It is no secret that I love to travel! Unfortunately, living through a pandemic has me staying home more than ever. My summer travel is limited to two trips to visit and help family members with life tasks. For a teacher that loves to explore, road trip, and experience new cultures – this is a different kind of summer.
A different kind of summer for sure – but still a summer that I am enjoying, trying new things (recipes, books, movies); getting outdoors (hiking, biking, swimming at our local aquatic center); and staying connected (small social distance gathering in our yard, and online church services and family trivia nights). So yes, staying home and staying close to home still allows me to enjoy, explore, and stay connected. All really good things that bring me daily joy.
I will say that I since I have spent more time at home, I have also spent more time organizing, decorating, simplifying, and creating a small corner of paradise in our home. I love sitting in our small backyard with coffee in the morning, enjoying reading on a swing tucked into the corner, or sharing a meal at our fire topped table. This summer, I have worked a bit more on creating my own getaway in our home.
So yes, I totally miss my travel, and I am so thankful for the past trips that we have been able to take. But right now, right here I am creating a happy experience in my own home.
Although it is important to dream of traveling to far-away places or pursue goals of owning a small get away in the mountains or the beach, I know that you’ll live a happier existence in the meantime if you work to create your own paradise wherever you live. You can have a bit of your dream right now, where you live today, without uprooting your life.
Love Your Home: Creating Your Own Paradise
Try some of these tips to ensure you’re living your best life in the here-and-now:
Accept where you’re living. Whether you’re in a one-bedroom apartment or a small condo downtown, this is your home. This is your own bit of paradise. Be okay living where you live because it’s your home. Maybe for you it is simply a stepping stone that will lead you to the place you want to eventually be. Maybe like me, you have chosen to downsize and live more simply. Your home is your sanctuary.
Set the mood. Do you wish to lift your spirits and energy level when you walk in the door? If so, decorate with brighter colored textiles in furniture, upholstery, and curtains. Have splashes of vivid art on the walls. If you prefer to set a calm and tranquil tone in your own little heaven, use calmer colors like sage greens, beige, and mocha to present a more serene picture when you enter the room. Surround yourself with items that speak to you and arm your heart. No matter where you live, you can set the mood you want most by painting your walls and using evocative colors.
Consider options for your comfort. Do you want different furniture pieces to make your space fit you better or be more comfortable? Maybe you need a more efficient desk to sit at when you’re working at home. Perhaps different lighting fixtures would help. With both my husband and I now working from home, we have had to adapt workspaces to address both of our needs. This has been a longer term way of life than we first anticipated! Addressing our work needs have made it much more doable and comfortable for both of us. Check out our office makeover in our prior home: The Home Office Guest Room Reveal
The key to creating your sanctuary is to set up each room exactly how you want it. This can be done on a budget, too. You don’t have to invest a fortune to create the look and feel that you desire. Consignment shops and thrift stores can be great sources for inexpensive items for your new look. Go ahead and shop online for great deals! I love Wayfair and FB Marketplace.
Learn to love the home you have. Find specific aspects of your space that bring you joy and contentment. Maybe it’s the way the sun streams in the east window of the kitchen in the mornings. Or perhaps you enjoy the open layout between the kitchen, dining, and living room areas. Notice and take full advantage of what you do like about your home. We have downsized, and our home is small as is our backyard, but I love the little nooks that I have created. Stepping outside really helps me feel good about spending so much time at home.
Check out design websites, apps, and books for décor ideas. Look for inspiration such as furniture arrangement, carefully placed treasures, wall colors, and use of textiles to obtain the look and feel you want. Recognize that regardless of the size and location of your home, there are countless ways to alter it to suit your tastes and introduce the qualities you want. I am looking forward to redecorating our living room – now that we spend so much time here, I’d love to lighten it up with lighter colored furniture.
Today more than ever, it is important to show some love to yourself and your home by creating a sanctuary right where you live now. With just a few simple changes and a fresh perspective, you can have your own paradise no matter where you live!
As always, be well, stay healthy, and stay connected.