I have always been fascinated by what makes a house a home and why we are so connected to them.
If you research the word “home” you will find it is defined as a place of residence or refuge. A place where a family can live and store personal property. A place that generally provides safety and a center from which people or animals base their daily activity.
Wow that says a lot, but the fact remains that we define what home is to us.
Whether your home is a mansion, a apartment, room or alcove, what really defines your home is the hearts of the people who live there and the unique personality they put into a place.
Some people don’t really care as much about their surroundings, but the majority do care a great deal and the shape of the space they live in affects them profoundly. I have had friends who didn’t seem to care about how their place looked, but the fact that they had a space to be was hugely important.
When moving to a new space the majority of us feel completely ungrounded until we get settled in.
The first few days of moving into a new place always feels totally foreign to me. It’s sort of like going on a first date with someone you know is going to become a significant person in your life. You are in awe, sort of shy, scared and most likely overwhelmed.
I feel totally ungrounded and anxious until I have moved in at least 90 percent, which means having figured out the furniture placement and getting most of the boxes unpacked. But for me it is when I have placed the art on the walls and have found the right place for treasured objects that I feel like I can now start to call it home.
When you move into a new place, when does it become home to you?
As an Interior Designer and Feng Shui Consultant, I work with many people who have moved or are moving. The fact is that each space has to be reconfigured to fit its unique qualities.
Clients are always so frustrated that a similar furniture layout doesn’t work for the new place. Every place has its unique personality. In Feng Shui we call it chi.
Some of the things that factor into creating a home’s unique energy are:
- The light and how many windows, skylights and doors in each room
- The angles of the windows, doors and walls their relationship to each other and how they command the traffic flow
- The flow of air, how it circulates and how clean it is – i.e. is there mold, stagnation, smells-including pet smells
- The colors and the light in each room in relationship to it
- The way you put together all of the objects such as furniture, accessories and paintings
- The colors you choose in each room and how the light reflects on them
- Beams, ceiling fans and heavy objects overhead
- How high or low the ceilings are
- The outside energy such as its proximity to waters or mountains or valleys, schools and traffic and gardens and/or greenery surrounding it.
It is these unique combinations that make up the specific energy of a place. And, just like humans, no two places will ever be exactly alike.
So how do you go about arranging a new space?
- Just sit in a room for 15 minutes and fill the room with your energy, stretching it out to connect to all the objects. Just sit and be and look for a while.
- Draw the room and Imagine different scenarios of furniture configurations, placing first the larger pieces of furniture. Make sure they are in a position where you can see the door, and not turned with their back to it. This is called the empowered position and you will find you enjoy being in the room more when you can see the action from where you are sitting.
- Be creative and don’t limit yourself to the perceived obstacles. For instance, you don’t always have to put the sofa across from the fireplace. If you really aren’t into the fireplace anyway, place the sofa in the place that works and create another smaller seating area in front of the fireplace. You can dictate what you want the room to be; you don’t always have to let the perceived limitations dictate it for you.
- Move the furniture around until it feels right. The best way to do this is to get magic sliders (no girl should be without them!) or click here to use these easy techniques for moving large pieces of furniture.
If you sit with your space and come from a creative place, playing with different configurations, the correct arrangement organically unfolds. All of this will create your unique thumbprint and you will see that you have the ability to create a home anywhere!