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.
So how can we feel more connected to our homes?
The answer is simple...but the process of making it happen is a tough one. So buckle your seat belt because we're going to dig in. This isn't one of those posts that's going to give you 10 easy steps to loving your home...this is personal growth work. Because...
We have to feel connected to ourselves before we feel connected to our homes
And most home decor blogs provide a nice array of band-aids including trends, how to segments and product recommendations that make us feel like we're part of something bigger. The problem is that we think that we have to be the same to be part of something bigger....we have trouble with the concept that by accepting our genuine likes and dislikes we are also part of something bigger...
The more into writing this post that I get the more I'm reminded of Brene Brown's latest book, Braving the Wilderness. I haven't read the book yet, but I've watched multiple interviews she's given for its release and they're all fascinating. If you're wondering what I'm talking about then watch her Marie Forleo interview. You'll be glad you did.
Marie and Brene talk about how having the courage to be your true self not only makes you feel more fulfilled but will attract people into your life that appreciate that about you. This in turn becomes a lovely cycle of fulfillment whereby being yourself attracts good things and that encourages you to be even more yourself. Sounds awesome right!
So what does this have to do with home decor?
Well, a lot actually. Because when we're true to ourselves when we choose what we put in our house. If we go with our gut reaction and take a few risks we're going to end up with a home that makes us feel more fulfilled when we walk in the door. And then in turn it will uplift us and give us the added boost we need to be even more ourselves....and as a result a happier person. I know...because I've done it.
How to Listen to your Gut Reaction
Our culture teaches us to go along with the crowd. We've all worn something we didn't particularly like to please someone else, ordered something from a menu that sounded disgusting or gone to see a movie that even the title made our faces scrunch up. Sometimes it's okay...we do it as a compromise or because it will give us pleasure to share an experience with someone we love. But when we feel like we're betraying ourselves....that's when we know we've gone too far. We know this because we get a queasy feeling in our stomach and we feel resistance physically in our bodies. To put it simply it just doesn't feel right.
The best way to figure out if you're not following your gut reaction is to think back to a time when you did follow your gut reaction. Remember how good it felt, how you felt like you were being drawn to it like a magnet, how it just felt effortless. Then compare that to how you feel now.
How to Use your Gut Reaction to Pick your Home Decor
Before you pick out your new home decor first you need to declutter...that is unless you're moving into a brand new house and you have no furniture. If that's not the case read my my post How to Declutter for Better Relationships.
Once that's done and you've taken a minute or a few days or a few weeks to catch your breath it's time to get started.
The first stage and the most important stage is the one that most people skip...and that's where people get tripped up.
You have to decide what you want.
I'm not talking the things you want. What I'm talking about are first - how do you want to feel when you're in each room - and second - what is your intention for the room.
For example, I'm living in a temporary living situation right now so I've really been thinking about what I want my next home to feel like. In particular I've focused a lot of my mental attention on the living room. What I want to feel in my next living room is relaxed, inspired, and secure....and I intend to use my next living room as a place to watch tv, socialize with friends, and sit in stillness so I can sift through my thoughts.
So if I break down each word then I can get at how I can accomplish these feelings. So what do I need in order to feel relaxed? Well, I need a super comfortable couch, a TV with high resolution, and a sturdy table within arms reach to place my drinks and snacks.
What do I need in order to feel inspired? I need a window or door that looks onto something pretty like a tree or vista, colorful artwork that makes me feel uplifted and furniture that is modern and clean.
What do I need to feel secure? I need windows and doors that lock properly, shades or curtains that block out the outside and I need to set up my furniture so that my back is facing the wall when I am sitting on the couch.
I've been doing this a while so I could break that down pretty quickly...but in all likelihood this is for your first time....so be kind to yourself. List out your top three feelings and then imagine a room or situation in the future or the past where you've felt that way. What was around you? Then list out those things.
Next, pick what your intention for the room that you're decorating. What will you use it for? What have you used this kind of room for in the past...don't leave anything out.
Now it's time to select your Home Decor
Now that you have your list, don't you feel like you have more purpose! This is needed because there's a lot to choose from...but if you have the right criteria it will go quickly. Why? Because you can say 'no' easier. And move faster to what what you like.
Make a list of all of the stores that come to find when you think of buying furniture. Figure out which ones you don't like and cross them off. No sense in wasting your time. Then visit the ones that you do like online and narrow it down. Don't forget about online stores like Wayfair or local stores like high end second hand stores. Both of these will have some real treasures.
If you're feeling tired at this point...like you just want someone to pick a room out for you...and you don't want to look for each item individually ....don't worry you're not alone. There's a lot of resources for you too! If you like modern decor with touches of color check out my room designs. I have almost a hundred rooms completely with furniture, artwork, accent pieces and even things you never even thought of.
Just remember to use your list when you going through each room. Do the items in each room fit how you want to feel and your intention for the room?
For those of you who want to go at piece by piece, go forth and explore. Make sure to sit in furniture to make sure it's right for you. Just don't compromise. If it doesn't feel how you want it to feel, don't worry. The right piece will come along. You just have to be patient and persistent...and above all be true to yourself!