Your home, regardless of its size, should be a sanctuary from the jumbled noise and anxieties of the outside world. But living a big, bold, inspired lifestyle in a teeny, tiny apartment can be a challenge sometimes. Remember that large spaces are not necessary to ignite inspiration. (After all, think about how many distractions they can hold!) Creating a space that you can truly relax in requires maximizing storage and layout to avoid clutter while still staying true to your personal tastes, dreams, and inspirations.
To create the home of your dreams, start by asking yourself these questions:
- What do you need in this space for daily living?
- What do you need to make it comfortable?
- What do you need for relaxation?
- What do you need for inspiration?
Make a list of answers for each one, then compare your lists to the actual contents of your apartment. What objects lie outside these lists? Do you really need them? Consider life without them, and start to declutter and downsize. By focusing on the true purpose of your apartment—and what you need in it to achieve serenity and inspiration—you will take an important step toward creating a more mindful and inspired home.
Once you've completed this exercise and cleared up what you really want, these five quick décor tips can bring you much closer to your dream space:
1. Dedicate a space to meditation.
Carving out a dedicated space for meditation may seem like a challenge, especially in an already cramped apartment. But it doesn't have to be difficult, and it's oh so worth it. Keeping a dedicated space for meditation will help you make the practice part of your daily life. Choose an area that is removed from distractions (i.e., away from the TV and kitchen) and ideally one filled with natural light. Add a floor pillow or mat, an oil diffuser, and a candle, and you're well on your way to your own personal Zen studio.
2. Use soothing, harmonious colors to encourage relaxation.
Choosing a color palette with soothing, harmonious colors for your home creates harmony and flow from room to room. Not to mention, coordinated colors can actually make your apartment feel more spacious! Select soft colors like pale blue, beige, or pastel green to encourage relaxation and peace.
3. Connect with nature indoors.
Decorating with houseplants and natural materials can help you create a home that is relaxing and inspiring. Houseplants help purify the air and add life, vibrancy, and color to your décor scheme. Use natural materials like wood, bamboo, and linen in furniture and textile choices. Pinecones, seashells, branches, and fresh greenery are natural choices for decorative accents.
4. Hang works of art that inspire you.
Art is an essential part of any inspiring home. Place it in the focal point of a room where it will catch your eye, and be sure to choose pieces that portray subjects, memories, or dreams that are meaningful for you. Don’t simply buy a piece of artwork because the artist is important or the colors match your space!
5. Make a habit of tackling clutter and mess.
If your apartment is messy all the time, with dirty dishes or mail piled up and laundry strewn about, chances are it won't feel very welcoming. It’s tempting to tell yourself that you just don’t have time to do the dishes, but this monologue suggests that such chores are beneath you and unimportant. Change your perspective. Take a cue from Buddhist practice when approaching cleaning and cooking: Do it with mindfulness and nonjudgment. Then, sit back and enjoy the peace that comes from a clutter-free space.
Struggling to declutter your space in the first place? Check out how this one small tweak helped one homeowner get rid of 25,000 things.