Inner Versus Outer Spaces

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So many details go into creating a space that feels like home . To many, decorating a new home is as simple as walking into Target, finding a few items that are functional, grabbing some unused furniture from mom’s house and calling it good. This reminds me of eating a packaged goodie for breakfast, driving thru McDonalds for lunch, and sitting in an office all day- how we treat our bodies is a reflection of care and intentionality- not only for our body, but for our spirit as well.

What if our homes, our offices, our cars, our “outer spaces” were treated as a direct reflection of our “inner spaces?” What if everything that surrounds us visually effects us emotionally? What would it look like to curate our environments in a way that not only reflects who we are inside, but who we WANT to be. The best version of ourselves.

I’ve had this paid hobby of interior design for the past ten years. It didn’t start as a calling to design, it started from a very young age as an observation of beautiful things. As a child, if I was stressed, anxious, or angry, I for whatever reason found respite in rearranging my room, or your room, or any room. Growing up, I think my mom thought it was an impulsivity thing, like I had to have change to make me feel settled, or maybe some form of gaining control. But as I reflect back now, as an adult, I see that it yes, maybe it was a little bit of all of those things, but mostly, it was an expression of my inner turmoil.

When I couldn’t change something internally or relationally, I took that energy and changed something I COULD change. I’ve come to find something therapeutic about physical change. And in my work with many design clients, I’ve found that everyone feels a little better with a little visual change for the better. I’m not saying that change is good or healing for everyone, but having an intentional, beautiful, crafted space is helpful for everyone I’ve worked with.

I’ve heard many people say “I’m not effected by my environment like you. I don’t care what my space looks like. It’s just not a priority. That’s not where I want to spend my money.” or “it just doesn’t matter that much to me.” Although all of those things may be true, I’ve learned that everyone is benefitted by a beautiful environment. The degree to which they are effected may vary, but everyone is emotionally effected by their surroundings, whether they acknowledge it or not.  More so, what effects someone visually and what emotion it inflicts varies greatly from person to person based on a number of personality factors.

In my role as an interior decorator and personal organizer I am typically hired by females. What I’ve come to learn though is that the males in the family tend to appreciate the outcome of our renovations to a much greater degree than the females that hired me. I think women tend to be more familiar with the concept that our environment effects our mental health and wellbeing, or maybe the majority of my female clients just spend significantly more time in the home and therefore tend to care more about how the home presents and functions.

I’ve found it fascinating though how much appreciation is expressed by the male clients. They express how they feel so much more at rest. How they didn’t know the space could look like this. How great it feels to have margin and space in the home. How they could of never envisioned something other than what previously existed.

Take a look around your home, your desk, your car.

What is reflected in your space?

Is it chaotic, scattered, and messy? Does your life kinda feel that way too? Anxious and scattered?

Is your home intentional, purposeful, and practical? Are you a meticulous person who makes choices with thought and intrigue?

Is your home a gathering of hand me downs and clearance items all thrown together and it “works just fine” but would never be a place you would choose to go or entertain? In your personal life are you often accommodating to others, being the last to choose, bending and moving to whatever works best for others, you come last?

For now, take a visual scan of your outer spaces and ask yourself if it in someway reflects the way you feel internally. Is this how you want to feel internally? What would it look like to craft your space to reflect more of what you hope and dream your inner spaces to be?