Housing Happiness

by Carrie Meier

We all have baggage. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young or old, “damaged” or seemingly fine. It doesn’t matter where you originate or what you do for a living. Baggage finds us and defines us in a million ways, obvious or not. It’s a truth easier to accept than to fight or ignore, although many may disagree. While I can see their argument, I stand by mine.

When we acknowledge our baggage, we see its DNA, making it easier to dismantle piece by piece. We identify it as a separate entity and lighten ourselves from the weight of its grasp. It’s not a perfect process, but we need to recognize it before we can release it.

Without getting too psychoanalytical, the contents of our home often reflect the status of our emotional and mental health as much as they reflect our current season of life or familial, social, or financial situations. My roommates in college loved watching “Hoarders.”  I’d cringe and dismiss myself, my empath heart breaking for these people clearly using physical items to fill vast and intensely intimate emotional voids. Yes, interior design is deeply psychological in many ways.

Colors have incredible power over our moods, our sleep cycles, our inner drive, heck even our appetites. A furniture or home layout can define how we relax (or don’t) in a space, communicating directly to our inner wellness and the connectivity of our families. Texture, print, the feeling of the surfaces within our space all send messages to our brains, drawing conscious and subconscious responses. Just as Google relies on algorithms to know us before we know ourselves, interior design has algorithms of its own, and they are deeply connected to our mind, body, and soul.

So, in pairing my design expertise with the tides of resolution-making season, I challenge you to look at your own baggage and see its authority over your physical space. Are you holding onto a piece of furniture or decor because it was your great-great-so-and-so’s, leaving you too guilty to move on from it? Do you have material anchors tying you to a chapter of your life that no longer serves you? What about your space brings you discomfort and why? Is your space lacking connection to you or your life passions? Are you (or those people/things that you love) represented in art, pictures, or decor? Does anything speak to your perspectives or experiences? Does the color, layout, or furnishings bring you the energy or solace you require?  Ha! I said I wouldn’t get too psychoanalytical.

I want you to be well. The world needs you to be present, listening, speaking up, and pitching in. We need you to create new possibilities and heal what’s been broken. In creating your resolutions to empower “You; 2022”, don’t forget about the space that houses your soul just as it does your body. Tune in to what’s missing; what’s necessary to create a connection that feeds your inner wellness. Eliminate the noise and the guilt. Connect yourself to a state of presence that recharges you at both a subconscious and conscious level. Our design choices can do this and it’s a powerful practice. Okay, you can get off “the couch” and get back to yours. I hope it finds you well.