Copyright 2017 Beautiful Living, LLC
Kimberly Merritt is a writer, instructor, and former stylist, whose words and work have been featured in New Hampshire Magazine, New England Home Magazine, HGTV, Disney Family, SheKnows.com, and elsewhere on the web.
Published since 2001, Kim's blog, Beautiful Living, is a popular favorite that inspires readers with personal stories and thoughts on home, family, and living well. Kim writes for a large variety of media outlets. Past articles include her interview with design giant, Carleton Varney (Dorothy Draper & Company Inc.) and many magazine and web articles on home improvement, gardening, home and family life.
She created the Certified Decorating Professional ® programs in NH, CT, and CA. She continues to teach, and is a sought after speaker on many topics. Organizations include WCAA, ADE, IRIS, and the Monadnock Writers' Group.
Kim lives in the New Hampshire woods with her family, her beloved Border Collie, Cooper and the latest addition to her family, her sweet and lovable Husky, Dante.
Both rescued with love.
THE SHORT STORY
I'm a mother of three (one boy, two girls), and wife to a great guy. I'm an avid reader and I plan to spend my retirement years trolling bookstores. You could attach these labels to me as well: traditionalist, dreamer, worrier, foodie, recovering perfectionist. I can have a wicked sense of humor and I hit the delete button often.
I am now stepping firmly into the world of Authors. I've just written my first novel and dove head first into my second. I'm slightly addicted to the process. When I am not writing, or thinking about writing, you will find me spending time with my friends and family, or curled up in a comfy chair, reading a book—when I'm not tapping away at my computer keyboard, letting the dogs out, letting them back in, and enjoying the juggle of family, work, and play.
When I was a child, my grandmother devoured Agatha Christie novels and I would watch her read in wonder, jealous of the imaginary world she got swept up in. I wanted to travel to far off lands. I wanted to slay the dragon and solve the mystery. I wanted to fall in love again and again. I finally read a novel in one sitting when I was 12. From that moment on, my love affair with words began.
My deep affection for writing kicked in around the same time. I enjoyed creating stories and acting them out, whether I had an audience or not. The world of make-believe is very real to me. I would dream up fantastical tales and read them aloud in my most comical British accent. And I always had my head in the clouds. I didn’t know it at the time, but my little daydreaming escapades were the start of something wonderful. I could now envision the way something could look and feel, taste, and smell. How can I...? What if I...? were now questions with infinite possibilities.
I got my first taste of the literary world after I won an English essay contest as a Freshman in high school. Pretty heady stuff for a 14-year-old. I then went on to study Communications and English at Northeastern University, mumbling something to my parents about becoming a teacher, when in reality all I wanted to do was write. The stories were always there, but I was interested in so many things, they ended up shuttered away for longer than I could have imagined. But I kept writing.
I pursued my other interests and chose a career that came naturally. My mother collected antiques and would redecorate the house I grew up in too many times to count. I learned about combining different materials, textures, and colors with ease from her expert tutelage. I was self-taught at first, then honed my design skills at Newbury College. I started dressing boutique windows in Boston, and then interiors.
Creating is creating. You can use a brush, a pen, an instrument—it’s all the same to me. I finally picked up my pen again.
My first magazine article was published in 2001. An editor called after reading one of my blog posts and asked if I would write an article. I brazenly wrote three. Shortly thereafter, I was offered a job and my writing career was finally underway. I wrote a monthly column and feature articles for New Hampshire Magazine, then later, in other publications. I wrote about home and living at first, then broadened my strokes and started writing about motherhood and the empty nest, the growing pains of mid-life, and those seemingly simple, everyday moments we take for granted. I moved on from mainstream non-fiction, to creative non-fiction, and fiction—my latest love.
My two worlds mingled for a time when I began writing educational materials for the classes I started to teach. It took me 8 months to write my first manual. I started following another passion—teaching. As someone who learned on the job, and in the classroom, I was able to combine the strengths of each into my curriculum. It’s an absolute joy to be a part of creating someone else’s story.
As I approached mid-life, I realized life is growing short. It was time I started at the beginning.
I’ve been pouring words onto the page for the last several years, completing project after project, mostly the non-fiction variety. But lately, I spend my days talking to the imaginary characters that live inside my head and magically appear on my screen and in my notebooks, alive and well.
I couldn’t dream of doing anything else.
"I love your website (blog), and your whole approach to living... ."
Katrina Kenison, best selling author - Gift of an Ordinary Day
"Your articles never disappoint."
Rick Broussard - Editor, New Hampshire Magazine
"You have a growing number of fans for your Beautiful Living column. Keep writing!"
Susan Laughlin - Lifestyle editor, New Hampshire Magazine
"...prolific writer, busy mother, business woman, and a generous soul."
Mimi Bleau - Editor-in-Chief, Belle Inspiration Magazine
"...in your blog, your voice comes through as very approachable."
Kensie Travers - ELF Magazine
"I just write what I wanted to write. I write what amuses me.
It's totally for myself." - J.K. Rowling