Are you overwhelmed with clutter, to do lists, or mess and chaos at home? Are you trying to live up to a particular expectation or standard in your life? Do you constantly feel like your home is unfinished, but can’t afford to create the beautiful home you crave? You are not alone.
Developing your own decorating style takes time, and it takes guts to stand up and decide to go your own way. Over the years, I have connected with so many of you out there who are doing it your own way. Lots of you are designing a home, and a life, that is all your own, and that is better for you, your family and the planet.
I have always loved home. As a little girl, I would shove furniture around my room, using my butt, hips and whatever I could, to create a “zone” in my bedroom. I was desperate for a lounge/bedroom situation. I secretly craved my own apartment to makeover and do with as I wanted. It made me happy to shift furniture, play with textiles and move my treasured objects around, which I started collecting as a little girl. Nothing has changed and as I grew older this desire just grew stronger in me, eventually landing me at the start of the this blog, followed by everything that has come since then.
Home should make you happy. Home is where you rest, recharge, relax and rejuvenate. It is where you care for yourself and your family. It gives you shelter, but even more than this, it should embrace you and all those who live in it. Having beautiful things around you, in particular things you love which have personal history and character, connects you to the story of your life and injects your personality into your home.
The best homes are the ones you walk into and can see immediately who lives there – it is written in the walls, the colours, the floors, the art choices, the furniture style and layout, the sounds, smells and feelings ,that have been created by its occupants. It doesn’t look like someone else’s home, it just looks like yours. With the invention of social media we have more and more ways to find and see beautiful images and information all the time, which can be inspirational. But it can also give you the sense that everyone else is living some kind of “perfect” life. This definition of “perfect” is often very generic and driven by consumerism. This is not an authentic life for many of us and it often generates and supports a throw-away society.
If you allow it, all of this information, which is relentless and continuous, can increase your stress and add pressure to your life. You feel like nothing is ever finished. You worry that you are not living up to the “norm”. It is important to keep everything in perspective and stay mindful in your own life. If you feel like you should throw out stuff to get the “latest” thing, you are contributing to this throw away attitude, which is not only bad for the environment, but also bad for your health.
I believe making changes in your home is wonderful! In fact not a week goes by where I don’t either find a new treasure, or move something around. People are always commenting how they love coming to my home because it is always changing. And yes I still shove furniture around with my butt! However, it is how and why, you do this, that can make big difference to your wellbeing, your pocket and the environment. Being a conscious consumer is the key.
I have no problem with new things, in fact I celebrate all of the fabulous makers and creatives who are designing the most exquisite and clever furniture, textiles, artworks and homewares, on this blog, in our directory and via our brand agency. This is part of sustainability: buying local and buying quality. A blend of old and new, with vintage, upcycled and recycled pieces, is what makes a beautiful and unique home.
If your stress levels about your home are increased by mess, clutter and chaos, or by mounting debts, lack of space or pressure to make changes, learning to stay mindful and appreciate your home, may help you to feel more peace and happiness, and less need to replace things, or spend money on things you probably don’t need. Or you may simply be inspired to make changes with the things you already have, to repurpose, rearrange, or find ways to upcycle, to create a new space.
Happiness and peace at home also does not depend on having a perfectly pinterest ready pantry, or how you fold your clothes. The current trend for organising things is great on one level, but on another, it is overwhelming our charity organisations with stuff they can not manage, and sending other perfectly good items to landfill. Always consider your purchases and what you will do if you decide you no longer want something. Always consider that there is no such place as “away”.
The bottom line is that your happiness does not depend on what you have, how much you own, whether you have a minimal or a maximal home, or whether you have the right sofa. It does, in part, relate to how beautiful your home environment is to you, on developing your own style, the way you feel when you come in the door, how much stuff you personally want around you, and mostly, on how your home nurtures and embraces you and your family. People matter more than anything. Experiences are what life is all about. Don’t spend them all worrying about what other people think about you and your home.
How do you feel about your home and do you feel overwhelmed by social media sometimes?
**updated from a post in 2015