Tag Archives: interior design

9 Steps to Make Your Home a Haven of Happiness

North bedroom with Nermal the grey catBefore you apply your feng shui cures, you need to clear out the clutter in your home. When you clean up your home, you rid it of stagnant and unhealthy energy. Most of us have too many things we don’t actually need, and in getting rid of them, we create space for the cures to work.

1. If the idea of clearing out the clutter in your home seems overwhelming, then focus on one room at a time or one area in the room at a time, or even one drawer at a time, if necessary. As the famous saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” so be kind to yourself, but do complete the task. The first step to shifting energy in your home and in your life is to make room for new and fresh energy to come in.

2. If you haven’t used an item in the last six months, or a year at the most, then give it away to someone who might need it more than you. You will find enormous freedom in letting go of the objects and clothes that you really don’t need anymore and you may even find the act of giving to those in need to be motivational.

3. Make sure you do not have an excessive amount of furniture, as too much bulk can stop the flow of chi around your home. There needs to be space for energy to flow and for you to move through your home with ease, without bumping into anything.

4. Do not just hide everything in a garage or an attic and pretend that you have gotten rid of it. The garage and attic are also considered parts of your home and you need to treat them as such.

5. Fix anything that is broken in your home. If you are having problems with the doors, windows, roof or any other part of the house structure, then fix it. You also want to make sure all the systems are in good working order and flowing well, which means the water, gas and electricity in your home.

6. If you think that your entire home or a particular room needs to be cleansed, you can wash the walls with water infused with nine drops of pure lavender or citrus essence in a bucket. This helps to cleanse the room of any old, stagnant energy.

7. Painting draws new energy into a home. If you have moved into a new home, then make sure that you paint the walls and deep clean the carpets to get rid of the energy of the previous occupants.

8. If you want to use color on one or all of your walls in different rooms, here are a few suggestions:

Kitchen—White is a great color for cleanliness.

Living Room or Family Room—Earth tones are very relaxing and grounding and have a capacity to draw people together.

Blue or green also add life to these rooms.

Bedroom—Peach, light blue and green are excellent choices.

Children’s Room—White, green or blue in your children’s rooms will help them to flourish.

9. If you want to quickly remove the energy in your home after a few difficult weeks or months, then open all the windows and doors for a few hours and let the chi from outside flow through and clear your living space. You may also want to place a bouquet of fresh flowers in the middle of your home to enhance the cleansing process.

 

From How Happy Is Your Home?: 50 Great Tips to Bring More Health, Wealth and Happiness into Your Home By Sophie Keller

 

Originally published December 2011

Tips to Avoid Harmful Chemicals and Make Your Home a Healing Space

Δ†In the naturopathic profession, often one of the first challenges a doctor will tackle in working with a new patient is to determine and remove the “barriers to cure” – things that are interfering with the body’s ability to heal. In the past, I’ve written about treatments for common barriers to cure such as insufficient sleep, food sensitivities and seasonal allergies. I’ve learned through many patient experiences that no matter how amazing a medical treatment or how hard I work, a patient will be hard-pressed to truly heal as long as barriers stand in the way.

Often, some of the toughest barriers to remove are allergens and irritants in the home.  Chemical usage in home products has skyrocketed in the past few decades. Everything from laundry detergent to stain-resistant carpets, air-freshener sprays and synthetic-fiber bedding is a source of chemicals that put stress on our livers and immune systems. If you’re not aware of what I’m talking about, here’s a touching video from Healthy Child Healthy World that puts this issue into focus, especially as it impacts children (who are even more susceptible to the negative impacts of these chemicals than most adults).

My mother happens to be a Seattle-based interior designer with a fluency in eco-design and hypo-allergenic products for the home. While visiting her recently, I took some time to ask her for resources and tips she could share for those of us who are looking for ways to create a healthier home environment. The following are highlights from our conversation:

Q: What kinds of materials and treated fabrics are best to avoid in order to minimize chemical exposure?

A: Ideally, avoid anything synthetic. Synthetic materials, such as polyesters and acrylics, contain chemicals that can be harmful.  In addition to the material itself, these types of products are often treated with other chemicals to make them stain-resistant or otherwise “low-maintenance”. Unfortunately, buying convenience can also mean having to live with toxins that can be harmful to health. Terms like “easy care”, “water-repellant”, “no iron”, “anti-cling”, “static-free” and “flame retardant” are all signs that the product may be treated with harmful chemicals.

