Friday, April 8, 2011

Simplify Your Life

Simplify Your Life
Cheryl Grace

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”—William Morris

When you finally make that difficult decision to downsize your home, relocate to a retirement facilitiy or you simply determine that you no longer want to be a slave to house keeping, the first thought is, “What am I going to do with all of my stuff?” Sorting through your possessions, family heirlooms, collectibles, children’s toys and clothing is time consuming. To make the task less complicated, think of the process as room-by-room editing in order to simply your life.

We intuitively know that we need to create a living environment that is a stress free. Doctors report that 75% of patient visits are stress related. Creating a clutter free, clean and organized home makes a huge difference in your ability to weather stress in the outside world. A room filled with cozy furniture, inspiring artwork and simple accessories will contribute to you feeling calm and peaceful in your surroundings. Eliminating clutter and living with less eliminates 40% of the housework in the average home.

Select furniture that is comfortable and sturdy with a timeless design. For your family room, choose a three-cushion sofa in a neural color and two upholstered chairs that can be arranged in a U-shape for an informal display. For smaller scaled rooms, select armless chairs. You can always add chairs from the kitchen or dining area to this basic layout for additional guests. Swivel chairs provide an adaptable alternative for family members and guests join in the conversation or watch TV without moving furniture. This straightforward floor plan keeps your main living area simple.

You’ll create a room that is balanced and symmetrical if the height of the sofa and chairs are all within one or two inches in height. Be sure to examine the design and beauty of the back of any chair to be used in an open floor plan. For smaller rooms, avoid sectional or modular seating, as it’s not as versatile in tight spaces. Ottomans are also resourceful for extra seating without adding bulk to a room.

If limited floor space is an issue in a living room, a round coffee table or stacking tables can help add breathing space to any environment. Use glass surfaces for a see-through style that opens up the area. A fresh coat of paint in cooler colors, such as icy blues, pale greens, and butter yellow will help small rooms feel bigger. Painting some of your furniture, such as divans, the same color as your walls will also make the furniture “disappear” into the background. You can then add stylist knobs to add interest.

Since you spend a third of your life in your bedroom just by sleeping, never skimp comfort of your master bedroom or the quality of your mattress. Pillows can make or break a good night sleep, and most only hold their shape for a few years. Add life to pillows by tossing them in the dryer with three tennis balls once a week. The battering of the tennis balls fluffs the pillows back to their original shape.

Select end tables for either side of your bed in a similar height, weight and finish with drawers or shelves for extra storage. For additional space saving, you can attach matching swing-arm lamps to the wall for reading or accent light. If square footage is still an issue, avoid a bed frame with a footboard or any frame that has curved headboard and footboards as this can take up an additional 10-15 inches of space. Stay away from putting anything under your bed, as it blocks the flow of energy that is essential for restful sleep.

Storage is always an issue in smaller spaces. You can find furniture that also doubles as storage hide-a-ways by choosing a trunk as a coffee table or decorative boxes as corner accessories to store off-season items. A living room sofa bed can double as a guest room sleeping area. The coffee table trunk can double as a place for linens and pillows, and can be easily is moved off to the side when guests are present.

Finally, add pops of color every chance you get to create a mood and personality in every room. Carefully choose the artwork that will fit in your new space that is meaningful for you and doesn’t just add visual clutter. Your selection of art takes on greater meaning when you select it for its ability to bring you both joy and inspiration.

If you have a question on how to redecorate your home or improve your life using Feng Shui principles, email and your question may be featured in a future column.

Cheryl Grace is a professional Feng Shui consultant and nationally certified interior refiner. Contact Cheryl at (941) 400-3816 for a Feng Shui consultation for your home or business. Visit for a full menu of services, seminars, and Feng Shui décor. Cheryl is the Winner of the 2008-2009-2010 Natural Choice Award for Preferred Feng Shui Practitioner.

No comments: