Creating a Sense of Home: Design is All About the Feels

At first glance, interior design might seem superficial and fairly unimportant, but the truth is that we are all deep into the design process on some level. Not only is our living space a functional artistic expression, it’s also our default inspiration board for life.

We interact with our homes on a daily basis. They influence our alignment, our mood and our aspirations. As we are learning more and more just how affected we are by the energy of our mental and emotional environment, it’s easy to forget that awareness also infiltrates how we look at the physical objects in our lives.

Since home is where we hang our hat and prepare for life, our living process is naturally interconnected with our vitality and our ability to create the conditions we want in our lives. It’s the compound effect in action, right before our eyes.

The small, repetitive, insignificant daily details of our days add up to big feelings and big choices. The clutter in our mind and our homes needs to be “taken to the curb” to create space for new possibilities and — my favorite — a little dancing room. With this understanding, designing living spaces seems less like a hobby and more like a topic worth real reflection for everyone in any size or style of home.

Block Noise and Set an Intention

In today’s world, beautifully-designed spaces surround us. The number of books discussing home organization and design are on the rise, as is the influx of television design shows, binge-worthy Netflix series, blog post upon blog post, aspirational Instagram stories and Pinterest boards filled with DIY projects.

We are inundated with ideas for improving our homes. They can act as inspiration, but let’s be honest; they also act as noise. It’s easy to disconnect from our own creativity and get caught up in the sludge of envy as we peruse for ideas. As much as we want a beautiful space, what most people are really seeking is a feeling. We want our homes to play a nostalgic role in our lives.

Our home base can be a restorative sanctuary where we exhale. A haven. And this has nothing to do with dollars spent, or adhering to design rules or trends. I’ve been in large houses with rich finishes that are devoid of a homey vibe. I’ve also been in teeny rooms with simple furnishings that were bursting at the seams with a feeling of home and refuge. It’s not about square footage.

The design details to make a house a home can’t merely be found on a shelf at the store. It is the intention with which we create our living space that ultimately provides an environment that welcomes our weary selves in to be sheltered and fed — body and soul.

Curating Space in Our Lives

The spring season invites us to be reborn. As we witness the first signs of life break through the surface after months of hibernation, we’re reminded that it’s the perfect time to review our living conditions. Whether we have a spacious home or just a cozy bedroom, we can create conditions to thrive.

My advice? Throw out the need for the newest and greatest. Throw out the design rules and focus on creating a feeling in your home. I’m convinced that as we look to all of the interior design noise flooding media channels, what we’re actually seeking are spaces of love, acceptance and safety.

It’s easy to let our hectic lives make us feel powerless and overwhelmed, but the curating and editing of our lives belongs to us. When we take ownership over small things like our living space, we harness our own power and creativity. We become intentional curators of our lives.

I may be an idealist, but I believe the feeling of home can change the world. Or at least change yours. Here’s to a new face of interior design and a new creed to live by — design is a feeling, not a collection of things. 

Tips and Tricks

Identify what the feeling of home means to you.

Start with the feeling you want to experience at home – this is your filter that all home decisions will pass through. This clarity will give direction as to what stays and what goes.

Create some time for a personal inventory of your life and home.

Superfluous items weigh you down and take up precious space in your life. A good measure: If you aren’t using it or if it doesn’t add value to your life, you are better without it. Its absence will better serve you. 

Skim down the clutter.

Most of us have way more things than we use and enjoy. Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, bask in the possibilities that open space provides. Even better than the thrill of buying new things is the sweet release of removing the unneeded from your life and donating it to those who will treasure it.

Gratitude is the most useful and valuable item with which to adorn your home. If we can feel consuming gratitude for what we currently have and enjoy, that feeling, that energy, will fill our homes and attract more of what we desire. Gratitude changes the way we look at everything, including our homes