5 effective tips to make your home more relaxing

Do you ever walk into a space and can't help but feel at ease - or conversely, can't help but feel like your skin is crawling? There is a certain flow to how we move about in our lives and through the spaces we navigate. It's important to make your space work the best for your life. One of the best complements I could receive when someone comes into my home is hearing the words that my space is cozy and inviting. Say that to me and I will promptly pour you a glass of vino. What do you want people to feel like when they come into your space? Better yet; what do you want to feel like? Chill, right? Same.


1. HAVE A FABULOUS FRONT ENTRANCE

First, your "front door" is the door you mainly use to enter your home. If you always enter the side door that leads into your kitchen, then that's your front door. If your front door is blocked, never used and toting a sign that says "please use back door" disregard it as your front entrance. Your front door is frequently opened allowing all that good energy to fly into your home. If this space is cramped, messy or experiencing a lot of wear and tear, it sets the tone for all the energy coming into your house. Your first course of action is to spruce up your front door. Give it a fresh coat of paint and new hardware if things are getting a little dingy. I love bright doors - I painted mine a rich coral colour last summer. If you have a window on your front door, make sure there are no broken or dirty blinds cramping its style. If you live in an apartment and can't paint or change the doorknob, make sure there is no mud or dirt on your door. Keep it as tidy as possible. Remember that cute little frame around the peep hole on Monica and Rachel's door on the TV show friends? That's a nice little welcoming touch. A cute welcome mat can also do wonders. It's imperative there is no clutter by the front door, because energy can actually "trip up" on this clutter and not make its way throughout your home. Hang nice artwork that makes you feel all tingly so it's the first thing you see when you come home. Have a place for your keys, too, so if you need a little side table, hunt one down. Don't just come in and toss things on the ground. Make sure everything has its place. You want the energy to enter your house, take a nice big breath in and then circulate through your home - exploring each room.

Front entrance rules: Keep it bright. Keep it clean. Make sure everything has a place. Put your shoes away. Give your door some TLC.
 

2. IF IT'S BROKE, FIX IT. OR TOSS IT.

This is a big one. We have a rule in my house - even if I'm the only enforcer - if a plate or cup is chipped, it goes into the garbage. I don't care if it's a favourite or if it holds the perfect amount of milk, or if it's brand new - it's got to go. This was especially hard when my ceramic Muuto coffee press cracked... but I followed my rule. Broken, chipped or cracked items are little savages for suckling all that good energy. It will hang around the broken item for too long and become stagnant.

 If a light bulb is burnt out, replace it. If your front door squeaks, fix it. If that cupboard door hinge is falling apart, get a new one. I know you have to be realistic; my favourite credenza has a broken leg. I'm not tossing it, no matter how much my spouse begs - it's my favourite piece, and it was expensive. But once it makes its move into the baby's room, that leg is getting repaired. (Fast forward: it's fixed!)

Broken or damaged items are an annoyance to us and affect our energy. Every time we walk in front of that breezy front door that has shifted too much with the changing seasons, it's an irritant. Every time we snag our lip on that chipped cup, it's a little poke. That's not relaxing. It's hella annoying. You know how good it feels to have everything in working order, and how irritating it can be when broken items start to pile up. Go through your home and find all the broken items. Decide on whether you're fixing them, and if not, huck them in the garbage bin. Boom. Done.

Broken item rules: Fix it or toss it. No ifs ands or buts.


3. MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL

OK. I love mirrors. I love how much they bring the light into the house (my house used to face North and had tricky lighting, so I was picking about our new home's direction - it's South now!) and the reflection makes my space feel even bigger than it is. But mirrors need to be strategically placed. Here are a couple rules when it comes to mirrors:

A) Never hang a mirror in front of the front door. This will bounce the energy right back outside the house. I personally like a mirror near the front door because I like to give myself one final once over before I leave. You know, so I know I don't have lipstick in my teeth or my shirt tucked into my underwear. But this mirror is beside the front door, not in front of it. 

B) Never hang a mirror at the bottom of your stairs. By hanging a mirror at the bottom of your stairs, it's doing the opposite thing to the energy than it was at the front door. It's bouncing the energy up and down the stairs making the energy too yang: too masculine, fast, forceful. While a little bit of yang is good (think a bright red accent wall), too much can make us high strung. It can even make us run down the stairs too quickly, tripping up if we're prone to clumsiness. Not fun. And since we're going for a relaxing environment, hanging a picture we love to look at at the bottom of the stairs - not a mirror - is a better way to enhance that space.

