I am a firm believer that our external environment informs our internal environment, and our internal environment informs our external environment. What I mean is, I believe that the our thoughts and emotions have an impact on the way we live in our surroundings and in turn, our surroundings have a profound impact on how we feel and think.
As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I spend a lot of time and energy thinking about how healing in our internal world impacts the way that we live. However, lately I have been realizing the importance of creating an environment that cultivates comfort, joy, and peace in order set ourselves up for feeling these emotions more often. For many of us as women, our homes are our creative domains—a blank canvas to reflect our personality, style, and story. But for some of us, it can be hard to know where to start toward creating an environment that serves as a safe haven—a place where you feel truly home.
Here are some tips to get you started…
If you are anything like me, you love framed professional photography on a Pinterest-worthy gallery wall. While this design certainly looks nice, this concept can be costly and labor-intensive. Often our criteria is too high for the photos we are willing to frame. A standard of professional perfection can keep us from filling our home with snapshots of everyday life. Mixing your professional photos that capture those special occasions in life with more informal photos reflecting special memories is the perfect homey combination!
Have you ever had to remove all of the throw pillows before sitting on a couch or walked into a room and instantly felt as if you would break something if you sneezed? While we all love home accessories that are pretty to look at, we are wise to consider these items’ function and the purpose they serve in our lives. Items such as pillows and blankets should invite us to enjoy our home and not feel as if we have to avoid using or enjoying certain elements in our living space. Every space in your home should have textures that encourage comfort and conversation.
It is possible for items in your home to be beautiful and functional. Try mixing items that are tied to memories with items that are pleasing to the eye while serving a function in your home. This strategy keeps the clutter down and ensures that the items in your home are meaningful and serve a purpose.
Decorate With All Five Senses
Often we thinking about decorating as purely visual—colors, textures, scale—but decorating can include the other four senses as well! Making your house feel like a home means giving yourself and others an invitation to come inside and enjoy and this can be accomplished in ways that go beyond the visual by employing the other four senses. Instead of focusing purely on the visual, try having candles lit in various rooms of the house with scents that inspire you, making it a routine to play your favorite music throughout the house, and having your favorite candy or fruit accessibly on display. This will ensure that you are enjoying your home in ways that go beyond what the eye can see.
Live Where You Live
Perhaps the most important element in making your house feel like a home is choosing to live where you live. Maybe you are renting and waiting patiently to buy a home or living in a temporary living situation where it is difficult to feel settled. Often when we aren’t living in our “forever home,” we fail to nest…we fail to see the point in making it our own. Often this can lead to being stressed and feeling in constant transition and thus we are wise to bloom where we are planted—no matter how long we see ourselves in our current situation.
While these ideas might be small, the impact of these small gestures can have a huge impact. We are made to have a home base. We all need a place where we feel safe and loved when we come home from doing the work that we do in the world. We need a place that reflects who we are as well as a place that invites intimate moments and conversation with the people that we love in our lives. Spending the time and energy toward this goal will not be wasted.
Image via Bonnie Tsang Photography