Interior Design for the Mildly Depressed

starI recently heard a lecture on interior design and how it links to our personalities as well as our mental health. Hrmmm, I can’t say my gut reaction was particularly positive.

“I’m in a group of new moms, listening to someone tell me that I need to make my house a lovely, aesthetic piece of art so that I can feel more at peace when I’m in it? You do know that most of the week I just look around and think ‘I’m lucky if I keep this place clean!’ right??”

It’s overwhelming to hear a design professional who has never had kids tell me that my home will be better if I can just add some different textures or create pleasing shapes.

Then I take a deep breath. As long as no one is telling me to drop $1000 on a new couch, I’ll listen. As long as I can do stuff with what I already have, I won’t start shouting, “You’re crazy!”

I’m sitting on my loveseat in my living room now, thinking of how much I love fresh flowers in my house. When I think of how interior decorating might help my mind, I think of this:

hearthWhen I clear a surface, I open myself to new thoughts and possibilities.

When I change the design under my glass-topped coffee-table, I invite seasons to shift through the room.

When I keep tall furniture away from my windows to keep the light unobstructed, I preserve my exposure to UV rays.

When I let myself drool over a set of hand-painted Turkish tea glasses, I remind myself that I will use these for entertaining friends, and thus make more plans to have people over.

I don’t condone any level of design that invites perfectionism, nor so I see the good in devaluing this facet of homekeeping so completely that the tired heart can’t find rest in a carelessly-assembled room.

coffeetableWhere does that leave me? Well, I’ll be living in my home for more hours per week than ever before, as I care for my son in his first few years. There will be more babies coming after him, in all likelihood. I sure as heck will need the domestic front to be a healthy place for me.

Start with what you love. This is the decorating advice I’ve been given. Know yourself and begin from there.

I’ve included photos of things in my house that I like. My star light hovers over my tree during Christmastime and then stays there the rest of the year. I hide my TV with a class piece of artwork that makes me think of the 1920s. I slid a kafiyeh from Lebanon, where my dad is from, under the coffee tabletop. Is there a common theme? Uh, yes, I like the color red.

I honestly do believe that a beautiful home lifts my spirits and the spirits of those who enter it.

What do you do to make your home welcoming and uplifting?


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I like the color red too but I would say the predominant yellow in my house is yellow…

    1. Favorite colors are a great place to start. And yellow makes me think of sunshine. 🙂

  2. Gotta say as a writer that I truly neglect my house unless guests are coming, and if my Mother In Law (yes, capital letters) doesn’t do an annual visit, there is no spring cleaning. But like exercise, I agree the uplift and empowerment of physical caretaking is worth the effort. I love your quote about start with what you love, because that really means I’m listening to me and instilling my voice over the chaos of space. Thanks for this, Elise!

    1. You’re welcome, Susan! I like that you see the caretaking of a home as asserting yourself over the chaos. What a great way to think of it!

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