love that Detroiters are so ready to welcome new people and include us in life! I can’t wait to share content for Detroit Mom discussing how we can create a community for moms who are new to the area, whether they are from overseas or another state. I’m also excited to share my expertise in design and home organization.

Tell me a little about you!

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