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I watched the unveiling of the home Nate Berkus re-did for Ilyanla Vanzant. Did you see it? What touched me was the “feeling” that went into the spaces. Both from the direction that Iyanla gave to Nate from a vision book (critical pro tip) and the care that Nate took in interpreting her wants and needs. I can guarantee most of the colors, textures, and patterns she loves and Nate incorporated came from that book. This is the first thing I ask my design clients when I start working with them. “How do you want your home (spaces) to FEEL.” It is amazing how few people can answer that. They jump right into a style or type of furniture. How you feel in your home is a very important part of your overall wellness.

Go right now and walk outside your front door. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Now open your eyes and walk back in. Look around. How do you feel? If you feel anxious, depressed, annoyed, or sad, we have work to do! Let’s get started. Spring is the perfect time.

The first space I am going to suggest you tackle is your foyer or entry. It is less overwhelming than one of the larger rooms in your home and it is the first thing you and your visitors see. It can truly set the tone for your home. I am going to suggest you do a trick I learned when I was doing home staging and one day room make-overs. Here are the three steps.

  1. Remove everything from the space. And I mean everything. Clutter, furnishings, area rugs. Get rid of the things that are broken or you no longer enjoy.

  2. Thoroughly clean it, top to bottom.

  3. Now take a fresh look. Was it just cluttered and in need of a spring clean? Or do you need to add more of “you” into the space?

It is so easy now to create a vision for your home. You can do a notebook like Iyanla did, or create a board on Pinterest. Get ideas from Houzz.

For an entry there are some key elements to look for. Before heading out the door to purchase, take a look and see what you can “shop” in your own home. Then fill in where you need.

  1. First of all color. This is an area that can take those beautiful saturated colors that might seem daunting in other spaces. So have fun with bright colors, darks, jewel tones and patterns if that is what makes you happy. If you have a hectic and stressful life outside of the home, you may want to walk in the door to soothing, calm colors and textures. Don’t forget to paint the exterior or interior of the entry door. Just that one thing can make a big difference!

  2. Lighting is critical. Make sure to have a table or chest to hold a table lamp, especially if there isn’t overhead lighting. You can add drama with an uplight behind a plant. If you have an overhead chandelier or pendant, make sure it is one that makes your heart sing to look at. They do not need to cost a fortune. Home stores can have some very nice choices for a good price.

  3. Texture. An area rug is a quick way to add texture. Place baskets to hold mail or umbrellas. Window shades and drapery can add texture and drama.

  4. Organization. The table or chest you have placed is also a perfect spot to hold keys, fresh flowers or greenery, a candle or beautiful vase or statue. Wall hooks to hang a favorite hat, scarf or jacket if closet space is dear.

  5. Artwork is the perfect way to show your personality. A travel photo, a favorite quote, found elements can all be used. Add a mirror for that last minute check before going out the door.

  6. Don’t forget to clean up the exterior space of the entry. Even if it is too early to plant new shrubs in your area, just clean it off, add a new entry mat and a fresh coat of paint to the door if needed. Replace tired entry lights.

Now, do that exercise again. Walk out your front door. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Open your eyes. Walk in the door. How do you feel now? This is your first step into turning your home into your sanctuary.

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