4 Ways to Make Your Home Kinder to Everyone

Post by Paisley Hansen for the Kind Kindred series.

image courtesy of Wonderlane on Flickr

You like inviting people in and making them feel at home — you offer good food, good conversation, and good times to everyone.

Whether you live in a tiny apartment or are planning a new home where you can choose everything right down to the sliding door hardware, here are a few quick ways to make your home reflect your kindness.

Clear away the clutter

This is just good feng shui. People feel edgy around clutter, and it makes your living space look smaller. It’s only sensible to ditch it. You want people and energy to move freely through your living space, so take away the obstacles.

Once you’ve cleared out the clutter, look at your artwork. Does it reflect who you are or who you want to be? A few pieces of well-chosen art or even a display of family photos will make your home feel more welcoming than walls full of unrelated pictures, posters, and photos, no matter how great they may be.

Make sure the air in your living space circulates well too, to keep things feeling and smelling fresh.

Cozy it up

Choose curvy shapes for areas where you’ll be entertaining — they’ll give a softer, gentler feel to the space. Layer a few rugs to make things soft underfoot. You may want to add a season-appropriate throw and some pillows to encourage getting comfortable. Keep your furniture groupings intimate to encourage conversation, and use the soft glow of lamps to add ambient lighting.

If you can paint your walls, use colors from the red, brown, or tan families — warm colors seems to increase conversation. Live in an apartment and can’t paint your walls? Look for furniture and accessories in these colors.

Let there be light

Light is important for many reasons. Without the right lighting you may feel tired and lethargic — almost as though you have jet lag. Use as much natural light as possible.

In addition to natural light, be sure you have other appropriate lighting. Overhead fixtures light up the entire room for general work, but you’ll also need lighting for any specific tasks — a good lamp for reading in bed, for example, or strong, directed lighting for detailed hobbies. Add some decorative lighting that sets a mood or just looks good.

In the bedroom you’ll want to provide curtains that block light at night so you sleep well and wake rested.

Splash around some color

If you like to invite friends to dinner, consider painting your dining room red. It’s no secret that red stimulates the appetite — think about how many restaurants go heavy on red for their decor — and it may also stimulate conversation. The fact that it could enhance your reputation as a good cook is beside the point.

In the bedroom, cool colors from the blue, green and lavender families work best. Darker colors from these families may have a more pronounced calming effect. In most cases you’ll want a relatively neutral color for walls, a calmer or darker color for the furniture, and an accent color — think opposites on the color wheel — for a dramatic pop in accessories and art. Beware though — artificial light can change a color’s appearance.

Paint the bathroom a color you look good in because you’ll see yourself in the mirror daily. What better way to be kinder to yourself than to look your best?

Have a home office? Green is the color of productivity and concentration.

There you have it — four ways to make your home feel and look kinder to everyone, including yourself.

Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, beauty and fashion. 
When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym..

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