Welcome to My Favorite Things! Each month, we highlight products to help you create a holistic lifestyle that inspires and nurtures you, so that you can be happier and feel supported.
Last week was the summer solstice, the first day of the warm season in the northern hemisphere. The summer is associated with the element of fire and the Recognition area of the bagua. As with each season, there are ways to balance out your holistic space using design features and feng shui philosophy. These are some of my favorite ways to welcome summer into your space!
Coyuchi Relaxed Linen
I love warm, cozy sheets and bedding during the cold winter, but when summer arrives, it's time to pack those thick blankets up and switch to something a little cooler!
I love these Coyuchi linen sheets. Linen is a wonderful option for summer - it helps keep cool and wicks away any sweat. These are available in a variety of neutral colors that will match any holistic bedroom! Try Alpine White, Fog or Storm for more Metal, Misty Ocean for more Wood or Undyed for more Earth.
Available at: Coyuchi
Organic Buckwheat Pillow
In our list of organic pillow options, buckwheat is my favorite and is amazing for summer. Buckwheat pillows are great for eliminating back and neck pain as well as snoring. They are known for incredible air circulation and don't hold any heat, which is perfect for the hot season.
My mom bought me a buckwheat pillow in college, and it's still my favorite pillow. I've dragged it around everywhere with me, and now my husband even has one too! It's worth noting that these pillows can be a bit loud due to the filling, so be sure to choose a pillow with an outer covering to muffle the sound, like these organic cotton options!
Available at: CozyPure
no. 3 Space Mist
One of my favorite ways to welcome any new season is with a space clearing ritual. There are many ways to do this, including the BTB orange peel method, palo santo and more, but one of my favorites for summer is the Holistic Spaces sage spray!
Sage is known for its healing and space clearing properties, and this mist makes it portable so that you can clear your home, car, office or any areas you travel to without causing an issue with smoke alarms. It's perfect for hotel rooms or guest rooms and is one of our most popular apothecary items, so it sells out very fast!
Available at: Holistic Spaces
Folding Hand Fan
Folding fans serve a dual purpose as symbolic decor and an energy-efficient, no-cost cooling method. I was recently given my Shambhala name, which relates to fans, and in my studies, I found fans can be metaphorical in many ways.
They represent femininity, but they can also be seen as swordlike to cut through difficulties and were actually used as weapons in some Asian countries. Fans even have their own secret language in China and the Victorian era, when women were almost forbidden from speaking their minds. I recently purchased a white fan with gold trim from DengraDesigns, and I absolutely love it!
Available at: DengraDesigns
I'm always a fan of adding more greenery to a space, and aloe vera is a great addition for summer! Traditionally, spiky plants or plants with pointy leaves are not good feng shui, but there are exceptions.
Adding aloe vera to your space as a healing tool, not as a feng shui adjustment, can be a wonderful move for summer. Aloe vera is widely known for its healing properties, especially with regards to sunburns! This is also a great opportunity to add some water colors to combat the fiery summer element. Opt for a black or dark blue pot to cool off your space!
Available at: CB2
It's officially summer! As of today, the 2017 summer solstice, we've moved from spring to summer and are welcoming the fire season after a cold winter! The earth will travel its closest to the sun today, bringing longer days, warmer weather and the official beginning of a new season in the northern hemisphere. We're always fans of the summer season, and in feng shui terms, it's a great time to refresh your space and prepare the coming fire element. Here are our favorite ways to switch to summer in a holistic space!
Clear Your Space
I recommend space clearings on a regular basis to my feng shui clients. They are great ways to refresh the energy in your home, send stagnant energy on its way and welcome positive qi to your space. There are any number of ways to clear the space, but I prefer the BTB feng shui orange peels method or our Holistic Spaces white sage mist during the summer months! The Space white sage spray is finally back in stock, and it's also perfect to travel with during the summer. You don't always want to burn sage when you're staying away from home, so the mist is a brilliant way to clear the space of that guest room without setting off any alarms!
Clean Out Your Closet
We all know the value of closet space, and though it might be necessary to leave out a few warmer pieces for the spring season, summer is hot and vibrant, and it's the ideal time to pack away those winter clothes and make space for light, comfortable summer clothes. You may even find there are clothes you haven't worn that you can get rid of! Each piece of clothing that leaves your space leaves room for a new, quality piece you love. Check out some of our past posts about cleaning out the closet!
Stock Up on Fruits and Veggies
Just as we change our eating habits at the beginning of fall, winter and spring, the summer season brings with it a new list of optimal foods, most notably raw fruits and veggies. With the rise of the heat, fruits and veggies offer a healthy, nutritious way to cool the body, and many (think lettuce, watermelon) even contain a high amount of water to help combat the fire season! My favorite thing is to make watermelon juice. Be sure to juice the rind, too! Watermelon rind contains a wealth of nutrients not found in other fruits and can even help improve blood circulation!