C) Never hang a mirror at the end of your bed. HERE'S A FUN ONE: I have a mirror at the end of my bed! Sometimes we feel like our hands are tied based on the layout of our rooms. My bedroom vanity only fits at the cut out in the room, which happens to be opposite the end of my bed. But the reason we don't want to hang a mirror at the end of our bed is because at night this acts as an invitation for spirits and other energies to enter the room while we are asleep. Um, no thanks. Waking up, half groggy, and catching a glimpse of yourself isn't a good thing for more than one reason, but in that half asleep state we can sometimes unknowingly interact with an energy that we would otherwise not want to. But there's a cure! Cover the mirror up at night. If it's a standing mirror and the mirror can swivel or turn, make sure it's not pointing on you while you sleep. This is how mirrors used to be: you used to be able to rotate them at night, facing them away and not reflecting anything. We've changed that.

My mirror is mounted to the wall so I can't cover it. If this is the case for you as well, and you have no other place to put a mirror, place a deterrent in front of it. A nice bouquet of flowers or creeping plant is a good deterrent and will actually help "trip up" the energy like we talked about before. Just remember to keep your plant healthy. A bright lamp is also a good deterrent.

Mirror rule: Always be mindful of what the mirror is reflecting.


4. PAY ATTENTION TO THE BED

Oh the bed. The bed is so important. The position of your bed is arguably the most important feature in your bedroom. The bed can NOT be facing your bedroom door. If you're laying in bed at night and your feet are pointing out the door, this is considered the mortuary position and brings terrible luck. If your bed is at an angle to the door, that's fine. Just make sure it doesn't line up with the door. I'm telling you - things can happen at night while we're asleep! Make sure your bedroom is a heavenly, stress-free dwelling for you to retreat to. Buuuut things happen: maybe your bed HAS to go that way, then my friend you need a deterrent like the plant on my vanity mentioned above. Have a plant near the bedroom door (but not blocking it) and be extra mindful to sleep with your bedroom door closed at night. Your doors should always be closed at night, but be extra careful to do this if your bed is in the mortuary position. But like seriously try to move it. You'll have bad dreams.

Check out this post on how to bliss out your bedroom.

Bed rules: Don't place your bed in front of the door. Keep the bedroom door closed. Have space to walk around your bed on both sides.
 

5. YOUR BEDROOM IS YOUR SAFE HAVEN

We now know the bedroom needs to feel heavenly and stress-free. It's your retreat! Have you ever slept in a messy room? I bet it sucked. You probably tossed and turned. Here are some bedroom tips:

A) Have two night tables. Things set in twos brings luck in love. For the longest time I had one night table beside my bed - the side I slept on. And I also had a slew of relationships. Whoops! By having things like a night table in twos, you're setting the tone for someone else to enter your life. That means two bedside lamps, too.

B) NO TV in your room. If you really want to zap your sex life, place a TV in your room! TVs, computers or gym equipment is no place for your haven. Your haven is a place for romance and sleep, and that's it. Electronics and gym equipment have more of that "yang" energy that is anything but restful. While that energy is good for, say, a work environment, it's not good for sleep. "But I have to fall asleep with the radio/TV on!" Fine. Have a dissatisfying sex life and crappy sleeps. I can't fix your bad habits, but if you're curious, just take the TV out for a week and see how you feel.

C) NO clutter under the bed. Ohhhh I used to be bad for this. I had a small room so I just stuffed everything under my bed. But sleeping on top of a pile of clutter is a really bad way to stress out your subconscious. Just like sleeping in a messy room is bad for us, sleeping on top of all our "stuff" is just as unhealthy. This is lessened if your items are in neat storage bins (I know, we have to be modern) but all this does it create a place for energy to become stagnant, exploring a place is shouldn't be for too long. Some beds touch the ground, others hover. If yours hovers, you want to keep it swept and clean so that chi can flow right under it.

Bedroom rules: Keep it clean. Have your furniture set in twos. Treat the bed like a sanctuary. No technology. Keep your bedroom door closed at night. See BED RULES.