The irony of twenty-first century life is palpable. In an age of daily technological advancements which are designed to make our lives easier, we feel like we have less time than ever. In an environment of social media and digital connections, many Americans are lonelier and less happy than previous generations.

In today’s tech-driven, fast-paced world, people look to home as the place they can escape from busy, frantic lives and reconnect to what’s important. More than mere bricks and lumber that house people and things, our homes have become a place to rest and recuperate from the frenzied pace of the world.

The act of creating a sanctuary-like home can be simple and rewarding. Our dwellings need to be calm, nurturing spaces that are filled with things we love. Here are few steps for achieving a safe, comfortable, sanctuary-like home:

  1. Declutter your space. In a culture where we have more than enough, removing excess can be a daily chore. In the traditional Chinese art of Feng Shui, it’s believed that our surroundings are linked to our energy, moods and life path. Every object in your house is in some way speaking to you; what are your belongings saying to you? Does it support your life and the future you’re building? Whether it’s a stack of old magazines or that pair of jeans in the back of the closet that you hope to one day fit back in to, it’s taking up valuable space and energy in your mind and your home. Taking 10 minutes a day to tackle an unruly closet or junk drawer is an easy way to start the process of decluttering your home. The reward will be a clean, open space that allows energy to flow and new opportunities to stream into your life.
  2. Balance is key. A room of all tile and glass can be sterile, cold and unwelcoming. To balance the elements of a home or individual room, take a look at the space and notice what’s missing. Introducing a custom wood feature adds natural warmth and a soothing tone to balance cool spaces. Adding a mirror will expand the space and adding a pop of color or a painted accent wall helps to draw people in and make them feel welcome. Notice what brings you joy. It could be a vase of fresh flowers or a bowl of vibrant oranges that keeps the energy lifted in your home and life.
  3. Personalize your space. Customizing your home to reflect your personal style is important in creating an attractive space that you’re happy to come home to. Distinguish your home with unique light fixtures, statement tile or by creatively displaying treasured family heirlooms. If you like to entertain, create a warm and inviting dining room to host gatherings for your friends and family. The return of the dining room is on the rise as we intentionally designate space to foster personal connections we may be missing in our day-to-day lives. Bringing in candles, plants, positive artwork, plush linens or other items of significance adds value and a personal touch. Enhancing your living space can be achieved in simple ways through rearranging and adding art or textiles or it can be done through larger upgrades of painting, updating lighting, cabinets and more.

Clearing, balancing and personalizing your home can provide a welcome refuge for you, your family and guests to enjoy. Start the process of creating a sanctuary-like home by removing anything that is unwanted, broken, or no longer necessary. Harmonize the space with a balance of elements. Look for durable, natural and comfortable furniture and décor to support and enhance your daily life. Add some personal touches that speak to you and express your values and ideals. Enjoy the process of cultivating a place of refuge to recuperate from the hectic pace of our modern world; your home and your life will be better for it!