Casa cure

By on December 30, 2011
Assessing the ‘health’ of your homes and creating a vision for your dream space;  So many of us live in ‘unhealthy’ homes – these homes don’t support our needs, they can create stress and can even add to depression and anxiety, eventually causing physical and/or emotional illness.To asses your home it is important to get to know your home and it’s problem areas, you need  to identify the areas you love and the spaces that you avoid and wish you could change. And what the difference are between these areas.The following steps will assist you in assessing your home’s health and creating a vision for your dream space. There are four steps this month, one for every week – please don’t rush through the process, try to do only one step at a time, this way you will most effectively asses your nest.

Before we start, treat yourself by buying a new notebook, choose one that reflects your style, it could be a formal ruled or traditional notebook, a freestyle sketchbook or a small notepad, whatever you feel most comfortable with. This notebook, will be
your companion and ‘Casa Cure Workbook’.  Always keep it in you handbag, so you can write down ideas and look at to do’s when you are out shopping.

Step one: Start by the front door

Stand outside the front door (with the door closed), pen and workbook in hand.  Say to yourself, ‘I am ready to see my home with fresh eyes, I will let my home speak to me and I will listen, I will not judge, feel guilty or resist the messages that come up’.

Be gentle with yourself and remind yourself that this is a process, not a quick fix.  Now open the front door and walk in, stand in your entrance area, what do you see, what is the first message you get about your home. What would your home say if it could speak? Now write this down. Don’t filter any of your thoughts just write what comes to mind. Be gentle with yourself, but be honest.

Now walk through the rest of your home slowly, look at every room with new eyes, let the rooms speak to you, acknowledge what you feel about every space. Do you love the areas so much that you want to linger to enjoy the vibe and look or do you want to rush through the areas?

Write everything down that you feel and ‘hear’ – as you walk through the rooms, touch the walls. Do they feel cold, warm, damp? Write this down too.  Now sit in your favorite area of your home, read through your notes and jot down any additional thoughts that come up about the ‘health’ of your home.

Again be honest and don’t filter these messages. Also write about your favorite area, and what makes this your beloved space. If you don’t have an area in your home that you love and adore, imagine such an area and write down what it would look like –  write a detailed description, engaging all five senses, describe the textures, the colors, the smell, the textures, the ‘vibe’.

The next step is to choose the areas in your home you have the most problems with, the rooms that you wish could magically transform or in the most severe cases you wish the room with all its contents would just disappear altogether! Again take your notebook and paper, this time sit in the room – carry a chair into the room if there‘s no seating, or just sit on the floor. Look carefully at the room, let your eyes wander from the ceiling, down to the floor, over all the surfaces, turn around and look at the area behind you, take in a 360 degree perspective. Observe every item in the room, the furniture, the flooring, the window treatments, decor items, clutter, storage and everything else.

Step three is looking at all your notes and jotting down the key areas you love and why you love them, or creating an imaginary space that you would like to spend time in. Now write down what makes this a supportive and loved area – is it the color? The layout, the light? Anything else? Make a Top 5 list of  the things you love in. Now look at the notes of the areas that you dislike. Make a list of the Top 5 problems. Over the next few weeks we will address these issues.

The forth step of this month’s Casa Cure is the this month’s fun: it’s all about creating a vision for your dream space. All successful journeys begin with a positive vision. Allow yourself to dream, forget the space you live in and create a vision of what you want. Start with pictures, pictures  are seen as  the currency of design, it will inspire you and it will give you ideas for your own space. Over the next weeks buy home magazines – a home magazine is simply a magazine that has to do with homes. You are looking not only for rooms to copy but rooms with ideas and a feeling you can imitate.   Buy home magazines from your own country but  in addition to this also buy ones you have never seen or heard of. Buy Japanese editions, don’t worry that you can’t read the text, it is all about the photos.  There are so many home magazines out there and in Japan they are quite pricey … so make sure to flip through a few to see which ones appeal most to you before buying. (Below is a list of magazines we recommend; Tsutaya in Roppongi Hills have a wonderful selection.) Tear out pictures of anything that appeals to you –  do not  filter or judge your instinct; just rip out anything that speaks to your soul. Also visit blogs; they offer hundreds of beautiful photos and tips for dream spaces. Print out the pictures you like on your home printer. Visit Interior design shops and home accessory shops in the city –  pick up their catalogues and take pictures of items and looks that you like in their showrooms … again print this out at home. Also visit a paint shop and collect paint swatches –  they are great sources of inspiration.

The last step step is to start a style tray – find or buy a white or black serving or office in/out tray… keep all the images you collect here. Collect pictures in abundance, follow your heart, be nothing but honest with yourself. We will soon use these images to create a Dream Board.Until we ‘meet’ again … enjoy getting to know your home and finding inspiration for your dream space – enjoy the process and don’t be too surprised if it brings up emotions, fears and resistance. Just go with these emotions and take one step at a time, the end result will be worth every moment!Liezel Strauss is the Art and Design Consultant at BottegaTokyo. Bottega takes a caring and sensitive approach towards design to ensure its creative endeavors reflect its physical, emotional and spiritual connections with our environment. BottegaTokyo’s passion and overall goal is to create soulful, functional spaces that speak to the aesthetic and needs of an individual, family, or business.  Made up of a  team of art and interior consultants, they provide innovative and sustainable design solutions for residential properties and small commercial spaces in Tokyo and the Yokohama area.

Our favorite home magazines are:  (all available at Tsutaya)
Elle Decor (We like the UK, Japan, Germany editions)
Living Etc (UK)
Vogue Living (Australia)
Dwell (USA)

Our favorite online magazines:

Our favorite home / design blogs

About Liezel Strauss