House Rules

Do you make new year’s resolutions? I only make them for my house. I know I need to eat less chocolate, drink less coffee and exercise more but what’s the fun in that? Besides how could I accomplish my resolutions if I wasted the energy I get from chocolate and coffee on exercising more?  The goal is to create a house that feels like home and reflects me and my family – here’s how we’ve been working towards that:

Stop comparing.

After all it’s not a contest! There is no prize for the best house (well actually there is, but winning won’t make your life better). Every year magazines publish entire issues devoted to the latest trends, the colour of the year and the must-haves in decor. But this is the year to put down the magazines and choose for yourself what you want your house to be. Magazines and online sites like Pinterest are great sources of inspiration but they shouldn’t be the only source. Travel, art, literature and architecture are also important and it’s what has inspired designers long before Instagram was telling us how to live. It really doesn’t matter which colour or trend is the look of the year, the one that you love is the right one.

Stop buying art at big box stores.

Instead search your local universities, antique stores, auction houses and even Instagram to find art and artist that reflect your style. Check out Artsy to discover, bid and buy new and emerging artists. Find more art inspiration here and here.

Stop being cheap.

Start buying quality. Consider how and where a piece of furniture is made. A well made piece will stand the wear and tear of everyday life and look good longer than a cheaply made one. Price isn’t always the best indicator of quality. Research, ask questions and examine the piece to see if it’s good quality. If you can’t find something of quality in your area that fits your need consider repainting or repurposing an existing piece of well made furniture.

Stop collecting things you don’t need.

Get rid of the clutter and decor items that don’t make you happy. It’s okay to let go of things that you once loved but don’t anymore. Also, two years worth of back copies of People magazine doesn’t make anyone happy. Let that go.

Start creating the life you want at home.

Eat food that makes you feel good. Play music that makes your space feel happy, cozy or whatever mood you need in this moment. Do the things that bring you joy. Remember that your home is for you and should serve the people in it. This is not an all at once goal. When we had children we decided that we didn’t want to be the family that was out every night of the week running here and there. Instead we wanted to be the family that ate a leisurely dinner together and made time for conversation and connections,  so we limit what we do during weekday evenings.  It’s not always easy to say no to the things that get in the way of this goal. There have been volunteer opportunities, extracurricular activities and many other events that we could have packed into our busy week but sticking by this goal has made it easier on us and our children. There’s a comfort in knowing what to expect when you walk into the door of your home.

So cheers to the new year and all the promise that it holds for our homes and our families. I’d love to hear what your house resolutions are for 2019!


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