Within the past few months, we have all noticed tremendous changes around us that are beyond our control. It gives a sense of uneasiness and concern, which is understandable. I truly believe at this time it is best to focus on the things you can control, like your home and your family. Design plays an important part in creating feelings of joy, peace, security, calm and even creativity.
I am eager to support you during this time and wish to share with you some of my design expertise which you can implement in your home right away. It is all about thinking outside the box and making decorating fun. Plus, you are probably going a little stir crazy. No?
1. Clear Your Space for a Clear Mind
I like to begin by tackling one room at a time, no multi-tasking. Once you are done with one room and complete the task you have a feeling of accomplishment, which will make you more likely to continue onto other rooms. Plus, if you are like me, your half-done projects might remain untouched for years (true story). Make a few piles such as a donate, keep and sell. Clean out the contents of all of your drawers and cabinets, wipe them out, place pretty contact paper or wallpaper remnants in the bottom or backs for some whimsy. Clean out those closets and shelves, if you have not worn it in over two years and it is not special occasion wear, toss it. And for Pete’s sake remove all of that junk out from under your bed!
Starting fresh and decluttering your home will give you a sense of lightness, breathability and control. It will lift your spirit and continue to motivate you to complete other productive tasks.
2. Get Organized & Create a Routine
How does your family LIVE in your home? What habits do they have that create a mess or untidiness? Take into account the flow of your daily routine and create permanent, logical spaces for items that are used regularly. Some of my go-to items for organizing are bins, baskets and bags! I was an early adapter to the art of organization three decades ago. One of my favorite stores in the 90’s was called Hold Everything (owned by Williams-Sonoma). And a fun fact, our company used to specialize in design when we first opened.
3. Design to Reinforce Positive Habits
Do you have trouble finding certain things when you need them? You need to really think ahead and help your family develop good habits by creating systems. It will take some time to learn and readapt, but better in the long run. If you take time to organize, establish a place for everything and develop the good habit of putting things back where they belong after use, you will save a TON of time and gain a sense of freedom by not having to incessantly search for the same things over and over. Not to mention, if the items you use for organization in your design are pretty you will WANT to keep them tidy (at least I do)!
4. Add Mood-Boosting Colors
Color is another powerful component in a home, it can enhance or diminish one’s mood rather quickly, and is very subjective. For example, the color yellow is called a “happy” or “cheerful” color by the media. When I first started my design firm, I was working with a client that told me she wanted a bright and cheery kitchen, but she hated yellow because it was depressing. I realized my client had an upsetting personal experience and associated it with the color yellow. I needed to find out what bright and cheery means to her by giving her the “color test” during my paint color consultation with her. Confused? Well, you can also do something like this yourself at home. Look around and collect your favorite items (keychain, purse, shirt, shoes, necklace, figurine, dish, etc.). Try to establish a color theme by using those items to create a palette. Do you see any consistency? If not, page through magazines or Pinterest and create a mood board with items that you love until you start to see some sort of pattern.
Color is a powerful way to influence a person’s mood and invite joy or focus into their homes, this color story will be different for everyone, don’t be afraid to be yourself. If you need help, we are always here for you.
5. Use Design Elements that Support You
Once you complete the above steps, you can add a few new pieces to your space to finish the look tapping into your emotions at the same time. First, shop around your house and see what you can find to fill in the blanks. Maybe you have a soft furry blanket from another room that you can add to create a feeling of coziness or emotional security. Or banana leaf basket in the closet that you love but haven’t yet found a place for it, giving the space an organic feel. Dig deep in your storage closets and attics, you might be surprised at what you will find, we always are <3 If you need a few ideas, here are some of my favorites.
Take small steps every day towards a space that makes you smile, and you will be done in no time. Also be sure to focus on your mental health. Reach out to family and friends or a therapist if you need help (they are taking virtual appointments too). For those of you that crave physical touch (the huggers), that fuzzy blanket or furry pillow might be a close second. Are you a nature lover, bring some green inside and start planning your outdoor pots and planters (if you haven’t already). See you on the other side safe and well, my friend.
What’s your most-loved item in the house? Why? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.