How To Create An Environment That Inspires
One of my favorite things to do on the blog is to help people learn to grow by honoring themselves. One way you can better honor yourself is by creating an environment within your home that inspires you!
When we moved into our tiny home a year and a half ago, my goal was to cultivate an environment that honors the values of my family, inspires our creativity, and promotes simplicity. We moved into a tiny house that caused us to be intentional with every inch of our space. We didn’t have room for “fillers,” so we made sure each item that came through the door served a purpose either practically or creatively. I was transitioning into being a work-at-home mom, and I needed to be sure I felt cozy while also feeling energized in the place that now hosted both my family and my profession. Here are some tips for creating a fulfilling living environment wherever you are:
1. Decide the feel of your home… (Bright, Warm, Artsy, Rustic etc.)
a) If it’s bright, try to start with a clean, white slate. Paint the walls, ceilings, maybe even the floors a light gray or all white. Then, let your decor do the talking! It will stand out against the backdrop. Keep your blinds pulled up and the curtains pulled back to let in natural light. Always have flowers or plants positioned around the house for a fresh feel.
b) If it’s warm, think “cozy.” Lots of soft blankets in baskets and several throw pillows tossed around. Make sure the throw pillows have zippered covers so they can be easily cleaned and replaced. The worst thing a warm/cozy home can do is offer a feeling of fear for guests if they ever spill their drink or put their feet up on the coffee table. Allow your space to be prepared for a mess with easy clean-up options. Most homes with a cozy feel are the ones made for hosting! Set up a guest room to always be ready and inviting. Lastly, have several books available, whether on shelves or laying on the coffee table. And choose worn books with a “cozy” texture!
c) If it’s artsy, feature a gallery wall of your favorite artwork! Different shapes, sizes, and types of art can be featured, but try to include a common thread within the display, whether it’s coordinating frames or a certain art theme. You don’t want the lack of unity in your gallery to be a distraction from the overall display. Let the kids join in and have a “kid corner” where your children can display their own art! Beyond a display, think about incorporating a space to create art as well! Whether for your family or for a guest, provide several mediums for all types of artists to explore and be makers while they are in your home. It may be one of their few opportunities to create!
d) If it’s rustic, head to an antique store! Don’t get overwhelmed by a number of items in the store, try to look at each piece and imagine the possibilities! You may not use the piece the way it is displayed, but think rustic! Maybe an old wooden tool box could display mason jars filled with fresh flowers! Maybe an old mirror isn’t usable but could be added to a rustic themed gallery wall or could be placed underneath a centerpiece on your farm table! An old ladder could hold hand towels in your bathroom and kids toys that you wouldn’t want to be scattered all over the living room could fill a wooden crate! Be creative. The options are endless when you have the right “look” in mind.
2. Set yourself free from Pinterest!
This was huge for me. I would scroll through Pinterest and feel inadequate or try to replicate because I liked what I was seeing visually. But I was never fully satisfied. It’s because we can appreciate many forms of beauty, but we may not always connect with the different forms. Make sure you are creating a space that connects with who you are. For example, I connect with words, so I have so many graphic printouts framed and hung all over my home. This look may not be worthy of a designer magazine, but each graphic resonates and encourages me. Many of the graphic pieces speak truth to my kids as well! For my husband, it’s important to have his wooden designs in our home. When I see something I want to buy he will often say, “I can make that!” So he does, and it’s so much more meaningful. Also, some of my husband’s keepsakes from his childhood, like mine, aren’t aesthetically pleasing on their own. But because they are important to him and me, we have incorporated them into the decor. It just takes a little extra work!
3. Get rid of clutter.
It’s distracting, it’s stressful, and it holds you back. Trust me. We accumulated SO much in our first few years of marriage. But when we downsized, we realized we had choices we needed to make. We got rid of so many items and, honestly, have never once missed what we let go. No, you won’t use that item you’re hanging onto if you haven’t used it in the last year. And so what if your aunt gave that item to you when you were ten? Unless you connect with it, it’s time to say goodbye!
4. Ask people who are close to you how they would describe your home.
Or even ask your children! Do the descriptive words they use sit well with you? Are you a minimalist living in clutter? Are you a bookworm living in an artsy home? Or are you the Shabby Chic farm girl living in a Pinterest perfect modern, industrial home? These themes usually don’t coexist. Allow your home to honor you and your family. Don’t end up making yourself honor the latest trends instead.
Comment with what you want your home to represent and I would love to offer a creative tip or two to get you started 🙂
For more decorating tips see this post.