Home Decor

Design tips: how to create tranquility at home.

Where is your proverbial "happy place?"" Lost somewhere in the depths of your memories perhaps? When you find you have misplaced your happy place, you know it is time to create a new one within the four walls that surround you. After all, Dorothy had it right – there really is no place like home. Follow these tips to turn your home into a fortress of tranquility and happiness.

1. Warm your welcome.

What's the first thing you see when you walk in the door? An entryway that looks like a burglar ransacked it without taking a single thing? Time to train the kids (and maybe your partner, too). Give everything in your entryway a home of its very own with storage bins and canvas totes monogrammed with labels to make knowing what goes where a simple process. Select earthy storage containers made of natural seagrass, canvas, and cotton rope instead of harsher plastic ones to give your entryway an instantly welcoming vibe.

2. Reclaim your kitchen/dining room.

This space has a way of turning into command headquarters. Reclaim the space and turn the eye of the storm back into your family's place to come together over a meal that unites them at the end of the day. First: declutter. Keep only what you need on the fridge. Take the oversized calendar off the wall. By hanging it just inside the door of the pantry the family will still be able to view their obligations without the order of events for each and every day of the entire month staring them in the face at all times. Then find small ways to incorporate the color of happiness: blue. No need to repaint the entire area. Instead, filter joy in by relying on blue as an accent color. Table linens like napkins, tablecloths, and placemats are the obvious way to go about it. However, sending a stronger subliminal message never hurts. Try eating from blue dinnerwear to lighten the mood of your family's next mealtime conversation.

3. Get a handle on the laundry.

If your living room has become less about "living" and more about "staying alive," here are a few tips. First, remove the laundry. Buy each child two laundry hampers in their favorite color to serve as a motivator. Monogram the child's name on each bin. On one, add the additional monogram "clean," and on the other, the monogram ... you guessed it: "dirty." Keep both laundry bins in their bedrooms. Teach your children to run the washer and dryer. Check in from time to time to see how it is going, but other than that, your work here is done. Now that you've gotten your living room back, refresh it a bit so it feels like a new space. Votive candles, knit and fleece throws, decorative pillows, and a new area rug, all in a mix of greys and silvers to remind you that you weathered this storm like a true captain.

4. Clean up the bathroom.

When your bathroom is a swirl of "I need the mirror for a sec" and "Have you seen my makeup case" and "Ugh! How much longer is he going to be in there," tranquility seems like a pretty far stretch. But your soul needs what that bathroom has to offer now that your spa days have become way too few and far between. Dedicate a little slice of your day as "me time" (maybe after the kids have gone to bed). For a spa-like experience at home, replace your bath mats and rugs with ones in earth tone shades. Soak in a hot bath. Dry off in a plush cotton bath towel. Give yourself a facial. Wrap your body in a warm terry cloth robe. Slide those aching feet into a pair of cozy slippers. Whatever decompresses you, set aside time to do it. Aromatherapy is also highly beneficial when used in a steamy bathroom. Lavender is the most common, but don't forget the powers of lemon, orange, rose, geranium, peppermint, eucalyptus, and frankincense for inducing a feeling of overall tranquility.

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