Gracious Living: How to Create Affordable Luxury in Your Home
Gracious Living is about creating a sense of luxury and pleasure that brings you joy in your home and life. Many times in our rush to get things just right, we lose sight of ourselves and what makes us happy and fulfilled. This blog is about regaining and refining that feeling in our homes and lives – easily and affordably.
We’ve provided a number of tips and hints below to get you started. We know you’ll find your own special ways to create a gracious lifestyle that sings to your heart, and we hope you’ll share your ideas with us via our contact form.
Surround yourself with the things you love: This is a guiding principle of Gracious Living. Love what you have and enjoy it. So, look around your home and pull out those things. Grandma’s wine glasses don’t do any good tucked away in the attic. Take them out and enjoy them.
Also, don’t discount items you love because you don’t know where to put them or how to display them. Be open to possibilities. Your favorite Aunt’s shawl just might make a great throw on your couch. The picture you took on your walk in the woods could look beautiful in a frame.
Remember the corollary: Donate or gift those things that you don’t like or no longer serve you. One of my Feng Shui clients keeps a ’gift box’ of such things (e.g., a bracelet she received that didn’t fit) and then shares them openly with others as from ‘Her Collection’.
Open the Door to a Nurturing Home: Take a moment to feel what you brings you a sense of ease and relaxation. What can help create that feeling as walk in your door? Is it a chair or stool you can sit on to take off your shoes? Or, maybe some beautiful flowers on table? Perhaps, it’s something more practical like a bowl you can drop your keys in as you enter. (The bonus: You’ll always know where they are!)
Think Comfort: Keep a cozy blanket or shawl near your favorite chair so you can grab it as needed. Do you like to have a drink or snack as you relax? Consider putting a small table near your chair or couch if you don’t already have one.
Create a Feeling of Abundance: Put a bowl of fresh fruit on your dining room or kitchen table. This is a traditional Chinese symbol and offering of prosperity that can also help promote healthy snacking. Think of what else makes you feel prosperous and display it, symbolically if needed (e.g., a gold plate or coins from a foreign country).
Experience Extravagance: Take out the good china, wine glasses or tea cups and use them! Don’t have any? Consider visiting a thrift shop or go to an estate sale but make sure you smudge it as you bring it into your house and use it. You can generally pick up a couple of items reasonably and don’t have to invest in a whole set.
Wake up to Beauty Every Morning: What is the first thing you see when you wake up? Put something beautiful there – a picture or photo you love, a vase or special memento. One note: Do not display pictures of water in a bedroom. From a Feng Shui perspective water images in a bedroom can equate to a loss of prosperity.
Keep Inspiration Close at Hand: Think about inspires you. Is it your family or friends? A special book of poetry, a quote, a photo or some music that you just love? Display it and keep it close by. For example, one of our clients loves art and keeps a few coffee table art books stacked on a cabinet to be enjoyed at a moment’s notice. Another one of our clients created a gallery of family photos going up her hall steps.
Get Aspirational: What is it that you want to bring into your life?! Reflect that in your home with something symbolic. It could be as simple as a brochure for a trip you’d like to take or a pair of rose quartz stones if you’re looking for a partner. From a Feng Shui perspective, rose quartz is the ‘stone of romance’ and keeping things in pairs, particularly in the Southwest sector of your home, symbolizes the desire for partnership.
Indulge Yourself: Keep a bit of your favorite treat or a pretty tin of your favorite tea handy to enjoy. Or, maybe keep some Epsom salts in your bathroom so you’re always ready for a relaxing bath. FYI: The magnesium in Epsom salts actually promote relaxation and can help you sleep.
Get Creative: One of our Feng Shui enthusiasts found herself on a tight budget after a move, but wanted a birdbath for her new garden that called for the Water element. She combined the discarded bottom of a birdbath she found along the curb and a rustic bowl she purchased for $1 at a garage sale to create a unique and affordable water feature for her yard. What can you create to support your gracious lifestyle?
Get Feng Shui’d: Our last and final tip is to Feng Shui your home if you haven’t done so yet. Creating good chi or energy in your home through this ancient Chinese science and art can help empower you and your life. Placing your items strategically in your home and using the best elements and colors energetically for your space helps create a feeling of balance and harmony in your surroundings. The end result: A warm and welcoming environment that supports you living in ease and comfort.
To learn more, read our article: “Linda Ellson: Feng Shui for the Home” on the basics of Feng Shui in this interview in Buffalo Spree Magazine with Linda Ellson, Certified Feng Shui Practitioner.
For a personal Feng Shui consultation, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 716-863-8561.