By Cally Logan, Crosswalk.com
“Home is the nicest word there is” was warmly expressed by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and it is something we today, too, can wrap around us in embrace for our own living spaces. A home ought to be a place that invokes feelings of peace, rest, and familiarity of self. With subtle or big adjustments, you can cultivate a peaceful living space for yourself.
One of the most prevalent hindrances to cultivating a living space reminiscent of one’s heart is due to budget. Even if you do not have an HGTV-level budget or even a budget that is much at all, there are ways to customize on a budget. One of the greatest assets of our modern age through technology is the increase in platforms such as YouTube and Pinterest showing how to DIY or “do it yourself” similar or even better alternatives to designer items. There is something to be said for the hunt at bargain places such as yard sales, Goodwill, or antique stores as well. One man’s trash could be the treasure your space is looking for right now. In my own living space, I adopted the habit of collecting wildflowers to preserve them with inexpensive techniques such as hairspray. They add a lovely enhancement to adorn my walls; it almost feels as if I am living in a storybook cottage. Many stores such as Home Goods, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls also have overstock items at reduced prices from high-end brands, so take a gander to see what you might find at some of these great resources. Also, see if neighbors, friends, or family members desire to part with items or see about supporting local artists at artisan shows and craft fairs. It is a great way to include items that invite sentimental feelings or memories cherished as reflected in the space where you do life. Big budget or small, with a little creativity and elbow grease, it is amazing what you can come up with. Don’t let your vision die over a budget; just readjust.
All Your Own
As much as designers have such a lovely, unique flair about them, what is right for one may not be right for another. Recent years have seen the surge of the Modern Farmhouse Design along with Cottage Core additions, much to the point that what was once a tad obscure has become mainstream due to collaborations with major retailers and reproductions made by big box stores to streamline accessibility for the average Joe. Many of these designs are beautiful, but do they bring your heart peace? In my journey to renovate a space that made my own
heart sigh with restful relief, I realized that in replicating what I saw in an Ikea Showroom or available from a Today Show Guest’s magazine, I was inviting someone else’s definition of peace into my home. I was not identifying what my definition of a placid homestead was. When I took a step back and questioned it, my mindset shifted from replicating a copy of someone else’s work to instead showcasing my own. This allowed me to find an even deeper form of self-expression and creativity through tangible items I saw daily, fostering an authentic and genuine collection of what makes me me.
Ridding Yourself of Chaos
Developing a space that carries an ambiance of tranquility also enacts the need to reduce unnecessary chaos. This is not to say that you will avoid all chaos, as many share their space with children or other adults, but it is to say that even despite this, some harmony can be found. This can be as simple as having a Bluetooth speaker with calming scores, instrumental hymns, or classics playing in the background. It could look like choosing quiet hours for children with limited stimulation of loud noises from video games, the television, or the like for a serene time of book reading, quiet activities, or quiet time. It could also look like choosing different light bulbs to reduce harsh lighting and instead brightening the rooms with a more natural light setting. Also, ask yourself what facets of your current living space a hindrance might be to calm, such as piles and clutter. Reducing clutter, organizing, finding a place for everything, and having everything in its place can do wonders for you mentally. There are ways to reduce chaos, and most of them are free!
Work From Home and Live at Home
Since the Pandemic, the new normal for many has shifted to a place where you can work and rest your head for the night. This is a severe shift from the once basic offices with watercoolers so many had grown accustomed to, and it has invited with it change in more ways than one. That is why it is vital to designate spaces or practices so you do not feel that you “live at work” but have a better balance of the two. Not everyone has the availability to separate an office into another room, but there are ways to transform a room to serve multiple purposes. Think of the creation of the Murphy Bed and how it can pop down to make a living room into a bedroom, so take that acorn of an idea to plant in how you can make a space different in little moves and shifts. Perhaps you have a storage container for work projects or a set of drawers that, at the end of the day, can store work and former office supplies. Other ideas include rearranging a room to have the feeling of two rooms in one, separating the “two rooms” with a piece of furniture or a bookcase to serve as a partisan. There are many ways to alter a room to fit a changed lifestyle and for the work-life balance to be attainable in your space.
Don’t Rush It
Above all else, don’t rush the process. Half the joy of cultivating a space where you feel serene and at peace is doing so in a way that invites and inspires happiness. This is your space, and it is under no obligation to look like someone’s space; it is not required to match perfectly, and it does not need to conform to the norm of most. Instead, find yourself adorning the humble abode you call your home in such a way that it reflects who you are as a person. Let your personality, preferences, favorite things, and style burst through in every way you can. Know that just as we grow and change, our decorating style can as well, so let it grow with you as you continue to walk through different seasons. It may take time, effort, and a little patience to save up for things that really make your space ideal, but you cannot put a price on peace. Make your space one of a kind and enjoy it!
Photo credit: ©Getty/TG23
Cally Logan is an author and US History teacher from Richmond, Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys mentoring youth and spending time in nature. She is the author of Hang on in There, Girl! and Dear Future Husband: A Love Letter Journey While Waiting for God's Best. Check her out on Instagram and Twitter, @CallyLogan and TikTok Cally_Logan.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
In the video are 5 Tips for Decluttering Your Space by Michelle S. Lazurek.