Does your home make you feel positive, even joyful, when you cross the threshold? Is it a haven at the end of the day? A place you hate to leave in the morning, or whenever you walk outside of its comfortable walls and grounds?
Or is your home a bit of a headache—cluttered with things you don’t need or want, decorated in a way that really isn’t you. Maybe it just doesn’t feel special or you’ve grown tired of the furnishings, rugs and accents.
There are a few ways to infuse your home with fresh optimism and make it the first place you want to be when you need to relax, recharge or rejoice. And surprisingly, it doesn’t take a big investment or a total makeover.
We compiled a few tricks to get you started transforming your dwelling place into a rejuvenating, uplifting space.
Trick #1: De-Clutter
Every home could use a purge once in a while. Messy piles of unnecessary or out-of-season stuff can become overwhelming, physically and emotionally. We’re not talking about anything serious—like hoarders—just the detritus that accumulates from everyday living.
The books on the nightstand could be put away in the bookshelf, the magazines and newspapers straightened or recycled, DVDs stowed. It’s surprising what fifteen minutes of pick-up can do to a room—and your mood.
Invest in a few beautiful woven baskets, big or small, and put them in key places that accumulate stuff. A smart spot is on the stairs. Once the basket is full, grab the handle and take it up or down to sort and put away. Position another one next to the sofa. Fill it with shoes, dog chews, phones, keys, and more. Then put the stuff away—later. It’s a relief to de-clutter in one quick efficient trip, rather than many individual ones.
And it’s always good to have a few covered hiding places, like a coffee table trunk to store the extra throws and pillows. Our ingenious Round Tufted Storage Ottoman serves two purposes. It is hand-tufted and very plush—but still sturdy enough to use as a cocktail table. Under the linen blend kick pleat hides a large storage shelf, ideal to keep everything from the remote to the candy bowl out of sight.
Trick #2: Setting Foot Inside
Once you’ve tidied up, go outside. Then enter your home through whichever door you use most. Take a look around. Is it the way you’d like it to be? Does it feel like a refuge from the complicated world outside? Most of all, does it welcome you?
We’ve written about our St. Kitts Table several times before—that’s because it’s one of our customers’ favorites—and ours too! The appeal of the St. Kitts isn’t hard to pin down. It’s round and a smidge less than two feet in diameter, so it has a small footprint. It’s available in walnut, ivory or amelie blue finish to work with any décor. But the clincher is the hand-carved pineapple center post—a symbol of welcome. It couldn’t be better suited for an entryway, to welcome you and your guests in understated style.
Another wonderful way to welcome you in is with our cheerful Jardin Rugs in dahlia or two shades of hydrangea. They brighten an entrance with a bit of the garden’s color and flair.
Trick #3: Meaningful Things
Love makes a house a home and there’s no better way to demonstrate your love than to scatter meaningful things in strategic places. Memorabilia, when out of control, is just another form of clutter. But well-chosen pieces that mean so much are always a good idea.
Are you a wine aficionado? Collect half a dozen wine corks in a Mediterranean style bowl and place it in the kitchen or on a serving table in the dining room. It’s something so simple, but you’d be surprised how much conversation it will spur.
Or select your favorite three to five wine bottles in different shapes and colors. Buy some elegant tapers, or tall thin iris flowers to place in the mouth of each. Line them up on the mantel or down the center of the dining table. A rustic and memorable touch.
We think candles and silver accent pieces are always a good combination to warm up a setting and give it some glisten. Our flameless candles take the hassle out of candle-burning, and our Bastia Jars and Antique Mercury Glass Boxes are an opulent way to light things up too. Make them personal by filling them with postcards, favorite dried flowers, pinecones or shells found on your wanderings. Leave the lids ajar or close them up at whim.
Framed family photos displayed in a group are very powerful mood elevators. We once saw a home with at least twenty or thirty candid shots framed and set on the expanse of a baby grand piano. It was as if the whole extended family was gathered around the instrument to sing. And it was hard not to pick one up and ask for the accompanying story.
On one of our jaunts through the antiques markets of France we uncovered this Art Nouveau Embossed Photo Album. It took our breath away. This gorgeous antique displays a hand-painted and embossed image of a beautiful woman on the leather cover. Inside are accordion style pages with antique brass photo frames. We believe it’s from the early 1900s. What a treasure, to exhibit your treasures.
Trick #4: Expressive Vignettes
Our last tip for filling your home with inspiration and optimism is to think in terms of expressive vignettes.
Close your eyes and sort through your memory’s snapshots of places or moments that warm your heart. Is it reading a classic book in your plush window seat or seeing the dog curl up and drowse in his bed? Is it the swirl of milk in your hot tea at the table in the breakfast nook, or a summer breeze rippling the tablecloth on the patio outside?
Vignettes like these are the things they make movies about. They are the visual affirmations of a life well lived. And they are easily achieved!
Katherine Hepburn once said, “Refill the reservoir” and she was speaking about the necessity to treat your self with care and compassion in little ways every day. Your home is the first place and the last place you should go to refill your reservoir. Then you’ll be better able to care for your family, friends and even the strangers you interact with every day.