[break][/break]by Charlotte Siems
[break][/break]There used to be a certain shop downtown, with antiques and doo-dads and home décor. Crystal chandeliers and rusty hooks were displayed side by side. This little shop carried everything from flowered china to quirky printed tissue packs. Stepping through the door, you were greeted by the warm, rich smell of potpourri and burning candles. The displays and products changed with the seasons. The whole place was a delight to the heart and the senses and it had great atmosphere.
[break][/break]What is atmosphere? It is defined as “a surrounding or pervading mood, environment, or influence.” We often think of a restaurant or a business or an event when we think of atmosphere. We rely on the feeling we get, good or bad, when referring to atmosphere.
[break][/break]Now ask yourself: What is the atmosphere of your home?
[break][/break]Home atmosphere is not a simple matter of artfully arranging accessories or lighting a candle. However, we can’t discount the importance of doing such things to beautify our homes.
[break][/break]We react emotionally to our surroundings because we are affected by our senses. Arranging furniture for cozy conversations, placing pretty objects on an end table and setting out a vase of fresh flowers all contribute to atmosphere.
[break][/break]You can even use the motivation of new accessories like couch pillows or a rustic tray to get in gear to clean and declutter a room.
[break][/break]The other half of home atmosphere involves attitude and the way that life is lived in your home. A tastefully appointed dining room quickly turns ugly when someone is screaming at a toddler in the middle of it. Even a warm and welcoming den feels cold when the focus is on rigidly sticking with the schedule at the expense of a child weeping over a math lesson.
[break][/break]“Atmosphere is more important than getting it all done.”
~ Nancy Campbell
[break][/break]The turn of the year is a time when we re-evaluate our lives and hopefully, our homes. Go outside. Walk back into your home and *feel* the home atmosphere from the perspective of a visitor, then your family. Look around with new eyes—what do you see? Piles and clutter and barely-getting-by décor?
[break][/break]What could you do to change your home atmosphere? I’m not talking a major remodel or spring cleaning. Back up. What is ONE thing you could do to change it? Clean up one pile or one room? Rearrange some furniture? None of that costs a dime.
[break][/break]More importantly, what is ONE thing you could do to change your perspective or attitude, thereby changing the atmosphere of your home? Several things could help: read a good book, spend some time away from the situation (maybe an afternoon out for mom), or talk to someone whose life you respect.
[break][/break]Fortunately, changing your home atmosphere can start right this moment. Take some time to evaluate and see what needs to change. Don’t just think about it—take action! The atmosphere in your home creates the images and feelings of your family’s memories. Don’t wait and then have regrets at the end of 2013. Purpose in your heart to create a new home atmosphere in the new year.
[break][/break]Your thoughts are welcome….please leave a comment.