What is a soulful home?
It's not about creating a staged, static, (sometimes impractical) collection of impersonal furnishings that we don't always need, positioned to look nice. Instead it's a real life curation of meaningful belongings that make us feel good and support (often tiny but) important functions in our everyday lives, positioned beautifully (but practically) in our homes.
It's about sustainable comfort rather than luxury. It's about looking at what we already own as well as what we don't yet have, and it's about creating beautiful, yes, but also more honest and nurturing homes.
In order to start cultivating a soulful home, we need to look at our homes as they are now, so that we can begin to work out which items are valuable to us and why? (The why is quite important) We then need to identify which items are NOT valuable to us so that we can start to make space for alternatives or, controversially lose them entirely? With space becoming more of a premium in our lives, this might be the time to consider a bit of streamlining.
This is also a really good opportunity to address the overall design of a room. By making a concise list of things that we love about our homes we can draw attention to those things that we don't love quite as much, and start to prioritise the pieces that need the most consideration.
How can we achieve this?
5 steps to cultivating a more soulful home.
1) Print this FREE worksheet
Choose one room to get started with and write a list of everything inside the room, from the furniture to the accessories. (leaving out personal belongings such as clothing/toiletries etc)
2) Carefully consider the personal value of each item on the list and rate it from 1-10 (1 being not very valuable to you, 10 being the most valuable)
Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself when valuing your belongings:
a) Does it make you smile?
b) Do you LOVE it?
c) Does it support an IMPORTANT function?
(sometimes the smallest functions are the most important)
d) Have you already been thinking about rehoming or replacing it?
e) Does it represent your own unique style?
(more on this coming soon)
f) Is it in line with your values?
3) When you have finished marking each piece, have a look at your list. What do the numbers look like? Are there any items that scored 5 or below?
TIP If you find that an item supports an important function but you don't LOVE it - consider how you could change it into something that you DO love. Can you paint it, swap it, sell it or replace it?
4) Next, make a second list of all the items that scored below a 5, and consider writing them in either the 're-home', 'replace' or repurpose' column.
TIP If you find that you have valued every single item above a 5 but still feel like you need to streamline, go back and repeat the exercise. If the same happens again, have a think about whether you are scoring too high, you might need to be more ruthless.
5) Prioritise. Don't panic about restructuring your home straight away but by prioritising your list you can begin to understand the process ahead and start planning your route towards creating a more soulful home.
TIP If you are still struggling to part with anything after you have finished this exercise, try another room. It may be that you already have a very soulful home or it might be that you find it hard to let things go. If the later is the case, consider putting some items away for a while to see if you miss them, or if they are small enough, inside a memory box to clear some extra space in the room. You could always keep a few special items to display later on.
As you begin to replace or add new items to your home, be mindful of the steps above. Thinking through this process can also help us work out whether or not a new item is worth our investment.
Building a soulful home is a very personal process, and this is why I have decided to spend the next few posts in this series taking you behind-the-scenes of a barn conversion that I am currently working on with artist and owner Tara Leaver. I will be interviewing Tara and chatting about the brief and mood board as we follow the renovation step by step. We will be sharing all the room schemes and shopping lists and as a super bonus will be providing all the interior designs as downloadable pdfs in case you want to recreate any of the styles!
Happy homes homies.