Great design begins with a question: Who am I?

Let’s follow principles, not rules.

Let’s create spaces that draw from nature for inspiration and that reflect your essence, not a designer’s style.

An Artful Home feels as beautiful as it looks and remains timeless because it is created out of your truth–the things you love, the way you live, the values you stand for–not the latest trends.

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At The Artful Home, we want to guide you in your journey to create a beautiful home that expresses your personal aesthetic and satisfies your soul.

I believe the beautiful interior of your home is a reflection of your beautiful interior.

I’m devoted to helping you create harmony, because when there is harmony in the home there is peace in the world.

Linda Applewhite is an artist and acclaimed architectural designer based in the San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Fe. She is the author of Architectural Interiors: Transforming your Home with Decorative Structural Elements. Her work with clients has been featured in publications in the U.S., Italy and Thailand, and has appeared on television shows including HGTV’s Curb Appeal, Sensible Chic, and Ultimate Kitchens.

Linda has a passion for teaching. Her design workshops in California and New Mexico have been attended by enthusiastic students from across the U.S. and Canada.

Driven by her passion for beauty and her belief that homes should reflect the essence of the homeowner, Linda masterfully leads her students and clients through a soulful and transformative journey of self-discovery. As an accomplished artist, writer, and passionate painter, Linda has a deep understanding of the creative process. With 30 years of experience in the design world, she uses the principles of art to create beauty and studies nature as a source of inspiration. Through her workshops and seminars, she has empowered thousands of people to reach into their own creativity to follow their truth, not the trends, when designing their homes.

The Artful Home is Linda’s answer to the dilemma of the unsustainable cycle of design trends that constantly need to be updated. Hers is a greener approach that not only minimizes unnecessary waste, but creates spaces that are in harmony with the surroundings and lifestyles of their owners.

Linda Applewhite believes when there is harmony in the home, there is peace in the world.

My Journey into Beauty

Since I was a little girl growing up in North Texas, I have searched for a way to come home to my self. In a new suburb north of Dallas, behind a low-slung strip mall, two miles from the Jimmy Dean Sausage Plant, my family lived in a tract house on the wrong side of the freeway. There were few trees in our neighborhood, one struggling to provide a small patch of shade in our front yard. Our home felt disconnected from nature. The windows were covered in tightly shut Venetian blinds with closed heavy drapes to keep the sun and heat out. My mother followed the trends of the day, filling the family room with Danish Modern furnishings and the living room and my bedroom with French Provincial that I knew wasn’t from France. Mauve and avocado green were the trendy colors in Texas in the 50s, and the colors in my room. I remember how much I hated that color of pink. It had a purple tone that made it look bruised and made me feel sad. There was chaos in my home growing up, but not beauty. Eventually, I found a glimpse of beauty in the art classes I took in high school and college. Creating beauty with my hands and eyes surprised and delighted me. It somehow provided relief and gave me hope.

One Easter Sunday in East Texas when I was twenty-five, I stumbled upon another source of beauty that changed my life. I was gathering wildflowers around a small lake for the table in the cabin where I was staying with friends. I will never forget that sparkling spring morning as I walked alone through the moist, piney woods picking wildflowers of all shapes, sizes, colors and textures. Some were sheltered by shade, others bathed in sunlight, and still more growing near the water’s edge. I took the flowers into the kitchen and placed them in a royal blue enamel pitcher speckled with tiny white dots, and worn at the base and spout with rusted chips. The pitcher of flowers changed the feeling of the cabin’s small kitchen. Happiness, I thought. My friends sensed this, too, as they gathered around the table to admire the flowers and sit in their presence as we celebrated the special moment. It was then I knew nature was the source of beauty. It was true and real, and could evoke transcendence and heal.

Seven years later, in an amazing and inexplicable series of events, I landed in Northern California and discovered my muse. I realized as I studied the breathtaking new land, city and seascapes that beauty was expressed not only through the magnificence of nature, but also through the creativity of the diverse people who had populated the Bay Area for centuries. I felt privileged, grateful and blessed to arrive in a place that finally felt like home. I was determined to find my own expression of beauty through which I could make a contribution. I signed up for an eight-day painting class taught by Michele Cassou at Esalen, a spiritual retreat center in Big Sur, three hours south on the California coast. From Michele, I learned the method of painting meditation and the principles of art, and began to connect to my inner voice that told me what to paint. The results were paintings I could never have conceived of in my head – remarkable paintings that I often loved, and sometimes hated. It was through these paintings that I tapped into my creative intuition.

Soon after, I signed up for an interior design class at UC Berkeley. The instructor talked about freight problems for the first half of the class. I left at the break. Without knowing any better, I started my own design business. In my mind design was the same as painting, but with three dimensional objects – furniture, art, accessories, etc. I taught myself how to create beauty working with space as I progressed through redecorating homes using existing furnishings, staging homes, decorating homes with new furnishings, and ultimately creating interior and exterior architectural design. Although I had no formal training, my passion and creative intuition carried me to a career creating beauty. Throughout the years I have worked with space, I continue to listen to that same quiet voice inside that guides me, whether I am designing a home, creating a painting, writing a book or teaching a course.
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What I learned on my journey is that there are four important things in life – love, beauty, truth and freedom. Love is the most important, but to me beauty is as vital as truth and freedom. Beauty is healing. I’m living proof of that. It is essential to our well-being. Beauty is transcendent. We all sense it when we see and feel it. We recognize beauty because it lives inside us. I encourage you to seek the beauty inside you through your intuition and creativity. I invite you to trust in the truth and uniqueness of who you are, rather than in trends that never last. At the end of the day, I urge you to come home to your self.

Linda serves on the board of directors for the Cassou Institute for Creative Freedom since its inception in 2014. CICF is a non-profit foundation created to continue Michele Cassou’s spiritual teaching for future generations through painting meditation. The foundation strives to bring her life-changing teaching to the community through outreach programs in schools, prisons, churches, and the underserved.

Linda also serves on the advisory board for Musica Marin since 2014. This non-profit organization was founded on the belief that the lives of all people can be enriched and nurtured by the love of music. Musica Marin is committed to performing classical music in homes as it was for centuries. Linda believes that music is a profound aspect of beauty.