I have a confession to make. I don’t always practice what I preach. I am the biggest advocate for creating a home that nurtures your most contented self. In fact, my career involves helping people do this on a daily basis. In a sense I’m like the shoemaker. It’s not that my home is a total disaster. There are rooms I absolutely love being in and most areas are properly organized. However, I don’t feel greeted when I open my front door and, although my kitchen is washed in beautiful sunshine most days, I don’t have the gourmet aspects I crave- yet.
I used to tell myself my next house would be the one I’d really make into a home. This house was only temporary and I didn’t want to sink a bunch of time and resources into it. It was okay that it didn’t reflect our family and that it wasn’t my dream home, because I would have that in my next house. How many times have you told that to yourself?
“A house is made with walls and beams. A home is made with love and dreams.” ~Author Unknown
It wasn’t that long ago that I realized how much our environment can affect our lives and how the state of our homes can represent something much deeper. For instance, an unfinished room can indicate something left undone in the past, such as a relationship that ended suddenly. Every time you enter this room you get a wave of negative emotions that can alter your mood for the day. This down feeling is something I experienced every time I entered my office. It is a room that is mostly for ME, so it was at the bottom of my to-do list for a long time. Then I had a revelation- this is the room I spend the most waking hours in. Shouldn’t it be beautiful? Now, with only a few finishing touches left to go, I enter each morning with a smile on my face, stay much more focused and organized, and best of all, totally inspired. (I’ll be blogging about the transformation soon.)
By tapping into your instincts and noting your reactions, you too can create beautiful rooms that nourish your eye and nurture your soul.
Step 1: Visualize
Picture yourself returning home after being out. Your home is in its natural state- orderly, chaotic or somewhere in between. As you’re about to enter through the door, notice your mood. Are you feeling relaxed, anxious, happy, tense or depressed? What comes to mind as you step into your home? Write down your feelings on a notepad.
Picture yourself walking through the rest of your home, room by room (you can do this physically as well). Write down each room or space and note how your mood changes with an adjective. For example, does the smell of fresh citrus in the kitchen make you feel energized, yet the disorganized bills in the office make you tense up? Perhaps the crisp white linens on your bed make you feel serene, yet the pile of shoes in your closet drives you crazy.
Step 2: Rate
Beside each room you recorded on your notepad, give a rating from 0 to 10 representing how you feel in the space. For instance, if you avoid going into your office because it’s such a mess, give it a score of 0 or 1. A room you feel neutral about gets a 5 and your favorite rooms get a 9 or 10.
Step 3: Assess
Starting with the lowest number on your list (if there is more than one, choose the room you spend the most time in), stand in the space and look around. Observe how different elements in the room affect your mood. For instance, you may find the appliances in your kitchen pleasing, but the wall color is drab and the countertops look bare. Consider all five senses, functionality, organization and any association you may have to the room, such as a guest room where your grandmother used to stay before she passed. Record your findings.
Step 4: Solve
After you have assessed your least favorite room, write as many adjectives you could use to describe the space. For example, your family room could be cold, sterile, disorganized and boring. Next, write down a list of antonyms for the words, such as warm, inviting, organized and interesting. List any decor elements that relate to the feeling you want to create in the room. For instance, you could add decorative pillows, storage boxes, candles, family photos, table lamps, warm grey walls, a cashmere throw, etc. to the family room.
Step 5: Carry Out
Now that you have your list of elements to create a harmonized space, create a plan, including a budget, list of required changes, items to shop for, timeline, and who is going to complete each task. By transforming the space from an emotional downer to a source of uplift, it will bring positive energy into your life and give you the energy to tackle another room. It becomes contagious.
Tip: After you’ve created your list of finishes, decorative elements and whatever else you need to transform your room, create a mood board to make sure it all works together.
Do you have a room in your home that evokes negative emotions? Or have you recently created a positive, feel-good space? I’d love to hear about it!