Home is supposed to be where the heart is but, how much heart do we put into our homes? When we allow someone into a place we have made “home”, we are often sharing a bit of ourselves at the same time. The furnishings, color scheme, wall hangings, and extras that fill this space are not simply a reflection of taste or financial standing. We often choose decor with some deliberate intent and may even use it as a means to help bolster an image that we hope to cultivate however, our choice of decor frequently reflects a subconscious state of mind while, at the same time, influencing it.
This reflection may result in a positive or negative feedback loop depending on the status of our projection. Fear or a preference for the “safe” route can lead to dull or washed out colors along with simple lines and patterns used in excess, yet a desire to appear bold or exotic can result in the reverse. When a living space is used as more of a showplace and is not “lived in”, it does not feel like a “home” and is clearly a projection of an image one wishes to convey. A home that is “lived in” contains elements that indicate regular use such as points of wear on furniture and books, items absent from their usual placement or left in an open space, and at least some dust or dirt that has accumulated in one or more areas of the residence.
A home that is “lived in” but not fully cared for on the other hand, can become cluttered, filthy, and impassable. A “home” that one feels comfortable in can range from filthy to sterile, sparse to cluttered, dimly lit to exceedingly bright. A healthy balance between all of these aspects can help to promote a positive atmosphere that will not only encourage a sense of well-being and comfort for the residents of a space but, visitors will also be more likely to enjoy time spent there. Cleanliness without sterility, comfortable furnishings without clutter, and a sufficient amount of natural light alongside artificial lighting that has been chosen for color, as much as for efficiency, are often key to a pleasant atmosphere as these elements have been associated with tranquility, balance, warmth and, at times, imagination.