Ahhh….first love. That happy, lighter than air feeling. Everything is new and exciting and you can’t find a single fault no matter how hard you try. Wouldn’t it be great if you could feel that way about your home?
How do you feel when you walk into your house? Does it feel like a warm, welcoming hug or is it pushing you away? As you go about your day, pay attention to what you are feeling when you open the door and as you move through the house.
Think about your home like the stages you go through in a relationship: Attraction and Romance, Crisis, Working Stage, Commitment Stage and True Love.
Attraction and Romance
If you have recently moved to a new home, you are still getting to know one another. The things you moved from your previous home may have to be relocated to another room because of size, style and your present needs. Follow your heart. Get comfortable and take time to change things up and see what feels right. Notice where you get morning and afternoon light. Your furniture may need to be rearranged because of traffic flow and the location of windows and doors.
Be specific about the purpose for each room
and what you want to feel in that space.
Try this: give each room a word. Here are examples to get you started: calm, warm, lively, cozy, open, bright, casual, elegant, spacious, clean, relaxed, fun, organized or subdued. What do you want to feel when you are in that room?
Okay, it may seem like the honeymoon is over, but just as a loved one may drive you crazy, there are many reasons a house can make you tense or anxious. You know something isn’t right, but you can’t put your finger on what it is. It could be the color or shade of paint on the wall or the style of the furnishings and décor. Balance plays a big role in how comfortable you feel in a room. Trust your instincts. If a large room is filled with furniture that is too small in scale, it can feel cold and unsettling. Conversely, if a room has too many pieces of furniture and the surfaces are covered with too many objects, it can feel overwhelming. Using several different patterns in a room has a similar effect.
Your eyes need a place to rest. Resist the need to put
too much décor on every surface.
Likewise, every wall doesn’t need to have a piece of artwork and every corner does not need to be filled. If a home is designed in a particular style and the furnishings contradict that style, it can throw things off balance. Learn more about the ancient practice of feng shui to promote a healthy and happy environment.
Clutter can be the source of anxiety and can be a sign of a more serious issue, such as depression and feelings of inadequacy. Psychology Today addresses the significant role that clutter can have in our lives in the article, “Why Mess Causes Stress.” One of the simplest ways to fix this is to organize your home.
Clutter is a major cause of anxiety in homes.
Realize that you and your family may have different needs and tolerance levels for clutter and how you define comfort in a home. Your significant other may want a 60” TV, a big leather chair and spot to chill on the deck. For you, it could be quiet places or conversation places. Find areas in your home where each of your needs can be met. If you get stuck at this stage, consult with a professional organizer, home stager or interior designer to lay a lasting foundation.
If you are at this stage, you are completely settled in and you’ve had a chance to fill your home with furnishings that make you smile and surround yourself with the things you love. Invest in your home. Increase storage and functionality that will save you time and let you focus more time on your family. Be true to yourself. Add visually appealing features such as different textures, colors you are drawn to and artwork that reflects your personality. This will give your home a warm and personal touch.
True Love Stage
You are totally in love. For people at this stage, it may not just be about the home itself, but the yard, neighborhood and community that makes you want to plant deep roots. Perhaps you raised your family here and your home is steeped in memories of holidays, birthdays and hanging out with friends and family. In any case, you wouldn’t dream of leaving your home.
What is your favorite room in the house? What is it about a certain room that makes you smile? Are there any rooms in your house that you avoid? Can you put your finger on the reason?
If you don’t have that feeling that light, walking on air feeling when you come home at the end of the day, take a closer look at the relationship you have with your home. Find ways to connect and rekindle a spark. Think of your house as a reflection of who you are and what is important to you. That’s what makes a house a home.