What I love most about being a designer is helping my clients feel relaxed in their home. You’d be surprised how a little paint and accessories can change a room. Besides, throw pillows and furniture, I find great pleasure in helping my clients create flow and balance in their space. Often, life to gets in the way; causing junk mail and clutter to take over our space. Additionally, poor space planning can make rooms feel overcrowded and uninviting. There is nothing worse than working all day to come home to a space that only stresses you out more. If you are feeling uncomfortable in your home, here are four things that may be limiting your joy:
1. Clutter: Is your space overrun with clutter? Clutter is the number one troublemaker in most people’s lives. Junk mail, overrun book collections and items without a home, tend to take up more space than we should allow. A simple solution is to dedicate time each day to purging clutter. Stop junk mail clutter before it lands on your counter. Sift through your book collection and keep only the books you know you will read again. Or, instead of buying physical books, settle for Kindle. Create a home for EVERYTHING! For example: if you lose your keys everyday (like I do), purchase a hook to hang by the door or a bowl to put your keys in. Rehome old clothes that you no longer wear (no matter how determined you are to get back to your middle school weight). I promise, you will feel a lot better once your space is clutter free.
2. Color: Color is one of the most important aspects of any space. Color brings depth and joy to a room. It can also increase your well-being. As a counselor, I would recommend color therapy to my clients. I challenged those who struggled with depression or low self-esteem to wear colors that represented who they aspired to be; cheerful, confident and attractive. The same goes for our living spaces. Our home is an extension of us. It reflects our emotional, mental and physical self. Think about it: when you feel low do you make the room dark or bask in the sunlight? When you are stressed do you find yourself feeling scattered and unorganized? It may not seem like a big deal, but color can change the tone of a space (pun intended). Here are a few characteristics and recommended uses of colors:
Orange: The color orange can add cheer and happiness to space. Orange is also great at increasing self-esteem and creativity. Too much orange can be overbearing, but adding orange accents will definitely bring joy into a room. Orange is best used in rooms where lots of activity take place like an office, livingroom, playroom or den.
Red: The color red is largely connected to love and passion. Red is also a great stimulator. It encourages excitement and can increase your appetite. Red is also great for activity areas. I would stay away from bedrooms, bathrooms and dining areas.
Blue: I love the flow and balance of blue. Mostly, because blue inspires relaxation and healing. If you have an overactive child, blue can be great for calming them down. Alternatively, blue can increase communication, so it may be great for an office or lounge area. Also, you should put blue in a space where you go to relax like a bathroom or bedroom.
Grey: The color grey is a neutralizing hue. It brings balance and calm into a space. Alone, grey can be pretty stale, so I always recommend paring it with white or a vibrant color such as teal or pink. Grey can be used in any room.
3. Lighting: Limited or no natural light in a space can be an issue. If your windows are obstructed (like a tree is in the way or big building) or is facing a direction where you don’t get much light; there are still solutions. Layering with artificial light can give the illusion of natural lighting. Additionally, painting your walls a lighter color and incorporating mirrors in your space can work wonders.
4. Space planning: Believe it or not, the flow of a space greatly depends on its layout. Oversized sofas and poor entryways can make a space feel unwelcoming. Pay attention to the size of your furniture. Also, gauge how easily you can move throughout the space. For example: I do my best not to arrange the back of a couch to the door; it can make people feel uncomfortable. There are many layout options. Finding one that works best for your space can make a world of difference.
Creating joy and balance in a space doesn’t cost much, but time and patience. Once you’ve implemented these simple tips you will find you feel more relaxed and your guests will want to stay longer. Stay tuned for more tips and hacks that inspire beautiful spaces that are good for you!