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Relaxed Home.. hardly an oxymoron

Homes, our personal spaces, are powerful. Whatever a home is, and it can be anything, from a dorm room at college, to a tiny apartment, a modest family house, or a dream house, it must have the virtue to put us at our ease.

I am a great advocate of well-designed rooms, beautiful possessions spread and displayed throughout, color and vibrancy in accessories, in short, I love beautifully done-up homes.

BUT, homes are places to be yourself and shed the masks that we don for the world, hence they must above all be ‘zone of relaxation.’

I have a predilection for areas diffusing an aura of indulgence, of being spoiled, of being enveloped in safety and calmness.

My favorite tips for a house to be a home while being a study in design are:

Nothing ought to be TOO precious. All the ‘stuff’ we buy and decorate our homes with is primarily for our comfort and joy, and if something is ‘too precious’ and needs excessive ‘worrying-over its simply not worth the price.

Very often we put objects in our personal areas which are not conducive to daily living where we tend to drop food, spill water or drinks, fall, bump, and fidget.

If rooms start to look and feel like showrooms it is definitely a warning sign.

Decorate how you live and not the other way around. We are usually in a hurry to follow design trends, want to purchase the next ‘hot’ item on the market without analysing if it suits our style, ways of being at-home, whether it depicts us or not.

In our desire to show our best face to the world we tend to veer on decorating not for ourselves and our families, rather, we furnish homes to ‘put-on’ a spectacle or emulate a design set, lovely to look at but lifeless and terrifying to touch for fear of spoiling it.

Messy is good but dirt, filth, cobwebs, mildew, odors, unwashed dishes, dirty bathrooms, greasy smelly kitchens are NOT a yes.

They do not equate living and lived-in feeling, they declare loud and clear our personal hygiene habits.

Hence, a handbag placed on the sofa, computer on the table, using your best living areas, leaving a glass here and there, baby toys out, all these reflect life and need to be embraced.

These dictums may sound easy and achievable, but they are neither. There is a short distance between a house looking dirty and sloppy to pinched and tense, where one would be scared to move.

In my own home I have tried to incorporate a little of both (I hope successfully) there are of course my precious expensive leather sofas and designer coffee tables, but I sit on them, have tea and food on a tray, even do my painting without losing a heart beat.

Of course I take care of things and am careful, but not to the point of making myself or others uncomfortable.

Remember, they are only things!

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