Being at home should be a positive experience but if you find yourself looking for ways to get out of the house rather than ways to enjoy yourself while there, or even to practice the at home self-care routines I talk to you so much about, you might want to consider buffing up your spaces with one or more of the following improvements. If your home is a drain on your energy, there is so much that can be done to help it serve you better!
If you’re going to stay on top of a degenerative condition like arthritis, you have to be supported by your home. You have to stay balanced and unstressed and focused on taking excellent care of yourself daily, with fresh homemade green juices, big raw salads and joint supporting exercises like Yoga, weights, walking and stay-biking.
Fabric is one of my favorite ways to update and refresh a tired space! Reupholstering the sofa, dressing the windows, slip covering the chairs, and having some coordinating throw pillows done up will revive a tired room into something wonderful. Fabric is also a great way to pull together disparate elements like mismatched decorative styles and wood finishes.
What I love about this option is that it doesn’t require you to replace tables or case goods, which I tend to think of as heirloom pieces, or pieces that are passed down through the generations such as with Baker’s outstanding collections. Even if the wood finishes are out of date, current fabrics can do so much to update the overall look.
Combining fabrics and pattern can be a little tricky if you don’t have the knack for it. If you’re a person who shies away from pattern, velvet and linen solid fabrics in pale, cool colors add comfort to arthritis sufferers and people with other chronic pain.
Patterns that I love that are also easy to work with are faded floral fabrics and color coordinated stripes. I tend to avoid plaids and brocades as they look dated to me. If I do a toile, I make sure it’s an updated look as they can look a little over the hill too.
Custom fabric treatments are all about the contrasting welt, right? I do love a solid welt on a printed slipcover. So crisp and classic.
Every ten years or so, have one or two fresh coats of paint applied to your interior walls. Color trends evolve. Whites are cooler now, with gray undertones. Kelly Moore, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and Dunn Edwards offer beautiful designer colors while Pratt and Lambert, Fine Paints of Europe, and Farrow and Ball have luxury products with high pigment content. I can personally attest to Pratt and Lambert and Farrow and Ball from working with them. Pratt and Lambert’s color specialist helped me choose a beautiful color palate for my arthritic clients and followers in my first ebook Pain Free Decorating.
Always use a flat finish in the public rooms and master bedroom; satin or eggshell in bathrooms, kitchen and children’s areas; and 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 cool, pale gray-blue, and light silvery celadon green are good options for colors that “travel” well from room to room. Reds, terra cottas and other dark, warm colors are much harder to work with in an open floor plan and are definitely not cooling or restful for those of us with heat generating, painful arthritis.
Keep in mind warm dark colors advance, making the room appear smaller while light, cool colors recede, making the room appear larger. And again, since arthritis is a heat generating disease, pale, cooling colors are really comforting for you and your home.
A great way to improve and beautify your home is to give it a makeover. What I totally love about a home makeover is once you do the makeover, you can actually “see” what you need which saves you from making unnecessary purchases. It helps you make the most of what you already have. It keeps you from getting rid of things that you really should save. Once your makeover is complete, you’ll then be able see what purchases are truly needed much better than before. Does that make sense? So a makeover solves multiple challenges.
Makeovers for the living room usually take one to two 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.
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 without expense. As an example, to prepare for a home tour a few 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, silver picture frames, and a small area rug. This supplemented the things I already had. The tour was a success and I enjoy the updates more than I can say.
When shopping for accessories buy only the styles that truly resonate with you. Keep in mind you need to work around your architectural style and existing furnishings, not just your personal taste.
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 some of the furnishings in your home.
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 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.
A Clean Sweep
One of the things I’ve noticed being a home maker and hiring professional life and business coaches (yes, I’m a design coach and I have coaches myself!) is that the cleaner and tidier the home, the more motivated I feel. 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’
And if you want more of arthritis related design and wellness, click here… “Pain Free Design and Wellness” and you’ll get 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!