10 Books that can Make you a Happier Person

I believe that our surroundings and our mindset are intimately connected. Our surroundings not only include what we look at but also who we talk to, what we watch on TV and what we read.

If you're like me and you're always striving to be a better person here are 10 books that have transformed my life. They have affected every aspect of my life...and are the reason I'm even writing this blog and running my business today. 

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Make your Home Feel like Christmas & be Eco-Friendly!

We're entering my absolute favorite time of the year...Christmas! I love all of the lights, the greenery, the decorations, the food, and the cheesy movies. I love it all!

For me it's the one time of year when the world really does seem to feel like it is full of possibilities....

In celebration of it all of this I've put together a post featuring some of my favorite Christmas finds as a how to on how to make your home feel more like Christmas! I've really focused on sustainable items so if you like to buy as many eco-friendly things as possible for your home then you're going to love this! Remember everything is available for purchase to make your life easier. Just click on the images. 

So let's dive in!

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Create a Funky Modern Rustic Living Room

Generally I've got modern decor tastes...but at the same time I like rooms that feel earthy, like they're connected to the natural world. I love this look particularly in cabins and old lodge-like hotels. There's something really special about being in the middle of nowhere with a fire roaring in the fireplace, your lover, and a feast of decor that makes you feel grounded yet luxurious. 

It's with this picture in my mind that I designed this room. I don't think there's any reason that rustic can't also be modern and luxurious all at the same time. This funky rustic living room would go well in a loft apartment, cabin, a home in the mountains or simply in the home of someone who loves the aesthetic....hey go with what you love...really its the only way to go.

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Fill the Void after a Breakthrough

Ever since I made the decision that I wanted a happier life I've been living in a constant cycle. It goes something like this....breakthrough....reality check (which means anything from a moment of acceptance to an ugly cry)...the void....and then fulfillment. If you're familiar with this emotional cycle than you are familiar with the dreaded void. 

What is the 'Void'?

"The Void" as I like to call it is when you've allowed all of the negative mental energy around a past event to leave your body and you feel this strong sense of emptiness... through forgiveness or acceptance. Sometimes it feels like you've had your guts ripped out but most of the time it feels like a persistent hole in your stomach. I had a huge breakthrough (epiphany) over the weekend and woke up with a 'void' that feels like part of my identity was stolen. I feel unsure and my body doesn't 100% feel like its mine. 

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Create a Peaceful Brown & Turquoise Bedroom

Since moving to San Francisco I've really been thinking about what I want. What I want in life and what I want my surroundings to look like. And most importantly how I want to feel...because after all how we feel is the most important thing of all. 

So for this post I'm going to share with you the room design vision that I have for my own bedroom at the moment. Since most of my stuff is in storage back in North Carolina I'm kind of starting from scratch...at least until I buy a house.

This post is full of things I love...the kind of general room accents and functional objects that make me smile. They are based on five primary feelings ....inspiration ....security ....peacefulness  ......and luxuriousness.

So with this in mind I designed this bedroom. I used soothing blues, turquoise and whites but brought in some prominent chocolate brown accents to ground the room.

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Get out of a Rut...and Start a Cycle of Positivity

Are you in a rut? Do you feel like you just keep repeating the same day over and over again? Well, I totally get it. I've been there!

But the good news is that you're reading this post so that means that on some level you're ready for change. So take a minute and congratulate yourself. Few people take this step.

So let's get started.....

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Create an Inspiring Grey & Blue Modern Home Office

I firmly believe in setting yourself up for success...with systems, positive people, positive habits and positive surroundings. In business this can be particularly important especially when you're an entrepreneur working from home. Sometimes it is hard to switch from the being at home mode to the being at work mode. So having a designated home office that inspires and feels professional makes a big difference. 

I also believe that surrounding ourselves with artwork and colors that inspire us while we work makes a big difference. For me at least walking into an office with good artwork makes me much more comfortable. It makes the space more human...more tangible...and I think that that is especially important in this day and age where so much of our business is done over skype and email. We're craving things that feel more natural and more calming and I think that our surroundings can serve as the foundation for that.

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
Why Neutral Rooms Can Make you Unhappy

If you go on pretty much any home decor blog you're bound to see a bunch of neutral rooms. After all neutral rooms are said to make you calmer, they're easy to decorate (everything matches!) and most importantly they're trendy.

I do agree that neutral furniture and accent pieces in a room bring a certain element of calmness especially when they are textured. It's just that when everything is neutral that people run into trouble.

You see, neutral colors calm you because there's an absence of color and color evokes emotion.

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Create a Beautiful Restorative Meditation Room

You have to make space for what is important. I hear that all the time in the personal development world. There's tons of material about how you have to forgive and let go in order to allow new things into your life. 

I don't think our homes are any different. We have to dedicate space to the things that we hold important. For example, kitchens have become bigger and more centrally located in houses over the past several decades. It's not because cooking has become more central to our culture because people actually cook less, but I think its because women have become more empowered  and women feel drawn to kitchens. Now that comment might warrant some comments below...but there is a cultural shift at play......and I see spaces for meditation taking a similar route. 

More and more people are meditating....because more and more of us feel that something is missing in our lives....we're not okay with the status quo. We want to feel connected to something bigger and daily meditation is a major first step.

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Improve your Meditation Practice

I know that we all have this picture in our heads of the ideal place to meditate. You know what I'm talking about...the little shrine with buddha and little candles and the perfect crisp clean mat. 

But the reality is that very few people have this...I know I don't....and I'm a pretty devoted meditator. 

