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Unlock Your Secret Superpower –  Your Home!

‘A must-have read for anyone looking to improve not just their home but also their quality of life within it.’

Matthew Williamson

Home is where the heart is, and where the health is.

Whether that home is owned or rented, small or large, and regardless of how much money you have, it is important for all of us to feel calm, content, soothed or energized in our surroundings.

This is more important than ever in the challenging times we live in, where home has become a crucial space for safety and refuge. With anxieties running high and us spending majority of our times inside, British interior designer Michelle Ogundehin has come out with a timely read on making our homes healthier and happier.

Here’s a glimpse of what you can take away from the book!

In Praise of What You Have

‘Most people do not in fact need more space; they need less stuff, combined with a rethink of the space that they do have. And this starts with really questioning the draw of the new in pursuit of happiness – whether it be for a bigger home, a smarter car, the latest phone or the most fashionable clothes. After all, these accoutrements, and even the myth of the ‘forever’ home, will not protect you against fear, anxiety, disappointment or hurt.’

It’s All About Considered Living

‘How […] do we make homes that enable us to be at our authentic best while also facilitating all of the activities that can make us happy and keep us healthy?

The first step is the wholehearted banishment of clutter! Clutter is the arch-enemy of the restful home. It is the interiors equivalent of a to-do list that never gets completed, undermining any attempt at relaxation. Physical clutter equates to emotional debris, stifling energy and dampening enthusiasm.

And when I refer to clutter-clearing, I do not mean just the physical act of disposing of excess belongings, but also the setting of a clear intention to continually commit to reducing the amount that you buy, and therefore own, by truly understanding why this process is so incredibly important.’

Define Your Palette

‘Developing a personal home palette is, much like the process of curating your belongings, another considered step towards a habit of becoming more mindful of the sensory impact of your surroundings. It’s important to take the time to discover the materials that resonate with you, to permit yourself to dream a little, but not overthink it – try to respond from the heart not the head. You don’t want to include materials that you’re drawn to only because they’re on-trend or purely practical. Rather you must delve into the very soul of your choices,not just their surface appearance. What do they remind you of ? Do they recall a particular place or happy holiday, perhaps?’

Maintenance and Management

‘As it is with your body, so it is at home: know it, look after it, and it will best be able to look after you – prevention really is better than cure. For while you can’t feel the aches and pains of your environment, you can see cracks, damp and flaking paint, all of which signal that something is a little amiss. And even if you choose to delegate some aspects of the cleaning, be aware that tidying is a discipline that benefits from practice, and vigilance is everything when it comes to home maintenance.’

Cleaning as a Ritual

‘One of the best ways to appreciate your home is to literally touch it. Through the gleam of freshly polished wood to the sparkle of a clear window you can begin the all-important journey of emotionally engaging with your home. And we could do worse than take inspiration from Buddhist monks, for whom the act of cleaning is much more than the removal of daily dirt.

What would happen if we started to think of cleaning as the act of tending to ourselves through the medium of our possessions, and what we are nurturing in the process is our sense of wellbeing. Consider too the difference between referring to something as a ritual rather than a routine. The latter can sound onerous, something that has to be completed. Whereas the former can have a lightness to it that feels imbued with pleasure.’

Home should be a place that restores, rejuvenates and replenishes, but so often it does not. If you want positive personal change of any sort, you must first address your environment. We all need homes that support, rather than undermine, our wellbeing.

Take a step towards building a happy home with Michelle Ogundehin!

*Extracted from ‘Happy Inside’ by Michelle Ogundehin


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