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Three simple but powerful steps to transform your home this year

Posted on 14 Dec 2020

Eager to update your space, but not sure where to start? In this extract from ‘High Grade Living’, The Broad Place founders Jacqui Lewis and Arran Russell share a simple process – audit, edit and refine – to help create a home that truly works for you.

© Jacqui Lewis and Arran Russell

Our homes are our sanctuaries and should serve as inviting retreats from the frenzy of the exterior world. Ask yourself, how does your home feel when you walk into it? What ambience does it offer? Is it comfortable and inviting, or is it a mess? To improve the impact your home has on your daily life, begin with an audit, edit and refine.

Step 1: Audit

First is the audit, where you assess your surroundings. As you audit each room in your home, keep in mind the following questions:

• What is triggering a materialistic response?
• Are you consuming or hoarding to mask anything?
• Are you culling too violently or controlling too much?
• Which rooms are inviting and provide calm and tranquillity?
• Which rooms feel hectic?
• What kind of home do you want to have?
• Some people are very frugal by nature, and prefer practicality over beauty. Is this your preferred way of living?
• Some people are very extravagant and showy, and prefer beauty over practicality. Is this your preferred way of living?

© Jacqui Lewis and Arran Russell

Remember, there is no right or wrong kind of home. This is the beauty of high-grade living – you get to create the home you actually want that allows your best self to shine through. This process is about releasing yourself from all the ‘shoulds’ in your home, moving toward an intuitive way of living, and having your home support you through that. Understanding more deeply your own sense of beauty, what you desire and love, as opposed to the current trends in magazines and on blogs, is a process that will take curiosity and openness. This is the essence of high-grade living.

© Jacqui Lewis and Arran Russell

Step 2: Edit

After auditing, the process of editing begins. This isn’t about giving away everything you own! However, a giant culling of all your objects is worthwhile in the reframing of what a high-grade home means to you.

Ask yourself what has meaning and what has simply accumulated over the years. If there’s an item in your home that’s broken or doesn’t have meaning or purpose, donate it and move it on.

What begins to occur through the editing process is that you start to recognise certain habits and patterns. Your potentially irrelevant and redundant ways of living start to become evident. It’s incredibly cathartic. You will begin to see how you hold onto things in various areas of your life and where you could be letting go more frequently.

You may find you’re attached to certain things simply because they’re extravagant or expensive, but they don’t bring any real value to your home or your life. These purchases are often made on a whim, or during times when you’ve felt stressed and uncertain and needed some retail therapy. It’s important to be honest!

© Jacqui Lewis and Arran Russell

Step 3: Refine

Next, you refine. Refining is the process of gently revisiting a particular area to help it upgrade along with yourself and your life as you grow and evolve. It helps avoid stagnancy and aids you in engaging with areas of your life instead of getting stuck, or having life fly by you. If you avoid refining, then you will end up back where you started. Refining doesn’t need to be laborious; it should instead be embraced as a mindful philosophy. Look around your home and ask yourself these questions:

• Is this reflective of who I am and how I want to live?
• Does my home now support me (and/or those I live with) in ways that are nourishing?

Revisiting this process once a year will help your home evolve and not become stagnant. If we didn’t acquire a single new item, and didn’t change as people, this wouldn’t be necessary. However, we are constantly evolving, and our spaces of retreat must come along for the ride. Deliberate choices create a curated life rather than a chaotic one.

Discover the book

High Grade Living

A guide to creativity, clarity and mindfulness Jacqui Lewis, Arran Russell