Can a beautiful home make you happy?

In the book “Women and Stress” Jean Lush writes that “beauty and a sense of order in your home are functional. They have a purpose and are not unnecessary luxuries. Creating beauty around us gives us a sense of accomplishment, charges us with energy, and reduces tension.”

Living room by Rivalee Design (www.rivalee.com)

Living room by Rivalee Design (www.rivalee.com)

Many of my clients wait years to call me because they feel that spending money on their home is wasteful, self-indulgent and worldly, but as a result they spend those years feeling like their home is unfinished and for many it means that they don’t have friends and family over to enjoy their home because they feel embarrassed.

“Beauty is not just for the rich and famous. It is right for everyone and fundamental to emotional health” writes Lush. And beauty need not be expensive. It’s about prioritizing the items in your home, getting rid of what is not needed, and making the most of what you have. Of course, it usually involves a can of paint and a good vacuuming, too, because while things don’t need to be sterile, they should be clean enough that wrestling on the floor with your kids doesn’t give you a face full of old cheerios and dog hair.

Frank Lloyd Wright taught his students that beauty dissolves conflicts, quiets us within, inspires us, creates a sense of happiness and serenity, refreshes us, and consoles us in times of depression. “Beauty,” he added, “is not unnecessary or impractical.”

If life has you feeling overwhelmed, try spending an afternoon getting one room in order. Take at least 10%, if not 50%, of the stuff to Goodwill. Open the windows and close the closet doors. There is a good chance that you’ll feel better afterwards, and be better prepared to face some of the harder tasks in your life.

Hi! I’m Rebecca West.

I’m not your classic interior designer because, frankly, I don’t care if you buy a new sofa. I do care if your home supports your goals and feels like “you.” Remember, happy starts at home!


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