My home is my place of rest and peace; an expression of my personality and a safe haven from the stresses of the world. I love to travel or just get out of the “house” every day. But I am always so thankful to come back home! It is an important part of my life now more than ever.
Four years after an often stressful and at times tumultuous marriage and later the death of my husband I set out to reclaim my life and my home. I wanted a calm environment in which to heal and to grow old.
Five years ago when I walked into this condominium I knew it would be my home. I sold my three bedroom house with many beautiful trees that shed many beautiful leaves to be raked and a yard that needed care. I bought the two bedroom condominium with one little red maple tree at the corner of my screened in porch. Grounds care is provided.
From watching such movies as: “Shogun,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “The Last Emperor” I liked the decor or the homes for the beauty and peacefulness.
The muted, beautiful colors of the paintings; the placement of plants and Bonsai trees; statues of animals; the subtle lighting; the peaceful feel of how things are positioned joined together to give the ambiance of harmony and tranquility in those movies. So I knew that was what I wanted in my new home.
Because I wanted to understand the cultures better, I studied a little about Chinese watercolor; took a class on feng shui; and read some about the history and cultures of Japan and China.
The idea of a peaceful, balanced environment being conducive to a peaceful mind and life interested me. So I chose the Japanese/Chinese styles to decorate my new home. (There are also Native American pieces and mementos among the Oriental items.)
For the living room I bought lamps that looked like Nantou lamps, with shades that look like a woven material. I use sunlight when possible to provide a natural light and warmth in both my living room and bedroom.
The furniture and lamps, and ornamental wall fans add beauty and color to the peaceful ambiance. (The blankets on the couch backs and the covers on the arms are to help retard wear and tear of the couch material from Norie sleeping there.)
I acquired two Asian prints and two Native American ones at thrift stores as well as two wall mirrors. I placed them all to hopefully simulate the calm of a feng shui home. None of them cost over $20.
Several of my friends have visited my home and commented on its peaceful feeling. One friend said when she saw the living room picture, she was so relaxed she wanted to take a nap!
The black iron stand in the picture below sits in the corner at the end of the hall and holds mixed cultural symbols. There are a few Native American items because of my interest in their culture.
Scientists believe that 80% of Native Americans shared origins with the present day Asian countries’ ancestors, these symbols seem to go together well to me.
Also I have a South American Indian Flute, and two dream catchers, along with three Asian dioramas carved from cork in black framed glass containers.
I like to think that my cat, Norie’s purring or gentle snoring, make her a perfect additions to the peaceful feel of my home as well as a good source feng shui energy. A sleepy cat is a peaceful sight.
Cats may sleep 16-18 hours a day. Their purring has also been found to promote healing in bones, muscles and tendons; decrease swelling; lessen the chances of a heart attack for their owner by 40%; and promote relaxation and lowering of the blood pressure. She is an especially positive factor in my peace and health!!
But just so you know I am not taking all of this decorating too seriously, I added the totally “off” the wall owls into the decor. Well, actually owls are animals and represent animal energy. The bright colors also add cheerfulness. I liked them so I put them on the wall by the front door, where they hold extra keys now.
My dining room was not used as much so it was the last room I focused on. The black screen on one wall of the dining room was my aunt’s and an antique. This screen is a carved black wood with carved stone figures of birds and branches on it. I have always liked it and shared my aunt’s interest in Asian decor.
Another wall of the dining room has a charcoal drawing my first son made with charcoal while in high school. He and his wife had it matted and framed for me for Christmas several years ago.
Mirrors provide extra depth to some walls and help add light from the window and overhead light as well.
Making my home a place of peace and calm is a work of love and pride. I love my home and am thankful for its calming effects. This kind of calm environment is the one I want to grow old in.