• Hasitha Illa

How to create a home YOU love!

I love my home; it is small, and I am not blessed with a fancy job, which means it has been created and styled on a budget. There is no fancy secret and I am not an educated interior designer. I simply fell in love with it and after being diagnosed with depression, I learnt the positive impact my home had on my mental health and overall well-being. It is the most comforting base which fits me and my tiny family’s life perfectly. It is ever changing, but I am always sticking with some of the initial ideas I learnt. Finding the best ways to combine practicality and having it look beautiful at the same time can be a true struggle.

Allow me to share some of the ways I have learned to create my home, which can be used in any home. These tips can be applied by all. I know there is a lot of added pressure and difficulty when you also have to design a home that is accessible with a wheelchair, but all of the tips below are taking that into consideration, because a beautiful home should be available to everyone.

1. Don’t style your home to fit your guests needs!

It is a common habit taught to us by society, that we always need to be polite, and put others before ourselves. This also means that many decorate and create their home with others in mind. You want them to feel welcome and be impressed by your home, which is a sweet thought of course. However, that mindset needs to go! You will be the one living there, and your home needs to fit your needs. Don’t worry about everyone else, if you decorate with passion it will show, even if it isn’t exactly fitted to their style of living or decorating style.

2. Space to move around

Most of us have busy lives and need to move around easily. Especially for wheelchair users; space is key! There are so many beautiful options for hanging plants, wall and ceiling lamps instead of things that need to be put on the floor. To get the cozy feeling you can simply place candles on tables and shelves, as well as find wall hanging options and by hanging a blanket on the site of your couch and decorate with lots of pillows you will achieve a comfy vibe without compromising practicality.

3. Lots of storage space!

One of the easiest yet most underappreciated ways to an easy-going everyday life is storage. When we first moved into our space, we did not acknowledge just how important this part is. Having a place for everything to go, makes keeping a clean space so much easier. I am not fussy about a busy home, I love all my fun decorations, plants and art pieces, but then cups and papers and all sorts of stuff start piling up as well, and it creates an internal stress in me. It keeps me from being as productive, or relaxed as I should be and for sure impacts my well-being. With time we have sold some of our furniture and bought new (old) ones with much more storage space. This means that even after a busy week and stuff having piled up, it does not take us more than half an hour to clear everything and prepare for a new week. To this day it is clear when you do look around, that the things that create the most mess, are the ones with no permanent home.

4. Adding personal and unique pieces

To me decorating with personality and telling a story through your interior design makes a big difference. I love adding small personal touches and unique pieces. My favorites are old family pictures, homemade art (yes, even the ones created by your little cousin), art from artists I follow on Instagram, handmade decorations and ceramics, souvenirs from travels and secondhand pieces. None of which costs you a fortune. It is easy to get into the mindset that you need some expensive designer furniture to make your home look nice, but the reality is some simple furniture from a vintage store or Ikea will do just as well. Just add some of those personal items, some homemade pillows, and a candle; that is what will truly transform your home into a space you love.

5. Do not be afraid to use colors!

Colors are such a simple way to make an impact. Just think about it, if you visit a home and there is a yellow wall, what feeling does that make you feel? We all connect colors with feelings and so by using them in our homes we can make sure we are doing our part to evoke certain feelings. I like vibrant colors that I connect to my childhood, I also love mixing lots of colors. They make me feel calm, safe, and inspired and help by reminding me of those feelings even on the toughest days. White and grey are also colors, there are no rules, it is all about how they make YOU feel.

Art and article by: Laura Anna Wainer


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