Display What You Love, Do What You Love

Display What You Love, Do What You Love

My philosophy about home is simple: “Our homes should encourage us to live a life we love, not hold us back.” The goal of designing any space is to make you feel good – to know it in the heart. If we had less stuff, life would be easier. I would clean less, stress less about needing to clean and have more time for my family and other essential things. There was only one problem: I needed TIME to go through my stuff.There’s a lot that goes into making an area beautiful. It takes time, thought, editing and styling until it feels just right. Display what you love, do what you love, is often easier than it sounds. As moms, we don’t have a lot of extra time.

The more clear you are about the kind of atmosphere you want in your home, the easier it is to make changes. This might seem obvious, but often we’re pretty vague about the kind of home we want. A few years ago I thought I was clear about what I wanted. My home mantra was “Less stuff, More time” These were the two things I needed most. However, they were also the two hardest things to get.

As a stay at home mom with two toddlers under two, extra time was precious and hard to come by, especially for something like decluttering. The idea of taking out MORE stuff to sort through just felt like adding to the mess, BUT I knew it was what our home needed.

If we had less stuff, life would be easier. I would clean less, stress less about needing to clean and have more time for my family and other essential things. There was only one problem: I needed TIME to go through my stuff.

Notice how I’m setting myself up for disappointment here?

I had a goal that I could never achieve, and it only made me feel worse about myself and my home. It wasn’t a bad goal, just too vague. WHAT did I want to DO with more time? WHAT type of items did I want to hold onto? Those were the answers I needed.

When I reflected on these questions, I was surprised to find that what I wanted most from my home felt very attainable.

My ‘dream’ home wasn’t perfectly styled or spotlessly. Deep down, all I wanted was to have a home that inspired me to create.

Recognizing this made it so much easier for me to declutter. I would visualize my sons and I doing arts and crafts together which kept me motivated. This goal also helped me to ASK for the extra time I needed compared to before when I felt self-conscious about getting a babysitter so that I could clean. “Display what you love, do what you love” became my new mantra.

Clarity is the key.

The clearer you are, the easier it is to find concrete steps toward your goal.

So here are some action steps you can take to start displaying more of what you love!

Step 1 Reflect on your goals

  1. Ask yourself these questions:

  2. WHAT would you like to do more of like a family?

  3. WHY is this important to you?

  4. HOW can you make this happen? (What stopped you from doing it before?)Step

Shop your home for visual reminders

Look around your house for items that remind you of the activity you want to do more often. It’s always good to check in closets, under the bed, or other storage places. Typically those are items you’ve been holding onto because they have a special memory or meaning attached to them.

Step 3 Remove and display

Make it a priority to put your ‘visual reminders’ on display and remove items that don’t bring you joy or aren’t meaningful. Less is more. You want it to be easy to see the things that are most important to you.

It helps a lot to see an example. So here are my answers from a few years ago!

Action step 1:

  1. WHAT: to create more art together with my sons.

  2. WHY: it brings me joy and is something I dreamed about doing as a mom.

  3. HOW: it needs to be easy to take out and clean up art supplies, with lots of floor space to spread things out

  4. Action step 2: The ‘visual reminders’ I chose were my paintbrushes and displaying a lovely mix of my sons’ drawings, my paintings, and other favorite artwork around my home

Action step 3: I removed random art and decor I’d been holding onto because it was nice or expensive but didn’t inspire me. This wasn’t easy to do because I LOVE art and collecting pretty things. Yet, I noticed when there many items on display, even though they were all beautiful, I couldn’t fully appreciate them because it didn’t catch my attention since nothing ‘stood out.’

Ok, that’s my experience. Now it’s your turn! This is such a great process because it combines self-reflection with beautifying your home. Before you jump in, here are three Interior Redesign tips that’ll make this process even more effective.

  1. Focus on ONE area at a time (HINT Choose a personal space, especially as a mom, it’s important to make sure you have one area at home that you can call your own)

  2. DON’T BUY anything - get creative! I can’t emphasize this enough. When you don’t buy things, you’re forced to think differently about your space. Limiting your options increases your creativity.

  3. Pay attention to where your eyes go first when you enter a room. You want your ‘visual reminders’ to be the items that catch your attention first. So think about where you place them concerning how you move around the room.

Yay! Have FUN! Make sure you remember to take before and after photos and SHARE them. You never know who you’ll inspire!


Yun-A Johnson

P.S. If you’re having trouble getting started. Check out THIS GUIDE I created. It includes a visualization exercise to narrow down the ‘keywords’ that you want most from your home.

Photo Credits: Ly Sué Photography

Photo Credits: Ly Sué Photography

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