How to: Reflect your personal values in your home
Organizing your house not only makes it more functional, but also is the groundwork that must be completed if you want to turn your home into a haven -- a place where, from the moment you walk through the door, you feel at ease. So, how can you create such a place? Aside from organizing your stuff, you need to organize your thoughts and feelings about what you want you're home to be, and to do that, you need to know yourself.
Here are some easy exercises that will help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself and what you want your home to be.
1 DISCOVER YOUR VALUES
If you want your home to reflect and nurture you, you need to know who you are. One way is to identify your values; natural inclinations of your personality. Think of values as states of being, not activities. For instance, gardening itself isn't a value, but your garden may be a place where you live your values, such as being creative and spiritual and enjoying learning.
TRY THIS: List five values that best describe you and think about ways to honour them in your home. Let that knowledge influence all your design decisions. To get started, here's a list of possible values and how you might choose to express them in your home.
You are naturally generous and love to help people. At home, you love to welcome people hospitably. The public areas of your house reflect this. The private areas may be specially designed as a place to recharge and nurture yourself, something that's crucially important for people who give so much to others.
You love to make things; art, writing, crafts or hobbies. You honour this by giving yourself space to create and by organizing the material you use in your creative play/work.
You are an explorer who is absolutely content to discover new information or new ways to do something. Books, for instance, may be a big part of your decorating and you have carefully organized and displayed your collection.
It is so important to you to share your feelings. Family and friends are your priority. You have created a home that nurtures those who dwell within it and those who visit. Your furnishings promote comfort and are arranged to encourage conversation.
You love to “rally the troops.” You are probably involved in many different volunteer or professional organizations at a high level. You need space at home to organize all of these “campaigns.”
You value being very good at what you do, whether that is your work, sport or hobby. For instance, if you love cooking and you value mastery, your kitchen will be your kingdom; the dining room is where you hold court.
It's highly important to you to experience pleasure in all its forms. This may be physical, so perhaps you've upholstered your furniture in soft, sensual fabrics like velvet and silk. Or maybe your bathroom rivals the Windsor Arms and Stillwater spas!
You are a people person; an extrovert through and through. Your home is all about welcoming people, the more the merrier! You probably have a very special guestroom that's often actually used! Playing games and having fun might also be honoured in your home with a very well organized and cosy family room.
You are sensitive and it's important that people are kind to you. Your home is welcoming and highly personal to you –- it's where you can have personal “space” to feel comfortable. Your home must feel safe to you.
You are a believer in a higher power and you may express this in your home through art choices or through a special sacred space where you can quiet your thoughts and pray or meditate.
You love to pass on knowledge. If you have children, you might have a special area for homework and projects where you can work together when they need assistance.
2 TAKE INVENTORY
This exercise raises your awareness of what objects really reflect the inner you.
TRY THIS: Go through each room in your home and, as methodically as possible, categorize each item – from the sofa to the smallest vase – in terms of what it means to you. (Do only one room at a time. If you have a lot of items, this could take awhile.) For each item, ask yourself the following questions:
Do I like this?
What do I like about it?
What does this say about me?
Does it reflect who I am now or who I was 10 years ago?
Then eliminate the items that do not represent you or serve you in some way. Celebrate what's left and with the knowledge gained about who you are, make future decorating decisions and purchases with confidence.