3 Questions to Ask Your House in 2016

3 questions to ask your house photo by dttsp

Sometimes my husband will catch me staring at the wall (or into the corner, or at the cabinets) and ask me what I am thinking.  If I am at home, often the answer is "rugs" or "paint" or "baseboards" or "frames".  Instead of watching whatever program is on tv, I am suddenly rearranging the objects on our tv console in my mind.  Would that look better somewhere else?  Should I get another framed photo?  Is that plant getting enough light there?  I wish it would grow so that the scale was more appropriate in relation to that lantern. I'm pretty obsessive about my house and I think it is because I feel a big block whenever I try to decorate for myself.  I'm too close to the project to be able to see clearly.  What does help me see clearly (or clearer) is having an intention for my obsession.  You don't need to be obsessive like I am about your house to have an intention for it.

If you are having a hard time figuring out a design direction or if you are unsure where to start in your home, having a intention specifically for your house will help you sort it out.  This is a exercise I like to do when the projects around the house are pilling up.

3 Questions to Ask Your House

1. How do you want your house to feel?

My answer to this question is currently, "easy".  Easy because I don't want to be constantly be styling or cleaning, or trying to find something, or having a hard time putting something away, or repairing or polishing.  I want my home to be easy.  You could want your house to feel cozy, green, bright, loving, enveloping, stark, organized, happy, sparkly, unique, natural, relaxing, fun, really whatever word speaks to you.

By using this word, is how I make decisions on what to do in my home.  Would that look better somewhere else?  Nope, its easier to just leave it there.  Should I get another framed photo? Nope it'll be another thing to keep clean.  That photo can go on the fridge.  Is that plant getting enough light there?  It's still alive, so it stays.

So find a word that works for you and what you desire to feel in your home. Use it.

2. What things can you let go of to support how you want your house to feel?

3. What do you need to introduce in your home to support how you want it to feel?

LOW MAINTENANCE LIVING

low maintenance living photo by dttsp

I was asked how to design a space that "degrades gracefully" during ordinary living.  Meaning, that space looks good a little messy, doesn't require constant fussing or straightening.  So if you'd like a little less upkeep at home, consider these tips.

1. Have less stuff, less stuff will require less fussing and won't get messy as easily.  The book

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

is great for this work. 

2. Embrace your space!  Your home should accommodate your life, you shouldn't accommodate your home. 

3. Keep your things in the same color palette.  Cohesion doesn't look messy.  Too many colors and the eye doesn't have anywhere to settle, so it feels more chaotic. 

4. If your space looks messy during "ordinary living" maybe items should have a new home.  Meaning, instead of the newspapers and magazines being stored on a shelf, if they end up on the coffee table - that is where their real home should be.  Or if the blankets are normally stored in the closet, keep one on the couch.  Or put trash bins in every room.  

What are your secrets to keeping a low maintenance home?