Today my dear muffin Amy is writing about one of her passions - creating peaceful physical spaces through decor. Amy and I have been sister friends for years and have seen each other through some TIMES. I can tell you that Amy knows what she is talking about.
Please enjoy Amy’s thoughts on creating a soothing home. Find more info on how to follow her at the end of the post!
NOTE: Aunt Pip is what she decided to be called when her first niece was born. Now it’s what a lot of her friends call her. That’s correct, right Amy??
Hi there! My name is Amy and I embrace life by striving daily to live with intention. I am extremely passionate about décor with a purpose – that purpose being, to better your mental health.
I worked as direct care staff in two locked psychiatric facilities for four years. While I did not conduct formal research, I observed a direct correlation between those who invested in their physical space and the rapidity of their healing process. There is often a misconception that it takes a lot of money and resources to make a space pleasing. However, many of our clients were homeless or had very little material items, but still found ways to make their temporary rooms a place of peace. Their use of creativity inspired me to look at my own home and see what opportunities were awaiting me.
Recently I’ve also been diagnosed as having Bipolar 2 disorder. As I’ve learned more about myself and my journey, I have discovered how incredibly important it is to have a soothing place to call home.
Here are a few ways I like to decorate with intention:
One of the most inexpensive steps you can take is decorating with meaningful items, such as memorabilia from a trip, gifts you received from loved ones, or pictures. These items serve as a constant, physical reminder that you are loved. People have thought of you. You matter. I live alone and I frequently get asked “don’t you get lonely?” Absolutely not. When I open my photo album that sits on my coffee table, I instantly feel connected to those that I care about the most.
Natural light is incredible at making a space more magical and all it costs is choosing not to live in Alaska…kidding. By hanging sheer curtains, natural light can reflect a certain color onto the wall – saving money on a lampshade. It can reflect off mirrors, making a room brighter without investing in another lamp (you’d be amazed at how expensive lamps and lampshades can be). If you live with dark paint and are unable to change the color of the wall, natural light can pull out “color” rather than “dark.” You might as well take in the free benefits of Vitamin D while you are at it. According to research, feelings of depression are often related to a lack of Vitamin D.
Make Your Bed:
It’s as simple as that. Again, research is on our side. It provides people with a sense of order and success. It is also correlated with higher amounts of job satisfaction and good health. When feelings of depression are setting in, it is also much easier to crawl back in to an unmade bed.
Only decorate with useful items, especially if you are living in a small space. For example, throw pillows. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good throw pillow, but they aren’t typically the most functional addition to a home if they’re never used. Put a pillow case on them when guests are over and “Voila!” You have functional pillows. I decorate a lot with candles and intentionally put my mugs out, displaying their unique designs.
Humor is key when decorating and often underrated or not even thought of. I have a cross-stitch in my bathroom that looks very similarly to a sign that you would find hanging on your Great Aunt Loretta’s wall, as it is decorated with classic flowers and muted tones. If you read the sign, it says “Please don’t do coke in the bathroom.” I can’t count the amount of times it has made me and my guests laugh. It often goes unnoticed but is a great conversation starter. To answer your question, no I do not do cocaine in my bathroom – I follow directions. All bad jokes aside, humor gives your home a sense of lightheartedness. It reminds you to not take things so seriously when your mind wants to go spiraling down.
Make inviting space for others. This can be as simple as having a chair that isn’t facing the TV and having tea readily available. Have extra blankets and a place to have people to sleep. This doesn’t require a spare bedroom but creatively finding space. I am not above sleepovers in the bathtub.
My hope is to use the time I have been given to inspire and encourage others to find what makes their homes a fulfilling space. If I can do this simplistically and affordably, then I will have accomplished something that I will feel proud of.
If you are interested in seeing some of my decorative touches, please visit @pips_peaceful_places on Instagram – take a gander and email me if you have any questions!
Thank you so much for taking time to get to know my brain a little. Time is truly valuable, and I appreciate you giving me yours.