Transforming Your House into a Warm, Inviting and Stress-free Home!
A home is more than a brick and mortar building. It is a haven where we retire at the end of a tiring day when we relax and rejuvenate. It is a harbor from where we begin all our days with energy and ambition. It exudes shelter and safety. And for everyone living there, the family, it is a place of bonding, recreation, and togetherness. In this way, it is symbolic of our kinships and friendships. It describes our external relationships as well, and in belonging to a house, we identify as belonging to the greater community and society.
Houses bear personalities too! They can be described in far more detail than just having a character or being charming. Houses take on the dispositions and nuances of their inhabitants. And very easily become full of the clutter, confusion, and chaos of our everyday living. We bring the stress, tension and pressures of our work lives into our homes. Our pending work, unread mail, piling newspapers and dishes in the sink are all reminders of our fast-paced lives. Houses bear the consequences of our inaction, and the bedlam spaces imitate our nature.
Transforming a home into a warm, inviting and stress-free zone is much about organizing our own lives and adopting better habits. But interestingly, the cascading effects are such that better habits make better homes and better homes may sustain us into living still better and more wholesome lives.
1) Think about the colors and textures
Many of the individual elements within a house are discordant with the entire scheme. While it may take a fine eye to notice these, the subconscious catches on and reacts almost instantaneously to the subtle inconsistencies. This enhances stress. If you have noticed that you become irritated when you enter a certain area or a room for no apparent reason, it is perhaps a minor setting that is irking you and causing you distress.
Soothing colors and textures that are in harmony with your temperament and the structure and construct of the space, are recommended. Be conscious of the choices you make as you add decorative pieces, pictures or even furniture to your home.
2) Bring nature inside
Art pieces that visualize and depict landscapes, seascapes or skyscapes, potted plants and flower vases, even small knick-knacks like minerals and stones, wooden structures or potpourri in a bowl are representations of nature. Rugs and pillows that convey themes of oneness with the environment, ethnic tribal prints, motifs and schemes of natural orderliness have a huge appeal to our senses.
Research shows that such images and artifacts may, in fact, lower our blood pressure. They even enable us in making mental associations that strengthen and improve our mental acuity and cognitive abilities. Further, the pleasant green hues of plants have a profound effect on our eyes and we respond instinctively to their presence. Thus, incorporating these amazing healing elements into our homes could have far-reaching benefits.
3) Let there be light
Studies show that the presence of proper light and ventilation in a room can boost overall positivity. If you have windows and doors, consider light curtains and draperies to maximize this advantage. Chandeliers or table lamps with shades and bulbs that give off a soft light can be used in windowless and dark spaces to create the effect of bright natural light. Using glass and crystal objects, and mirrors in some cases can create the illusion of an extended space, that can be optimal in constrained areas of the house.
4) Openness and inclusivity
The entertainment spaces, like the living room and the dining room, where you receive guests and visitors must convey an open and inviting vibe. If you have children or elders at home, the furnishings must be size appropriate and comfortable. Artwork and displays should highlight your openness to different cultures. Creating a welcoming ambiance rinses the place of any traces of negativity.
5) Setup a happy zone
Consider setting up a separate space where you enjoy your hobbies, reflect and spend some private time. Use all your creativity to design and set this place up as per your wishes and desires. As an example, plant a comfortable chair, or a yoga mat with tons of comfy pillows. You can also have a music system or a small book case full of your favorite books and magazines. Plants and pots are a must in the happy zone. Use this room to de-stress as often as you require and encourage others to use it as well.
6) Keep the bedroom technology free
Televisions and smartphones interfere with sleep and keep you from having a restful nap. Avoid using the phone or bringing it along at dinner time when everyone is gathered around the dining table. Use technology judiciously. Technology makes our life easy, of course, but it is easy to overindulge.
7) Practice simple living
This is a crucial aspect of the transformative journey. It is important to focus on making your existence as well as your home, unassumingly simple. Modest living is not as hard as it appears. It includes decluttering and giving away the redundant stuff. Being conscious of your purchase decisions and buying things that are absolutely necessary and useful. Buying eco-friendly, recyclable, reusable and sustainably sourced objects whenever possible. And minimizing your carbon footprint with all available means. Practicing simple living is like arriving at a clearing, in the middle of the forest.
Designing and decorating a home to be stress-free is not an impossible science. It does not require you to dismantle what you have. It definitely does not require a dramatic cleansing ritual like sage burning or a smoke ceremony, or spending thousands of dollars on collecting an absurd amount of Feng Shui memorabilia and Zen ephemeras. It is an inner reflection that shows through in your living. It is about ridding yourself of demotivating and burdensome objects that weigh you down. It is about being free and expressive and acknowledging others’ freedoms as well as yours in the household. And finally, it is about knowing the difference between a house, and a home where serenity and belonging are valued above everything else!