How to Make Your Home a Haven

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WORDS BY Kelly O'Reilly

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Published on January 7, 2021

The dawn of a new year has many of us craving a reset—especially this year. Whether you kicked off 2021 with a detailed list of resolutions or have adopted more of a come-what-may mindset, now is the perfect time to hit reset. And the best place to start is at home.

Create your own personal haven to reinvigorate yourself, and hatch your best-laid plans for the year ahead with these expert tips from Havenly designers

Clear the Clutter

It’s scientifically proven that decluttering your space can help create calm by lowering stress and improving focus. So whether you’re already a Marie Kondo devotee or a maximalist at heart, there are ways you can shed the excess and create a happy-making home. 

Start by taking some time to sort through your belongings, from deep closets and stuffed cabinets to vignettes atop tables and shelves. Edit anything that isn’t working or doesn’t feel meaningful, and donate those pieces.

Get Smart with Storage

Part of revamping your space includes creating storage that lets you bring your home “back to zero” at the end of each day. Simply getting things out of sight isn’t enough to achieve that orderly calm if it’s all stuffed into disorganized, impossible-to-reach drawers, closets and cabinets. 

Once you’ve completed your new-year purge, consider what type of storage would work to organize your space. Whether you choose baskets or bins, having an easy place to put everything will help you (and your partner, or kids) do that daily reset.

Let in Light

Again, we’ll defer to science. Natural light is known to enhance your mood and sense of wellbeing for a more peaceful state of mind. Bask in the indoor sunshine this year and feel your best. Throw open the curtains and draw up the blinds—and, if your home doesn’t get a lot of natural light, consider placing mirrors throughout the space to reflect what light you do get and brighten things up. 

While we’re getting a bit more light every day as winter wears on, another way to brighten your space is with layered lighting. As a rule of thumb, our designers recommend 2–4 additional light sources per room to help establish a warm and cozy ambience, so soften sterile overhead lights with a floor lamp, table lamps, or sconces.

Bring in the Green

Plants are another scientifically backed tool for promoting wellbeing in your home. This year, your resolutions could include buying fresh-cut flowers at the local florist or even the grocery store on a regular basis, or bringing home a few potted plants to place throughout your space. Plus, houseplants can freshen things up literally and figuratively—while they’re sitting pretty on a shelf or sill, they’re working to clear air pollutants at the same time. 

Similarly, weaving in organic elements like rustic woods, jute, rope, or plaster can produce more harmony and balance in a space. It’s a cue to authenticity and another way to connect to the natural world.

Create Sacred Spaces

It’s important to try to distinguish spaces in your home for work and relaxation—especially if you’re one of the many working from home for the foreseeable future. Never thought you’d miss the office? When you’re lacking a clear space to feel productive or rested, you start to realize what you need in order to maintain some semblance of balance.

The best place to start is to try to dedicate the bedroom (particularly at bedtime) as a “no work zone.” That means no checking email from bed or tucking yourself in with your laptop. We are creatures of habit, so mental cues tell us what state we should be in—keeping work out of the bedroom will help promote more rest and intimacy.

Give Your Phone a Curfew

Take back your home from your phone, and embrace a better sense of calm in the new year with less screen time. If you’re feeling phone-dependent these days, designate a spot in your home for your phone charger to live—ideally, outside the bedroom—and make it a goal to return your phone to its base by a certain time each evening (maybe around dinner time?). This simple act of banishing your phone to its dedicated place will help you “unplug” in a tangible way.

lilac scene

Get Warm and Cozy

Paying attention to the little details throughout your home provides endless opportunities for maximum comfort—and with comfort comes peace. When you can snuggle under a soft throw in a cocoon of cushy pillows alongside the warm glow of deliciously scented candlelight, you’re well on your way to creating the ultimate no-place-I’d-rather-be environment.

Havenly designers are standing by to help you infuse even more comfort and calm in your home—one room at a time. Take our style quiz to get started.

Words by Kelly O'Reilly