Our apartment is slowly claiming the nickname “The Treehouse.” Everyone who visits makes the comment that it feels like a tree house, we are on the third floor and almost every window you look out there are trees, not to mention our patio feels like a tropical oasis. Though we weren’t striving to give a tropical feel, we definitely have made our home an escape from reality. This isn’t a difficult feat, there are a few simple things that you can do to your home to make it feel more like a vacation.
CLUTTER AND MESS
I have never been okay with clutter, if there are things I don’t need, I either donate, discard, or sell. As a general rule, If something isn’t providing value to your life, get rid of it! This will clear your home of unneeded junk that gets in the way of you living your life.
Small messes left unattended grow, I swear! If you change your habits to clean a little bit through out the day or just generally picking up after yourself it will make such a difference. I used to hate doing dishes (I still do), but that was because I let a full sink pile up. I would also leave clean up for after cooking/eating, just putting everything in the sink for later, as a result I hated cooking because it created dishes. I now love cooking because I clean as I go, it makes your life so much easier and small bits of cleaning make it not seem like a chore. If you are coming home to a mess you are more likely to dread it, you are essentially coming home to a list of chores.
SIMPLICITY & QUALITY
Simplicity goes hand in hand with my rule of eliminating clutter. When you go to a resort or a vacation home, look around. Whether it’s your style or not, notice that the decor is simple and all flows together. This is key, have your decor and furniture reflect your style but don’t make it look like your Pinterest boards threw up in your house. Don’t get me wrong, I use Pinterest alot, but don’t use every single idea you find, it will be overwhelming to come home to. You also don’t need to have every wall covered or corner decorated with a plant.
The collage behind my couch is the perfect example of simplicity. We didn’t know what to put in frames, how we wanted to collage to be arranged, etc. This quickly got out of hand and it looked so messy. I figured out a theme, we wanted to show off our travels and ran with it. We don’t have a color scheme (other than neutrals) so I had all of the photos printed in black and white, all of the photos now go together even though they wouldn’t have if they were all left in color.
My next point is to focus on getting quality over quantity. We don’t have a lot of furniture but the pieces we do have are timeless quality items. Note that while quality usually does cost more it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. (If you want to see a blog post on affordable furniture and decor, let me know in the comments!) If you have the staple quality pieces it’s easy to change the style with decor as your style and seasons change.
Decor is something I am SO picky about because I can’t justify splurging on a picture frame or bookshelf, even though I want it to look stylish and expensive. I know that “you get what you pay for”, there are just so many different affordable options out there. Homegoods, TJMaxx, Amazon, and Target are my go to for decor. I find that my style seems to change every few years, another reason I don’t want to pay top dollar for something that may only be around for a year or two. And now that I have a puppy… this mindset is even greater because he likes to eat EVERYTHING!
When you are decorating find pieces that all go together with your style. Stay with the same theme through out the house. Pinterest has been my best friend when I am in a pinch and don’t know how to design the living room or where to put certain things. If you are painting the walls/trim stick with the same color palette, this is essential to make sure your home has a “styled” look. Lastly, pick decor and artwork that will relax you, for me it is pictures of plants (shocking, I know) and places I have traveled/plan to travel. If you are the same way, display photos from vacations or plants, if you like motivational quotes or art work, then display that. Each person is unique, so what relaxes me may not put you at ease.
PLANTS, PLANTS, PLANTS
I guess if you hate plants (who hates plants?!?!), disregard this portion of the post. Plants make a world of difference, they add color and I swear they help with air quality. We have tons of plants through out our house and it makes the house feel more tropical and relaxing. In the winter, it is a little more difficult to keep them alive but having them is still worth it. I love cacti and tropical plants, I always strive to get different plants each time I buy a new one. Plants also make me happy, I love watching them grow because I feel like I made them grow, even though all I did was water them.
ESCAPE & UNPLUG
When we moved into the new house, we vowed to take the TV out of the bedroom. We have speakers in every room of the house to listen to music but there are only two TVs in the house, one in the office and one in the living room. I thought I would hate not watching TV before bed but surprisingly, I love it. Since we don’t have the TV in the bedroom I feel more inclined to use that space to actually sleep, read, and occasionally study. Not having a constant connection to TV and unplugging from the world once I get home makes me feel like I am taking a break from reality. When you have a spot to escape and unplug, mine are the bedroom and the patio, you are more likely to feel relaxed. Most of the time when I get home, I don’t look at social media very often and I really don’t watch TV. I have shows that I like to watch and movies that I enjoy, but for the most part I enjoy spending time with Joel and George.
It’s okay to take a break from the craziness of life and your home should be exactly that. Make it what you love, eliminate all of the things that cause you stress, and create your personal get away.
Did this blog help you create your own oasis?! What tips and tricks do you use to help you relax?