How to Feel at Home in Your Home – Part 1

I’ve always considered myself to be an adventurous soul. I love new experiences, places and foods. When my husband and I started our renovation journey nearly a year ago, we felt exhilarated and excited about the changes that would take our shell of a house to a beautiful and highly functional home.

I won’t go into the details but our renovation has stretched on far longer than originally anticipated. Let me tell you, living in a perpetual state of disarray and flux takes its toll!

During the renovation and over the previous four years that included 6 moves across the country I’ve discovered that I need to have a sacred sanctuary to feel grounded and do my best work.

Have you noticed that when you go through seasons of change you also crave a feeling being at peace?

 

Whether you are surrounded by some uncertainty or if you would love to be able to add some more “you” into your home, here is part 1 of how to feel at home in your home.

1. Decide how you want to feel in each area of your home.

So much of our time is spent around “doing” and this proliferates into our homes as well.

For example say you want a desk and work area in your home. So you buy a new desk and set it up in an out-of-the-way corner or room so you aren’t distracted by work on your off hours or leisure time.

A few weeks go by and you are finding that you aren’t as productive as you would like. You tweak a few productivity systems, but there is something that isn’t quite right.

I’m here to let you know that when you start with how you want to feel while you work, this will impact not only your desk placement, but your productivity too.

When you purposefully create areas in your home and work spaces, you enhance your health, mental acuity and emotional states of being.

In our homes we typically need areas that are calming, as well as areas that are energizing. I want my kitchen to be filled with joy, beauty and passion for eating and connecting, but my office needs to be filled with light, so that I feel energized and I have a connection to the outside world.

I encourage you to choose one room or area of your home and ask yourself, “What do I need most, right now?  Am I craving a space to create calm or raise my energy?”

 

All over the web you’ll find articles telling us that in order to refresh a room all we need to do is pick a few plants, grab some new decorative cushions and throw a new piece of art on the wall — ta da, a refreshed space.

We humans are way more complex than that. Our memories and experiences drive our feelings long after the events have taken place.

2.  Memory, the forgotten sense.

There have been many scientific studies on how color effects us psychologically.

Let’s consider the popular restaurant chain, McDonald’s.

“Looking at the positive psychology qualities of red & yellow in relation to the fast food industry, red triggers stimulation, appetite, hunger, it attracts attention.  Yellow triggers the feelings of happiness and friendliness.

When you combine red and yellow it’s about speed, quickness.  In, eat and out again.” – Karen Haller

Regardless of the studies, color remains subjective. Meaning if you’ve had a negative or traumatic experience with the color yellow, no matter what, yellow will not feel happy and friendly.

After many years of teaching women how to create art to facilitate healing, I can tell you without a doubt the colors we are personally drawn to or dislike are no accident.

Color, like memories are so individual. Listen to your gut response when choosing color for your space. (Along with these tips here.)

3. Lighting, Light Quality and Light Color Temperature.

Imagine these two scenarios.

Surrounded by a cozy blanket you pick up your book, feeling comforted by the soft warm glow from the lamp beside you.

Refreshed, you open your eyes, happy to see the cool morning light streaming through your bedroom window.

Two very different scenarios, that likely happened in the same room, separated by 7-9 hours.

The lighting and light quality in your room directly affects how you feel.

Think about the last time you were in a big box store with tons of florescent lights overhead. These stores are not designed to make you feel at home and the lights are often on the cool spectrum.

In contrast, do you remember the last time you were in a favorite independent bookstore? Yes, the space is smaller, but often the color temperature of these lights are warmer, mimicking the color of candles or fire.

If you’ve ever found yourself staring at the huge rows of light bulb choices in Home Depot, wondering what the heck the difference is, I’ve been there too!

Succinctly the color of the lights are measured by the Kelvin scale. You’ll find this information on the box.

Warm Lighting (2700k – 3000K) = warm, inviting and cozy. This lighting is most similar to incandescent lights that we had before CFL’s and LED lights.

Neutral Lighting (3500K) = neutral, efficient, balanced. Lots of brands still call this soft white.

Daylight Lighting (4100K – 6500K) = cool, white, can be overly intense. Florescent lights fall under this category.

My personal preference is 3500K or below, as I find the light spectrum of daylight lighting to be too greenish and intense.

If you want to learn more,  check out this helpful video.

Decide what color temperature relates to how you want to feel in your space. If you are not sure, buy a couple different color temperature bulbs and see if it changes how you feel.

If you would like to have the option of changing the colour temparature without changing the bulb, consider these smart bulbs by Philips.

If you want to be able to have a range of lighting options without getting a ton of lights, consider putting them on a dimmer switch so you can easily increase or decrease the light intensity.

There are more ways to consider how many lights you’ll need, but this is a good overview on getting starting choosing lights that help you create your desired feeling or mood.

This concludes part 1 of 2. I’d love to hear from you: Do you feel at home in your home?

I help homeowners choose colours and lighting for the inside and outside of their homes, along with developing colour palettes and finish packages for commercial clients, realtors and builders.

I offer e-design services for those of you not local and in-person consultations and design if you are in the RVA (Richmond, Virginia) area.

Would you like some assistance honing in or refining how to create a space that helps you feel your best?

Email me,  I’d love to work with you.