STEPHEN THOMPSON: Self-decorating – an inexpensive form of self-therapy?


I’m probably the biggest fan Wendy Wrzos has east of the Mississippi River. If you’re wondering about Wendy, “Is she a music, film or TV star?” you’re thinking old school and not new school. Wendy’s an Internet star and her claim to fame comes from the down-to-earth stories and Interior Redesign Specialist experiences she writes about on her blog TheBlueGiraffe.

Wendy feels a little self-help and a little self-decorating go hand-in-hand. As she writes in her latest blog:

Is it weird to say that I actually consider homes to be a rather inexpensive form of therapy? Think about it; we never have to wait for an appointment, or worry about medical insurance, and, we have the ability to change most things whenever we want to. So, if ever you feel like you need a little bit of help in the happiness department, why not try some of these ideas in your home first.

Feeling bored

Take all of your books and CD’s off the shelves. Go through them, listen to the music, read a few chapters, and put away the ones you no longer like very much. Reorganize the shelves.

Stressed out

Light a candle. Did you know the simple act of striking a match, and putting it to a candle, relieves stress?

Open the windows and doors. Bringing fresh air inside will flush out all those weird toxins that sit around our homes (doing bad things that we are all told about, but nobody quite understands).

Vacuum. It doesn’t require any fine motor skills (I get clumsy if I am stressed), the noise will distract you from whatever you are worrying about, and your house will be clean.


Have a room, or a space, where you know you can always take a nap, meditate, sit and look out the window, or read a book. Try to keep it clutter free, as neat as possible, and have an emergency napping kit waiting right there (a blanket, a book, a favorite photograph, music, a pillow, a souvenir of a happy time, a pencil and paper).


Do just one thing. Choose something small (and manageable) that overwhelms you in your home. Write it on your calendar, and allow yourself twice the amount of time you think you may need. Don’t stop until you finish, for example, sort through one junk drawer, go through the mail, or fold one load of laundry.


Distract yourself with something physical that takes some thought, effort and energy. Move the furniture around – don’t worry about whether or not it will look good, just move it around and see. Paint a room, a floor or a door. Take all your pictures/photographs off the wall, and hang them up in different spots. Organize a closet, pantry, office, laundry room, basement or garage.

A bit blue

Go through your home, and try to get rid of a few things that you don’t like. Store them away until tomorrow. Find things you really love, and put them where you can see them. If nothing else, try to make sure your main living areas look like you are happy, and your home is taken care of.

Even if your heart isn’t in it, it is a bit of a “fake it ‘til you make it” scenario, that does wonders for your emotional well being.

Wendy wondered as she wrote, “If this might seem like a strange post …” but went on to say, “a home is the place where we choose to live, not just a beautiful, complex formula of colors, shapes and symmetry. Why not allow it to nurture us as well?"

I whole-heartedly agree. The next time you’re feeling bored, stressed out, tired, overwhelmed, cranky or a bit blue, try a little self-decorating. You’ll be amazed at how much better you will feel, not to mention how beautiful your home will look.

Live in beauty!

Stephen Thompson, Allied ASID has been creating coordinated, beautiful, tasteful interiors since 1975. For questions, comments, or consultations contact Designer Connection, P.O. Box 361, Tupelo, MS 38802 or

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