Decorating: use your skin
Photo by jared
I admit the sense of touch is the hardest one for me to write about. I have ideas, but they’re mostly intangible – like “make your home comfortable.” Who doesn’t know that already?
I recruited my husband to help, and together, we came up with a few ideas on how to make your home a haven using the sense of touch.
• Use dryer sheets and/or fabric softener on your linens. I make my own simple dryer sheets using a sponge, fabric softener, and water, and that does the trick (while saving money). Keeping your towels and sheets snuggably soft really creates that comfortable touch.
• Or line-dry your linens. That crisp feel is really nice, especially in warmer weather.
• Open your windows in the early morning and late at night (unless you live in Texas, where it’s already 90 degrees by 8 a.m.). We’ve really enjoyed this lately – letting the breeze in when the coolness sets makes our home just the right temperature. And the breeze against your skin is so relaxing.
• Keep throw blankets where people like to relax in your home. It’s inviting when you’re given permission to cozy up while chatting or reading.
• Add some extra pillows where people veg. I know there’s different opinions on the value of throw pillows, but if you make them useable, and not just for display, I think they’re great. We have larger velour pillows in our living room that people use to sit on the floor.
• Use comfortable fabric on said pillows. I’m not a big fan of stiff apholstery-type fabrics. Soft suedes, canvas, sturdy cotton, and linen are good fabric choices for pillows. Cloth napkins are perfect for recovering pillows – they’re usually just the right size, and they’re inexpensive enough to change often.
• Have furniture for kicking up your feet. You’re really swimming upstream when you have young children and want to keep your furniture showroom quality. Let people put their feet on the coffee table, and you’ll really allow them to relax in your haven. We’ve had guests fall asleep on our couch while we’re chatting, and I love that (or it says something about my ability to hold a conversation).
• If you want people to take off their shoes in your home, provide a few slippers at the front door for them to use. That’s what people do in this country.
• Decorate with nature. Use rocks and twigs to provide texture in your home. While this doesn’t directly use your sense of touch, the right texture indirectly provides that sense of depth and dimension.
• Clean up sticky messes as they happen. Sounds obvious, I know, but I didn’t realize how sticky the chair was where our daughter sits at our outdoor dining area until I went to clean it. Weeks of syrup, ketchup, and peanut butter waiting to be scrubbed. Now I make a point to wipe off her chair after each outdoor meal.
• Do your best to confine messy fun to areas that are cleanable. Again, this seems obvious, but I now go out of my way to make sure my daughter plays with her homemade play-doh far away from our rug. That took forever to pick out.
• Along those lines, give your kids touchable things for play time. Let them pour water back and forth between cups. Let them dig around in dried beans. Finger paint. Make play-doh. It’s great to let your kids explore their sense of touch at an early age. And by letting them do this in your home – well, now you’re a cool parent.
Do you have ideas to contribute? How do you make your home more of a haven using the elusive sense of touch? I’m looking forward to getting new ideas through your suggestions!
Check out the other articles about Decorating With the 5 Senses:
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