For most of my life, I didn’t care much about the décor in my house.
I had a mash-up of furniture acquired over time and random photos on the wall, if there was anything at all.
My house was cluttered. Nothing had a place. My house was telling me a story: clutter, clutter, clutter. Most of my clutter was nicely hidden, but I was filled with dread when someone opened a drawer or a closet door.
There was no flow to the rooms. The colors were bland. I’d never sat down and thought about what kind of mood I wanted each room to create, what the primary purpose of the room was, or even considered what actually looked good. My house looked exactly like the thoughts in my head. One that tells a story of a family running around constantly with working parents and a lot of overwhelm.
My drawers were bursting at the seams because my mind was bursting at its seam. One of the most impactful parts on my journey to happiness was to start being intentional about my spaces so they fed my soul, not sucked the life out of it.
In my house. In my car. In my life.
I wanted to walk into my home and love it. I wanted to sit in my living room and feel a sense of peace and openness for conversation. I wanted to walk into my kitchen and have nicely organized drawers and cabinets so I could cook to my heart’s content without wasting time trying to find that thing. I wanted my bathroom to feel like an exquisite spa. I wanted to walk in and immediately relax and say ahhhh.
I wanted every space in my home to be sacred. A sacred space for creating memories, slowing down, and being fully present with the people you love.
So I went on a mission to redesign every space in my home to create the sensation I desired when I entered. And I needed help because I didn’t know where to start, so I hired Allison Nelson to help me and I’m so glad I did. Her perspectives were invaluable.
The first step was to determine the primary functional purpose for each room.
I asked myself: What functions does my living room need to support? My bedroom? My bathroom? My kitchen? My bathroom? My kitchen pantry? My closet? I wanted my living room to be centered on conversation and occasional family TV watching.
I wanted my bedroom to be centered on rest and feeling beautiful. I wanted my bathroom to be centered on self-care. I wanted my kitchen to be centered on showing my love for my family through food. I wanted my pantry to be centered on ease of cooking. I wanted my closet to display the clothes I love.
We then considered how we could design the flow of the room around that, spatially and functionally. We evaluated everything in each room to see how much I loved it or what functional purpose it served. If I didn’t love it or have a frequent, functional purpose for it, we donated it, trashed it or recycled it.
The process of de-cluttering was powerful for me. It was as if, each pound of stuff I removed from my house was a pound off of my mind. My house lost about 5,000 pounds in this process and it felt like my mind did too.
Then we started organizing everything that was left. We thought about when I would use it, why I would use it, and where I could put it that would create ease and flow. We reused old shoe boxes and baskets to organize my cabinets, closet and pantry. We created zones designed around function. A dressing zone with everything needed to get ready to leave the house, a pasta zone with everything to make spaghetti on one shelf in the pantry, a relaxation zone with everything needed to relax, and several others.
When we were done, it felt amazing to know where everything goes and to have considered all scenarios and created a space for them. It felt amazing to not feel like my mind was bursting at the seams—but there was one thing left. I needed to turn these into spaces I loved to use. That was all décor for me.
So, I started looking for new artwork, a minimal number of knick-knacks that added beauty instead of took away from it, and new colors that were warm and inviting. Then I ordered some new furniture pieces to replace the pieces I didn’t love, but needed.
Now, when I walk into my home, it actually feels like home. I feel my energy relax and say, ahhhh often. I found that I was incredibly inspired around designing spaces to provide that feeling. So I moved to other spaces like my car, my garage and others.
I also helped my boyfriend do the same in his house. He went from living in a home that carried a lot of negative energy and pain around his divorce to a space that he says he absolutely loves being in.
Designing your spaces to feed your soul is an amazing gift to your state of being. One that I hope you will love yourself enough give to yourself.
Author: Nichole Kelly
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photos: Author’s Own