Our physical environment should be one that we love, simply because it resonates with us and uplifts our bodies, minds and spirits.
The places where we live, work and play can either inspire and motivate us to achieve our dreams or they can limit and block them somehow.
I don’t think there is a middle way.
They either bring us clarity through their mood and tone, or they contribute to dreariness, unhelpful habits or confusion.
They either help us feel loved, supported and protected between their walls, or within them we fail to thrive because they undermine our attempts to be the person we want to be.
If you want to change the tenor of your life and become a happier, more successful person, the place to start is right there in your home.
Our surroundings are so familiar, we often fail to recognise the role they play in either lifting us up or stifling us.
WAYS THAT YOUR PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE QUALITY OF YOUR LIFE
To create a nourishing and rejuvenating home, the first step is to have a balanced sense of proportion in the spaces, furniture and objects.
#1. ARCHITECTURAL BALANCE
Good architecture produces aspects and spaces that are balanced and harmonious. Humans thrive in such company.
Does your home have a proportionate sized front door?
Are you excited to be returning to a place that welcomes and comforts you at the end of the day? Or do you feel depleted or unsettled when you enter your door? Lack of proportion could be playing a role here, affecting you on many levels. Look at the size of the door. If it’s too small in proportion to the size of the house, it shrinks the amount of qi or life force energy that can come in. Or if it’s too big, it tends to have an unsettling effect because there’s just too much of it for the existing space. Yin and yang are out of balance preventing the energy from moving in a gentle nourishing way.
Paint a too-small door a lighter colour or ‘enlarge’ the space immediately inside with a mirror. But avoid putting it opposite the door in case it sends energy out again.
If a door is too large, paint it a darker colour and anchor the energy immediately inside the door with a small table, piece of artwork or even a rug. Plants in pots externally, either side the door can beautify the space and draw more attention to it as a attractive, intimate, entry point.
- Is your hall wide enough to allow two people to pass each other?
If a hall is long, dark and skinny, it creates a hemmed in, frustrated feel because it’s blocking the beneficial flow. If it traverses the centre of the home, then everywhere can feel unsteady and split in two.
‘Widen’ it with mirrors, artwork or inspiring photography taking the viewer off into the distance. Apply fresh paint, consider a skylight or remove objects that encroach on the space such as clothes hanging on hooks.
- Sharp angles in the architecture can contribute to the way you feel.
Lots of angles in the design of a house can create a feeling that’s not restful. Depending on where they are, sharp angles can create irritation or even aggression.
Shield or soften them with indoor plants, attractive screens, artwork that diverts attention away from the point, or clever use of lighting to ‘soften’ the edges.
A balanced space is one that has an equal measure of openness and objects in proportion to the size of the room. A thoughtful balance of hard and soft furnishings can add to the rejuvenating effect and can lead the eye happily around the room.
- Balance Large and Small Pieces for harmony
Large pieces of furniture in small dark rooms can make the space feel cramped while several small pieces of furniture in a large open space, creates an unnerving effect. The qi in the first is blocked and can’t move and in the second scenario, it has too much movement and is not relaxing.
Remove some of the furniture from the first room to create more space, especially close to the centre.
For the opposite situation, large rugs can often bring together disparate elements and change the whole feel of the room. They can define the space and work as the stage for the couch and coffee table, for example. Look for a rug that’s large enough to fit under the front legs of the couch and chairs. You can even layer a smaller rug on top of the larger one for a warmer feel.
#3 DECORATIVE OBJECTS
- Do your objects resonate with you?
There are probably objects in some of your rooms that have been there for so long, they are just part of the landscape.
‘Do they add to the beauty of the room?’
Do they make me feel joyful when I look at them?
Or do I feel drained and they no longer represent me ?
It’s far better to have an empty space than an object that depletes you. Or alternatively, you can make them sing again.
Grouping objects in uneven numbers makes a statement and works so much better than many single decorative objects dotted around a room. It’s very satisfying for our brains. Lots of single items equal Clutter. And we all know how that can flatten our energy.The exception is one stunning object used as a focal point to draw attention to its beauty.
Look around your home with the eye of a detective. Take your pen and pad or a recording device and walk around looking for clues. What aren’t you happy with? While writing this article I’ve finally admitted I don’t like a rug in my office. I’ve rolled it up and voila! The room has already been given a major lift.
Write down all your ideas and commit to what you want to gradually rearrange or replace. When we write things down we are much more likely to achieve them over time. And it’s so satisfying when you eventually tick them off, knowing that you have given birth to ease, clarity and prosperity.
image; Mediterranean Living/Amorgos