Imagine you are just returning from a long vacation, somewhere tropical perhaps. As you turn through familiar streets, all you can think about is getting home. No matter what exciting or relaxing paradise you may have just been in hours ago, when you open your front door, the familiar sights and smells will be the most welcoming and desirable sensations in the world.
It’s not just a physical space, a few walls and assorted furniture, but it’s an extension and reflection of your very self. Believe it or not, your home says a lot about you. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” can be roughly translated to fit this idea, “a home can tell a hundred stories.” Discover what your dwelling is telling, and how you can easily add more of your own unique personality to it.
When I enter my home, I exhale deeply and feel tranquility in the air. My simple décor with natural wood, and green plants welcomes me back from the day’s events. I sit on my pile of cream cushions I call a couch, as if it were a finish line for the day and soak in the peace I find in the living room. Evenings in my home are my favourite. I turn on music, usually relaxing pop or jazz, pour a drink, light a scented candle and turn down the lights before I do anything else. This time is mine. Why would I go about the evening’s events in the quiet well-lit space when I could enjoy ambiance? In a way, I know this is a reflection of my personality. I prefer to enjoy the process of life. I would much rather move at a slower pace and smell the flowers than feel the stresses of the world. But, since the world and its stresses are inevitable, I find myself and become refreshed in my home.
I am not alone. “For many people, their home is part of their self-definition” states Susan Clayton, an environmental psychologist at the College of Wooster. In the western world, many believe our home is an extension of our self. It is human nature to want to belong, be accepted, and be loved. Our homes are a controllable aspect of our life in which we can present who we want to be. In the same way, our homes bring us the sense of acceptance and support through the elements that produce memories, comforts, and dreams.
While the world may see your home as a reflection of you, you also may need to allow the space to be more of who you are, or who you want to be. Everyday there are choices we make that turn us away from who we are as a person. Some choices are voluntary and noticeable, while others are involuntary and subtle. Regardless, having a space to be yourself, greatly helps with the stresses and sacrifices you make throughout the day.
Professor Gosling, Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas, shares his research on the ways humans choose their thoughts and feelings. The items we decorate with and deliberately choose for our space bring emotions and memories to the forefront of our mind. “The goal here is to make us think about certain things to feel a certain way” says Gosling. Not only do you have control over how you want others to see you, even more important is the emotions you want to feel in your home.
How exactly does your home tell about you? Of course, this answer will be different for everyone, but start by looking around your house (or imagining it, if you are not at home). What do you see when you look at your home? Start outside the front door. Are there plants, signs, a welcome mat or door décor? If so, what are they like? Are they neat and organised, symmetrical and spaced, or are they eclectic and sporadic? Is there seating outside, or perhaps there is nothing on the exterior at all? While there is no right or wrong, these details come from your personality and will likely reflect you and your own style.
Repeat this same process with the inside of your home. Is the living room or gathering space neat and cozy or spaced out and carefully situated? What is on the walls, and how do you move throughout the house? What colours are on display, and where are the eyes drawn to in each room? Pause and listen, do you have music playing, or does the silence invite a time of meditation and relaxation? All of these nuances come from you, the designer and grand influencer of your home’s style. In a sense, your home is much like your clothing you wear, chosen to reflect the things you value and want to show the world.
In the same way our home can be a reflection of the person you want to be. If you desire a less stressful life, invite tranquility into your home with a luxurious scented candle. Maybe you are unsatisfied at the moment, breath in and create change with the addition of a Turkish Fig and Vetiver candle. To accept yourself more, or make space for change and growth, your home is a great place to start.