When it comes to interior design, it doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy to be a good and important thing.
I’m on a mission to help people love where they live because I think being at peace at home is the foundation for a balanced life.
Sometimes we all get overwhelmed by our home. There so much to deal with every day, so much to clean or declutter, and it can end up weighing us down. Often the last thing on your mind is the big picture of design and how your home is making you feel, but it is something meaningful to think about. If you can break it down and know that making a small improvement will absolutely make a difference, you will feel so much better in your home.
If you’re on the same page but only have a few minutes today, here’s a dozen ideas to get you started!
1. Clear a surface & leave it empty
We all have a spot that tends to accumulate the stuff of life. Clear one off, deal with what’s there, wipe it down and let it be. This might be hard for some of us but, trust me, it’s going to feel so good to walk into the room and just see open air where there used to be too much stuff. Will it stay this way? Your guess is as good as mine. Does it need to? Nope. You just need a refresh today, don’t overthink it.
2. Make your bed a little extra pretty
Make your bed, smooth the blankets, add a throw and maybe some fresh sheets and pillowcases. Make it inviting and pretty. Gather a few things from around the house if you have to.
3. Turn on lamps and light a few candles
Soft, warm, ambient lighting is one of the most important elements for a feel-good room. If you have some small lamps with warm bulbs, light them up. Adding in a few candles will really turn up the volume on this effect. Middle of the day? Who cares. Go for it anyway.
4. Fill a small bag with trash
Just walk and toss, you’ll fill a bag before you know it. Actual garbage? Goodbye. Things you’ve been meaning to deal with but aren’t likely to? Buh-bye to you as well. Things you’ve been saving with good intentions but are now ruining the peaceful vibe you’re cultivating? See ya. Key point: get it out of the house and off your mind as soon as possible.
5. Set up a coffee or tea station
Adding a little nice touch to your daily drink area will make you feel good every time you use it. A little tray, a stack of special mugs, a canister of tea, a pretty bowl of sugar. Whatever you have around that is nice and makes you feel good to look at. Gather a few things and give that spot some meaning.
6. Put on some great music
In the category of ‘intangible ambiance’, music can set the tone for your home. Find something you love at a volume that suits your mood and let it transform your home.
7. Wipe down your front door
Seems almost too simple to actually matter, but coming home to a door that is cared for really does something nice for us. It’s the first drop, causing that ripple effect: well cared for, tidy, at ease. Even if you mostly come in through the garage or back door (which could be polished up as well if you’re in the mood), giving the front of your house a little love helps you to feel proud of your home and puts you at ease when people stop by.
8. Organize a few drawers
It’s amazing the feel-good effect of opening a drawer to face knives neatly lined up or a sweet box of pens that all actually work. Ahhhh! Instant energy boost and internal sun beams.
9. Hang something on an empty wall
Sometime an empty wall just needs a little something - a small piece of art, a framed photograph, a little tapestry or something sculptural. We often put off hanging things, but why not make it happen today? Adding life to an empty space feels good, makes us smile and fills our home with character.
10. Rethink your side table styling
Often bedside tables get neglected and filled with the less than lovely clutter of life: Kleenex boxes, hair elastics, dusty books, water glasses, medications, lotions. Take a few minutes today to clear them off, wipe them down and rethink how you can style them in a way that feels lovely to look at when you crawl into bed. Add some height with a large lamp or vase filled with tall foilage. Corral those odds and ends in a pretty bowl or rustic basket. Add a doily or fresh candle. Maybe today is the day for some grocery store flowers.
11. Overhaul and declutter a closet
Going through a closet and getting rid of the things you don’t need is a beautiful thing. Give it a dust & vacuum and put everything back in just where it belongs. Simple and tidy just feels so good!
12. Style your front entry
Step outside or stay inside, whatever you like. Take everything out of the space, give it a good sweep, polish the windows and wipe down the door. Now take a good look at what actually needs to be in the space and give everything a home before thinking about adding some color - maybe some new throw pillows on a bench, some potted flowers, a new vibrant umbrella stand. Even if all you do is hang up all the jackets and put the shoes in the closet, this is space going to feel so much better when you’re done.
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Hi, I'm Tara. I'm a professional interior designer living in rural Canada where I help the practical & down-to-earth to love where they live. I offer professional interior design services in person and online and am the author of a design & style guide to Living With Oak.
I believe you can become a happier person in a more beautiful home and I’m here to guide you in creating a practical plan to pull it all together. I’m here to offer interior design advice and inspiration to help you make that happen.