Why Going Your Own Way is Good For You

sustainable home ideas

Are you overwhelmed with clutter, to do lists, or mess and chaos at home? Are you trying to live up to a particular expectation or standard in your life? Do you constantly feel like your home is unfinished, but can’t afford to create the beautiful home you crave? You are not alone.

Developing your own decorating style takes time, and it takes guts to stand up and decide to go your own way. Over the years, I have connected with so many of you out there who are doing it your own way. Lots of you are designing a home, and a life, that is all your own, and that is better  for you, your family and the planet.

I have always loved home. As a little girl, I would shove furniture around my room, using my butt, hips and whatever I could, to create a “zone” in my bedroom. I was desperate for a lounge/bedroom situation. I secretly craved my own apartment to makeover and do with as I wanted. It made me happy to shift furniture, play with textiles and move my treasured objects around, which I started collecting as a little girl. Nothing has changed and as I grew older this desire just grew stronger in me, eventually landing me at the start of the this blog, followed by everything that has come since then.

Home should make you happy. Home is where you rest, recharge, relax and rejuvenate. It is where you care for yourself and your family. It gives you shelter, but even more than this, it should embrace you and all those who live in it. Having beautiful things around you, in particular things you love which have personal history and character, connects you to the story of your life and injects your personality into your home.

The best homes are the ones you walk into and can see immediately who lives there – it is written in the walls, the colours, the floors, the art choices, the furniture style and layout, the sounds, smells and feelings ,that have been created by its occupants. It doesn’t look like someone else’s home, it just looks like yours. With the invention of social media we have more and more ways to find and see beautiful images and information all the time, which can be inspirational. But it can also give you the sense that everyone else is living some kind of “perfect” life. This definition of “perfect” is often very generic and driven by consumerism. This is not an authentic life for many of us and it often generates and supports a throw-away society.

If you allow it, all of this information, which is relentless and continuous, can increase your stress and add pressure to your life. You feel like nothing is ever finished. You worry that you are not living up to the “norm”. It is important to keep everything in perspective and stay mindful in your own life. If you feel like you should throw out stuff to get the “latest” thing, you are contributing to this throw away attitude, which is not only bad for the environment, but also bad for your health.
sustainable home ideas
I believe making changes in your home is wonderful! In fact not a week goes by where I don’t either find a new treasure, or move something around. People are always commenting how they love coming to my home because it is always changing. And yes I still shove furniture around with my butt! However, it is how and why, you do this, that can make big difference to your wellbeing, your pocket and the environment. Being a conscious consumer is the key.

I have no problem with new things, in fact I celebrate all of the fabulous makers and creatives who are designing the most exquisite and clever furniture, textiles, artworks and homewares. A blend of old and new, with vintage, upcycled and recycled pieces, is what makes a beautiful and unique home.

Staying Mindful

If your stress levels about your home are increased by mess, clutter and chaos, or by mounting debts, lack of space or pressure to make changes, learning to stay mindful and appreciate your home, may help you to feel more peace and happiness, and less need to replace things, or spend money on things you probably don’t need. Or you may simply be inspired to make changes with the things you already have, to repurpose, rearrange, or find ways to upcycle, to create a new space.

Happiness and peace at home also does not depend on having a perfectly pinterest ready pantry, or how you fold your clothes. The current trend for organising things is great on one level, but on another, it is overwhelming our charity organisations with stuff they can not manage, and sending other perfectly good items to landfill. Always consider your purchases and what you will do if you decide you no longer want something. Always consider that there is no such place as “away”.

The bottom line is that your happiness does not depend on what you have, how much you own, whether you have a minimal or a maximal home, or whether you have the right sofa. It does, in part, relate to how beautiful your home environment is to you, on developing your own style, the way you feel when you come in the door, how much stuff you personally want around you, and mostly, on how your home nurtures and embraces you and your family. People matter more than anything. Experiences are what life is all about. Don’t spend them all worrying about what other people think about you and your home.
How do you feel about your home and do you feel overwhelmed by social media sometimes?
**updated from a post in 2015


  1. allinthedaze on January 23, 2015 at 9:06 am

    I love this post – instagram is the worst for the throwaway society, just cloning each other till the next fad comes along.  I love this post.
    We rent so I have been very down about our home but our landlord installed new blinds and its bought new life into the rooms!

