Your home should be a safe sanctuary for you to retreat to, it should nurture, heal, uplift and inspire you. Coming home should make you feel good, it should be a space that creatively expresses who you are while being infused with a sense of warmth.
How many times have you walked into the perfect home, with designer couches, wallpaper and expensive finishing's; and even though it looked perfect, it felt cold, sterile and not welcoming? And then there are the homes you walk into and they feel like you have just stepped into a space of warmth, comfort and love – it may have cracks in the furniture and the upholstery is not matching, but there is something about it that seems so raw and imperfectly perfect.
There is a difference between a home and a house. So how do you create a home?
Whether you are designing your home from the ground up or just wanting to add your own personal touch there are a few principles that you can implement that will help you simplify your home and create a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere.
19 Tips To Create A Mindful Home
Don’t Be Afraid Of Colour: Gone are the days of the perfectly matched. Homes are becoming more eclectic and individual. When choosing colours think about colours you are naturally drawn to and that make you feel good. If you can’t think of any, then come up with a few places that uplift you – it can be the art gallery, local cafe, mountain hideaways or hiking through a woodland forest. And if you are totally lost and can’t come up with anything then look outside your door for inspiration. Choose colours that flow with your outside space. Hues such as off white, beige, sand, tan, warm brown, burnt orange, amber, soft grey, slate, leafy green, jade, cool blue, navy blue, denim blue, mauve are great natural starting points.
Once you have an idea of what colours or kind of ambiance you are after then narrow it down to three main colours. These three colours will become your base or canvas. They are the bones of the colour theme. But don’t stop at just those three colours – otherwise you will risk your place looking ‘to perfect’ or ‘matchy matchy'(unless that is the look you want to create). You want to infuse personality into your home, so choose another 4 or 5 colours that you think complement those base colours. Don’t get hung up on whether they work together and whether or not you are sticking to the design rules. If you like it – and it makes you feel good – then it works.
The secret to colour is that you need to add layers and textures. You don’t want all flat finishes. So choose cushions and decor items with different textures and designs. Mix up the textures of your walls to create interest – this can be achieved through paint, cladding, wallpaper or art. Don’t be afraid to add colour, texture and bold designs to your space, anything can work.
If you are still stuck on ideas or lack the confidence to experiment with colour then you should definitely look at hiring a professional colour consultant. Some of them come free – all you need to do is buy the paint through them. Colour consultants are trained in the effects of colour and how to use colour to express certain emotions or create certain ambiances.
Flooring: Ideally you want to stick to natural, recyclable and renewable resources where possible. The preferable type of flooring material would be a hard surface, therefore, recycled or reclaimed timber flooring, cork, bamboo, natural stone, polished concrete, porcelain tile and slate are all fabulous options. You could select a natural wool carpet, however try to keep it simple and devoid of pattern. If your budget is tight then this is one place in the design where I would suggest you choose a vinyl or laminate – they have come along way over the years and are growing to become quite an innovative product.
Creative House Design: Nothing upsets me more than seeing some generic cookie-cutter home just plonked on a piece of land. Sure it may be modern, new and flashy – however there is zero thought put into it. If you are thinking of building or renovating I urge you to spend a little bit extra money and time, get your space custom designed for you and your families needs and lifestyle. Take advantage of your unique piece of land. Sure it may add an extra 5k or so to the building budget, but having a space that works for your lifestyle is much more efficient and balancing than having some cookie-cutter home just plonked thoughtlessly on a block of land. A custom home will give you the advantage of making the most of natural light, avoiding the overshadow from your neighbours, choosing a more energy efficient design and materials for your area plus you have the added benefit of not having any wasted space. Think about some of those cookie cutter homes where you know you don’t need a butler pantry or won’t use the small patio off the laundry- with a custom designed home you could actually turn that space into something you will use – such as more storage or an extra bathroom. Many project builders are happy to take on custom designed homes – so you can get the benefit of getting a fixed price building contract while building a home that reflects your lifestyle.
Select Natural Décor: When selecting décor make a conscious effort to create a union between the outdoors and indoors. Be on the lookout for furnishings and items that are comprised of natural materials; recycled wood, bamboo, stone, driftwood and sea-glass. Remind yourself of the less is more philosophy, or the quality over quantity principle. Don’t bring cheap, nasty and mass produced furniture into your home – it doesn’t bring with it a warm feel. This is the time to invest in your home, buy items of high quality that you will have forever. If you are still saving up for that gorgeous recycled timber bed, then buy a second hand frame until you have the money to buy a quality frame or get creative and make your own out of shipping crates and other recyclable waste. Your goal is to create a peaceful space that will inspire you to chill and relax. Something that I highly recommend is to decorate your home in meaningful finds that your discover on your global journeys and travels. Collect pillowcases, blankets, rugs, art and so forth from your favourite destinations. Alternatively support the hand-made and locally produced movement by buying hand-made items at local markets and stores.
Add Warm Touches: Fresh flowers look great and are the simplest way to bring nature into your home. Place natural soy candles around your room and light them during the evenings to create a feeling of comfort and instill calm to your environment. Fragrant your home by burning natural oils and create cozy corners by adding touches of character with handmade items (pillows, knitted throw blankets, lampshades, art and so forth). Interior plants are also a must – they look great and help purify the air.
