How to fall in love with your home
for now and always
Your home should say welcome, inside and out
I simply cannot understand people who don’t love their home inside and out. I know many a folk, who cannot bear to be inside those four walls for more than necessary and seem to be on endless appointments, trips and meetings in order to stay away. Rooms filled with clutter, unused ovens covered in dust and grotty shower cabinets. It’s no wonder they don’t want to spend a minute longer there! Self-love is the ticket and now that Valentine's day is here, Grace & Holmes wants to give you a few tips and a lot of motivation in how to fall in love with your ‚home sweet home‘ again.
What makes you happy?
The most important person in your life should be you. So you must know what you want, like, need, love and hate. Basically, what is good for you and what makes you happy. That should start with the food you put in your body (sometimes chocolate is a MUST) to the clothes you wear, the makeup and lotions you use, to how you look after your body, wellness and sport wise. In a nutshell, it should feel fabulous and for your best self. According to www.happify.com instant happiness boosters include:
3-6 hours per day of socialising leads to the highest levels of happiness.
10 or more friends give your well-being a big boost.
5 positive interactions for every negative one means a happier couple.
€75,000 is the annual salary figure it takes to put a smile on the average person's face.
1-mile distance is the furthest close friends should be.
40% is the approximate percentage of your happiness that is truly up to you.
So what am I trying to say? Well, it's not that you need to earn €75,000 a year, be a social butterfly, or move to the same city as your happiest friend—the point is that you can seek more positive interactions and take action to change the way you feel, regardless of your life circumstances. And that starts with saying ‚Yes’ to yourself and how you live, including very importantly, in your home.
Grace & Holmes Headquarters and my love at first sight home
Love at first Sight
What do you love about your home and what not? I would suggest to anyone, that if possible, don’t move in anywhere that gives you the shudders, bad feelings or a negative vibe. You should fall in love with your new home and its rooms, like falling in love with the man or woman of your dreams. You should feel all warm and fuzzy inside and imagine all kinds of fantasy scenarios for evenings in, sophisticated parties and overnight guests. Your head should be bursting with ideas for colours, materials, furniture, decoration. You might not know how to build, create or combine them (yet) but that feeling should be there. Don’t feel under pressure to commit to a house or home that simply doesn’t fit. That goes for a new partner too. I remember when I was looking for an apartment in Hamburg. A city that is known for its high rents and bad housing. I had limited time to find a new home as I had recently parted ways with my ex and at the same time, the previous owners wanted to move in as quickly as possible into my old aparmtent. I had horror scenarios of me sitting in a tower block bedsit and crying in my muesli. Which drove me to check out flatshares with some incredible women. I thought, well, I would rather share a beautiful apartment in a great area and with a wonderful person, than in the towers of hell. I was just about to sign when my friend suggested travelling a little further out of the city (not an idea I took to) and an hour away and I clapped my eyes on an incredibly well preserved art nouveau villa in pristine white. Standing out amongst the backdrop like a glittering castle complete with turrets. I was in love, I was hooked and that was that. Sold. If your head says no, but your heart ‚YES‘ then you know you are on to a good thing.
Colours or neutrals, whatever takes your fancy
Colour me Happy
I had a very busy week this week and had a round of interior appointments. Once in a while, I come across a client who I quickly realise wants me to decide everything. Don’t get me wrong, I can decide your interior scheme at the drop of a hat, including paint finishes, designer and antique furniture and window treatments. But working with a client is about working together. It's teamwork and has nothing to do with what I like. The rooms should reflect the client's taste and style and not mine. There’s nothing worse than taking time designing a layout and the client thinking they love it, only to hate it three months later because they realise it isn’t 'them'. My advice? Take a walk outside, to your favourite cafe, shop or the local library and explore. What inspires you, what colours are you attracted to you and which colours are a definite no-no? From the socks, you wear to the bangles on your arm, what colours and tones do you love? Don’t look at magazines or tv programmes where it's all about about trends. Colours (icluding interiors and fashion) shouldn’t be about trends. It should be about YOU. So do not confuse the two. I have to admit that I get myself worked up every year when it comes to the so-called ‚Colour of the Year‘. This year 2020 classic blue? Who gives anyone the right to decide what colour is trendy, in or en vogue? So what, if you use classic blue two years later or prior? Who cares? If it’s the colour you like, love and adore then you can drape your whole house, body, and car in it for all to see. As long as you are happy with it. I shared an amazing article on our ‚obsession with color trends and how it is killing our planet‘ recently and had an amazing response from @bernardcharles: „Secretly color trends are supposed to be emotional programming for the masses. The fact that PANTONE and others have turned it into a stale measure of consumerism is at best - tone-deaf. Color is a language that attracts and far too many people are uneducated and fearful of self-expression because so much of the power isn't in the people but in the selling of products.“ I agree 100% and hope more and more have the courage to make active decisions, against mass consumption and for our planet.
Measure, measure, measure!
