how i create a sense of peace in my home






The very best compliment anyone can give me regarding my home is by saying it feels calm to them. For me that's a compliment because oftentimes my life is anything but peaceful.  So despite the worries I have, and the pressures of home, work and family, creating a peaceful environment is something I crave.  The world is a crazzzzzy place and when I walk through my front door I want to leave that craziness behind.  Living in a small house with only one closet and no garage can be a challenge so I thought I'd share what works for me.






1.  Order

I thrive on it.  One of the things that can make me a bit crazy is having drawers and shelves shoved full of stuff and especially if there is no rhyme or reason to it.  That's why I'll do a weekly quick declutter because stuff accumulates fast.  I challenge myself to see how much I can get rid of in just a few minutes and it always shocks me.







2.  White

I love living in a small space and I find white compliments that beautifully.  love white walls, sheets, towels and slipcovers.  They are all easy to clean and provide a great backdrop to small or large doses of color. Again, walking through the front door and seeing order mixed with white is like tonic to my soul.  I don't have a linen closet to store these things away so a cohesive color pallet looks prettier on my open shelves.





3.  Nature

The number one thing I learned from the Country Living photo shoot was to bring nature inside.  It's so darn easy to clip some branches and place them in a vase and so economical.  Any green branches will do and it feeds my gardeners heart when no flowers are in bloom.






4.  Display

You would think that all that white and order would be boring but it isn't!  It allows my favorite/cherished items to stand out.  Limited space forces me to use and put my best stuff on display.  If wall space and storage space were not an issue I would never have created a top to bottom gallery wall in my bedroom.

How to you create a sense of calm in your home?  Do tell.  xo












59 comments

  1. Love this post! I can relate. Your home is so lovely, and even your posts have a calming quality to them.

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  2. I find it helps to make my bed every morning and keep up with the dishes.

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    1. oh so true t. i don't think i've ever not made my bed and that's from being a teen until now! lol xo

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    2. A golf partner is a widower. He tells me that it's vital that he makes his bed before leaving for golf. He sometimes uses this reason for turning up late! He has this fear that if anything should happen to him when he's out of the house, he would be traumatised at the thought of strangers (e.g.ambulance people) going in his house and discover an unmade bed!

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    3. Oh my gosh - this has me laughing! Maybe (subconsciously), I feel the same way.

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    4. lol so funny. i guess it's the same with always wearing good underwear!

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  3. I also love white. Your home is beautiful.

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  4. Your white theme is so serene and those leafy clippings are perfect when there are no flowers in the garden to pick.
    Cocooning in your beautifully edited and cozy home is the perfect tonic to the woes of the world...
    I always love it when I see that you have posted more pictures of your cottage Janet...I am so in awe of your decorating skills.
    XO

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  5. What a beautiful post! And soooo calming. I too love white wth splashes of color. Decluttering is my go-to for making my home more calm. So I relate to that! The problem is my husband is a pack rat and hates to throw away anything but he is gradually coming around. We married just two years ago so hopefully this will rub off in time as he loves the neat more sparce spaces I create. I'm gradually redecorating his - now our - home, adding lots of white. I truly love your place and it is my inspiration! Thank you!

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    1. thank you janice. spouses can be tricky! thankfully here larry just goes with whatever, i'm so grateful for that.:) it must be fun to be redecorating his place! xo

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  6. Your house is charming. I love the idea of bringing branches, or any greenery inside in lieu of flowers and I have been doing a bit of that lately also. I am not an all white person but I do like all of the colors in my house to coordinate, for me that is various shades of cream. Fragrance and music are ways the I try to lessen stress and add calm to my life. This is a lovely post. Thank you!

    Incidentally, I am a fellow Southern Californian and face many of the gardening problems and successes you do. But it is definitely worth the effort.

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    1. thank you so much. i had forgotten about music! such a great soother of the soul. hasn't this summer been dreadful for the garden? even today was soo hot! xo

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  7. My rule has always been "one thing in, two things out." This helps to keep the clutter at bay. For 32 years, I have been painting my walls white in our different homes, and I never tire of it. Your home is so pretty!

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    1. that's a great rule isabella. i have to follow that 2. 1 for 1 isn't enough in a small space as things have a way of getting out of control fast. i've only ventured away from white wall once and within 6 months of painting them, they were back to white. lesson learned. xo

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  8. Luff this post!!!

