Home Philosophy

A place to develop the attitude, ideology, aesthetics, and values of your home


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How to Think Creatively: Part 4

source: formalsweatpants.com – “Goddess of Creativity”

Welcome to the last installment of How to Think Creatively!

I’ve been talking a lot about thinking creatively to solve challenges and problems in your life and career. Let’s talk a bit about inspiration and thinking outside of the box for creative projects. Let me show you a quick exercise you can do to become a more creative thinker. It involves a step-by-step creative process. I encourage mind mapping, note taking, whatever you find will help you remember this brainstorm session.

By the way, a quick side note: mind mapping  is a brilliant way to track your business, creative processes, and to generally organize thoughts. Google “mind mapping” and it will come up with tons of great mind mapping software. My favorite is MindJet (Try it out for 30 days. Not free after 30 days.) and my favorite FREE mind mapping software is XMind.

Okay, now to teach you about a step-by-step creative thinking process I like to use for projects.

STEP 1: Think of a subject, object, person, place, etc. that you like or the person/group you’re creating for. Describe its characteristics, qualities, physical appearance, etc. 

Example: Let’s use the Eiffel Tower as a source of inspiration. What characteristics or words describe the Eiffel Tower? Its structure is grand and elegant, its location is romantic, it’s a place people are often proposed to, so love is in the air, the view is magnificent, and the surrounding area has an old beautiful charm. You could even go as far as taking the Eiffel Tower as the initial source of inspiration and expand upon it. It’s in Paris, France, so describe the feelings you have about Paris, it’s characteristics. What other things remind you specifically of France? Think structures, food, transportation, fashion, language.

Essentially, you could spend a ton of time on step 1, branching out on each topic you think of.

STEP 2: Who is your audience? Who are you creating for?

If you are creating for yourself, this step is simple. However, if you are creating for an individual or group, this step takes a little more time. If you are creating something dealing with the Eiffel Tower, who are you going to market to?

Example:  Who are the people that admire the Eiffel Tower? People who have been to France, people who have been at the top of the structure, travelers, those who like European vintage, those who love structural beauty, people who have been proposed to at the location.

STEP 3: Brainstorm useful or beautiful items that can have the image of the Eiffel Tower (or conjures up images of France) that the above types of people would like.

Write down everything you can think of. Don’t limit yourself. Here are some examples:

  • Printed coasters
  • Decorative couch pillow (image of the Eiffel Tower or French words/phrase like “J’taime”)
  • Vintage posters or prints made in Photoshop, printed, and framed
  • Handbag
  • Magnets
  • Journal
  • Knitted beret
  • Mural
  • Calendar

Side note: I saw a charming lamp the other day with the Eiffel Tower as the base!

STEP 4: Now that you have your list, which of those things can you do? Can you learn how to do some of the others?

I’ve talked about getting out of your comfort zone. I believe we should attempt to get out of our creative comfort zone as well, which means learning NEW techniques and mediums. For example: You may be asking, “How exactly do you transfer an image onto a handbag?” Find out! If you have the resources, learn new skills. You never know where they might take you.

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This gist of all of this is to take something of inspiration and extrapolate its characteristics and expand on it. Let’s do a quick example. You picked up a leaf and you’re looking at the details. You notice the color, it’s shape, size, the lines and texture.

The color may inspire the color of yarn or paint you choose for your next project, the color of the felt you want to use to make felt leaves, the color you want your bedroom, or the Thanksgiving cloth napkins you want to make. The texture may inspire you to press it into a clay project for a bowl, vase, or plate or to make a rubber stamp. You may want to make a piece of jewelry the shape of a leaf, or place mats, or garland.

There are endless ways to take an ordinary object, structure, environment, or person, look at the details, and think of other possibilities for it. I hope that you try out this exercise.

Well folks, that’s the end of the “How to Think Creatively” series. I hope you learned something and/or felt inspired. If you have questions, think I should clarify something, let me know! Let’s work together for a common good that is creative thinking. I’d also love to hear how, where, when, and who you get your creative juices from or share your creative thinking secrets with us.

If you missed the other “How to Think Creatively” parts, you can find them here:

How to Think Creatively: Part 1

How to Think Creatively: Part 2

How to Think Creatively: Part 3

Happy creating, home philosophers!

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There’s No Place Like Home

So what does this “home philosophy” thing mean and what does it mean for you?

When you think of your “home,” what images and words does it conjure up? You might have thought of family, comfortable, safe, refuge, and a variety of other fantastic things that make your house, apartment, or condo a home. There’s an intimate relationship we have with our personal space. A lot of us spend our time and creativity on our homes because it’s one of the awesome things in life we can manipulate and control. Other people may not spend any time at all on decorating because it’s the space, other family members, and the things they’ve accumulated over their lifetime that make the home.

Whether you’re one who loves decorating and updating or one who enjoys life’s accumulations, most of us have at least one thing in common. We worry most about how our homes make us feel, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We want our living space to nourish and comfort us after work, after dropping off the kids at grandma’s house, and when we’re sick. We want it to relieve us from stress, and we crave the opportunity for privacy and socializing.

Most of us like to add small touches that spur those feelings I mentioned above. Colorful fragrant flowers, candles, photographs, a quilt/other blanket, couch pillows, china, wall fragrances, books…I could go on. When life gets difficult, do some of these items or other items you thought of, help restore you, even just a little bit, even for a moment?

How can we get more out of our home, especially when we begin to feel “stuck at home” or “need to get out?” Rather than constantly engaging in passive unsatisfying time-killers, we should discover those activities that we take pleasure in or feel accomplished. Some examples:

+Read a novel a month (or more)
+Clean out a closet or junk drawer
+Gather all of your recipes into one place
+Do a puzzle/crossword/Sudoku/word find
+Go through clothes with the purpose of donating the things you don’t wear

There are a billion more things. Google “active things to do at home when bored” and you’ll get some really great suggestions.

My desire for myself and for you is to create something dreamy, serene, and lovely. A living space that is an expression of who you are, what you represent, what inspires you. Surround yourself with things that make you happy. OBVIOUSLY! 🙂

To get back to my original question, what does home philosophy mean? It’s your study of the basic concepts of what makes your living space a home. So let’s explore and learn together on how to make our homes have more attitude and aesthetics, discover the value of our home, and develop our home ideology.

I’ll include tutorials, photos, advice, trends, recent developments and news, guest bloggers/readers, anything and everything home!

Have a fab day, home philosophers!