Skip to main content

House Therapy: Refresh - Renew - Reinvent

Jan 19, 2017 03:30PM ● By Ren Campbell

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
      -- Lao Tzu   

For the New Year you can help your home support you by making simple, inexpensive changes.

We can’t all afford to make sweeping changes in our home at those crucial times in life when what really needs to be done is an overhaul; emotionally, physically, spiritually. I wouldn’t recommend taking on a new project or making any expensive purchases during such a time either. There just isn’t the energy available, but the home must be a support for us as we renew ourselves, particularly during challenging times.

So—how to refresh as we reinvent?

Some people have no relationship to space. If this seems familiar to you it does not mean you cannot live in a beautiful environment that brings you peace of mind. Others can be overwhelmed with an ongoing relationship with space. I’m one of the latter. For people like me, changing our homes is an ongoing adventure until we hit the ‘ahhh’ moment, or at least until we want to try a new color, that’s when we buy a new pillow. Here are a few simple actions you can take to begin letting your home help you reinvent yourself:

  • Paint it white. Create a fresh canvas before deciding on the new you and a new wall color. You can choose a lovely shade leaning towards grey or containing a tint of umber for something warm that doesn’t interfere with existing colors in the room.

  • Let go. Remove the objects and furnishings that remind you of “before.” In my home I had to give away a perfectly good sofa after my dog Lucas died because that was the place he’d curl up on my lap and take a nap or press up next to me after I returned home. I could not keep that sofa and be at peace in the room.

  • Comfort Level. If you are unsure why a room is uncomfortable ask yourself “Is the furniture laid out for someone who is no longer here?” and “Do I like sitting in this room?” Moving furniture can be a cathartic experience. You’ll also be able to more easily tackle the next one:

  • Clean. Move the old stagnant energy out. Light incense. Ring a bell. Shake it up. Take a broom and sweep towards the door.

  • Reorganize. Remove all the old accessories and lay them out on a spare bed or table in a different room. Look at the space and then slowly move items back one by one. They can go back in the same place OR they can go somewhere else OR they can wait to be dealt with later.

  • Retail Therapy. Buy a new pillow! Pick one in a fresh color that just makes you happy regardless of whether it matches anything else in your house and enjoy it. You never know where it might lead.


About the author: Ren Campbell has practiced the discipline of architectural interior design for over 30 years. He’s been a University studio instructor and currently consults with individuals on their issues concerning their homes and how they live in them. For House Therapy questions, email [email protected].

Read more of Ren's House Therapy