    I love your house Janet, and I agree that life and work are so complex and stressful that my home needs to be a sanctuary.

    I find the thing that works for me is keeping the house really clean and really ordered, like it's about to be put on the market that day. I have good storage and so it's not that tricky. Plus I am disciplined and motivated so it comes easily.

    I do not tolerate unmade beds, mess, dust, unwashed clothes, unironed anything, anything on dining room tables except meals, anything on kitchen benches except my kitchen aid mixer and coffee machine. I don't even like water drops in the sink or finger prints on surfaces.

    I have a really challenging career and so does Mr FF when I get home I like everything to be nurturing so mess clutter and disorganisation are out.

    My house costs something like 15 times my gross annual income so I like to look after it because it looks after me. Our homes just aren't financial investments but emotional investments. It really gives me so much and asks for so little so the least I can do is love it and care for it x

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    1. omg k you are so right. i've always thought what if oprah dropped by? would i be embarrassed? lol i like keeping a clean house because i find it just calms me, the actual work does and the finished product. such a great observation on how much our homes give vs what they ask for. i love that!!!! xo

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    2. Wow, FF, you must have a lot of energy! Janet, too. Luckily Oprah would be hard pressed to even find my little community, so I don't have to worry about that!

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    3. I have average amounts of energy but am pretty motivated.

      I always think people find time to do what's important to them- if you love your home and want it to look good you'll find the time to care for it.

      Having a beautiful home is a privilege and I'm never going to take it for granted! Coming home and spending time here is a gift.

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    4. FF and Janet, I so relate to you both. Having a clean house, having a perfectly made bed, having my sinks sparkling and my refrigerator spotless and organized (with every label facing forward) and consistently planning for the holidays, gifts I need to purchase, etc. is relaxing to me. It's all a peaceful feeling. And, yes, I'm a very early riser to make certain I have the time to exercise before the sun rises. Sounds to many people that this may be horrid but it makes my day flow better and I'm so much more productive and content......Janie

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    5. i've always been a morning person so i love early rising too. i used to get more done in the hour before my kids woke up than i did the rest of the day! thanks for sharing janie xo

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  9. I love Faux Fuchsia comment "her house gives so much and asks for so little". I never thought of it that way. I am repainting this winter and am going white in all of the rooms. I work at home and want everything totally organized, cleaned, and dejunked. It is taking a while to get to this point, but, it is happening. Love the blog and thank you for the inspiration!

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    1. I agree; FF's comment really struck a chord with me; that last paragraph. Beautifully said. I'm so lucky to have a home of my own; I need to remember to honor it.

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    2. i agree with you both! she needs to do a post on that. xo

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    3. ok am so going to do a post about this! x

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  10. I cannot add anything to your ideas, Janet, as they're all great. While I don't have white slip overs - I fear the mess they would show - I do appreciate white walls and neutral floors. I think they lend themselves So easily to changes in decor - on a whim or for the seasons.

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    1. thank you jeannine and i agree. i love to switch things up seasonally too and it makes it so much easier for me. xoxo

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  11. I use lots of baskets and a few antique trunks to hide all our off-season and rarely used "stuff", which helps keep the house from looking too cluttered. :)

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    1. great idea miranda. every single possible storage space is used in my house too.:) xoxo

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  12. Yes, I agree with the others - your blog creates a sense of peace in my home. :). Also, keeping up with my household duties, like the laundry and meal planning help. Decluttering and simplifying have been wonderful for working toward a more peaceful home. We have a long way to go, though! I'd like to try bringing greenery in, but how do you make sure there isn't a spider or other bugs on it?

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    1. thanks stephanie. i hose off the greenery on the lawn just to get the dust and anything else off. i've been pretty lucky....i thnk. lol xo

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  13. I live with endless remodeling so it's hard to have order in the mess, but one thing I absolutely MUST do, no matter how tired I am at day's end, is the dishes; I can't stand to awake the next morning to a dirty kitchen sink. Also, the bed has to be made in the morning; I do not like a rumpled bed. I don't like overflowing trash cans inside or out. And my pantry/kitchen cupboards remain ultra-neat and tidy, always.

