How to Make Your Home Your Haven
By Sandy Schroeder
You can tell if a home is a haven when you walk inside. When it is a haven, everything fits. There are no jarring colors or messy spots. Instead there is an easy, mellow atmosphere that simply fits the owners.
You may spot books, sports equipment, intriguing artwork, or other items that tell you who the owners are. Whatever works for the inhabitants has a place.
Start With Who You Are
Creating a haven for you and your family starts with who you are. Then you have to spend the time to make it all work. Working that out can be a room-by-room task, or a complete house approach.
In the entryway - Feature something that says who you are. Shell collections, blown glass or other small treasures can tell you more about the inhabitants. At the same time you might provide a convenient shelf or individual trays for each person to deposit things. Keys, homework, or library books can all land here, ready when their owners need them.
In the kitchen - Figure out how your group eats. If there is a lot of baking, stewing and vegetable chopping going on, provide the counter space and tools to make it all happen.
In the family room - Allow some space for each member’s favorites. Music, chess, books, and games can make this a space where everybody interacts.
Good lighting and lots of natural light - Set the mood and make individual tasks easier. Use dimmers to set a mood and lamps to handle specific tasks.
Green things - Post plants in windowsills or patios to clean the air and lighten the mood. Small fruit trees and some flowering plants can be grown inside too. If you have pets make sure none of the plants are toxic for animals.
Quiet nooks - Use window seats or comfy chairs by the fireplace; encourage conversation and thought.
Outdoor space - Make it work as extra space to play. Patios, gardens and lawns should fit the owners. Growing an herb garden, or roping off an area for soccer practice, may be just what is needed.
Task charts - Use them to keep everyone involved in cleaning and clearing out clutter.
Matching colors and fabrics - Pick ones that let every member express their tastes. Family calendars or bulletin boards work to keep everyone involved.
If you paint, sew or work with other crafts. You may have already found ways to make your home the perfect haven for your family. Keep adding to it, and changing it with the seasons and each family member's latest interests.
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