Mindful remodeling – how to welcome serenity back into your home
No matter how many nights we sleep in glamorous hotel rooms or in improvised retreats on exotic islands, no matter how many late nights find us at work, clubbing or crashing on a friend’s couch, we eventually come back to our home – the place that should be the exact reflection of our personality and aspirations. But if your home has become a disorganized mess that no longer allows you to channel your inspiration, it’s time to give remodeling a go. In spite of the bad reputation of remodeling, something good can emerge from the pile of dust and rubble: you can create a mindful home that can truly be your happy place, let go of all the “filler” decorations that block your wellbeing and breathe new life into every corner of your home.
Step 1 – the clear-out
Sometimes, our homes are filled to the brim with random objects and it becomes difficult to see their potential. Old furniture, decorations, boxes filled with souvenirs, chairs with clothes stacked on top of them, all of these interfere with your energy and can cause a feeling of nervousness, of having something to do. Before changing anything else, clear out your home and use this opportunity to give every room a good scrub. Then, look at the objects that used to be in each room: do you need each and every one of them? Are there are any objects that don’t serve any purpose or don’t add any beauty? Sell them or give them to friends and family. Are there any objects there that bring back negative memories or intimidate you in any way? There’s no need to hold on to them. Clearing out a home is in many ways similar to a spiritual cleanse – and, you’ll have a lot of room left for items you truly care about, so it’s a win-win.
Discard trends – choose furniture that speaks to you
Just like fashion, interior design trends encourage consumerism and force homeowners into respecting a uniform. Lately, every magazine, website and Instagram page is pushing minimalism, which some find liberating, others disquieting. If your idea of the perfect home doesn’t involve white walls and scarce decorations, don’t follow that trend. A mindful home is a home that represents you, a space where you are comfortable. You shouldn’t try to please others during remodeling, because it should be a personal and reflective process. If you have a small apartment, you don’t necessarily have to use light tricks and mirrors to make it look bigger, as the trends say. If you thrive in a messy room, if you love the vintage or eclectic style, then go for it, no matter what Pinterest or Instagram say.
Make room for light
Light is crucial for our health and wellbeing. According to the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (SADA), a healthy individual should be getting at least one hour of natural light every day. However, the modern lifestyle doesn’t always allow for this to happen. Spending extended periods of time in artificial light can really mess with your circadian rhythm, causing not only eye problems, but also insomnia or anxiety. If you have a flexible budget, try to allocate more to revamping the windows. A mindful home is also eco-friendly, so while you’re at it, choose sustainable retrofits that reduce energy use. Next up, go for window shutters that can be open all the way to let plenty of light in and set up a small nook next to the window for reading and meditation. As for artificial light, replace your old bulbs with energy saving ones that mimic natural light to relax your eyes – especially if you work from home or spend a lot of time looking at screens.
Choose decorations that tell a story
Buying decorations can quickly turn from a pleasant activity into a confusing process at the end of which you end up with dozens of meaningless knickknacks that take up too much space. In mindful remodeling, you should focus only on decorations that carry a personal and emotional meaning. Pretty vases and baskets may look great at first, but they quickly lose their charm and you will get bored of them eventually, but if they have a story, they become timeless and immune to trends. Decorate mindfully and you will feel surrounded by beautiful memories wherever you go. Choose decorations that remind you of your loved ones, make your own decorative items or look for charming decorations in yard sales or thrift stores.
Reuse, recycle and renew
A mindful home isn’t just beautiful and serene, but also ecologically friendly. When remodeling your home, think twice before buying something new and reuse old items as much as possible. Give old decorations a new purpose and, when making purchases of any kind, look for quality and sustainability. Whenever possible, choose local, ethically made goods over mass produced ones.