    The experts are correct in saying that clutter causes stress. I can attest to it!

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    1. yes, yes and yes. me too. i like to tidy up right before bedtime so i can awake to order. i remember watching a brittish film once (can't remember the name) but the 2 women who lived together at the end of the evening, folded up the blankets they used in their chairs and tidied up. that always stuck with me. xoxo

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  14. Im thinking I really need to declutter. And set up some good storage so I can change things with easy access to it. I lobe the wall with all the picture frames. It looks pretty to me. Haply Monday with love Ja i e

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    1. thank you janice. easy access and good use of available storage is key no matter what size home you live in! xo

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  15. Janet, I do not like clutter. That said, since I have not been up to my full capacity lately I haven't been able to keep on top of some things and it's really bugging me. Ironing for one. (a lot of people can't believe I still iron but I hate wrinkled clothes!) Also my in-law's restaurant paperwork seems to be taking over. You should see our one closet!

    I do make a point to make my bed every morning. Also I go through the mail as soon as I get it and file everything where it needs to go and recycle or shred the rest. Paperwork can really pile up if you let it. I also try to adhere to the in and out rule, my husband not so much...he's trying but I still have to remind him on occasion that he can't keep everything!

    Again, it was great to finally meet you and Larry yesterday! :)

    Linda
    xo

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    1. it was so great finally meeting you too linda! it was a wonderful lunch! xo

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  16. I always love your posts on your house,Janet. What always impresses me is that your laundry room is so amazingly serene and uncluttered, so different to mine! You could hold an elegant party in yours!
    Anyway, your posts are always so elegantly simple and serene to read, just like your house.
    I'm blitzing a bit at the moment, I always feel so good after. I've just been clearing my Lebus rolltop desk. I've had it 25 years and it concerned me that some of the clutter in there had been there that long, despite two house moves :-). Walking passed it in the week since I did it is giving me a sense of calm each and every time, just knowing that inside order has been restored. ... finally!

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    1. lol that would be one tiny dinner party. i'm just about ready to give my home a blitz too and it's 6 am. glad your desk is in order now.:) x

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  17. Love this post and FF is so right about our homes, they nurture us and should be looked after. I have friends whose homes are cluttered and occasionally in states of filth and it affects them in such a negative way, their attitudes and relationships. Once systems are in place it's not difficult to keep on top of things.
    I want my home to be a peaceful centre for my family and my friends, I keep it clean and well-aired, I agree flowers or cuttings from the garden are key, and something good to eat and drink is also so important (especially for the teenagers!) I love my house so much and the people in it. :) Lovely post Janet and if I ever visited you I know I would feel calm and happy in your lovely space. xox

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    1. dani i loved that you decided to stay put in your home and make do instead of moving to a larger home. it's so beautiful and i adore your kitchen! if you ever come to california you must drop in! xo

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  18. No clutter in my home! My grandmother would always do a quick clean-up tour of her home before she went to bed and so ingrained the habit in me. She would always say if something happened during the night, she wanted to be ready for it so her house was always clean and the dishes put away before she went to sleep (always in a beautiful nightgown!). When I was a little girl, I read a novel called Up a Road Slowly about a young girl who lived with her old-fashioned maiden aunt. One night the girl suggested leaving the dishes until morning and her appalled aunt replied something like: so we can come down to filth in the morning? What if illness should strike in the night? Even as a child, I laughed so hard because that was exactly how my grandma was and trained me to be!

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    1. i so connect with the older generation way of doing things. i was always aware of what adults around me were doing and i was apparently taking notes. lol love your grandmother! xo

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  19. Oh, to have a clutter-free home! It is a real challenge for me. Sometimes I find that certain clutter becomes part of the scenery, especially in my kitchen. It becomes invisible to my critical eye. And so, occasionally, I will step back and try to view the surroundings from the perspective of a visitor. I am usually appalled. The challenge in my little bungalow is where to put everything. The challenge should be how to get rid of the extraneous. I am working on it.

