Every choice you make about how you show up in the world is an expression of your personal style, including the spaces that you surround yourself with. I’m sharing how to use your personal style as a powerful tool and how you can use it to manage your subconscious and shape the experiences that you have.
Thanks for being here today! Welcome to the Style With Intention podcast.
Today’s episode is all about wrangling your subconscious to give you the conscious experiences you want to have. Feelings of contentment, eagerness, optimism, and joy.
Listen in today as I share everything I’ve learned about the way our subconscious deals with emotions and how you can take control and access the better emotions you want to feel. When we understand how something works – it’s easier to manage. This is the science behind our feelings!
Our bonus content this week gives you the specific steps you can take to get into a better feeling state, so be sure to download the one-page worksheet which will teach you “How To Choose The Way You Want to Feel” by clicking HERE.
As always, my goal is to make it quicker and easier for you to access more ease, joy, and intention in your life…because happy looks really, really good!
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Welcome to the style with intention podcast where we talk about how to use your personal style choices as a tool to create a life you love. We believe choice is empowering, complacency is boring, and happy looks really, really good.
I’m your host, Annie Kip, and today we’re talking about how your home environment helps define your personal style. You know that I believe every choice you make – how you look, how you dress, what you say, how you make other people feel – everything about how you show up in the world is an expression of your personal style, and that personal style is a really powerful tool you can use to manage your subconscious and shape the experiences that you have. This includes the spaces that you surround yourself with as well.
It’s not about how big or small your home is, but the way you choose to live in your home. It’s what you decide to live with and there’s no right or wrong answer here. Each of us has unique preferences and bottom lines and things that we like or don’t like, and they have nothing to do with anyone else’s preferences. We just have to kind of own what matters to us. The space that we surround ourselves with is a personal expression. Now, I truly believe that we are each born with a sense of what styles appeal to us. I believe that each of us is born with a knowing, deep down about what things will make us feel good. What appeals to us might change over time, depending on our experiences, but they are still unique to us. I also believe that this innate sense can get cloudy as we grow up.
Sometimes it can feel like we’ve even lost the sense of what we like and what matters to us altogether. Women in midlife, particularly after putting their preferences aside for years and taking care of their families, often find themselves not knowing what they even like. It’s very disconcerting – you kind of find yourself feeling a little lost, but I assure you, you can get that sense back. It’s within you. If you pay attention, there are little things that give you clues. I call them “whispers,” but you’ll notice that certain things to spark you, you notice them, they make you pay attention, they catch your eye. It feels good to look at them, being in certain spaces or around certain colors or shapes or textures can make you feel more open, more expansive, or more free. These are the things you should surround yourself with.
The furniture you choose, the colors and fabrics you pick, and even the way you keep your house. There is no right or wrong. There are just personal choices. A little bit later, I’m going to share five things you can do to make your home feel better. These are my recommendations, but deep down I think the general style choices you make have to come from within you. I’ve seen a wide range of styles and the unique personalities that go with them.
One of my best friends is a career counselor and an artist. She has a personal style that is totally different from mine. She likes really bright colors and flowing fabrics and really cool, unusual handmade jewelry. She runs her own business so she can wear whatever she wants when she meets with clients. She’s got great style and flair and I love how she dresses and the thing she picks, but they aren’t me.
We are definitely opposites. Think of us as kind of a Grace and Frankie from the Netflix show. I know that her style choices make her feel energized and vibrant and free and she knows what makes me feel the same way – and they’re totally different. We appreciate each other’s style and can be helpful to each other in identifying what we each need to get back on track when we’re feeling out of alignment. My friend has very consistent taste and how she looks and dresses and she’s really clear on the styles that kind of line up with who she is and how she wants to feel every day, but for years she struggled with her house. Now, we live in a pretty traditional neighborhood, a lot of colonials and manicured lawns. It’s New England, not New Mexico where she grew up – and she’s always felt that her preferences didn’t really fit in here.
Sort of like a fish out of water being judged by style standards that she didn’t even subscribe to. She likes interesting angles and weathered wood and metal sculptures in southwestern colors like turquoise and orange and caramel and purple that reminder of where she grew up. For years, we’ve been talking about this – that she really wanted to live in a space that made her feel better and she always sort of denied herself and said she couldn’t really have these things because of where we live. It really has bugged her and not living in the house that she really likes was making her reluctant to have people over. She felt stuck and that she wanted to make some changes, but she didn’t feel like she could have what she really wanted. Early on, I think she got stuck in the “how,” she would pull this off, like how would it happen – and she didn’t allow herself to really start at square one and think about what she would want if there were no restrictions.
Literally over the years we worked together on lots of different options. She was deciding between an addition or a renovation and we drew up potential floor plans and created decision trees and slowly the idea of having a home that was different from all the others in our neighborhood began to sort of sink in with her. She got with the idea that she could paint a bright color on even just one wall or add texture to the paint and give it a sort of southwestern adobe feel, and she realized she could use materials for accents that weren’t traditional polished cherry or mahogany. She could use rough wood and found objects. Eventually she was able to take everything we talked about and found an architect who gave her exactly what she wanted.
