Getting Creative at Home; The Benefits Outweigh the Stress!

by: Rachael Romig

My husband and I recently bought a house and while it was beautiful and in great condition there were things that we wanted to update and change to make it our own. Being a new homeowner I went in on my first day with my lists of things to do, things to buy, and a plan on how to complete these things in two weeks. ERROR. I quickly realized how long even painting a room took. I have been pretty stressed about it, but watching the transformation was enlightening, exciting and made me feel like I could accomplish anything.

Living Room (before)
Dining Room (before)
Kitchen (before)

The three big projects I wanted to complete were painting the living room white, adding a chair rail in the dining room and painting the kitchen cabinets. You can see from the above photos that these rooms were already beautiful but I wanted to add my touches to them. My husband was my partner in the projects and as the first coats of paint when up I felt lighter. While it wasn’t a “piece of art” I was creating, I was making personal changes to my own home. I was putting ME into the home. The first coat was nerve-wracking because oh my god it won’t ever look beautiful but the second and third took me to happiness. I was overjoyed!

Living Room (halfway)
Dining Room (halfway)
Kitchen (halfway)

There have been many studies conducted over the years that monitor the changes in your body and brain when you are creating. Findings support:
• “…the emerging emphasis on everyday creativity as a means of cultivating positive psychological functioning.” – Dr. Tamlin Connor, Otago University
• Crafting involves many different areas of your brain. It can work your memory and attention span while involving your visuospatial processing, creative side and problem-solving abilities.
• “When we are involved in (creativity), we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life,” Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi  said during a TED talk in 2004. “You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger.”
• This meditative-like state focuses your mind and temporarily pushes aside all your worries.

Living Room (after)
Dining Room (after)
Kitchen (after)

All three projects were definitely hard and took almost a month but I learned that it needed to take that long. Now that I understand what it means to complete a home renovation I can go into my next project with a less-stressful approach. And I can’t wait! My home promises to be the creative outlet that I’m always looking for and from what I hear, the projects never end! But man am I proud of what we accomplished. Just look at those kitchen cabinets!!

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Pablo Picasso

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