Bill Ryan's Blog
Humans have been thinking about the way they decorate their homes for thousands of years. In ancient India, Vastu shastra (literally, "the science of architecture") has been informing decorating techniques since as early as 6,000 BCE. The more commonly known influence for home decorating, feng shui, has its roots in ancient China where practitioners were inspired by astronomy. In the early 1900s, however, a modern science was founded that attempts to solve some of the problems that arise based on our environments. Environmental psychology is a field that focuses on the interplay between humans and the environments they live and work in. Scientists have studied the way humans (and other animals, like rats) are affected by their environment. Their findings help to inform us of how we can live more relaxed or focused based on how we decorate our home and workplace.
A place to call your ownAs society becomes increasingly urbanized, many psychologists are studying the problems that arise from being in constant contact with one another, both physically and in the digital world. One thing that scientists have discovered is that it is important for humans to have a place of sanctuary during their day. Whether this is your cubicle at work, your home office, or your tool shed, everyone needs a place they can be alone. Ask yourself if your home setup provides you with a space that you can go to be alone.
How colors can affect moodHave you ever been in a school or hospital that was painted an awful color that just made you uncomfortable? Many of us have trained ourselves to adapt and live with environments that aren't ideal for us. For example, the bright red walls of McDonald's or the blinding fluorescent lights in a department store probably aren't conditions we'd pick for our homes. Scientists have discovered that there is a correlation between colors, brightness, and our mood. Try to match the colors of your rooms with their functions. For example, you wouldn't want to paint your bedroom bright red, as your bedroom should be a place you can relax to fall asleep. Instead, go with a less-pronounced color for the bedroom.
The balance between cluttered and sterileMuch of the way we choose to decorate our homes is informed by our childhood. If you learn meticulous cleaning habits from your parents, you might carry on with this into adulthood. As a child, you probably went to a friend's house and marveled at how differently they did things. Part of that lesson is learning that the way someone chooses to decorate and clean their home is part of their personality. But like most things in life, it's important to find a balance. If you find yourself restless or distracted you should ask yourself if the room is too cluttered or messy. Maybe it's the opposite; you could just as easily become distracted or uncomfortable by an environment that is too sterile looking.
Listen to yourselfThe most important thing to remember when decorating your home is to follow your intuitions. Decide if you decorated a room a certain way because that's what everyone else does or if it actually makes you feel more at home.
We are all guilty of it, some worse than others. Homes all over America are brimming with clutter. Do the closets in your home trigger a small avalanche every time you open them? Are your basements and attics filled to capacity with boxes of your adult children’s baby clothes and toys? Do you have holiday decorations from 25 years ago tucked away in corners of your home? The typical American has the tendency to hoard objects and it is becoming an epidemic. Most of us have more objects entering the house than we have exiting the house. It does not take long before all this stuff over burdens the storage systems in the home. We just keep shopping and bringing in more stuff than we are getting rid of. Eventually our counters are muddled with papers, our cabinets are stuffed to the max, and our garage is no longer a place we can store the car. Instead the garage is just another room filled to capacity with boxes and bins of junk. All this clutter is suffocating us and stealing our time and energy. It complicates our life and causes stressful situations when we spend our time searching for missing items. Clutter can impact our social life as well, making us afraid to let our friends into our home. It's time to simplify our life and get rid of the clutter! By clearing out the clutter in your home you begin to reclaim your space and your time. Living a simplified life with less stuff will allow you to live in harmony with out all the chaos. Own less and live more, keep it simple.
No matter how big your kitchen is, making the most use of your storage space can be tough. There’s many ways that you can expand the kitchen storage that you already have without starting a demolition project. Below, you’ll find some stellar ideas for storage that may have never crossed your mind. These tips can help you to maximize the use of your kitchen storage space. Use Cabinet Doors For Storage You can put cork boards inside of a cabinet for reminders and shopping lists instead of hanging it on a wall. You can also hang a small spice rack for spice storage. You can even think about placing hooks inside of the cabinet doors of the kitchen to enable you to hang measuring cups and spoons along with other small kitchen utensils. A metal towel bar also makes a great storage apparatus inside of a cabinet door. You could hang everything from kitchen towels to utensils to the lids of your pots and pans inside of these cabinet doors. Check Out Unused Space Over Doors and Windows You can make great use of unused space over a door or window by hanging simple shelves above the frames. These shelves can be used for storing things like off season dishes or rarely used serving dishes and cooking vessels. You could even consider displaying bottles of prized liquor or wine on these shelves. Keep Pots and Pans Under Control Pots and pans are one of the bulkiest items in your kitchen. You can save a lot of cabinet space by hanging your pots and pans from a ceiling mounting rack. This way, all of your pots and pans are easily accessible, and you’re saving precious storage space. If you can’t hang pots and pans from the ceiling of your kitchen, use hooks and mount your pots and pans to the wall for some practical decor. Storage Solutions Many over-the-door storage solutions exist to help maximize space that would be wasted under other conditions. Small racks made from metal or plastic can be handy for the storage of things like plastic containers. Baskets and bins are also great in places like inside of the pantry where foo items can often become disorganized. Behold Baskets Baskets are a stylish and a practical way to keep clutter out of the way. Baskets can be placed on shelving or inside of cabinets to be used for snacks, kitchen towels, napkins, utensils and anything else that you can think of that may need a place! As you can see, getting creative with your kitchen storage is the best way to maximize the potential of the space.