4 Pro Tips for Turning Your Home Into a Calming, Restorative Space
Nesting is officially a hobby for everyone these days, not just newlyweds and new moms. Home has become our sanctuary, our workplace, our school and just about everything else since the pandemic took its toll. But sometimes home can also be a reminder of a breakup or some other loss, and suddenly your homebase takes on another emotional connection that can leave you feeling stuck.
Interior designer Stevie McFadden of Flourish Spaces has a process that tackles the physical and emotional at the same time, helping you create a space to recover and restore. An interior designer with a background in organizational behavior, McFadden experienced first-hand how our physical space can play a role in healing after an unexpected and traumatizing split from her husband of ten years.
"I started re-imagining my life by re-imagining my space that I saw every day," she says. With clients, she asks: "How do we take this moment and this change to hit a reset button and totally rethink everything you thought you wanted." Here's her answer:
Stevie McFadden's Home
Photo: Mick Anders
Discover: "Start with where you are and consider where you feel stuck," says McFadden. Think about how your space makes you feel and look around at your things and what they do for you. "I think when you are taking charge of your space, it's giving you some sense of agency or control. I think it really can be the exercise of doing something different with your space, particularly if you are feeling either stir crazy or trapped or just frustrated that it's not working for you, just taking control over things you can take control of." That's where the healing can begin.
Dream: Start visualizing your ideal space. "What do you imagine the next chapter of your life could look like? What possibilities exist that maybe you never let yourself consider before?" asks McFadden. That means, imagine your future self, how you feel when you come home and how the space makes you feel.
Stevie McFadden's Home
Photo: Mick Anders
Sift: "We hang on to things and they literally take up space and energy, so getting rid of the stuff we don't need anymore is really important." McFadden suggests looking at your belongings on two levels. One: "Do I functionally really need this object in my house or is it just collecting dust and taking up space?" And if you don't use it or you don't need it, let it go.
The second is looking at your belongings through an emotional lens: "Is this item important to me in some way? Does it connect me to a happier memory or to a person, a loved one, that really brings me joy when I look at it?" If the answers are yes, then you might keep it even if it's not functional. But then repurpose those items in ways that work better for you.
"I've got a tiny hutch that belonged to my great aunt that is clearly meant to store China, but it sits in my bedroom full of all my favorite books. And I love it because I look at it every morning and for one, I love being surrounded by my books. It feels like being surrounded by my best friends. And it makes me think of my great aunt."
Create: Pull it all together! You don't have to spend a ton of money as you're not completely remodeling your space anew. Instead, purge items that make you feel stuck and rearrange those that remain. "Ask a friend's opinion to help avoid functional fixedness," adds McFadden. "For example, can you take all those postcards or different art prints that you've collected on travels and make a gallery wall with them? Can you take little collectibles and display them in a series of collages or color code them and put them on a shelf together so they look curated instead of junkie?" It's about displaying those items that give you good vibes in a way that feels fresh and gives them visual purpose. "These are some really low cost ways that can just make you feel like you can breathe in your space again," adds McFadden.
How are you refreshing your space these days? Share with us @BritandCo!For more decor ideas, follow us on Pinterest!
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Theresa Gonzalez is a content creator based in San Francisco and the author of Sunday Sews. She's a lover of all things design and spends most of her days momming her little one Matilda.