Swap Out Design Accessories
If you changed up your holistic space to get cozy during the cooler months, it's time to switch back to breezy, cooling accessories for your space. Replace darker colors with light blues, greens and pastels; swap heavy drapes for thin curtains; opt for airy, organic linens and maybe even throw in a few summer-themed pillows! Check out our next My Favorite Things post for our favorite summer design accessories.
Add the Water Element
June is the peak of the fire season, and the best way to balance out excess fire is to add water. You can do this by adding actual water, kidney shaped items, dark blues and blacks and representations of water. Check out my favorite ways to add water to a space!
Have you noticed the days getting shorter? Just as the school buses start their daily routes and the pumpkin spice take-over gets underway, the sun tucks in under the horizon a little bit earlier each day. If you’re lamenting the loss of summer’s languid sunlight, read on. I’ve got 6 tips to help you bring more sunshine into your home.
Mirrors are a quick and affordable way to double the sunlight in your room. Select a beautiful, large mirror and place it on the wall opposite the window. Don’t overlook other reflective surfaces as well. Incorporate metallic decorative elements like candlesticks, picture frames, and even doorknobs to increase the level of reflected light.
Open up your rooms with a lighter paint color on the walls. Dark paint will absorb light, while lighter hues reflect it. Likewise, selecting a satin finish as opposed to flat will increase the amount of reflected light. If you prefer a darker palette, consider going light on the walls and introducing your warm, more saturated tones in design elements like your furniture, or accents like pillows, throws and rugs.
Those gorgeous drapes may be hindering your ability to let the sun shine in. Look for window treatments that offer privacy without blocking the light. Beautiful bamboo shades, translucent blinds and drapery sheers are beautiful, light-welcoming choices.
Don’t forget to look outside when you’re looking to let more light inside. Trim hedges and trees that may be blocking the sun’s path through your windows. This bit of yard work can make a big difference.
Alternate light inlets
Go beyond the traditional window. One option is to replace a solid exterior door for one with window panels; even a small window can make a big impact. Adding in skylights or “sun tunnels” will lighten things up in your room from the ceiling down. Also pay attention to your light fixtures. Avoid heavy lampshades that obstruct the light being given off. Consider installing a dimmer in some rooms so you can pump up or dial back the light depending on your need.
Keep it clean
You may already know that cleaning your windows can boost the level of light they let in. Don’t forget to dust off your lamp shades and bulbs as well. While you’ve got the cleaning materials out, go ahead and finish tidying the room. An open, uncluttered space simply feels lighter.
The summer may be winding down but that doesn’t mean the warmth and relaxation of the outdoors has to go with it. Bring that same summer sun-drenched comfort and vibrancy indoors with these three simple steps.
For many, the warm weather seasons kick off with a mad dash to the nearest garden center. There are flower beds to populate, veggie gardens to plant and a generous assortment of flower pots and window boxes to fill. Just imagine how beautiful all that green and color would look inside your home!
Don’t get tied down to standard indoor planters. Traditional outdoor options like window boxes are a great way to bring the outside in. Start by picking a window box that compliments your décor. You’ll have your choice of materials like wood, iron, cooper, and wicker. Consider creating a kitchen window box and fill it with fragrant and flavorful herbs you can cook with!
Another perk of using a window box? Instead of filling the box itself with dirt and planting directly in it, use it to corral smaller, separate pots of your favorite plants. If you need to replace a plant, it’s simple to just slip out one pot and make the switch. Likewise, when it’s time to water the plants, remove the pots and water the plants in the sink. Once the excess water has drained, return them to the window box.
Clutter can make a room feel restrictive. Simply organizing your space can open up the room and make it feel more inviting. As you’re cleaning, use natural cleaners with fresh scents. Imagine the woodsy scent of tea-tree oil or a little bit of lemon lingering in your living room. Makes you smile just thinking about it, doesn’t it? Now, throw open those windows and let the great outdoors shine in! Inviting more natural sunlight will enliven your space. Don’t forget a little TLC for your window treatments too. Wipe down the blinds and wash (or dry-clean) your draperies.
Draw color and texture inspiration from the outdoors
When you think of being outdoors, what colors do you think of? Whether it’s the lush green of grass, the salty blue of the ocean or the warm yellow of the sun, bringing those hues into your room is a fantastic way to welcome the outdoors into your home!
While a fresh, clean coat of paint will make your space feel fresh and bright, you’ve got other options when it comes to color. Introduce pops of outdoor-inspired hues with accessories such as pillows, blankets and rugs. Even candles, vases, and wall décor are fantastic options.
What’s your favorite outdoor place? If you’ve got a picture of it, frame it and hang it! Look for paintings, prints and design elements that mimic the scenery and texture of your outdoor sanctuaries. If you’re a beach person, for example, weathered grey wood textures mimic water beaten driftwood, while cool blues, greens and white bring to mind the water and elements like sea glass and shells. Is the forest more your style? Choose accessories in natural wood finishes and greens.
If you find yourself wishing you could spend more time outdoors but the seasons or your schedule are making it difficult, bring the outdoors in. If you incorporate these steps, don’t forget to come back here and share your pictures! Which step will you try first?