As we spend more time at home these days, it’s interesting how our physical spaces take on new meaning. Friends of mine, for example, own a landscaping business. They can’t even keep up with the amount of work coming their way! The demand increases as people find themselves settled into their nests contemplating ways in which to enhance the beauty of their yards where they’ll be spending so much time this summer.
What about you? Do you find yourself feeling inspired about your surroundings or perhaps in a bit of a rut?
I do believe wherever or whatever you call home no matter the size or location, there is always opportunities to create a space that supports the way you want to feel. So if you are wanting to create a sweet escape within your own space this summer, here are ten ideas to start you on your journey.
(note… if you prefer listening, you can hop over to Soundcloud.com and search for Meg Daly and you’ll find this week’s episode under my new podcast “Intentional Tranquility with Elegant Evelyn: 10 Ideas To Get Inspired By Your Home.” … I explain more below why there isn’t a hyper link this week! Bear with me as I am going solo on this week’s blog without the help of my fabulous assistant Tracey.)
1. Create Your Vision.
I love decorating magazines. A few of my favorites are Veranda, Beautiful Home, and my all time favorite, The English Home. In fact, I love them so much that I tend to hold on to them way too long! Case in point… This week I organized the 60 or so issues into neat piles convincing myself I would read through all of them before I offered them to friends and neighbors. My niece ironically called me Saturday asking if she could pop over to look through my magazines as she was ready to create a new vision board and collage. “Perfect!” I thought… “now I can finally release them.” It wasn’t easy, but with her help not only did we let the majority of them go… we sifted through them pulling out pages that popped out as inspiring scenes. Within an hour I had fresh ideas on how to arrange a few items in my living room and other ideas on fabric for a coach and chaise. She left excited for ideas for her new apartment at her nearby university. A win win!
2. Explore your city.
With the limited activities available to us these days, I’ve been thinking of other options to feel more connected and inspired. One of them has been picking a new area of my city to walk a few times each week. It’s amazing how the scope of vision adjusts when walking versus driving. I’ve found the most beautiful little nooks and neighborhoods and within them homes of all sizes that inspire me. Their flowers on the front step, the style and color of the home… the overall experienced is like an adventure similar to perusing magazines but in real time.
3. Create a mini spa in your bathroom.
I have found that all the little bottles and potions and scrubbers and facial tools I had in my drawers weren’t doing anything for my complexion as they sat collecting dust. Since I began displaying them on a beautiful mirrored butlers tray stand in my bathroom, I’ve naturally created morning and evening rituals where I actually use the products and am seeing results in my skin as well. I feel as though I’m at a department store counter or a day spa as I choose which item to use for the day. Creating a space that inspires you to care for your skin, body, hair, nails, etc. can be incredibly fun and good for you!
4. Settle into your own hotel.
Staying at a hotel is such a treat because of all the little things…why not implement these simple pleasures at home? For example, wake up to a clean kitchen with the coffee or tea ready and a few of your favorites newspapers, magazines, or books to enjoy the morning. Not only is it a special treat to walk out in the morning slowly waking up to everything laid out, it also opens up time on mornings when you are normally rushing. Cozy robes, your favorite shampoo and soap, a glass water bottle at your bedside, comfy bed linens and pillows are just one of many items to create a cozy atmosphere. It doesn’t take much but instead just a little thought and creativity to create big amounts of joy with little pleasures.
5. Create a signature scent for your home.
My Mom and Dad’s home always smells so pretty thanks to my Mom’s vast array of candles in each of the rooms. The scents of gardenia or vanilla envelope and welcome you like a big hug. 100% soy candles are your best bet to avoid any unneeded chemicals emitted into the air and if candles are your thing….aromatherapy diffusers are wonderful. Pop a few drops of lavender in at night for restful sleep or citrus during the day for energy and see how those subtle scents increase your joy. A dear friend and neighbor recently ordered a diffuser and an array of oils and texted me “I don’t think I am ever going to leave home.” Enough said!
6. Treat yourself to the Sunday Paper.
During these times of isolation, it’s a special treat to walk to the mailbox for “The New York Times” Sunday edition. In fact, the amount of information included in it can last you through the week if you took 30 minutes each day to read.
These days everything is “on demand” and available to us in a click of key stroke. There is something nostalgic and old fashioned in a good way about the anticipation of something arriving once a week. It gives it a special reverence and the waiting makes it that much sweeter.
7. Methodical Decorating.
Speaking of taking your time, try the approach with how you decorate and adorn your home. I have another sweet friend and neighbor in my building who after moving in about 1.5 years ago embarked on a journey of crafting and bringing to life a vision of her new home. She has inspired me to release the need for immediate gratification and ‘buying before deciding” if it really fits with my vision. Each week I looked forward to seeing the evolving bit and pieces of the elegant sanctuary she was joyfully creating. While over a year might sound like a long time to finish a project, it was well worth the wait. The floors, paint color, counter tops, and even flowers and dog items were methodically thought out and as a result, her vision has come to life. In fact, I am willing to guess her journey was just as satisfying and fun as the destination.
8. Fresh flowers and Fresh Sheets.
I love freshly ironed pillow cases. In fact, I love ironing them with a bit of lavender infused in the water/steam compartment. The same holds true for fresh flowers. I think what inspires me about these two are they are so simple and so easy to accomplish…and they both just make me smile.
What are the little things you enjoy at home? Start today with implementing them into your weekly routine.
9. Breakfast in Bed.
Why not? Sometimes doing the opposite of what we “should” do (aka sit at the table) is so much more fun. Plan out your weekend meals to include a yummy breakfast on Sunday morning. Next, find an old fashioned tray at a consignment shop or a more modern one at IKEA or Crate and Barrel and make mornings an elegant and slow treat. Include your newspaper, a beautiful linen napkin, your “nice” dishes and teacups that sit in the cupboard collecting dust along with a few flowers and you’ve got your own personal room service vibe!
10. Name it.
Now, my Mother thinks this is silly but I love the idea of naming your home, condo, apartment, tiny house, etc. Maybe it’s all those decorating shows I watch where the house flippers have fabulous names for the different spots or perhaps it’s the names of the homes in the novels I love (Barton Cottage from Sense and Sensibility, Luckington Court from Pride and Prejudice.)
Either way, I think once again the point is to do what YOU find inspiring. LIfe is short, times can be tough, and as we all know there is heartbreak every day that touches our fellow souls in this thing called life.. so why not find ways in which to add subtle yet grounding whispers of joy in your today, tomorrow, and every day.
Today’s Daily Devotion:
Help me find the joy in the simplest of pleasures today. Drop in little bits of inspiration on my path so that the next 24 hours are sprinkled with joy.
1. Sunday Edition of the “The New York Times”
2. The English Home magazine
3. Making Your Own Bread
4. Afternoon Tea
5. Moments of Silence
P.S. You can listen to this week’s blog by going to Sound Cloud and searching for Meg Daly. You’ll see the audio titled “10 Ideas To Feel Inspired By Your Home.”
P.S.S. Stay tuned for next week when I unveil the new website and vision! Very exciting.
Don’t forget to join my private community on Facebook. It’s called “Intentional Tranquility”– see you there!