I have a dear cousin who I have affectionately named "the season jumper". She loves to decorate! Autumn is her favorite season and it's especially gorgeous here in New England! In July this year, her pumpkins came out, a little at a time and made their way onto her instagram account. Of course those of us who were still trying to "thaw" out after the long, harsh winter were pretty upset to be reminded that it wouldn't be long and we would once again have to bundle up and hibernate for months on end! Even though I yelled the loudest (maybe), I understand her impulse to bring change into her decor.
I may just be a compulsive decorator! After a few months, my environment looks stale to me and I start to move things around. Tom used to say that he had to turn on the lights when he came home from work because else he would bump into the furniture because I moved it when he was gone! It's true!
There's just something about decorating that thrills so many people. Here are my top 5!
1. It's a creative outlet. Everyone is creative even though not everyone is artistic. They are not mutually exclusive.
Exercising your creativity does many great things for you. First, it puts you in a "flow state". This is a relaxed, meditative state. It's healing and recharges you from the stress of life. It's a happy, contented state. We enter this state in yoga or meditation. Some people enter it by listening to music or worshipping. We enjoy this state when we snuggle with a good book with a glass of wine by the fire or when we have a heart to heart with a great friend! Taking a long hike in nature can bring about this same state (if you aren't out of shape and gasping for air that is).
Exercising your creativity also keeps your mind flexible. As we age we tend to get rigid. When you are creative you realize that there is more than one road to get where you want to go, there are many!Staying creative reminds us of that and actually builds channels into our brain.
2. Decorating draws on personal preference.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
This is good news! This means that each person can decorate their homes just as they like. Their living room may never be found in a magazine and it may never be re pinned on Pinterest but it's your house, your style. If you are stuck in the 50's, stay there. It's all ok! It's about having what you love around you which brings me to three.
3. It feels good to have things you love around you! Our home should not only reflect our interests but have visual reminders that trigger happy thoughts. I've been a portrait photographer for the past 15 years. My mom, probably my greatest client, has many pictures of the family around the home. We realized the crucial importance of that when my father died suddenly 5 years ago. Though he is gone, he lives on in our hearts and we think of him as we view the pictures. My mom's home reminds us that dad was alive and well there too. In fact, his office still looks very much like when he left it, and that too brings us comfort. When I want to feel close to my dad, I sit in that room and remember.
It's not only photographs and dead people's stuff though... (sorry, I digressed), it can be flowers, or pretty things purchased on trips, or gifts from someone special that bring joy. It can be the way the curtains dance in the light with the window open that gives someone a feeling of peace. Maybe you are inspired by color and fill your home with brightness that lift your mood! Filling our environment with things that we find beautiful is so important to our state of mind!
4. Homes reflect the owners personality. This may not mean much to a hermit, but for those of us who like to entertain, having a home that reflects who you are brings your guests closer to you. When you invite someone into your home, you are allowing them the distinct privilege of entering your life. They will understand you better having been there. When they see pictures of your family, they will know that you value family relationships. If your home is clean and well kept, they will see you as someone who "has it together".
It's nice to be able to live in a place that reflects who you see yourself as. It tends to reinforce your own sense of self. Unfortunately this can play out in a negative way too because studies have shown that living in clutter and filth will negatively affect peoples moods and health.
5. It keeps the economy alive. There's a toss up here because redecorating your home may kill your personal economy while helping the stores around you. In addition, everything you purchase that was made will eventually make it's way to the landfills, thus polluting the earth. There is a way around this however! It's about recycling and reusing things! Most of my furniture and home decor has been purchased second hand. When I redecorate my rooms, I usually pillage items from other rooms. When they find new homes, they once again look new to me! Swapping things out with a friend can also bring new life to your room! It's another exercise in community and creativity!
So there you have it, 5 reasons that I think decorating one's home is a fantastic thing to do!
Fall is quickly approaching and though summer is certainly my favorite season, I have started to bring warmth into my rooms and have had a great time doing it! Check out my youtube videos this week!