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Around the home

Let Your Home Tell a Story

manuelita otero

We just moved into an apartment and we decided to use our “fancy” and more comfortable sofa in the family room, since that is where we spend most of our time.  Our sofa is beige and before we moved in we said no drinks or food near the area.  This rule was soon broken, starting with me because I wanted to sit there and drink my coffee and my children wanted to be able to eat snacks while watching T.V. 

It seems that sometimes we decorate our home to make it look beautiful and appealing for our guests, but we forget that it should also be comfortable and enjoyable for the people who live in it. 

When was the last time you had a candle dinner with your “expensive” silverware and the china you only take out for special occasions? Or how often do you sit in your “fancy” living room and just enjoy a hot cup of tea?  Do you listen to your favorite music when you are cooking or relaxing? Why do we seem to decorate our home for our guests, instead of enjoying it for ourselves every day? 

“Find yourself by recognizing what gives you pleasure, what makes you feel good and brings you delight. The act of separating yourself from what is phony, pretentious or trendy opens wide doors to reveal the real you.” Alexandra Stoddard

Our home is our refuge; it should reflect who we are and what we enjoy.  What good is it to have expensive furniture if we are constantly worried that our children, pets or guests are going to ruin it?  We want our home to give us peace of mind, not an additional source of stress. 

Our house doesn’t have to be big or elegant; it should be comfortable and reflect who we are. In our house we need to have certain spaces where we feel so good that all we can do is smile. Designer Joy Cho says, “Your home is your sanctuary, it should reflect the emotions you want to surround yourself with” So what emotions are you looking forward to be around in your home? 

Here are some ideas for you to enjoy your home even more: 

- Get a fresh start: Get serious about de-cluttering.  Whatever you don’t use, doesn’t add value or just takes space should go.  We feel lighter and happier when we get rid of things we don’t need.  Not only that, but it also makes it easier to keep our house organized and clean.

- Surround yourself with beautiful things: We often hear that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that is true.  We all appreciate different things and those things are the ones we should enjoy more often and have around our house.

I love candles, flowers, music, bright paintings, tribal prints and cushions; and that is what I love to see when I walk around my space.  Use the beautiful things you have, share your collections by displaying them and using them if possible. 

- Make sure you enjoy what you have: Eat at the table using your “fancy” dishes, whether you are alone or with family and friends. 

Find your comfy place to relax in your home. If you don’t have one, make one. Try to work by a window or a place where you can look away and be inspired.   Do you have a fireplace, bathtub, Jacuzzi, pool, or gym? Use it!   Remember to take advantage of the outside too; a balcony, patio and nearby park can all become an extension of your home. 

Keep exploring to find what you like to do and how you can enjoy your home even more. Remember it is your special place. Let your home tell a story… your story.

Manuelita   @manuelitaotero