Date: March 17, 2015
posted by kira jean / Comments: No Comments / Tags: blogger, Creativity, design, dubai, home, Inspirational, interior design, Miracle, Motivational, peace, Retreat, Self Expression, self-development, self-help, Tranquility, united arab emirates, wellness, yoga
If you follow me on Instagram you would have noticed I’ve been posting a lot of photos relating to the new home I am creating with my husband.
We have recently purchased our first home together and I have found the process of moving in and decorating it both incredibly challenging and rewarding.
I’ve always been sensitive to my environment. I went through a stage during my adolescence when my walls were covered from floor to ceiling with posters of pop-stars and my floor was used for clothes storage as I threw things around when deciding what to wear every morning. When I moved out of my family home things got a lot more simple.
I lived in four different houses within three years, and each time, I did whatever I could to create a sanctuary for myself. For the most part the only furniture I had was a bed, and sometimes a chest of drawers. Still, I would burn candles, buy fresh flowers, display photos of family and friends and invest in some second-hand accessories to create a sweet space around from the world that I could retreat to.
Usually I was financially restricted as to how I could fit-out my room. I was living in shared accommodation and I had a small space in which to work with. But I refused to come in after a hectic day at work and not feel relaxed and happy to be home.
A house is very different from a home. A home is a physical and material expression of yourself. A cluttered home is a sign of a cluttered mind, colours affect our mood and photographs and trinkets gathered on travels bring back memories.
Most importantly the energy of the place you live in needs to be one your comfortable with.
I like to have a retreat-style home, that makes me feel relaxed and at ease.
I like to express my creative side through bold colours and artwork.
I like anything that is unusual and hard to find, and am more than happy to spend hours in antique stores hunting for original pieces.
I like to feel proud of the space I live in and I love to entertain. For me it’s important to have a home where my friends and family feel like the door is always open, and they have a place to come to relax and enjoy themselves.
Below are some tips I apply in my own life when creating a space that feels positive:
1. Clear out everything that no longer serves you
I’m a fan of throwing. I didn’t used to be though, but because I’ve moved around so many times, I’m used to having big clean outs. Clearing all the physical ‘stuff’ that’s cluttering the space can be hugely therapeutic. It can help you process and release old emotions and energy that is cluttering your ‘head space’ and consuming your energy. Things change, that’s one of the things we know for sure. So be willing to move through the changes of life, clear out what’s no longer relevant, positive, or needed, and allow your space to reflect who and where you are right now.
2. Take your time
Turning a space into a home or retreat takes time. The energy of a space is built during the process of creating it and by the people who enter it. It’s not about the objects or furniture which occupy the space, but the care and presence you bring to the process of creating and maintaining it. It’s also important who you are when you’re there. We’ve all walked into a room before after there’s been an argument and it’s as though you can smell it in the air. It doesn’t feel good, you can sense that something has happened, even though things seem fine now. Be mindful of how you treat your space, yourself, and others. Take your time to nurture the space as you would your relationships. Allow the space to reveal itself to you.
3. Have a feeling not a plan
Decide what feeling you want the room to have. We wanted our television room to be really relaxing. We wanted a place where we could switch off from the world, take naps, and completely chill out. Once we knew what feeling we wanted to create we were able to choose furniture, paint colours, and decor that matched that feeling. The television room design wouldn’t have worked for my office though. I can’t be sleeping there! So rather than having cool pastel colours, I’ve gone for bold colours that make me feel alive and creative. Many years ago when I was moving from place to place, I couldn’t afford new furniture. I had a second-hand bed, and would use cheap throws and pillows to create a comforting energy that would help me relax and sleep. What’s important here is that you look at the big picture and fill in the blanks. If you go in with a plan and focus on the details in the beginning you’ll feel overwhelmed. I’m not a fan of the colour pink, but I’m feeling I need to bring a bold shade of this colour into my office. I don’t know why, but I feel it helps me create the feeling I want the room to have, and it just – works. But if I had tried to stick to a definite plan I would’ve missed the opportunity to discover what I really needed in the space. So rather than thinking about what kind of furniture, style, design you want, first consider the feeling you want the room to have and how you want you, and others, to feel when they are in it.