But what I have noticed is that my surroundings do affect my meditation practice. In the past I've attributed distraction from my meditation practice to noise in my head or my everyday life getting in the way...which to a certain extent it was....But the truth is that the noise in my head was increased because where I meditated was full of objects, furniture, and artwork that reminded me of what I didn't want....not what I wanted.

 

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Buy Beautiful Sustainable Furniture

I was recently sitting in a waiting room with nothing to do...so I reached for a copy of Fast Company magazine and started reading an article about Stella McCartney's crusade to integrate sustainable materials into the fashion industry. I didn't realize this but most of our clothing sits in landfills for 200 years before it breaks down! This is of course because most of our clothing is made from synthetic materials....essentially plastic. On the flip side there is a growing movement to ensure that the natural materials used in clothing is harvested in a sustainable manner....thus ensuring that we don't deplete our resources...and leave our grandchildren with a barren planet....but rather a thriving healthy planet that they can live with harmoniously.

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Set up your Home as a Powerful Vision Board

Several months ago I was watching a youtube video with Marie Diamond, who was the feng shui expert in the Secret, and she said something that really struck me. She said that our homes are three dimensional vision boards. I remember actually pausing the video and going yeah, she's right! After all everything that we look at in our homes seeps into our subconscious and affects us throughout our day....in both negative and positive ways.

Vision boards are where we visually represent our goals and greatest desires so that we can subconsciously absorb them and more easily visualize ourselves in these situations....thus making them more likely to happen. So it makes perfect sense that if we blow out the concept of our vision boards to include the rooms our house where we spend the most time then our subconscious will be even more flooded with positive images that will help to align us with what we want.

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Make Sense of Feng Shui

Ever since I started on this journey of helping people to design rooms for how they want to feel. I've had countless people say that I needed to look more into feng shui. 

The first time I heard this I made a funny face and kind of dismissed it. After all I've always associated feng shui with furniture arrangement and weird number associations. 

As I delved in deeper what I learned is that feng shui, which started an ancient Chinese method to organize the home so it leverages the benefits of the natural world, has spun into multiple schools of thought with multiple philosophies...which made everything make sense for me. That's why I've heard wonderful stories about why a feng shui consultant has transformed someone's home by rearranging furniture and making little changes here and there while on the other spectrum I've seen feng shui consultants on television recommend painting your entryway a hideous red and decorating it with a gaudy gold bowl.  

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Create a Colorful Organic Inspired Living Room

Organic modern is really my favorite style....it's not very mainstream and you don't find a reference to in the mainstream blogs. But if you google it some pretty cool stuff comes up. So I've decided to take the term and notch it up with some color...and that's exactly what I've done in this blog post. 

I really wanted to design a living room that felt soft and adding organic touches is one of the best ways to do that. I also wanted it to be modern and somewhat sleek without the cold feeling that modern furniture sometimes gives. I also wanted to integrate some of the practical feng shui principles that I've recently learned...those kind of tips where you tilt your head and go, "oh that makes sense!"

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Feel more Connected to your Home

If you ask anyone what they want to feel when they come home...they say something like happy, relaxed, or belonging. But if you prod them a little bit what you'll find out is that they really want to feel deep down are two things...safe and connected.

I completely understand because these are the two things that I want to feel when I'm at home. Everyone does.

Why? Well, because they're basic human needs. 

However, in our culture of shoulds and trying to please others we often choose homes, furniture and artwork that fits into what we think that we need to be. And as a result our connection to our home suffers.....and as a result we don't recharge fully in the evening...and then we feel out of alignment the next day.

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Create a Calming & Rejuvenating Meditation Space

Since I'm living in a temporary space right now it's really made me think about things I'd never thought about....for example it seems that I took for granted the nice nature facing windows in my living room with inspirational artwork on either side. They served as a wonderful view that really calmed me down and allowed me to meditate peacefully and easily if I sat on the floor and faced the window. Without realizing it I had set up a meditation space! 

So it got me thinking how helpful it would be to other people to set up a space, wall or corner that was simply dedicated to meditation. What matters most is what you're looking at and what sounds are entering your mind when you're sitting in the space...it's better if you have a bunch of space but if you don't that's not a problem. What I think is important is that you have an intentional space. 

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Declutter for Better Relationships

During my journey from artist to room designer to room consultant one big topic keeps coming up. Clutter.

Clutter is a popular topic in home decor blogs these days. There are countless articles written everyday on the subject and they all pretty much say the same thing - If you declutter your life will be simpler and less stressful. If you declutter you'll be happier. And I do agree that to a certain degree this is true, but I think these blog posts are missing an obvious yet important point that keeps us from truly decluttering our homes.

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Create a Tranquil Living Room... for a Small Apartment

I just moved cross country... from the East coast of the United States to the West coast. In doing this, I gave away most of my furniture and accent pieces and stored the ones that I really treasured. This means that the only belongings I have at present fit in the trunk of my car. As a result, when I take out a lease on an apartment in the next few months I'll have to start from scratch in many ways.

It's been an amazing exercise actually. It's made me really think about what feeling I want my next living room to convey. Do I want it to be a heaven of tranquility or do I want it to be super lively? Well, what I discovered is that I want it to be a blending of both. And I want it to have a simple design. 

Read More
Maggie MinorComment
How to Use Artwork to Make Eating Even More Enjoyable

I love to eat. I think it's one of the great joys in life. 

Whatever your preferences there's always that one meal that just makes you smile no matter how bad your day has been. It reminds you of a better time, maybe even a special time....and because of this it has a special place in your heart. 

Eating these meals is what inspires me to create amazing colorful dining rooms. You may be thinking why? Well, let me tell you.

Read More
Maggie MinorComment