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There are many different steps which may be involved in realising your design dreams and in turning your home, as it exists today, into the personal manor-house or chateau of your dreams.

In fact, it’s often not easy to know where to start. In your idealised, daydream version of your ideal home, you might find yourself living in a James Bond style mansion, with several carports underneath the swimming pool, high up on the slopes of some lush tropical mountain, but with an ultra-modern Scandinavian noir feel to everything.

On the other hand, maybe, when left to your own devices, you imagine yourself reclining in an antique lounge-chair, in the middle of some French castle with such a storied history that it could fit as the central location in a series of period novels.

In practice, however, overhauling and improving your home’s design aesthetic is something which will require particular steps and approaches in real time, rather than just abstract wishing and daydreaming (although there’s nothing wrong with wishing and daydreaming).

Like everything else in life, taking on a major design overhaul project for your home will require a substantial degree of mental work. In order to make sure that you can manoeuvre things in the particular way you’d most like, getting your mindset right is crucial.

Here are some mindset habits you should adopt in order to make your home redesign as effective and effortless as possible.

Familiarise yourself with a minimalist ethos

Minimalism has been one of the hottest lifestyle trends of recent times, with hordes of people — particularly young professionals, it seems — becoming disillusioned with the cluttered and materialistic nature of the corporate culture and mainstream way of life, and seeking out a better and more relaxing approach to life.

Minimalism, in this form, is about stripping your belongings down to the bare essentials — those few things that are directly useful to you, or which exert a strong and uplifting emotional pull. Everything else is given away, sold, or disposed of.

Following the minimalist template for life, it’s common to see people who once had large and cluttered homes filled with bags of unpacked shopping in the corner of each room, move to the equivalent of log cabins in the woods, with nothing but a small rucksack of belongings to call their own.

This is an extreme example of course, and many people will not feel comfortable or content with living a minimalist life to the nth degree.

Nonetheless, there are some important lessons from minimalism that can help you to become a better and more conscientious home designer, without having to go all out and sell your toothbrush. Here are just a few reasons why familiarising yourself with a minimalist ethos can help you out:

– Minimalism encourages people to break their emotional attachments to things (unless those attachments are strong and sincere). Being unwilling to throw away an old cardboard box, or a dress you bought two years ago and never wore (and never will wear) is generally unhealthy and counterproductive to being able to design the home of your dreams. Becoming less invested in “stuff” can be a great help for that reason. Of course, there’s no reason to feel you should throw out belongings that bring you genuine joy; such as your wedding dress or a childhood memento.

– Minimalism encourages you to focus on quality over quantity. Home design is often a costly process, but when you’re focusing on a few key items, rather than trying to stuff every room with as many decorations as possible, it becomes a lot more achievable. Minimalism is all about quality over quantity. In the minimalist ethos, you may have only a handful of items in your wardrobe, but all of them should be comfortable, attractive, and make you feel good. So too for your home decorations.

– Minimalism forces you to narrow your attention and can inspire you to think thematically. Coming up with a compelling design template for your home is, to a large degree, a matter of paring down disparate and conflicting elements, and creating a harmonious and unified style. Minimalism is, to a large degree, about reducing clutter and disparate elements in a home, and coming to enjoy a more relaxing and harmonious environment.

Don’t fret about your perfect design template to begin with, but begin making incremental improvements and positive changes

It’s a great idea to develop an idea of what your ideal design template might look like, so that you’re able to properly orient your efforts and ambitions, and stay motivated as you adjust the layout and style of your home over a prolonged period of time.

That being said, however, it’s important than you’re able to put your ideal design template aside from time to time, in order to make incremental changes on your home without feeling disheartened that everything isn’t yet the way you imagined it being in your most ambitious fantasy.

It may take a long time for you to turn your home into the avatar of your perfect dream villa on the hills, but you can always make positive changes, bit by bit, on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Don’t fret too much about making everything perfect from day one — remember the saying, “perfect is the enemy of good”. Instead, focus on making small but real and meaningful changes, incrementally, whenever possible. Make things better as often as you can rather than becoming disheartened because you’re unable to go from zero to one-hundred in the blink of an eye.

Begin to think of storage solutions as your new best friend

One of the ultimate banes of an attractive, well-put-together and well-designed home, is constant mess, clutter, and the general state of being where things just aren’t where they should be, and chaos reigns as a result.

That new rug of yours has little purpose if it’s perpetually obscured by a stack of cardboard boxes, or a pile of shoes that you haven’t got a better storage space for.

That carefully coordinated colour scheme in your living room is all for nought if there’s a jarring stack of old newspapers in one corner of the room, a stack of laundry on the sofa, and a collection of scarves and jackets draped unceremoniously over the back of one of those antique chairs that you were so happy to have found.

One way of dealing with the problem of clutter is by disposing of it — and that’s often a good solution, too. For many types of clutter, however, you’ll want, or need, to hold on to the items in question rather than just summarily bin them.

In the case of such a situation as that, storage solutions are your best friend, and should be your primary port of call. Storage crates, wardrobes, sofas with drawers, and so on, can be found in any style imaginable, and at a variety of price ranges. A couple of old, tasteful wooden crates in the corner of your room will, if anything, help to accentuate and complement many design styles.

A pile of unpacked belongings scattered all around, will do the opposite.

Begin collecting magazines, reading articles, and just generally building up a library of style inspiration

This step perhaps goes without saying, but it can be extremely tricky trying to come up with an attractive, tasteful, and coordinated home aesthetic all on your own, without any external input whatsoever.

Said differently; there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Collecting and reading through home decoration magazines, articles, blogs, and other resources, is a great way of discovering style inspiration and then using the elements you read about and discover to create your own template of an ideal home.

In many cases, just having a deepened awareness of the kinds of styles that can be introduced to a home, can make all the difference when it comes to structuring your design and decoration efforts. If you begin a home decoration or redesign project with a good style template in mind, you can begin iteratively moving your entire home into a more unified and harmonious direction, from day one.

Try adopting mindfulness practices to keep you focused on the tasks directly in front of you, rather than letting yourself get caught up in your own mind

Whenever you’re embarking on an ambitious project in life, it can be easy to get caught up in your own fears, preoccupations, and concerns. The slightest mishaps can seem to rob you of your inspiration, and it can be difficult to remain focused on the task at hand and see the job through, rather than abandoning it halfway.

To counteract this, try adopting some mindfulness practices to help keep you focused on the task at hand, so that you can in turn complete the various jobs you’re committed to completing.