Home As Personal Habitat

In the world of interior design there are so many concepts and trends, it’s all too easy to get lost in someone else’s idea of the best way to create an interior.  How does one choose what will create a home that really feels like home?

Just like creatures in the wild who blend in with their surroundings, we also need to feel “natural” where we live.  One of the ways to accomplish this is to live in a place where the colors, shapes and general organization suit us in very particular and personal ways. 

Guidelines from the fashion arena also apply to our “habitat”.  Straightaway, credit for this concept goes to a color expert, Jennifer Butler, who developed this as an extension of her work in the fashion world.  Jennifer, a California consultant for individuals and the movie industry, is adept at matching colors and textures in wardrobe to a person’s natural coloring: eye color (including the shade of the whites of the eyes), hair (color and amount of natural wave), teeth and skin, to facilitate a new ease and natural balance in different facets of life. Wardrobe becomes an extension of one’s inherent makeup.  Her system is a refinement of the general types of coloring based on the seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, which uses the quality of the inner light coming through the skin to reveal the “season”: the brightness of Spring, twilight softness of Summer, the firelight of Autumn and moonlight of Winter.  You can take Jennifer’s Season Quiz Here.
Before and after photos of people who switch to this “natural features” way of dressing show how making this shift supports people in being radiantly at ease and confident in who they naturally are.  When I began to follow this advice – despite some inner grumbling about not wanting to be wedged into a system – I noticed that not only was I more relaxed, other people were also more comfortable with me, helping people to be more receptive to what I have to offer thru that greater sense of recognition and ease.  When there’s a clash between who a person is and how he or she appears it naturally creates a kind of cognitive dissonance for the observer (who is this person really?) and for ourselves as well.  Being considered by outward appearance can be a shallow judgment, and yet the outer does reflect a lot about the inner make-up, and how we relate to ourselves in the world.  An increased congruence between inner and outer always supports authentic expression that is more graceful rather than forced.

Using colors and textures that match one’s own coloring and even body type in one’s environment creates a kind of fundamental comfort, support for relationships, as well as any other facet of life.  Even patterns in fabric design can be coordinated with how straight or curly your hair is.  How angular or rounded your body shape is can be echoed or balanced in your furnishings and use of “line”.

People often dress in colors and lines that are not flattering to them, and the same is true of what is chosen for decor in the home.  Popular trends are one reason for this, but another is that a person may be trying to fit into a certain way of being or behaving because it conforms to an ideal or example they may have learned from the people in their lives.  This plays an unconscious role in the style of expression we choose in our environment as well as our dress.

There’s an assumption that somehow we arrived here incomplete and don’t already have all we need, and have to adapt to something foreign in order to survive.  The problem with this is that, just as a leopard not being able to change its spots, none of us can make ourselves into something we’re not, despite our most determined efforts.  This goes for personality, work style, whether one is a minimalist or feels most at home in a mansion.  Conversely, though being in circumstances where adapting can be necessary, ultimately we’re most equipped to survive as ourselves.  Short term adapting can lead to a loss of self if it’s maintained for too long.

What if we already have everything we need to survive and thrive, and it’s just a matter of bringing it forth and supporting it?  Whenever decor or other home design choices are based on how we actually are, there is always a sense of relief and an ability to express oneself in a way that is more true to inner needs and values.  Making choices based on hair color, eye color, and so forth is an “outside – in “ approach:  providing an outer reflection of an inner truth helps to support the very best in us.

This approach can offer you some guidelines to help relax more into your own self, and is not meant to present yet another set of rules you “should” follow in your life.  Experimenting with new approaches to old questions can help you shed some of the artificial restrictions you may have been living by, revealing more of your wholeness and rightness.  So, if you’re intrigued, join the experiment!