Be your own Trend
Speaking of trends, let yourself be inspired by colours, textures and what is around you, but don’t let it dictate you. Enjoy trying out different interior styles in stores and boutiques, just like fashion. Take a seat in that extra large sofa or mid-century chair and see how it feels. Glide your hand along the wooden patina and sink your fingers into the soft sofa velvet. See what catches your eye and take it all in BEFORE you buy. I am also a fool for spontaneous purchases but when it comes to your interior, especially the big stuff, the key is, measure, measure, MEASURE! Don’t estimate, ever! I have seen too many rooms with over-dimensional TV sets that don’t fit, sofas that take up three quarters of the room and curtains that are too short. Have fun in the process and have patience. Your home will not decorate itself all at once. Normally, it takes time and is a constant development which should be fun. Furniture to consider when first moving in is a good sofa you can recover over time, vintage rugs to reduce noise, artwork you love, a good second-hand quality built-in kitchen and lots of decent and solid storage pieces such as bins and baskets.
Storage doesn't have to be ugly or boring
As you know, Grace & Holmes is all about old meets new, modern loves antique and vice versa. We feel it is important to re-and upcycle as much as possible, buy second.-hand and every time you buy something new, something else should be let go to avoid a cluttered household. Statistics say we only wear clothes 7-10 times before we bin it, I would hate to think that could happen with interiors but unfortunately it is heading in that direction. So sort and declutter often to avoid the internal and external chaos and support your local shops who rely on your custom just like Grace & Holmes. For more on the topic of how you can contribute to your health and the health of the planet, check out my blog post here.
Plants are always promising
Let Nature In
Speaking of the environment, what better way to create greenery in your home, apart from paint colour than with plants. A bouquet is nice, now and again but plants last longer and every time those blossoms pop out, it feels like a whole new beginning. Don’t be afraid of plants, several kinds are robust and don’t need much water, in case you forget about them now and again. They provide clean air and good company, especially on gloomy days. I have several orchids and penny trees for example and they are both very easy to care for. Don’t go for plastic plants which damage the planet, but opt for natural and organic every time. Speaking of which, I have discovered a not so new but environmentally friendly and 100% ethical company from my second home Styria in Austria. Fresh cosmetics. I had never heard of the term before, but being the organic cosmetic user I was intrigued. Several steps up from organic cosmetics, Ringana is 100% fresh and contains only natural ingredients without a single preservative. They have won endless awards including the Environmental Oscar. As an ambassador for all things green, including a green bathroom, I wanted to introduce this multi-award company to my readers and pave the way for greener and safer products worldwide. I have already tested the skin care range and am looking in to the supplements. And I have to say, I am more than impressed. A blog post on this subject will be on its way this year, including videos and podcasts, which I will be concentrating on. Do you have any experiences with RIngana that you would like to share?
An array of different materials and textures and island lighting create a warm atmosphere in any home
Softly does it
Go forth and dive in! What makes a house a home is an array of different materials and excellent lighting. Everything from soft organic cotton, vintage leather, and cool linen should and could be in your home. Go and test them all out at your nearest interior store. And lighting is the most important for a loved up life within those four walls. Island lighting with little table lamps, wall sconces, ceiling lighting as well as floor lights are all important and play a crucial role in creating cosy, comfortable and warm interiors. That fuzzy feel. There's nothing more uncomfortable than a single glaring ceiling light (or even worse, merely a bulb). Choose your bulbs carefully, Not the cool light ones but warm and inviting, almost like candlelight and if you are feeling up to it, indirect lighting creates superb results in any room and is easy to achieve. Just ask my yoga client whose colourful yoga studio project was a roaring successI. Test, feel, touch and explore and take note of all the new and lesser known materials out there (especially vintage) that you have never seen or felt before. Be adventurous and don't confine yourself.
Get out and explore and let youself be inspired
Take a Moment
Enjoy the moment and don’t worry about the past or future. A loving home are the moments that you spend there in full awareness and anticipation. Light a candle, read a book or play chess, do something you have not done in ages and feel more alive than you have in the last 20 years. We so often worry about what might happen or what has. Don’t think what can go wrong but what can go right. Positive thinking and truly believing that the world and we as its guests are good. I know there are days this seems impossible but only seeing the good in people will change tmore than you can imagine. And there are so many people who are trying. Be one of them! I have for example started a petition to stop the demolition of an antique centre and its dealers which has been around for more than 44 years! I am tired of the same shopping malls, stores, and designs that you see in every city and country. It doesn't matter where you go, there are always the same chains and the smaller businesses are closing or being evicted. The antique center in Hamburg was my go-to for clients needing antique treasures for their home and I knew the dealers very well. During my last visit, I was shocked to see that they had been forced to close and were evicted because the real estate agent saw antiques as being old fashioned and out of date! I was appalled and immediately started a petition. You can sign it here. So be the one to start a movement and don’t be like the rest of them, darling.
Hmm, should I take the cottage or the castle...
Follow your Dreams
We only have a short time on this planet and we should make the most of it. If you have a dream then I say go for it. Hate your home and you want a castle. Them I say, get yourself that castle or decorate your home as if you live in one. Want to be a princess, then act like one and follow that dream. There are always princes looking for a goddess and you might just be their number one. Meghan and Kate managed it! Then again, who needs a prince, you can also manage it on your own! Have the courage and go for your dreams, because no-one else will do it for you and time is limited. And where there is a will there is always a way. Just read up on a few success stories to get you fired up.
Never be afraid to ask for help
Pick up that Phone
And if you still feel overwhelmed then you can simply pick up the phone, write an email or skype and contact us at Grace & Holmes. We can offer you interior design help and get you out of any interior pickle to give you the home of your dreams.
'How to fall in love with your Home' was first published here at Grace & Holmes.com
Photos: Bianca Demsa, Unsplash