  2. Libby Boyle on January 23, 2015 at 9:52 am

    I did a bit of butt furniture moving yesterday. Love it! Like you, I did it as a child and have never grown out of it. My friends are sometimes amazed by the size of furniture I can move. Marvellous what a few old towels, some butt and some grunting can achieve. And yes, I agree, home is about being surrounded by items with meaning and soul. A mix of old and new works for me. Family treasures, recycled treasures and the odd new piece … My style.

  3. Bridgett McDonald on January 24, 2015 at 11:51 am

    My home isn’t cluttered as such but I’ve never been very good at creating a ‘style’ within it. It’s just sort of… There.

  4. Kim Valois on January 24, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    lovely thoughts Helen 🙂

  5. Carmel Opie on January 24, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    I love that

  6. Recycled Interiors on January 24, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    thank you Kristy Dillon 🙂 agreed

  7. Recycled Interiors on January 24, 2015 at 3:21 pm


  8. Recycled Interiors on January 24, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    love it Aprille Lionello

  9. Recycled Interiors on January 24, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    that might be your style the Bridgett McDonald:)

  10. Recycled Interiors on January 24, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    thank you Kim Valois

  11. Bridgett McDonald on January 24, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Haha wish it felt like one U0001f609

  12. Brenda Hill on January 24, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    4 months ago my husband & I moved into our new house. My husband actually chose the house while I was overseas so I only saw pictures of it via email until I got home. It’s a 90 year old cottage with all the period style we love, plus a huge garden.
    Our kids are all settled in their own homes now & it was time to move on with our own lives.
    We got rid of most of our old furniture & did a huge clean out. Now we’re enjoying filling our new home in our own style, just as it suits us; mainly second hand, vintage & lots of pieces to upcycle.

  13. Violet Rose on January 26, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Yes, yes and yes! I feel exactly the same sentiments as you have expressed here! Home is sanctuary, sacred and my escape pod! I love changing things and sometimes think I’m a bit mad, as I can get quite absorbed in this and find myself re-arranging stuff and hours have gone by, and yes, I do the butt, hip shove thing too! My style is totally eclectic and incorporates some treasures from grandparents, parents, influences from periods, and mostly is stuff from garage sales, relatives, or found on the side of the road. I find using similar tones, colours and textures means you can get away with mix and match, as long as themes are repeated in these areas. I love your blog! and your work!
    Thanks for all the great tips and for you passion

  14. Recycled_Interiors on January 26, 2015 at 8:35 am

    @Violet Rose Violet it sounds like we are twins!! Your home sounds divine. I would love to see it. Thank you for being part of our community and taking the time to share your thoughts xx

  15. Recycled_Interiors on January 26, 2015 at 8:36 am

    @Brenda Hill what a wonderful surprise from your hubby!! It sounds perfect. I would love to see your beautiful home. Thank you for being part of our community xx

  16. Recycled Interiors on January 26, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Brenda Hill what a wonderful surprise from your hubby!! It sounds perfect. I would love to see your beautiful home. Thank you for being part of our community xx

  17. Recycled_Interiors on January 26, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Libby Boyle I think it is a skill to nurture!! Oh yes towels and sheets – my family know if  I want it moved I will move it no matter what! I do have 3 big boys who can help where needed! Your home sounds beautiful. Thank you and I love your blog xx

  18. Recycled_Interiors on January 26, 2015 at 8:42 am

    allinthedaze that is so true, there seems to be a lot of copy cat products getting around Instagram at the moment which is very sad…and boring. It is amazing how much you can do with a rental.  I did a makeover for a client with a total of $1500 and a rental. Thank you for taking time to stop by x

  19. Alison Collins on January 26, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Great post thank you Helen!  We have been living in rented homes for many years and are finally building our own home!  I am so excited to finally be in a space that I love and that I can mold and create to be all our own!

  20. My Lifestyle Impressions on January 27, 2015 at 2:13 am

    What a great post thanks, I can totally relate to it (I too have changed furniture in my bedroom countless times 🙂 ) and have only just started going my own way. Thanks for the affirmation.

  21. Recycled_Interiors on January 29, 2015 at 10:21 am

    you are more than welcome, lovely to have you as part of our community and thanks for sharing 🙂

  22. Recycled_Int on January 29, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    grabrincat thanks!!

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