Use Natural Cleaning Products: Give your home a natural smell while saving yourself money and the planet at the same time. Natural cleaning products are super easy to make – after making your first bottle of bathroom cleaner you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lavender, Lemon, Vinegar + bi-carb soda are just a few fantastic natural cleaners.
Green Your Home: Create a beautiful and harmonizing atmosphere by making the commitment to green your home. There are endless things you can do to make your home a more green and sustainable space. Research solar panels, grey water systems, reclaimed materials and energy efficient appliances. You could even do simple things like put timers on your lights and heating.
Spend Quality Time In It: Enjoy being home, it’s your sanctuary. Spend time in your home and fill it with positive energy. Whether you spend time alone in your home or invite friends and family over; fill the rooms with love, laughter, inspiration and life.
Burn Oils And Candles: Aromas awaken the senses, and they awaken your home. They are one of life’s simple luxuries, which can help heal the mind, body and spirit. The smells that you choose to use linger in your home, giving your home its own unique aroma, message and atmosphere. In winter I love to burn cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, coffee, rosemary and lavender scented essential oils. In summer I love tangerine, peppermint, clarysage and rose.
Speak Kindly: Words, actions and intent all create energy. Make sure you are creating positive energy under your roof.
Build Your Home On Gratitude: Show your home some love by thanking it for the roof that protects you from the rain, the walls that keep you safe and the room it gives you for personal space. You are lucky to have a home; so many people are not so blessed.
Open Your Home Up People: Invite friends and family over for high tea or summertime lemonade, hold a monthly book club meeting or invite your girlfriends over for a pyjama party with wine, chocolate and sex and the city re-runs. Open your heart and home up to people, the energy will fill you and inspire you. If you’re up to it – why not open your home up to the community such as adapt an abandoned animal, take on an exchange student or foster an abandoned child.
Play Music: Music soothes the soul and it soothes your home. Ever noticed whenever you play music in your home – your house seems to sing along with the tunes. Your home doesn’t discriminate between jazz, rock, opera or punk…..it just wants to feel the rhythm…so get in sync and hit the play button today. I do recommend avoiding violent music however.
Let Your Things Tell A Story: This is personally why I love second hand stuff….it has a history and a story. But things don’t have to be second hand to have a story – where I am going with this is buy something because you love it – not because you think that is what everyone else is buying. When you buy something because you love it, it immediately has a story – its energy and beauty resonates with you, other people may not see it but they will feel it. When you buy an item brand new try and know where it came from – was it hand-made, made with ethical practices, fair trade etc.
De-Clutter Your Space: Release the need to hold on to things. There is a time, place and purpose for things. Everything is energy, so don’t just let things sit around creating stale energy; give your items a new lease of life by giving them to someone who either needs them or someone who will use them. Create some space in your home to enable abundance to flow in.
Surround Yourself In Beauty: This doesn’t have to be expensive things of grandeur, it is just about bringing things into your home that you love. For instance maybe some fresh flowers, a handmade cushion from the local market or that rustic trunk that you found at the treasure market which is etched in scratches and history. I love to bring in shells and drift wood – it seems to bring me a little closer to nature.
Nourish Your Home With Home Cooked Meals: There is nothing better than walking in the front door and smelling a home-cooked meal, it creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. So before you dial the number of that old familiar Thai takeaway place, take a look in your fridge and see what you can cook up…your home and health with thank you for it.
A Place For Everything: Organise your home so that everything has a spacious home – take note of ‘spacious’ – no jamming towels in the linen cupboard or filling drawers to the brim with old paperwork. Whatever you can’t organise and find a home for then you need to get rid of it.
Have Just Enough: Simple living isn’t always about having a minimalist style home. Is about having ‘just enough’ so that your home looks clean, spacious yet lived in. Make sure that everything you have in your home you love. Think the rustic and earthy kitchens of Italian women. Scrubbed timber floors; gloss-painted white, yellow, or green walls; a few cabinets; an oil treated wooden table big enough for the heavy boards used for noodle and pastry making. These kitchens are kept beautiful out of love, for there is magic that emerges from them - hand-rolled pasta, fire roasted capsciums, lemon and orange perfumed sponge cakes and sweet apple strudels. The things you use stay clean, from humble utensils to fine furniture. If you have inherited an antique walnut cabinet, use it. Touching, dusting, occasional polishing—daily life creates patina. Your grandmother’s sterling silver flatware won’t tarnish if you use it. Lovely old china may not be suitable for every day, but it can be displayed in a glass-fronted cabinet, where it stays clean, beautiful, and accessible for special occasions.
These are just a few of my ideas to help you add more soul and meaning into your own home. Remember, the home is where you spend most of your time, you want it to be welcoming, warm and authentically you. Sure you can purchase cheap and mass-produced ‘pretty up the home’ items – but don’t do it – invest your time and money into everything you bring into your home. And if your budget is tight – then opt for thoughtful second hand items and hand-made.
When it comes to creating a home, always opt for quality over quantity – after all your home is a longterm investment for both your savings fund and overall well-being.