I mentioned in an earlier post how our home can impact the way we feel. How it can bring us a great sense of peace and ease. It can be a sanctuary. A place to unwind after a busy day, and gather with loved ones.
Friends often enter my family home and comment on how well styled it is. I sense a comfort in them as they share time with us. And I feel proud and great joy noticing them relax into our space.
What I aim for in our home is a connection with nature. An openness and breathability. A space that feels calm and serene. There is a stillness and quiet (amongst the screams of little ones!) which helps inspire me.
But many of our friends are unsure themselves on how to create a similar feeling in their own home. So I thought I'd share my top 5 tips on how I've done this.
1. Begin with a natural colour palette
We tend to gravitate towards nature to calm ourselves. So it makes sense to bring nature into our homes.
It helps to think of the muted colours in a natural landscape. Light grey tones of a sandy beach, the dusty green of a eucalyptus tree, the deep blue hues of a vast ocean, or the golden tones of a layered rocky cliff.
Begin with a light base - light walls. And bring in earthy tones with furniture and accessories.
2. Favour natural materials and textures over synthetic
For a home to have a feeling of warmth it helps to favour natural materials over the mass-produced synthetic kinds.
Real leather couches, timber furniture, woven jute rugs, timber picture frames, ceramic pots etc. Bringing in elements that are made by hand with care, and their own beautiful imperfections, helps a home to feel unique and gives it a human touch.
It also helps to decorate with natural elements. A bowl of collected shells from your travels, a piece of driftwood atop a stack of your favourite books, a stone bowl to hold a collections of keys, and so on. These little touches give a space warmth. They help create personality, and give an glimpse of your journey.
3. Accessorise with soft materials
An empty and rather cold space can feel instantly warmer with the use of soft materials.
Rugs, cushions, throw blankets, wrinkled doonas, floor cushions... these elements add comfort. And encourage coziness. How nice it is to curl up on the couch with dimpled cushions and a soft blanket.
I prefer to accessorise with pieces that feel a little imperfect. Rather than contrived. Like completely stuffed hard cushions positioned perfectly on a couch. Or a throw folded and draped parallel to the back of a chair.
A home should feel lived in rather than like a museum. It accommodates real life. So embrace imperfection. Use a light hand with soft furnishings rather than one that is structured and precise.
4. Add warmth with lighting and candles
Lighting in a home can make or break an atmosphere. Cool lighting is exactly that - cold. And uninviting. Warm lighting positioned well can create a warm and comforting space to be in.
Floor lamps casting golden glows throughout a room, bedside lamps luring you into bed, pendant lighting over a dining table bringing people together - they can all help to create a beautifully inviting space.
Candles also create coziness. I love lighting a candle on those rainy days at home while I enjoy a coffee. It's 'hygge' in its purest form. It creates an experience. Which I believe much of a joyous life entails.
5. Add life with real plants
Decorating with nature can be the simplest way to create calm. And bringing real plants into the home can instantly add life.
It does take a bit of knowledge on what they need and how to care for them. But with a little research and practise, you soon learn how a plant can thrive in a space. And seeing them adapt in your home is quite wonderful to observe.
Fiddle-leaf figs, cactus, succulents, golden pothos and terrariums are among those that I have in our home. I have at least one plant in each of the rooms within our home, including the children's. Which I believe helps them learn to appreciate and care for nature.
It may seem like a lot. Like we need to spend a lot to create something like this. And admittedly it can add up. But it helps to think of it as a work in progress. As a visual story that is broken into chapters.
Keep a sense of space in mind. Of simplicity. Clear the clutter and create flow. Look to nature to inspire you. And decorate with a gentle hand.
Allow your space to grow with you. Enjoy the comfort it provides. And share it with good friends and family.