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    1. kristien i do the step back and look trick too. i get a kick out of that. one thing for me too is to clean with my glasses on. what an eye opener that is! lol

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    2. Isn't it shocking Janet when you put your glasses on?? Or get down to floor level...now that's really an eye opener!! :)

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  20. Your house is supremely serene. Love your tips. I've also adopted the cutting of branches and love it. Although it has driven me to buy larger and larger vases.
    I create calm by having a dog and cleaning the windows obsessively. These things offset my tendency to freak the f**k out. Also even if I'm not going to sweep/vacuum everything I still vacuum the rugs because seeing haphazard wool fibers bothers me. And I play music all the time. It's so nice to walk into your own house and have music playing.

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    1. Now that I have my hand held rechargeable dyson stick thingy (as opposed to my normal dyson vacuum cleaners) cleaning the floor is practically a joy. Might go and do it now.

      Please come and clean my windows.

      x

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    2. thank you saj. it's funny how we all have our little "things" that soothe us. i so understand how barbie is among yours. how would we live without music??!! x

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  21. I absolutely love your home Janet!
    Even though my home now has a touch of funk and whimsy, it's the calmest home I have ever been in because of the white walls and less stuff! I have things I have had for years, and I will never tire of them, but I wanted to be very thoughtful this time about displaying them. And I agree that white allows those cherished things to stand out. I once love the layered look, but it started to feel like clutter. Now I can breathe! And, what do I do to create peace in my home? Diffuse essential oils! There's also invigorating blends, but the calm ones are my favorite.

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    1. emily your home is so gorgeous. like out of a high end magazine such as elle decor. i work all day with essential oils and know their healing properties so i understand just how soothing they must be in your home. peppermint is one of those that can both soothe and invigorate! xo

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  22. So happy to have just found your blog, I have a feeling I am going to love every second of it, from the little I have read so far we share many similar outlooks on life. I always cut greenery and put it in a vase during the winter when flowers are scarce in the garden. And a calm house is of huge importance, somehow I manage it (most of the time) even with five kids!

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  23. I rescue senior and hospice dogs so its important to keep our house as clean and calm and clutter free as possible. they are often traumatized or sick when they first come to us and a peaceful environment is important for their healing. i usually have a pack of 4 or 5 so we constantly clean because they can be messy. its so sweet to watch them blossom once they know they are in a place where they can relax and bond with us and each other.

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  24. Much like you my dear, my home is small, not as small as yours but smaller in some areas and larger areas where I wished it were not. So with that being said being organized and slimmed down on things that clutter are controlled. Organized drawers a must! And closets never cluttered, it's the worst to open a closet and see over stuffed closets and things that one has no real use for so why hang onto it. A cluttered closet or drawer really adds stress to my days, so I keep it organized for added calm. White walls yes a perfect back-drop to a calming open feel. like you white slips, sheets and towels pull it all together for a restful place to call home. I also scale down the accessories this keeps it calming where your eyes don't have to take in so much to dust and when a great center piece is added to,the room it compliments rather then distracts.

    Like you I often fill a floral can, or vintage thrift vase with green clippings from the yard, I find the shrubs and the berries on them chaming and a room nature filled is that much more calming to me.
    Through my many postings greenery will be the choice of arrangements in our home.

    My calming tip in a home, and especially a smaller home is to wake up each morning with it in place. I retire my nights with dishes done and a clean sink, laundry put away, and any thing taken out of place returned to its place. The most important thing I find is I will give it a light vacuuming at the end of the evening so I wake to dust and crumb free floors, if I do nothing at all each day, a good vacuuming before I retire the night is to vacuume. It feels so good to wake to such calm when floors are lint and crumb free.

    I love your use of space. I have one closet that is that pantry, coat and catch all, I plan to turn it into a pantry. As for the bedrooms each room has a closet. And I have a garage, where it too has to be organized so my days entering it feel equally calm storing all my salvage I create with.

    You've got this girl. Your home is a dreamy calm place, no matter what accent colours you add and take away from it time to time. I think your living room may even be larger then mine, your cozy pieces keep your space very open giving it room to breathe.
    Janet, my big issue with calm is to have a tone theme run through the home so I am not in culture shock leaving one room to the next, this is a big thing with keeping your home calm, be it with color or the lack of it, as long as it flows throughout the home you can create a sense of calm.
    Love your floor to ceiling gallery wall in the bedroom, and have often wanted to steal this idea of yours.

    Have a calm up and coming October see you soon.

    Xx
    Dore

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kindness is never out of style.

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