I hope you’re all hanging in there okay. How is HOME treating you these days? Does it feel like a serene getaway from the outside world or, well, not so much? Is it hazardous to walk from one room to another while carrying the cat (if you have Lego-hoarding kids, you know what I mean)? Are you having trouble figuring out how to enjoy being home when you’re there a lot?
If you have made your home into a peaceful haven during these difficult times, congrats! That will help you enjoy whatever is ahead as much as possible. If not, let me give you a few tips to get you started.
1. Create enjoyable spaces.
The key to enjoying life at home is by creating different “experiences” in different areas of your home. It is so depressing only to have one place to go. It often happens that the living room is the only place to sit in a comfy seat. This comfy seat is usually pointed at the TV, making you feel like if you’re sitting, you should also have the TV on because otherwise, you’re not getting the whole sitting experience. This works for a while. Then you realize all you do is park yourself in one place and stare at the TV anytime you want to sit down. Depression and despair are sure to follow, not just because of the news content but because this habit effectually turns your beautiful home into a one-bedroom apartment. If you wanted to live in one room and sleep in another, why have an entire house? If you have an entire house, why not get your money’s worth?
Think about what you like to do at different times of day and be creative about where you could do that. Do you have a sunny window in the morning? Create a coffee nook there that reminds you of your favorite coffee shop. Do you like to have a cozy nook to read in? Find a spot and move a comfy chair and a lamp there. Add a side table so you can put down a drink.
The idea is to make it, so every one of your daily activities has something to enjoy about it. Make it so you’re not reading morning news in the same spot as you’re eating evening pizza. Work at home? Create a workspace in a part of your home that you might actually enjoy. If there isn’t a space you already enjoy, create one with a new desk/seating arrangement carved out from an existing space. Be creative. There’s no reason not to use every square inch of your home to create usable spaces.
If you do this right, it feels like you have a lot of places to go each day, even if you’re just at home. It will take a lot longer to get tired of being in one place all the time because you won’t really have been in one place the whole time.
2. Think about function
Life is hard enough without having your own home fight against you. The idea is to set up your home in a way that serves you. When you cook, what frustrates you? Move things around in your kitchen to fix it. When you figure out the problem, brainstorm solutions that would make that specific job easier.
In the kitchen, create zones that have everything handy for that activity. Move all your coffee-making items, including mugs and coffee beans, to one area of the kitchen and set up a coffee bar there. The same goes for meals you cook often. Organize your cabinets so you can easily find what you need most often, and let the stuff you use less often be stored somewhere else.
Every chair you actually want to sit in should be comfy, have a side table for a drink, have a place to put your feet, and have a lamp. Otherwise, you’ll never sit there. Think amenities. Take care of yourself.
3. Think aesthetics
Last but not least, make it enjoyable to look at. Get rid of the stuff you don’t like looking at and put something else there. Most people have more than enough stuff stashed somewhere that they could get rid of stuff they don’t love and try something different. “Shop” from different rooms in your house for ideas, or go out and shop for something “new,” even if it’s a thrift-store find. Thrift stores are a great way to try out a new design idea without investing much money.
The way things look really does affect your mood. When the house is clean, and things look pretty, it’s enjoyable to look at. When that pretty view has been altered by dirty socks, junk mail, dishes, and things piled up, it causes stress, claustrophobia, and a feeling that the house is too small. The solution is to clean up, make it look nice, and find a permanent home for things that always cause problems.
Anyway, that’s all it takes. Make some enjoyable spaces so you have somewhere to “go,” even while at home. Make it amenable, so you have your simple needs met when you go to use those areas. Finally, make it look nice, so you enjoy looking at it. *
*I know some of you are raring to go on this, and others of you are thinking, “easier said than done.” If you need help, feel free to fill out the contact form and briefly describe your project, and we’ll be in touch with you.