5 Steps to Creating Your Dream Home, and Life.
I believe a home is more than a house. What makes it special are the dreams that live there.
Would you like to create your own dream home? A life that inspires your creative passions? Great, let's get started.
First, the size or shape of your home is not very important. It's how a home makes you feel. How it inspires you to dream. To nurture the real YOU to come out and play.
Maison Rêve, means dream home in French for a reason. I believe if you create your dream home -- a place that inspires you to live your dreams - it will help you live a more joyful and compassionate life.
Here's why. Visualize a single drop in a lake. Its energy creates a ripple in the form of a circle. Then another larger ripple forms around that circle. Then another circle and so on.
YOU are the first drop. The first circle around YOU is your home. The next your family. Then work. Then community. And so on. The order is critical. The reason so many of us feel overwhelmed is we start with work demands or kids needs BEFORE we start with our own dreams, then create a home next that nurtures those dreams.
So let's start with YOU and your dreams. Those dreams will then ripple out to your home. Then into your work. You get the picture. That's how we create natural balance and sustainable joy. It all starts with YOU.
My 5 Steps to Creating Your Maison Rêve:
1. Begin with a Vision. Whether in business or life, having a vision is critical. The best way is to create a Vision Board for the life you want to have over the next year. Simply carve out time over a weekend for this creative project. Flip through magazines, cutting images that call to you. If you see a beautiful picture of a stack of books on a windowsill and feel inside "Wow, I wish I had time to read more." Clip it.
Then arrange the pictures in a collage and paste on a large white poster board. Don't spend weeks overthinking things, listen to your voice, then clip and glue.
Post your new Vision Board in a happy spot you traffic a lot in your home. As you can see here, I have mine in my kitchen (top right) and create a new one each year. It's amazing how many things come into your life when you see your vision board daily.
It also helps you make decorating decisions. For example, if on your vision board are images of delicious, organic food, then clearing your kitchen counter tops of all the clutter and decorating them with a few healthy cookbooks and colorful mixing bowls will inspire you to cook new recipes each week.
2. Write Down Your Top 5 Values. Again, every good company actively creates a culture around what they value. So why do we live without clearly knowing what our personal values are? Think of your values as the rudder of a sailboat. Without one, you will drift around with no clear path. This leads to overextending ourselves with projects that are not in line with our life's purpose. Knowing your values also makes daily decision-making fast and simple.
I'll spend a little extra time explaining Step 2 because its critical to understand the application in real life.
Good news is writing your values is quite simple. All it takes is an hour and the back of a napkin. Write down what you value most. Let if come from your heart not your head.
I did this a few years ago. On my napkin it says 1) Compassion 2) Creativity 3) Inspiration 4) Organic and Seasonal 5) Realness. My values then guide everyday decisions whether it's decorating my home or living my life.
Ok, let me give you a real example. Rather than having 3 sets of inexpensive bed sheets made in China that don't inspire me, I just have one set of high quality, organic linen sheets from Libeco Lagae for a restful nights sleep. It meets my values of inspiration, organic and realness. And compassion because I feel good caring for our Planet when I buy products made sustainably.
Here's another one. My husband and I would pick up groceries each week from 3 different groceries stores (a local grocery store, Safeway and Costco) because items were cheaper at different places. Every time he walked in with bags from Safeway or Costco (his genuine attempt to help me out) I felt annoyed the minute he walked in the door! But had no idea why. Nor did he to be honest. Lead to tension every time.
But after writing my values, I understood. Those stores did not align with my 5 values. Not that they are bad places, just not the best ones connected to my values.
So doing this one value exercise not only simplified our weekly decision where to buy groceries but sent a smile - rather than a sneer - to my husband!
Based on the 5 values on my little napkin, I decided to go to our farmers market with the kids and get most items. Anything else I couldn't get there I'd buy from our local, organic grocery store - which is a very inspiring place. Our grocery bills went down (no more wasted food from overbuying and gas bills driving everywhere). We had fun chats with farmers about what's fresh. This inspired us to create seasonal dishes costing less money. And I get a lot more positive energy from knowing this one simple decision aligns with ALL my values.
Make sense? OK, now time to take out a napkin and write your 5 values. Listen to your heart, it knows.
3. Create White Space. Create rooms filled with what I call "white space" - open, uncluttered places in our physical world allowing our soul room to breathe. White space is critical to living your dream life. It allows your passions and higher calling space to blossom. At least for me, when my home is cluttered and feels draining, my life reflects the same. When my home is inspiring, filled with lightness and lots of white space, so is my life!
Start by de-cluttering rooms with things that bring your energy down. Most of us have way too much stuff. We can spend hours every year moving and reorganizing stuff we don't need. Yet, what we keep in our homes should have meaning and positive energy, along with plenty of white space. My favorite book on this subject is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Read it and do the work. Trust me, afterwards you will feel lighter and ready to take on your creative passions!
4. Practice Mindfulness. Organize areas to make life simple and pleasurable. This will slow the fast pace of life down. Choose monochrome color schemes to relax the mind. Add fresh seasonal blooms each week (can simply be a few fallen branches you find on a hike) to connect your soul with nature. Create simple areas for daily meditation or yoga practice. All these efforts reflect a mindful lifestyle. Actively creating these spaces now will support their growth in your daily routine.
5. Add Inspiration Pieces. Time for the really fun part! And one of my biggest life secrets. Did you know that vintage objects -- filled with soul, history, color and stories - can actually bring out the creativity in a person? It's true! Something about their character, uniqueness and history speaks to our human souls when we see them. Maybe its because we too are unique and as we age we too develop more character, more history, more good stories. I have tested this theory with new objects and vintage objects at home. The vintage treasures are always the ones that when I see them inspire me to do what's on my vision board!
So look back at your Vision Board. What are your creative passions you want to do more of? Is your calling to write? Maybe place a beautiful old Underwood typewriter on your desk to remind you to write a few pages in your book each day. Is your passion to paint? How about clustering weathered paintbrushes in pretty bottles on your kitchen table so they remind you each morning to carve out an hour to sketch or paint (even if its in a small notebook whiling waiting to pick up the kids at school, you don't need to have the perfect art studio or be called an artist to do your passion!) Want to travel the world? Stack colorful vintage suitcases at the end of a hallways. Want to learn how to play an instrument? Maybe a French drum would get the idea moving from your head to your fingertips. How about walking more in nature? Sea glass bottles filled with fresh cut blooms on my windowsill always do the trick for me.
These soulful objects want to inspire your dreams to take seed and soar. Repurpose vintage pieces you may already have at home. Or explore Maison Reve Shop for ideas. Perhaps one will speak to your passion and inspire you....
Whether your home is 500 or 5,000 square feet. It doesn't matter. It's about knowing what your heart is dreaming of and creating a home that nurtures those passions. If you do these 5 steps, your life will become your Vision Board in no time! And best part is, you will walk with a skip in your step enjoying each day a little more.