It’s that romantic time of year again. As a holistic interior designer, I think this is perfect time to ask, “What kind of relationship are you having with your home?” As with true love, we know that home is much more than just a physical connection. I believe that if you treat your home as you treat your sweetest lover, you experience a deeper connection to your surroundings and — ultimately — to yourself.
The most logical place to start this process is in the bedroom. Is your bedroom conducive to romance? In the homes I visit, this room, sadly, is often the least sexy of spaces. Since it is our private space — one that visitors don’t usually see — it often gets neglected and becomes a storage bin for clothes and you-name it-clutter. Ideally, your bedroom should be for sleep and sex (two reasons why I am not a fan of having a television in the bedroom, as it disrupts both activities). It is best decorated simply, with soothing colors and patterns to help induce a restful, calm state.
Create harmony and balance with symmetry, pairing items such as night tables and lamps on each side of the bed. Provide equal access to both sides, rather than pushing one side of the bed up against a wall. As difficult as it is in a small space, do not let junk (or dirt) accumulate under the bed, as it can disrupt your sleep (or chi in feng shui speak). Always use natural, non-synthetic bedding, pillows and fabrics in the bedroom (and everywhere else in your home, for that matter). Buy curtains or blinds to shut out light at night — complete darkness is vital for getting proper sleep, and even a clock light can be disruptive. The right room temperature (cool) and good air circulation are also critical.
The most important element of all is intention. Any time you make changes to your personal space (be it in your home or in your mental sphere), visualize and welcome in a deeper love. This is especially important if you live with your partner. Sharing a space involves vulnerability, letting your guard down and knowing that you are loved in spite of your imperfections.
That wonderful feeling of acceptance of our well-worn habits is akin to wabi-sabi, which translates into an aesthetic of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.” Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect. Take for instance that antique sideboard with all of the signs of usage or the chair that has different paint colors peeling off in just the right way. It may not be perfect, but it gives you a feeling of instant comfort — just like your perfect love for that imperfect other person (and theirs for you)!
Embrace Your Space, and Happy Valentines Day!
Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell.” — Joan Crawford