It’s no secret that the spaces we inhabit have the power to impact how we feel and think. Even if we love our home, if left alone for long periods of time the decor and furniture can begin to feel stale and uninspired. Thus, investing in some changes can be just the thing needed to maintain a spirit of warmth and productivity throughout our homes.
In his book, The Architect of Happiness Alain De Botton calls to mind two situations that make it obvious how much aesthetics matter; he compares the way a person feels when they enter the Westminster Cathedral in London compared to the McDonald’s located just down the street. McDonald’s makes one feel anxious and harried. It has harsh lighting and dingy, plastic furniture. The cathedral is somber and peaceful.
Both of those spaces have the same essential elements: floors, windows, doors, etc. But when we’re in them, we feel and even act totally differently. You don’t need to have visited London to relate — space matters. An investment in the aesthetics of your home is likely not time or effort you’ll regret.
Change-Up the Way You Display Your Kid’s Art
If your kids are like the vast majority of children, then they’re little art-producing machines that are turning their creations out faster than you can hang them. What this often means is that they’re pinned in bulk to the refrigerator with a mega-magnet, taped in order of creation to the wall, and stacked on the bookshelf.
Sure, you have more than enough, but they’re still meaningful. One day, they will seem far more priceless than they do now. So take some time to pick your favorites, the ones that have special memory attached or simply best capture who your child is, and invest in showing them off in a way that will both preserve them and showcase them.
Consider something like a display rail for a streamlined, modern option that is not only much more aesthetically pleasing than tape, but also won’t have you worrying about pins or nails accidentally falling to the floor. That way you can use your energy to worry about other things, like when they color on the walls and not the paper.
Have a Stairway to Good Vibes
Stairs often fail to get their due appreciation. They serve great purpose, and we spend a lot of time looking at them. Yet, we don’t typically think about them when we’re considering ways to refresh our space.
However, if stairs have a central location in your home like the entryway or living room, they absolutely have focal point potential. If you’re ready to help them stand out, there are a wide range of DIY options that can transform your staircase.
Whether you’re most at home using paint, or decals, or wallpaper there is an avenue there that can be utilized. Stairs are often bookends to our days; they’re the path we take to both start and end them. Take the opportunity to utilize the space that has the potential to impact moods at such crucial parts of the day.
Go Big (even if your space is small)
With tiny houses sprouting up everywhere, living small is definitely on trend. However, sometimes our homes, or even just certain rooms, can feel a little too cramped. This is especially true for those with children — the house gets pretty cluttered with stuff.
But there are steps you can take so that even the tightest rooms in your home feel more open. If space is feeling tight, it always makes sense to declutter and remove the things that aren’t actually adding any value to the room. Some suggest the “cantaloupe rule”, which essentially means that if the decor is larger than a cantaloupe, give it the boot.
Also, make sure you’re maximizing your storage options so you’re not unnecessarily giving room to objects that don’t really need it. For example, side tables and bookshelves can feature hidden spaces to hide would-be clutter. Or, if you don’t have the space for a full-sized home office an armoire can provide a space-saving version.
A lack of light is one of the most significant reasons that rooms lack the appearance of space. To make a room look large allow as much natural light in as possible, and keep the decor and furniture in light hues as well. Similarly, the height of furniture and decor can change how our eyes perceive a space. Furniture with legs give the appearance of airiness in vertically challenged rooms, and art that stretches the length of a wall emphasizes the length.
A Change of Scenery
Changes that may not seem huge at the outset have the potential to breathe fresh life into the spaces that you spend the most time in, and that may be just the thing you need to feel recharged and refreshed. If it's been awhile since your home has motivated or inspired you, perhaps it's time to consider how you can give your living space a makeover that will look good on it, and on you.