4. Express yourself FULLY
For many of us we play certain roles when we’re outside of the home; we’re the friend, the professional, the mentor, the big brother or sister, the boss. Your home should be a true expression of who you really are when you’re no longer confined to your professional or relationship roles. There’s no need to impress anyone or try to conform to a certain style. Create your own style based on what feels right and what you truly love. As I have began fitting out my home I have realised many people are quite surprised at my style! Why? I’ve thought about this a lot, and I believe it’s because I am naturally quite reserved and calm. Yet the things I choose for my home are bright colours and bold statement pieces, because that’s how I feel on the inside! Your home, even if you’re in a tiny one bedroom apartment, is still an opportunity for you to go crazy and express yourself however you choose. It doesn’t have to fit in or make sense. Actually neither do you really. So don’t be afraid to be bold with your choices and similarly, don’t be afraid to not have all of that, and to have a simple, gentle, personal space that feels totally and utterly YOU.
5. How to create and maintain positive energy
Personally I find nature has a big impact on me and how I feel about a space. I’ve recently added new indoor plants to my home and it’s made a huge difference. For years, even back in the days when I was in shared accommodation, I used to get a bunch of fresh flowers every week for the home, and I used to say a prayer of gratitude for the house I had and by doing so blessing it. I have done this for at least the past five years, and I do believe this little prayer and show of appreciation has now blessed me with a big, beautiful home, in which I drown in appreciation of each day.
Although until now my living situation has never been ideal, I have always appreciated it and tried to make the most of it.
Additionally music also has a brilliant way of shifting energy. When you get in from work play some relaxing music or something upbeat if you need to lighten the mood. On lazy weekend days I have a Youtube video playing all day with hours and hours of relaxing spa music. When I’m home alone a need to shake off some stress and just have some fun I play some of my old favourite tunes and have a dance party by myself! Use music as a tool to create more positive energy in your living space.
Set a specific part of your living space that is for work-related things. It’s important to, wherever possible, leave work at work and have a complete break from it. In saying that, I primarily work from home. My home is my office. I have however designated one room as my working room. I believe the most important thing here is that you don’t work when you’re in bed! Don’t take the work from your day into the space where you need to be able to wind down and sleep peacefully. Designate a particular part of your space that is for your work stuff.
6. Make your sleeping space a priority
Speaking of creating an ideal space to rest in and sleep properly, I have a few more tips. I have struggled with sleeping my entire life. I’m just not very good at it! I find it really hard to wind down at the end of the day, and sometimes I continue to feel wired no matter what I do. I’ve tried sleepy teas, baths, I meditate, exercise, take herbal supplements, I’ve tried it all. The one thing that I believe has helped me the most is logging off and turning it off. I’ve never had a television in my bedroom as I find it negatively affects my sleep. I know some people sleep better when winding down with the television in the background, but that just hasn’t been true for me. For most us, it’s probably not our televisions that keep us wired, but our smart phones. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve got into bed, decided to check out some pictures on Pintrest, only to realise an hour later I’m still scrolling, my eyes are burning, and sleep still doesn’t seem like it’s on the agenda. There’s a few things you can do. You can turn your phone off. My husband does this, as he has an old Nokia phone he uses for important calls and his morning alarm. I use my smart phone for my alarm, but what I do instead is leave my phone away from my bed. In the morning I physically have to get out of bed when my alarm goes off (goodbye procrastination!), and I avoid the temptation to roll over before I sleep, check my phone, and get lost in pointless scrolling.
Having animals in the home brings a great deal of positive energy into the space. Animals can help to calm you, they offer unconditional love, and they don’t demand anything of you, apart from being feed and shown some love. I know it’s not possible or practical for everyone to have animals in the home, but where possible it can bring a lot of positive energy to your living space.
8. Respect and gratitude
I touched on this a little bit before, but this really is the key to creating a home that you love and that’s a pleasure to be in. Tread lightly and treat your living space with respect. Tend to it when you can, take the very best care of it. Above all be thankful, because if you’re reading this then you have access to a computer, a smart phone, and the internet, and you probably therefore live in a home that is grander and greater than a large percentage of the world’s population are privileged to experience. Be thankful. You have a roof over your head and a pillow underneath you when you sleep at night, many don’t. Respect your space in a way that shows how much you respect yourself.
Sending you love from my sweet abode,