By Angela Simson, The Gratitude Project
I freaking love my home. If given the option to be out and about or lazing at home, I’d pick home most times. I believe that having a beautiful, calm and ever-so-slightly zen and stress-free home environment can completely impact your health and stress levels. AND this is totally possible with small humans running around making mess!
While I’m far from an interior design guru, I’ve always loved the way you can change and evolve your surroundings with something as simple as a new throw and cushions on the couch or some feng shui rearranging. And just as I do with my body, when my surroundings start to feel stale, I shake it up a little.
Let me show you how!
I’m sure you’ve heard of Marie Kondo…
If you haven’t, I highly recommend her book The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up. The way I implement this into our lives is that we don’t let unnecessary clutter accumulate. We rarely use a toaster, so there is very little point having one perched on our kitchen bench. You can think about this all through your house, am I showcasing things that I don’t use? Put them away and if you barely use them at all, get rid of them! There is nothing I love more than space on benches and room to put things that are beautiful and useful for us.
In regards to children, from the age of two I started to teach the Montessori method of having Bo put away an activity before she moved onto the next. So if she was playing with play dough and wanted to start doing some colouring, she would need to pack away all the play dough first before starting her next activity. Obviously she’s three and needs reminding pretty often but as with everything toddler related, consistency is key!
The most underrated and cheapest stress reducing design element is…
Plants and flowers. I have beautiful greenery that is easy to maintain around the house and I buy a cheap bunch of flowers weekly when I’m home to give it a fresh and living aspect. It’s amazing what some colour will do to a plain dining table or next to your bed. It’s also a reminder that you can buy your own damn flowers and ain’t no man going to complete you like loving yourself can (insert finger click and popped hip for the full effect and attitude of this statement).
But if you really want to de-stress…
Light some candles. Preferably beeswax over soy wax candles, as pretty as the outer design might be, a candle made from soy wax needs to contain a small amount of paraffin which when burnt will release toxic carcinogens into the air. Beeswax candles can effectively reduce allergies, asthma and hay fever by releasing negative ions into the air.
But back to the lighter side of this post, how gorgeous does your space feel when there are a few candles lit and placed in safe spaces away from tiny hands? Being quite the pyromaniac in my childhood I thoroughly enjoy walking around the house with my matches lighting small but safe and manageable fires all over the place.
And if you want to change things up a little you can always…
Dig out your cute throw blankets or even those extremely popular beach towels you purchased but only use for the beach. Display your beautiful things! And always have a little warmer for those fresh evenings cuddling on the couch.
Again, I like to think of my home as my little zen sanctuary, so I do what I can to make it seem that way in the most effective and eco friendly way possible. Put love into your home and get love back out of it!