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Energy Boosts for Tired Interiors

Being at home should be a positive experience especially for those of us with chronic pain like arthritis. But if you find yourself looking for ways to get out of the house rather than ways to enjoy yourself while there, you might want to consider buffing up your domestic act with one or more of the following improvements. Look at it this way: if your home is a drain on your energy, it’s time for a change and that time is now.


Fabric is one of my favorite ways to update and refresh a tired space. Reupholstering the sofa, dressing the windows, slipcovering the chairs, and having some coordinating throw pillows done up will revive a tired room into something wonderful.

Combining fabric is tricky. If you’re a person who shies away from pattern, using high quality, beautifully textured fabrics will be your best bet. You can start with a beautiful, softly prewashed linen and add subtle luxury fabrics like velvet and silk ticking. When choosing floral fabrics choose a pattern with a limited number of colors (2 to 3) in it. I love using Midi or awning style stripe fabrics as an accent. ’m not a big fan of checks mainly because I feel they wore out their welcome in the 80’s but I do like wool or cotton plaids if they’re well designed.


Every ten years or so, have one or two fresh coats of paint. Whites are generally cooler now, with more gray undertones than before. Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and Dunn Edwards offer designer colors with a less expensive cost per gallon while Pratt and Lambert, Fine Paints of Europe, and Farrow and Ball have beautiful, timeless colors, high pigment content and long lasting quality.

Always use a flat finish in the public rooms and master bedroom; satin or eggshell in bathrooms, kitchen and children’s areas; and satin, gloss or semi-gloss on cabinetry, doors, windows and casing. If “white paint” isn’t your idea of redecorating, choose your colors carefully. Today’s homes have open floor plans and they usually don’t look right with multiple changes in color without the visual dividers of doorway frames.

Light colors like pale yellow, pale gray-blue, and light celadon green are good options for colors that “travel” well from room to room.

Keep in mind warm colors advance, making the room appear smaller while light, cool colors recede, making the room appear larger.


A great way to improve and beautify your home is to give it a makeover using the things you already have. A makeover is economical because it saves you from unnecessary purchases. It helps you make the most of what you already have. Big bonus: once your makeover is complete, you’ll really be able to see what purchases are truly needed.

Makeovers for the living room usually take one day while the other rooms take half days. Experiment with furniture placement, placing the sofa and other large furnishings first. Anchor conversation areas with furniture then create focal points with accessories. Move things around till you get it right. Fireplaces are built-in focal points and are nicely balanced with an opposing sofa. Don’t place furnishings on an angle. You want your furniture to provide an anchoring, stabilizing effect and angled layouts are discombobulating.


While accessories like pillows, baskets, throws, books, vases, pots, plants (faux and real), and lamps are comparatively inexpensive next to buying new furniture and window coverings, when put together they are not a small expense. As an example, to prepare for a home tour several years ago, I purchased new accessories to add to my existing ones in the living room, dining room, and master bedroom and spent close to $2,000 on accessories alone.

I purchased ten framed prints, five large pots, two table cloths (for permanent use, not for dining), silver picture frames, and a small area rug. This supplemented the things I already had. The tour was a success and the changes provided me with so much joy, satisfaction and even healing. Your home has a huge effect on your psyche.

When shopping for accessories choose things that work around your architecture and existing furnishings, not just your personal taste. Don’t strive for perfection. Often it’s the quirky piece or item that’s a little off that provides visual interest and tells a story.


If your personal belongings are collecting dust that never seems to get cleaned, if your spouse or children are embarrassed to have guests over, or if “Hoarders” has contacted you recently to guest appear in an upcoming episode (teasing) it’s time to reduce or repurpose.

Don’t take your unwanted stuff to the thrift store yet, however. Do your makeover starting with the living room first, dining room second, master bedroom third, and so on. You’ll be amazed by the things you can repurpose in other areas of your home. Change is harder for some of us, but your quality of life at home relies on healthy, sustainable changes. A home isn’t static. It needs regular attention to keep it functioning and attractive. Just like you!

A Clean Sweep

One of the things I’ve noticed being a home maker and using a professional coach in years past is that the cleaner and tidier the home, the more motivated I feel in general at work, in my relationship, in my self-care and in my personal development. When you eliminate or change things that are a nuisance to you, you get a tremendous energy boost. This is true of many things in life such as excess weight or a job you have outgrown. As someone smart once said, nature abhors a vacuum.

Get rid of the things that drain your energy to make room for better things to come.

Live beautifully. Eat beautifully, Shiree

Click “Pain Free Design and Wellness” for a free chapter of my powerful new book that helps women with arthritis create beautiful, functional homes and take better care of themselves every day because home is where it all begins.