Refresh Your Space (on a Budget) and Your Life Will Follow
by QuickieChick Laurel House
It’s said that your living space is a reflection of your life. If both are a bit stale, it might be time to hit the “refresh” button. And while a new sofa, a more modern duvet, or even a new apartment are nice, you might be surprised by how dramatically a fresh perspective can transform all areas of your existence, breathing fresh life into your relationships, career, and perspective.
Whether you no longer love (or even like) your career, your relationship isn’t working, your energy is “eh,” or you simply need to feel re-inspired… change your space and your life will follow.
Even if you feel like your back is up against a wall and the unhealthy habits that you are stuck in give you the sensation of spiraling out of control, it may sound trite, but a simple change of environment can reset your world. That’s what happened to me.
Love: After being on and off for entirely too many toxic years with my boyfriend, I finally admitted that we were broken, not bent.
Work: My career was demanding a mid-course correction as I was being pulled in a direction that wasn’t new, just different.
Life: I was stuck in self-sabotaging food and lifestyle habits, which made me wake up feeling guilty each morning.
I knew I needed change, but I felt like I was backed up against a wall and spiraling out of control— like one of those amusement park rides where you are pinned to a wall that is spinning so fast that when the floor drops out, you still are frozen in place.
And then I realized that I wasn’t actually backed up against a wall. I was backed up against self-doubt, bad habits, and old obsessions. I had to just turn around and start fresh. I needed a new perspective and a change of scenery. I needed to see that there was no wall behind me; it was just me against me. If I could only turn around, I would see. And so I did. In order to move on, I had to move.
Aside from a two-year stint in Kansas City, MO, and Santa Barbara for college, I have pretty much always lived in Santa Monica. For the past several years I was in a place that was adorable on the outside but dark, cavernous, and cluttered inside. A definite reflection of my life.
And so I moved to another area of LA. My girlfriend from high school bought a beautiful home with a studio guest house and a backyard that made you feel like you were on vacation, that butted up to a hiking trail, complete with a reservoir with ducks and turtles (wildlife can be hard to come by in Los Angeles), and I was sold. Within two weeks I packed up my dog and clothes, sold pretty much all my stuff, and moved in. Refresh!
The space was sparsely furnished, which was my opportunity to really redefine my outlook. What did I want to wake up seeing every day? Still… I had to be budget conscious. Going into debt wasn’t going to help my already stressed situation. So I went to Overstock.com and styled out my space without breaking the bank.
But I couldn’t do it all myself. Julia House (my sister and television set designer) and Megan Rider (small-space guru) went to work to transform the room that was once a garage and turned it into an environment that would transform me. Here’s what I scored (while saving a few thousand – yes, thousand – dollars!):
White Hydraulic Barstool
Blue Wool Area Rug
Modern Chair in white leatherette with chrome metal base
Modern Swivel Chair in white leatherette
Five-tier Leaning Ladder Shelf
Blue Feminine Tufted Duvet
Pearl Accent Throw Pillows
Adjustable Steel Two-Rod Garment Rack (dramatically expanding my closet space)
Big Box Cubby Shelves (for my too many shoes)
Frosted Pane Four-Drawer Linen Cabinet
Wall Cabinet with Two Doors
Four-Piece Seating Set— Love Seat, Chairs, Table
I truly believe that when you’re on the right path, everything else seems to fall into place. And that’s exactly what happened. Love seemed to show itself everywhere, my career was coming at me from all sides yet still focused in one direction, and for the first time in years I no longer “needed” to vampire eat when I was lonely or sad late at night.
Amazing how easy it is to get unstuck if you simply turn around.