Design as self-care & a welcome note

Our bodies don’t travel in time. But our brains? Oh, baby. That beautiful network of tubes suspended comfortably behind your eyebrows stores all sorts of sensory memories you’ve forgotten about. Some innocuous, some depressing, others so hilarious you couldn’t get through the day if you consciously remembered them.

This time travel is never planned, always spontaneous. We breathe in a familiar, can’t-quite-place-it smell and suddenly, our limbs feel soft and small. For a split second, we may half expect to see our childhood best friend plop down next to us. Our hands clammy from the prospect of going to the pool with our crush.

A few weeks ago, my brain took me on a trip. No, not that type of trip. This isn’t that kind of story. Just an old-fashioned time travel experience. I was rummaging through a pile of interior design magazines and found one from 2004. Bemused by the shabby chic, patchwork arm chairs and deeply overbearing gallery walls, I was about to toss it aside. But then I saw my name in unfamiliar yet strangely comforting penmanship. Written as neatly as only a ten year old can manage, I had carefully marked the front cover, “For Miranda if she is feeling blue.”

My cynical quips quickly evaporated. Jolted back in time, I felt myself inscribing those words. I remember thinking clearly and confidently, “This magazine will always cheer me up.” And to a certain extent, I was right. Sure, a house tour didn’t exactly have the power to nurse me through a break up, but I still return to interior design when I feel blue. Immersing myself in the carefully designed homes of strangers for an hour or two is like giving my brain a bubble bath. I feel my whole soul take a deep breath in and a long exhale out. But why is that? What is it about design that offers such respite?

Flipping through the pages, I saw through the eyes of a ten year old girl falling in love with the transformative power of design. Beyond the homes themselves, the homeowners’ unmistakable pride as they nonchalantly leaned against, say, their antique dresser from Paris, was exemplifying the importance of creating a home that felt like their own. I’d look to my own mum who designed our home with the intention of genuinely sparking magic into our lives, too. (Gnomes and elves, for example, are familiar fixtures to this day.) Early on I realized that when we put care and love into designing our homes, we pour supportive energy into our internal homes, too. Every act of making our home our own is an act of saying, I see you. I am here for you. I care for you. You matter.

This moment of time travel left me with two realizations. First, the obvious one: design has always brought me untold levels of joy. Second, and perhaps more importantly, design helps us connect to who we are and who we want to be. This is what I fell in love with.

Interior design shows us how we can care for ourselves and cultivate a life that we feel inspired by. Filling a vase with fresh flowers; angling your desk so that it soaks up more of the afternoon sun; leaving your slippers at the door for when you get home. Each of these actions reminds you of the you that thought, “This will make me smile. This will help me feel inspired, energized. This will comfort me.” Your home can act as a daily reminder that you love yourself and that you are worth your own love.

Hyppiä Homes is a celebration of the pursuit to cultivate a sense of home inside & out. A hurrah to the design that make you feel at home. A high-five to the habits that help make your mental space a fortress of inspiration & support. My dream is having a community where we can talk about creating a sense of home & purpose within the walls of our abode and the walls of our minds. Through conversation, inspiration, and resources, I hope to spark hyppiä ilosta in each of you. Hyppiä ilosta is a Finnish phrase for the desire to jump up and down out of joy. That looks different to all of us, and that’s exactly why I love it.

Welcome to Hyppiä Homes. I’m hyppiä that you’re here.

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