Bringing Harmony Into Your Home

“Is there anywhere in your home that brings you a sense of harmony and peace?”   I just asked a client this question.  It really caused him to stop and think.  The answer, after thoughtful consideration, was “no”.  There was not one single space in the home that provided a sense of comfort or contentment.  He could pick a favorite room, but even with that there were things that really bothered him.

Think about it.  Your home is your haven, right? So when you go home at night, are you thrilled to be there or do you find yourself going through a mental laundry list of the things that annoy you or you want to change?

Your happy life - the things that bring you joy and make you smile - should infuse the design and décor of your home; let it shine through everywhere you look.  Think I’ve been sucking on too many lollipops?  I haven’t... it's true, really.  Take a look at these expressionist environments.  They just scream of personality and joy, don't you agree?

Photo: HGTV

Your style and what makes you happy might not be so bold and colorful though.  Thinking about Ted, he likes clean lines, hates prints... no paisley or spheres or really much of any pattern at all.  He's an engineer, likes simplicity and the color blue.  A space like this would work well for his personality and taste:

Beth, on the other hand, wants a space that feels, in her words, "complete".  She wants it to show her feminine side, without being too "girly".  Her favorite color is pink.  She wants a place she and her husband can retire to, after a long day of carpool, work, dinner-making and getting the kids ready and off to bed.  The color pink is her biggest concern... is there a way to satisfy her desire and taste without creating a space her husband defiantly objects to?  Mmmhh, I think something on this idea might do the trick, though I might suggest switching out the two white chairs to a shade of mocha and adding some darker pillows on the sofa:

If I asked 100 random people if they had peace and harmony in their homes, how many do you thing would say yes?  For those who would respond, “no”, I can guarantee that some of the reasons for their discontent would include disorganization, walls that needed to be painted, furniture that they didn’t like, not enough space and/or rooms that just didn’t work because they had no idea how to put them together.

If I went on to ask, “Why?” – which I have on many occasions in my day-to-day work,    “It just wasn’t in the budget”, "I have no sense of style" and “I just don’t have the time” - life’s number one reason for everything that is not working or never happened, by the way - would be (and have been) among some of the replies I would receive.

They say the first step is the hardest, right?  You need to just make the decision that you are going to do what it takes to create your harmonious home. Figure out where you want to start and take the step.  You can make some changes now and have fun in the process too.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

Project Homework
Several years ago, I held an event at my home that I called “Project Homework”.  I sent out invitations with a list of what needed to be done.  In return, we had a full buffet (that was quite amazing I might add.... more like a feast)… and bottomless beverages.  We stripped wallpaper, spackled walls, moved furniture, built worktables for our basement and garage!  It was amazing.  It was overwhelming to think about doing it ourselves, but with added muscle, energy and comedic input from our friends we tackled and completed projects that would have taken my husband and I months to finish on our own.

Hire a Decorator or Designer
Yes, you knew that was coming didn’t you?  Seriously though, when your car needs to be fixed, do you do the repair on your own?  When you have plumbing issues don’t you call in the professionals?   A professional can save you time, lead you in new directions and help you in creating a manageable plan.  If you ever thought working with a designer was not for you because your family never did, your friends don’t or you have a perception that it can not be afforded, its time to shift that mindset.  Sure I could call upon my friends to help with our "handy-man" list and grunt work, but I certainly wasn't relying on them for the overall design of my home! (sorry, no offense intended.. love ya'll!)

Do Some Homework
You may still however decide that DIY is the route you want to take and/or you just don’t see yourself working with a decorator or designer at this time.  If that is the case, start collecting and planning on your own.  I have a series on this blog, Interior Inspirations on the Web, that I started in order to provide clients and readers with great sources of design ideas.  Check them out.  Start collecting images that you love.  If you do this for a period of time you will undoubtedly begin to see patterns emerging and the natural style you are drawn to will reveal itself.  With that you can begin to map out a plan, budget and time line. 

Do it.  What are you waiting for?
I kept thinking about that question, “Is there anywhere in your home that brings you a sense of harmony and peace?”, for several hours after my client meeting and wondered why we allow ourselves to live in spaces that not only DO NOT provide a sense of peace; worse, ..... they make us crazy!! It's time to fix that.  Don't go home feeling like Ted & Beth; think about what you want and choose to make it happen.

Now, tell me, what changes will you make to bring harmony to your home?
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