A great friend of mine Liz from The Connected Life was so lovely to include me when writing a post on “Purpose”. (It really made me smile, thanks Liz.) So I thought I’d write in the same spirit and share my approach to making a connection with your interior. Here I’ll delve into what you can do before you even start planning – working out what’s important to you and figuring what you have to work with. Then you can move on to create an interior with meaning.
In life you need to make connections not only with people but with your surroundings too. So it’s only fitting that you aim “To create a home that feeds your soul”.
Over the years I have come to really value the special things in our home as well as the negative space surrounding them. The less is more approach does seem to come into play quite often. When there is too much or it starts to get unorganised or clutter builds up, do you find life doesn’t run as smoothly? And when things are organised you are early, there is extra time in your day and there is an extra spring in your step?
One way to try to stop the build up is by only bringing things into your home that are cherished, have a purpose and a place. Only adding those, I call them “Little Luxe Additions”, to your home. I have overcome the need to keep things that people have given us that aren’t soul feeding. After moving a lot of stuff from one home to another, I am now a culler and ok with the notion that The Salvo’s can benefit from our non-cherished goods. Be ruthless. And have this in mind:
If it’s not adding to your life then it’s subtracting from it, so Let It Go.
So put on the Frozen soundtrack, go through all your belongings and do a spring cull as part of your spring cleaning. It’s the perfect time for it right now! Take everything out of your cupboards and put like with like, cull anything you don’t love or use and when you put things back try to arrange them in a nice way. It brings me a lot of joy opening cupboards laid out nicely and having places for everything. Cupboards with enough space around the items for them to breathe feels very special, so don’t over fill your cupboards or shelves. Remember negative space works here too.
I am in no way totally organised believe me, I’m happy to admit we have a spare room that isn’t used to it’s full potential because of mostly my “stuff”. I have been working very hard recently to clear it out as I would love to move a couple of rooms around. So visualising the end result and culling and cleaning with intention is key.
Do you change/create spaces/rooms to suit the changing needs of the people living in your space? Even just moving things around for a fresh look? I change rooms/areas and spaces as we grow as a family. We had a toy room set-up in a bedroom but when Miss B came along this became her bedroom closer to our room. We weren’t using the formal lounge to it’s full potential, there was certainly nothing formal about it with one old couch and a tv in it, so we set that up as a lounge/toy room while the kids were young. It has worked brilliantly allowing the kids the freedom to do what they want in the space as well as sitting well with me having the vision that one day it would become something else.
I work mostly from home and my current office is great except not big enough to hold samples/stock or meet with clients. It’s functional using our old dining table and the cupboards are organised and laid out nicely but something was stopping me from decorating this room, and I couldn’t visualise it at all. I didn’t see the point in getting a different table as although this one isn’t visually appealing there is nothing technically wrong with it, it fills the space perfectly, so I couldn’t justify replacing it at this stage. Nor is it something you could transform. Then I had a vision of what the lounge would look like as my office/meeting/lounge and instantly I felt the connection with the space and drew it up in minutes.
I was going to do this when the kids are older but after discussing it with Liz and my Mum the answer was why not now. The office as it is at present isn’t “feeding my soul” and allowing my work vision to come to life. I’m sure there is a way to set it up so everyone will be able to use the larger space as well as making over that other room for the kids toys. So that is where i stand right now and i’ll keep you posted of my progress.
We have found that happy balance/magic number for us that when it goes over things start to pile up and not run smoothly so we revisit. To keep this magic number have a set amount of space for each group of items and if something new comes in then something else has to go out. We are definitely big on this with the kids and their toys/books. Miss B is just about turning 4 so a great opportunity to pass on any baby toys. Getting them to visualise where their beloved toys are going is a great way to help them let things go. A friend of ours is having a baby so we said let’s find some things we can give to her. They ultimately have to be the ones to make that decision so don’t move things on unless they know about it, instead help them to do it for themselves.
Before you start bringing your home to life, move on anything that doesn’t belong and take stock of what you have to work with. What can be sold, re-purposed, donated etc. Just make sure your clutter doesn’t end up becoming someone else’s clutter.
Keep only those things that have meaning and make you feel happy or have a true purpose (keep those dreaded tax files just in case) and be gone the rest. When you have too much stuff it just reads as clutter. Create a space for everything and everything in it’s place. And honour those things most important by showing them off the best way you can.
Keep the vision of the end result in your mind to motivate you. Keep an open mind and move your rooms/spaces around as you grow and your needs change. Define the areas of your space into what purpose they will serve and where everything will go.
When you live with less and only what is important, you give yourself the opportunity to breathe and grow. Liz inspires with her words as well as her coaching and although I can’t live a totally less is more life (I do work in a field of interiors after all) I have taken on board many of her ideas that really resonate with me. So check out her blog for some more inspiration.
Do you feel a big connection with your home? Are there spaces that aren’t quite working for you and do you know why that is? Does your home reflect you and does it feed your soul?