Growing up, all one has control over, decor wise, is one’s own bedroom. But the moment that one leaves the nest, they now have an entire home/flat/suite to decorate with limited fund, furniture, and ideas. As Queer Eye’s Bobby Berk often tells subjects of the rebooted Netflix series, a home should feel safe, welcoming, and full of love. Each and every object within its walls should be comforting, aesthetically pleasing, and fit the room in which they have been placed inside. But with limited affordable guides and so many options, designing a comfortable home can be stressful. By combining some of the best tips provided by Bobby Berk through the three released seasons of the Queer Eye reboot, this writer has created a sort of guide on how to create a home to be proud of.
A home should reflect the interests, lifestyle, and personality of those living in it. A cold, minimalist, white space devoid of any decor or individuality would not feel warm or inviting to any guests or residents as there would be no elements of the people residing inside it. If one needs guidance on what sort of decor to choose, start with your favourite color and then include subtle influences of it throughout the space.
Pick your favourite pattern and get a rug in said pattern. Pick three favourite movies/painters/video games/musical artists and find merchandise related to said interests to hang up on your walls. Decorating a space does not need to be intimidating. Just consider the things that brings one joy and go from there.
If renting, be aware of the colors of the walls in each room. If one owns the space, take the power that color has over mood into consideration when painting a new space. A cool blue wall creates calming and relaxing feelings whereas a bright red excites the body and wakes it up. A red room would be much better suited to be an office than a bedroom. Rooms dedicated to relaxing or calm activities should be enclosed by walls painted in a hue that promotes these types of feelings. When renting, there is limited control over said things but one can take these things into consideration when meeting with landlords and viewing potential suites.
In our modern society, coffee tables are a borderline necessity. Many smaller suites do not have room for dining areas nor studies and living rooms have become the new feeding and working destination. In fact, this writer works from home and uses their living room as an office due to the smaller nature of their rental basement suite.
So it's important to consider the size and nature of use of the living room when picking out a coffee table. Bobby Berk suggests choosing a glass/clear coffee table if one lives in a smaller spaces as they tend to open the space up more than a solid table would.
One of the best things about Netflix’s Queer Eye is that it is teaching both its subjects and viewers that style can be affordable to all income levels. One does not need to break the bank to change up their style or home. Affordable places such as thrift shops, swap meets, IKEA, and even TARGET/Walmart have incredibly stylish and attractive pieces for reasonable prices. One does not need to settle for ugly or awkward pieces just because they are on a budget. Style comes in all price ranges and everyone should be able to create a home that invokes a sense of joy when sat inside.
Sometimes life just gets in the way. It happens to the best of us. Work piles up, an emergency grabs our attention or we fall ill, and we are unable to dedicate the time we need to to maintain our home. Dishes gather, dust bunnies move in, and chaos becomes our new normal. But the show often addresses the fact that a cluttered and chaotic home can lead to increased stress and feelings of being stressed. Organizational devices such as shelving units and labelled buckets are often introduced and chore schedules are a oft used technique implemented in order to help the shows subjects get their life back on track. Pick one day a week to be your big cleaning day and save arduous tasks for said day but also remember to tidy things up along the way.
If it only takes 2 minutes to do it, do it now. Don’t drop your shoes at the door and let things pile up or it will quickly consume you.
The cross section between aesthetic and functionality is incredibly important. A space needs to be aesthetically pleasing and visually satisfying but it also needs to work. A living room needs to be a place where a family can relax and enjoy each others company/their hobbies of choice. A kitchen needs to be a place that can store and make food for consumption. Make sure that all necessary items are easily accessible, tables are clear, chairs are comfy, and that nothing is so aesthetic yet non functional that it cannot be used on a daily basis.
Beds go in bedrooms. No one should ever be eating in the bathroom. Kitchens are not for televisions. And no one should ever be sleeping in the living room. Different spaces have different purposes and should be used accordingly. The brain is easily tricked and combining the function of different rooms can cause it to be unable to perform certain actions properly. Making the bedroom an exciting place with a television and video gaming system or getting into the habit of studying in bed rather than at a table will teach the body to no longer associate such things with sleep.
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Use each space for its intended purpose (to the best of one’s abilities.)
If one is tasked with decorating a smaller space (as many of us are due to rising housing rates and lowering incomes), design choices are incredibly important. The colors that one chooses for the walls can actually create an optical illusion of sorts that alters the way in which we perceive the size of the room. Four walls painted in the same darker color can actually make a room look smaller than it truly is, creating a “boxed in” effect. Bobby Berk often advises and chooses lighter colors for smaller spaces in order to create the illusion of a more “open” room. Though, color lovers, fear not as there are still many ways to inject color into rooms. Bright furniture, colorful wall hangings, and even a fun accent wall can bring color into your space without making it appear too small or cluttered.