Values + Home Design Series | Home Tour with Kaity McIntosh-Tran

Tell us a little about you and your family.  

I met my husband Luc seven years ago on our church softball team. He boldly asked me out for a date to ride his motorcycle, and the rest is history. We both grew up in Apple Valley, MN, and recently moved into his childhood home with our four children, ages six, four, three, and one.

What's your design philosophy and how has that inspired you as you've created your home?

Shortly before moving into our home this past fall I stumbled upon the idea of living minimally. After owning two homes over the past six years, we have discovered what works for us and, mostly, what does not. At best, I am terribly indecisive about committing to trendy colors and designs, so the idea of maintaining a neutral color scheme and decor really spoke to us as we began to renovate our current home. Removing cabinetry, built in desks, and vanities, and even greatly downsizing our toy baskets are a few ways we created even more space to make our home appear larger and adapt a more open, less cluttered, feel.

Almost all of our home furnishings are second-hand from family or thrift stores, and much our furniture, to include coffee tables, kitchen table and chairs, benches and more, I refurbished myself. As much as Luc and I enjoy a good project, we especially find joy knowing that our kids observe us taking something old, worn out and broken, and with a little hard work and a lot of faith remake it into something new and beautiful.

How would you describe your family's values?

In a word, intentional. Luc works six days a week, so the time we have together is both short and precious. Before the new year we followed Cohesive Home’s “Time and Values” worksheet, writing out all the chores, responsibilities, and activities that fill our daily lives. (editors note: head here for your own copy) After some discussion and prayer we committed ourselves to the ten most important familial duties. As the ages of our children grow and the seasons of life change, so will our priorities. But for now, simplifying our family engagements outside the home in order to maximize our time together truly has been a gift.

What does the word "home" mean to you?

As much as it is a word, to me home is also a feeling. Comfortable, loving, vulnerable, welcoming, irreplaceable. These are all sentiments I strive to cultivate both regarding our home physically, and to our children emotionally. I want our kids to feel at ease enough to allow their imaginations to run freely, and to feel accepted when they fail. I want them to learn that they were created for God’s special design and that they are valuable. Most importantly, I yearn for them to know that, without a shadow of a doubt, they are loved.

What do you love best about your home and why?

Through no design of our own, the Lord led us to live in this home. When I look around our home, physically it has undergone extreme changes over the past five months, but the foundation remains the same. Luc grew up in this home, and we now have the privilege to continue raising our own family, instill values, and create memories here that one day our children will share with their own families.

Sure, I love the sense of accomplishment home improvements bring. But even more I love looking into the eyes of the ever-growing faces around our very full dinner table. Even if it is arguably too early for a Saturday morning (and, believe me, it is always too early!), I love waking up to flat-footed alarm clocks running across the hardwood floors, their cheery giggles echoing down the hall. I love overhearing them each take turns helping one another fasten a tricky button, squeezing out toothpaste on a brush, or taking turns to keep a watchful eye on their newly walking baby sister. I love that our house, each room and each piece, has a story. But most of all I love who I share this house with, they are truly what home feels like to me.

Kaity is a wife, and mother to four, living in the Twin Cities. In addition to staying at home with her babies she teaches yoga part time, and is also a vendor for a local furniture consignment shop. She enjoys her daily cup of coffee, antiquing, advocating a more natural and holistic lifestyle with the use of essential oils, and sneaking away for a rare date night with her husband.

For more Tran Clan adventures, follow her on Instagram