Ask Yourself Just One Question
Change how you feel about your home for the better by focusing on the answer to a question that designers often ask.
The question is deceptively simple and one that almost all designers ask at the start of a project: “How do you want your home to feel?” Focusing on this question can work wonders. Defining the feelings you want to cultivate in your home will give it a purpose, and will help you focus in on the results you want.
Ask the question. Ideally, question yourself, and then have each person who shares your home also answer the question. Below the question has been phrased in different ways to better help unlock your answer:
- How would you like your home to feel?
- How do you want to feel when you walk through the front door?
- What do you want guests to think about your home?
- What are the top three words that best describe how you want your home to feel?
Once you have your answers, consider the suggestions below for bringing out those feelings in your home.
You want your home to feel welcoming … A welcoming home is one where you breathe a sigh of relief the second you walk through the door. If your home doesn't do that for you, consider why not. Do you need to remove clutter from your entryway or add a lamp to create a warm glow? Be sure to put out family photos that make you smile, and have plenty of seating for guests.
You want your home to feel relaxed … A relaxed home is one where you don’t have to be afraid to put your feet on the furniture, snuggle with the dog on the sofa, or come to breakfast in your pajamas. A relaxed home is partly attitude and partly easy-care materials.
If this is the way you want your home to feel, lower your expectations of perfection and accept the fact that a relaxed, well-loved home will get some dings. If it makes you tense having an antique or heirloom around, consider giving or loaning it to a family member who will take good care of it.
You want your home to feel creative … Fill it with things that nurture your creative spirit. Keep your art or craft materials where they can be easily accessed. Prominently display your treasures and photos that inspire you. Play the music you love, invite friends over, and show that you enjoying your beautiful, yet imperfect home.
You want your home to feel peaceful … A sanctuary is a place of peace, a place where you can restore and revive and separate yourself away from the outside world. There are several different ways to make your home feel this way. See if any of these appeal to you:
- Use soft neutrals and cool colors.
- Keep clutter to a minimum.
- Don’t stress out about keeping things overly neat and clean; sometimes a peaceful space is one in which you can simply let go and relax.
- Refresh your senses with contrasting textures and delightful aromas.
- Reduce annoying sounds and light with drapes or blackout shades.
You want your home to feel fun … If so, commit to having more fun at home! Carve out time to spend on family activities, hobbies and just relaxing. Try to loosen up your decorating, too. Experiment with new decor or paint color. Most decorating mistakes are not so awful that they can’t be fixed with a little spackle and paint, or a trip to return something to the store.
You want your home to feel authentic … Be yourself, don’t worry about current trends, and surround yourself with the things you love.
Don’t apologize for how your house looks when guests come over. Be realistic about what level of cleanliness and clutter you accept, and commit to keeping your home “good enough.”
You want your home to feel safe … Be a good listener and speak kindly to your family members and friends. Increasing privacy can also make a home feel safer, so consider adding hedges or maybe a fence and window coverings that also boost privacy.
You want your home to feel happy … List what you think people in a happy home do, and pick three of those things to do this week. Maybe it includes more family dinners or having friends drop by, or perhaps it involves relaxing in your favorite chair and getting lost in a good book. Artwork can also provide a visual reminder of the joy of your home. Look for art and prints that make you feel happy and place them where you see them daily, or better yet, create the art yourself.