Q: What are some of the healthiest and least allergenic fibers to look for when choosing fabrics and floor coverings for a home?

A: The easiest rule of thumb is to stick with natural fibers. Linen, hemp, ramie, and abaca are all natural fibers that are hypo-allergenic and tend to be free from additional chemical treatments. When possible, look for organic textiles, not just organically grown materials, but products that are processed using organic-compliant compounds. Sometime a material will be organic, but then it’s processed with a harsh, non-organic dye and that can defeat the health benefits of sourcing the original organic material.

Q: In general terms, how to you suggest approaching the design of an eco-friendly and hypo-allergenic space?

A: Keep the space free of clutter where dust and allergens can accumulate. Opt for wood or tile floors and avoid carpet. Use natural fibers for window coverings, like wood-based plantation shutters instead of heavy fabric curtains. Optimize air circulation by strategically placing doors and windows to optimize air flow and utilize the air-filtering mechanisms of plants to improve air quality.

Q: Are there certain products, brands and resources you can suggest for people who are looking for products or just want more information on how to make smart choices when it comes to creating a health-promoting space?

A: The following are all great resources to check out:

  • O Ecotextiles is a Seattle-based textile company that creates luxurious fabrics that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable. Not only do I love their products, but they are leading experts on this topic and their website has an incredible amount of information for how to make smart choices for the home.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are harmful chemicals often found in paint and other home-based textiles. This site does a great job of explaining the dangers of VOCs, what products typically contain them and how they can be avoided.
  • Unique Carpets, Ltd. sells eco-friendly floor coverings made from natural fibers that are treated in an environmentally-safe way. If you are looking for floor coverings to soften a space, this brand is a great option to check out.

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Choosing the Best Wall Color for Every Room in Your Home

Feelings have long been associated with color. We say we are “green with envy” or feeling “blue.” Red is the color of passion; white, of purity. The fact is that we are viscerally affected by our surroundings. There are many areas in life where you cannot control your surroundings, but thankfully, your home does not have to be one of them. The largest canvass in anyone’s home is their walls. By selecting the right color or color combinations, you can increase productivity, relieve stress, and elevate your mood, all with the stroke of a brush.

Best Colors for Home Offices

These days, almost everyone has a home office. It is estimated that some 20-30 million people work from home at least one full day per week. Untold numbers use their home office space for paying bills, correspondence, and other business needs. You can make that time more productive and pleasant by choosing the right colors.

Different work styles have different color needs.

If you have a hard time getting going in the morning, color therapists suggest painting your office yellow or orange to boost productivity. 

However, if you hop out of bed, raring to go, you might want to select a soft blue in order to calm your thoughts and help you organize your ideas.

If the fax machine is whirring and the phone is ringing before you’ve even had a chance to down a proper cup of coffee, consider a pale green.

Best Colors for Bedrooms


If you live to be 75, you will spend between 23 and 24 years sleeping. And that number, of course, does not include all of the other things that take place in the boudoir. It makes good sense to make the place where you live at least a third of your life inviting and enjoyable. At the end of the day, most of us long for a serene place of calm and comfort. To help achieve that goal, there are a number of color choices to make your bedroom a haven of tranquility.

Some people relax best with cool colors, such as lavender, soft blues, or gentle greens. These colors also have the additional benefit of making your room seem slightly larger.

If you want your personal space to feel more youthful and invigorating, try painting your walls in warm but peaceful colors like light pink, peach, or buttery-yellow.

Best Colors for Bathrooms

Unlike every other room in the house, the bathroom is the one place we typically get to spend completely alone (unless you have toddlers). There seems to be a nearly universal desire to make our bathing areas evoke the natural world. Most people seem to prefer rich and vibrant blues and bright whites that recall both sea and sky. Pair those colors with rich wood tones, like bittersweet chocolate, and you will create a spa-like retreat, just for you (be sure to lock the door!).

Best Colors for Living Rooms


Living rooms might be the one area of the home where different tastes come into play. While there are many people who prefer a modern look that typically incorporates walls of bolder colors like black, white and gray combinations, it seems that most of us like the casual, cave-like feel that earth tones provide. Keep the clan warm and happy by painting your walls in shades of browns, tans, grays, whites and subtle, warm reds. For a more traditional look, stick with earth tones but also incorporate muted colors like gold, blues, and greens.

 

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