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Your home is the most important outward expression of who you are, after your physical body. The way we treat ourselves – what we eat, how much exercise and rest we get, and all the other daily decisions we make about our body including, our appearance – speaks volumes about who we are.
Our home becomes an extension of our body and soul. It is our sanctuary where we can be real and heal. Like our bodies, it is the expression of all our thoughts and desires, our fears and doubts. Home is the safe haven for our body, mind and spirit.
Keeping this in mind…what does your most personal environment look like? Does your home have the look and feel of comfort and fun? Does your home support and reflect who you are? When people come into your home do they see you?
When someone comes into your home they are seeing the real you. James Allen wrote in, As A Man Thinketh, “Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are. Therefore, your home is a reflection of you, as you are right now.
Your home may no longer feel in sync with who you are today. It may have lost its continuity and harmony with your needs. Possibly you have outgrown or become bored with your surroundings. A new energy may be needed. If that’s the case read on. I have answers for you.
This is the time to begin your journey of reevaluation and redesign. It may be as much as a move to a new location, a remodel or just to rearrange or refresh what you already have. The size of the project doesn’t matter as much as the specific changes you intend to make that will impact you to make a difference. Keep in mind, the walls don’t care what color they are or the floors their covering or the sofa the size and shape of the pillows…but you do. When you know what you like and all your design and decoration decisions are made to please you, the decisions become easy.
You may ask, “What about the people I live with?” Easy, this is an opportunity to open conversation about how each of you wants to live and how you can accomplish this together. It needs to be a family project with input from everyone to find what is important to all.
One of the things you can do together is look through magazines to discover what you like and, as importantly, what you don’t like. Once you think you have made a few choices, test yourself:
- Buy a can of paint and experiment with a new color on one wall.
- Bring flooring samples home to see how they look in your light.
- Throw some daring accent pillows on the sofa…you might only need one.
Observe what happens to the room and feel your reactions. Don’t make quick decisions. See how it looks at different times of day. Take your time. Get used to the changes. Begin to understand your choices. You might like one change but not another. Become aware how each change affects something else. So do one thing at a time. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. And most of all, trust yourself. Only you know how you want to live. Remember, rooms have no feelings, YOU do!
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Now that the kids are back in school, what changes do you need to make to your home to accommodate the new academic year? Your children have grown in size, and their maturity level has grown as well. This increase may require a shift in the space for everyone because they have new educational needs.
This is an opportunity to talk with your children about their goals for the coming academic year and what they would like to achieve. This can lead to an interesting and fun discussion of what environment they need to succeed. (What do they need to work comfortably? How does that look and feel for them?)
Since this may be the first time they have ever reflected on this, it can be a learning experience for them to create a setting that works for them and helps them to achieve. It could lay the foundation for them to create awareness about their living space and they can realize they have control over it.
The home environment is always a learning place but to formalize it as an extension of the classroom requires thought and a personalization of space to help your child reach peak performance.
As the parent, you might already have your own ideas and opinions, however, it’s empowering for children to be a part of creating their own functional and comfortable environments. Here are some sample questions:
- Where do you prefer doing your homework?
- Would you rather be in your own room, at the kitchen table/counter or in the family room?
- Would you rather sit on the floor or at a desk?
- Do you like to sit up or recline?
- Do you like to sit in a chair, sofa or bed?
- Do you like to work outside on the patio in nature?
- Do you need the phone close by?
- Do you need a computer?
- What is the best lighting for you?
- Do you need quiet, or do you like to have the radio or TV on?
- Would you like to work in solitude or do you like having people around?
- Does music or a burning candle soothe you?
- What are your storage needs?
Even though you may not agree with your children’s answers, it is important to listen and be open to the different ways they may like to work. This can be a great time to teach children that their needs matter and can enhance their lives and productivity when acknowledged. Together you can come to an understanding that will work for you both.
This is also the time to note if your children have grown to the point of redecorating their room. Do they need a bigger bed, more clothes storage, bookcases or areas to house their growing interests? Rooms can be designed to grow with your children.
Consider the permanent pieces of furniture and make them more neutral. Then you can be more creative and personal with the less expensive pieces such as bedding, window treatment, paint and accessories. These items can change easily as children grow.
Our environment influences us even when we don’t realize it. Here’s your opportunity to create an environment that is conducive to learning and helps your children feel comfortable and happy in their personal spaces.
As I always say, “Rooms have no feelings, YOU do!” and that’s true for your children’s rooms as well.
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