My home has always been my sanctuary, the place where I can be myself and truly construct a world that reflects my personality, needs and desires. You might not have interior design at the top of your mind, but as we spend the majority of our time in our homes due to the pandemic, the truth is that the way our homes look and feel can have a huge effect on our quality of life. Like any aspect of life, it can be easy to forget to examine our homes critically, thinking about the little details that go into them. Designing your home doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or require huge amounts of energy from you; sometimes it can just be about making small choices to incorporate things you love.
Whenever I talk about my philosophy for creating peace in my home, I have to mention The Sensual Home by Ilse Crawford. All of my senses are important to me and I need to think about them when I’m looking at any details for my home, whether it’s wallpaper, furniture, art or even carpeting. When I’m choosing blankets, pillows and seating I have to consider my sense of touch and fill my space with things that feel soft, warm and comforting. When I think about walls and curtains and accents, I want colors and patterns that create energy, movement and freshness. When I’m at home I want to truly feel at home, and each of my senses has to be involved.
Pay Attention To Scents
It’s easy to underestimate how important scents can be to your overall experience. Scents can remind us of happier times or help us find peace even in stress. There are so many ways to incorporate scents into your home: incense, resin burners, sprays and diffusers. I love to use palo santo sprays to clear the energy in my home and make it feel fresh and new. I also love being able to light a candle and let my favorite scent waft across the room. Candles in particular are very special because they provide a sense of movement to the space; the flickering light can have the same effect as opening a window and letting sunlight flicker in, warding off stagnation.
If you want to infuse freshness, you can put some lemon or orange slices in your garbage disposal, or squeeze some of the juices into a bath. Eucalyptus oil can also provide a lovely scent to fill a room.
Focus On The Things That Make You Happy
The most important thing to remember is that your home is for you, not for anyone else. You should focus on incorporating elements that make you the happiest. A lot of the art and even the wallpaper in my home is very personal to me and helps to create the kind of rhythmic energy I like as a dancer. I also like to keep framed quotes around my home, changing them out every so often. It’s important to me to keep a sense of the new and to inspire me as I go throughout my day.
I like to keep a lot of crystals in my home— incorporating elements of the earth and of nature help me feel more comfortable. Being from Hawaii, the earth is a big part of my life. I keep a lot of quartz around to provide clarity. Tourmaline provides protection like a shield, so I keep some tourmaline in each of my windows to feel safer.
I love knowledge and I love keeping books around that are important to me. When they’re stacked or lining a bookshelf, the spines can send their own small messages: Think Like A Monk or May You Life A Life You Love aren’t just great books to read but they also help create signals about the way I want my life to look while I’m home.
Curating a home you love doesn’t have to be expensive; one of my favorite pieces is a canvas that I spray painted gold and silver myself. It was originally a painting I made with Fabian and I didn’t like the finished product but wanted to hold onto the memory. Now it’s a great statement piece that has a little story behind it that I can remember whenever I look at it and it’s completely unique to me and to my space.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed
One of the biggest factors in our home that can impact us negatively is just the clutter of daily life. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or feel like our space will never look perfect. An easy solution is just to take things in smaller pieces. You don’t have to take on a huge challenge like cleaning your entire house— if you aren’t able to accomplish it, you can feel like you failed. Instead, just pick a simple achievable task. Clean out one junk drawer and see how much better you feel. If you like to keep your windows open, just clean them as your task for the day and see if that little achievement and the extra light it lets in makes you feel happier in your home.
The House That Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark is a great place to start if you often feel overwhelmed by household chores. I spent years feeling ashamed because I was never able to keep up with my housework. The House That Cleans Itself helped me realize there are different “cleaning styles” that different people prefer. It made me understand that I wasn’t lazy or inadequate, I just needed to learn a different method that was more suited to my personality. Instead of focusing on trying to do everything in a day, I now break up tasks into more manageable parts, and it no longer feels like I’m constantly behind.
Changing your perspective can change your life. Right now our homes might feel a bit constrictive and if we’re unsatisfied with aspects of them those small grievances can start taking over our minds. Making little changes and holding tight to a pride of and love for our home can start to change our outlook and everything else.