She ended up with a house that suits her perfectly. It’s different from all the colonials on our street, but it’s interesting and it’s so her. The walls are painted fun colors. She used stones and reclaimed wood for her floors and accents and she purchased furniture that really pulls the house together. Unique pieces. Her personal style shines through now loud and clear in her home, and instead of making her feel bad, her home actually makes her feel really good inside every day.
I can’t tell you what a difference this has made in her life. It’s like she has been set free. Whether you’re just used to the things that bug you about your home and you’re actually kind of just resigned to them, or if you’re acutely aware of what’s bugging you, your home environment is making you feel a certain way. It’s like coming home to your mama and a big hug and a warm plate of cookies when it feels right – or to a nagging landlord who refuses to fix anything and still wants the rent if it isn’t feeling right.
Your home really does matter and you don’t have to do a renovation or spend a lot of money to make it work better for you. Here are five things you can do to make your home feel better.
#1 – create a spot for your keys, your wallet, and your phone and put them there every single time you walk in the door. This is basic advice, but this simple act gives you peace of mind and cues your body and brain to relax, breathe out and settle in because your home.
#2 – look at your walls and decide if they make you happier, now look around in the world to which colors lift you up or bring you down. If you’re not feeling great about the colors in your home, make it a priority to change the paint on your walls. Paint is relatively inexpensive and you can paint a room in a weekend if you want to. The right colors for you can make a huge difference in how you feel.
#3 – remove the extras. Over time we accumulate so much stuff. Just pare it down in small steps, one drawer at a time or move it out at least to the garage or the attic. Living with so much stuff, furniture, accessories, clothing, dishes, pans, clothes and coats and things, and shoes. It’s exhausting. I’m not saying you have to go minimalist. Just make sure that everything you have in your house is doing a job for you, either making you really happy just to look at it or doing a function that you really need. You want to be able to move through your space, sit down, look out your windows, and use the surfaces without having to rearrange things. Let go of things and you’ll feel much freer.
#4 – increase or decrease the wattage of your light bulbs depending on the feeling you want in the space. I use very low wattage light bulbs in my living room – 40 wattage usually because I’m in there at night and whether I’m alone or I have company over, I want a calm, peaceful feeling. In my bathrooms and in the laundry area, in our basement, we have 100 watt bulbs because I want it really, really bright.
#5 – create at least one special spot for yourself to sit and relax. This is the equivalent of a room of your own. If you don’t have that, this can be a chair, your bed, even the bathtub, whatever makes sense for you. Gather what you need all in one place and prepare so it’s easy to go there when you want some peace, a light, a candle, a small table, a coaster for your drink, a book, a throw, a soft pillow, whatever. You need to be super comfortable. Everyone deserves a place that feels like their spot where they know they can go and relax.
So it probably won’t surprise you to hear that since my friend made those changes to her home, she’s produced amazing artwork and her consulting business is booming. The style choices she made supported how she wanted to feel inside, and that good feeling is now showing on the outside in her appearance, her attitude, and how she lives her life and runs her business to me. She’s more herself than ever before. I know she feels much more peace and contentment, which are much higher vibrational states that she was feeling before winter house was out of alignment with who she really is. Even if you can’t do a major home renovation, you can give yourself permission to like what you like. Stop fighting yourself, collect what makes you happy. Surround yourself with colors that make you smile. Paint is cheap and it can make a huge difference. Accents are a great way to bring in some of the colors and designs that appeal to you.
If you don’t want to paint a whole room, the important thing to note is that you have choices. We forget this. I wrote about this on instagram the other day. All the choices are there for you. You may not like what comes from all of them, but they are still options for you. You don’t have to pick the brown sofa just because you have young kids. You don’t have to do without modern touches because you live in a traditional neighborhood. The element of deliberate choice is an essential part of your personal style and affects every aspect of your life. If it’s important to you, you can make it work. I’ve always had white slip-covered sofas because I really like how versatile they are and in my world of working with fabrics and patterns all day long, the white just feels calming to me.
Basically, I made this choice to have white sofas because it made me happy, even though I knew I would be wrangling three kids and my big brown dog, so I made rules about what can be eaten on the sofas. I don’t let the dog on the furniture. I wash and I bleached the heck out of those slip covers when they get dirty. Those are all choices I’m willing to live with and it’s the price I’m willing to pay to have what I want.
You can set your life up any way you want to. Let your home be a statement about who you are, not what you’re settling for. I really do believe when it comes to style, that it’s better to take a chance and be really interesting then to err on the side of being boring and bland and safe. If you’d like to know the steps I walk clients through when we’re starting a new project, you can get the workbook, I made for you. It’s called “Style Your Room Happy.” It’s a Quick-Start Guide and it takes you through this five step formula that I follow to help clients get clear on what they really want and make sure everything will fit. It also shares how to make the shopping process much more efficient than you might think and gives you tips for how to make your home really personal. Click on the link in the show notes to get it – it’s free and it’ll be a big help to you.
Anyway, thanks for listening today and enjoying my story. Keep making your house and your life look the way you want to feel. I’ll catch you next week. Bye-bye for now!