I think it’s pretty fair to say, we are all reflecting on what our homes mean to us at the moment and the important role it plays in our lives (now and when rona finally leaves us alone). The below is an extract from my second book Keeping House and I think it’s even more relevant now than it was when I wrote it last year.
Our homes are more than just a roof over our heads and a place to store our stuff – we all deserve to find the pleasure and enjoyment that comes with decorating our sacred spaces and then sharing them with others. Yet so many of us seem to put it off.
Do you hear yourself coming up with any of these excuses?
- But I’m just renting.
- But I’m living in my parents’ house.
- But this old hand-me-down furniture isn’t that bad, is it?
- But I’m so busy at the moment – I’ll get around to decorating next week, or next month, or maybe next year …
- But I’m waiting until I meet the right person – then we’ll create a home together.
- But I don’t intend on being here for long.
- But it will probably cost too much to decorate or entertain the way I want to.
- But I can’t have people over for dinner – I don’t have anywhere for them to sit …
- But I’ve got no taste.
- But I don’t really know where to start.
Yes, some of these are very valid reasons not to go out and spend a fortune on new furniture, especially if you intend on moving soon (or if you’ve lost your job or income has taken a beating with Covid-19). But there is one very obvious theme here that needs to be challenged: ‘I’m waiting for …’
So, dear reader, what are you waiting for?
Ditch the ‘one day’ mentality and start living in the present.
I challenge you to start thinking in a different way.
You can make simple changes to your existing space to make it feel more ‘you’, no matter what your home situation is. It doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Absolutely everyone can decorate a great room.
If you can alter your approach, you’ll realise this is your shot to start creating and working towards your ‘one day’. Life is constantly evolving and changing for everyone, but living in the moment allows you to be more engaged in your life. You’ll be more invested in turning your house into a home and inviting your friends and family over to enjoy it with you, and you’ll find you’re happier in your home because of the effort you’ve put into it. You don’t need to wait until you are in your forever home to create your own haven, and you don’t need to wait until everything is perfectly in place before you invite people over. You can achieve a meaningful home regardless of the situation you find yourself in.
More often than not, the reason we don’t start a project is because we don’t know where to start. It’s a pretty intimidating task when you think about it: fitting out an entire space to be a true reflection of your style and taste, showing off your decorating skills, and selecting practical pieces that will serve you and the other occupants of the home well. We all want to create a welcoming space for guests yet at the same time we worry they’ll pass judgement on our decorating choices, or the food and drinks we serve.
In the search for perfection we end up in a complete state of overwhelm, analysing every single detail but not actually making any decisions. It’s a vicious cycle!
Don’t lose sight of the goal: to create a home that is a reflection of you.
Use your own creativity. We all have it; we just need to tap into it.
What can you do to start creating a more inviting space?
Start with the little things. I work from home a lot (during normal times), I have a collection of things on my desk that make me happy while I sit there for hours designing houses. I have a small bowl that burns incense in it on and off during the day. I have a vase of flowers on the desk and I purchased a pretty lamp with a nice shade. None of these things are particularly expensive but they bring me joy and make sitting the same spot for hours enjoyable.
You can do similar things in your lounge room, add a little tray to your coffee table and add a candle, small bowl of crystals or found objects (feathers, pinecones or river rocks), a vase of flowers you pick from the garden (or pinch from the neighbours front yard). Adding a little bit of personalisation to the space doesn’t hurt either, we all have a photo frame we were gifted years ago lying around, print your favourite photo out and put it somewhere you’ll see it regularly to make you smile as you walk by.
Creating a home starts with the little things. What are you going to do today to make your home a little more ‘you’?
Extract from Keeping House Book, 2019. Purchase your copy here.