The Holistic Home

I've been thinking long and hard about what defines my design sensibility and what I would like Gypsy Yaya to focus on.  And what I've come up with that best encompasses my approach to style is the term HOLISTIC.  I think it describes perfectly how I want my home to feel and how I think homes should  be in order for us to feel good in them.

Holistic. It sounds like a pretty crunchy concept but one that deserves much more thought in the disposable, 'just buy another one' society we live in. The 'throw it away, too busy to bother' mentality just ain't workin for us Earthlings. And where we live; our homes, cities and towns are reflecting that.  And if things look crappy, they are crappy and then we feel crappy. Not so good.

  1. characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

Intimately Interconnected. Amen to that. Usually a word used when referring to health and treatments of healing, Holistic can be applied to how we live in other ways as well. When approaching any subject I think it's always best to do it Holistically. With our health, our food and our homes.  I mean - creating your home should be so much more than just heading to your nearest big box store and buying everything new, from the furniture to the knickknacks. You could certainly create something pretty, but it would feel contrived and empty.  An organically collected and healthy home is just so much better for the SOUL.
When creating spaces it's always important for me to consider ALL of the aspects of what you surround yourself with. Such as (but certainly not limited to)-
Where did it come from?  What is it made of?   Is it a quality thing that will last?   Is it toxic or disposable? Does it have age or history?  Can I reuse something I already have instead?  Can I source it for free/ re-use something that would otherwise end up in the landfill?  Have I considered delighting all of the senses? Touch, sound, smell, taste?  Is it aesthetically pleasing?  Is it both functional and beautiful?  Does it tell a story about me/the person that lives in the space?  Is it sustainable?  I mean there is a lot to think about.  But what you end up with is well worth the considerations.

I believe our homes should be our Oasis in the literal sense of the word.  They should be a beautiful and soulful respite from the stresses of daily life.  I believe us city dwellers should not feel a complete disconnect from the natural world just because we live in an urban environment.  Like wise-apartment dwellers, renters and those that live in tiny spaces can live in beauty as well.  No matter how short your stay, small your space or strict your landlord.
One should never underestimate the power your daily surroundings have on effecting your mood and even your health.  A well thought out and Holistic home has the ability to uplift your spirit or to help crush it. A home with too much clutter, no personality, a general lack of organization/function, toxic materials, void of living things will leave you feeling drained and stressed.  Where as a space that considers your personal likes, works well for you and your family, is well organized , happy, soulful and full of life will energize and refresh you.
It certainly helps if you didn't have to go into debt for it as well. Creating a beautiful happy home shouldn't cause stress to you or your pocketbook. It should be a happy and fun challenge that evolves organically over time, as your life and needs change.

For me this means having systems in place to keep your space organized and putting a lot of thought into each and every purchase that ends up in your home.  It means plants and natural and healthy materials.  It means beautiful scents derived from nature, whole home cooked foods, soft and comfortable furnishings, non toxic cleaning supplies, your favorite music at your fingertips and artfully arranged colorful things to draw and delight your eyes. It means lovely old furniture found cast away on the side of the road, given a clean-up and a fresh lease on life. It means researching your purchases well so that they will last a long time.  It means #makedoandmend whenever you can. Thrifting, estate/garage sales and the flea market are your friends. As are quality handmade items created by a fairly treated person not mass produced by a machine or child in a foreign country.
These are the things of a home you can feel good in and about. A home should nourish you. And so you should nourish it. It is the place where you can be unabashedly YOU. And it should reflect just that. Instead of worrying about how you think it should look.
I am always considering the Holistic approach in everything I do.  Improving spaces for the healthier and prettier is my obsession and I'm always perfecting my own (constantly evolving) home.  As well as with my families eating habits, our career choices, health and beauty choices, even our travel plans.  All of which can be healthier for us and the environment with a Holistic approach.  It is an incredibly challenging but rewarding process, with plenty of bumps in the road. And I plan on sharing my lessons learned with ya'll.

 Luckily healthier options are becoming more available as people have become more aware that the things we have been consuming are having a negative impact on us and our surroundings. So it is becoming a little bit easier for those of us that wish to re-examine our lives Holistically and make healthy changes.
I can go into go into loads more detail of all of the aspects of what I feel makes a Holistic home and I hope to share much more of that in the near future. There is just too much to jam into a single post. But simply put- Design Matters. And we can make a big difference at large by starting with our decisions at home.

 *A quick note about beauty ~ For me the health and function of spaces are very important. But I also feel that They Must Be Beautiful as well! I think that being surrounded by beautiful and natural elements has a powerful effect on our psyche. That is where my bohemian aesthetic comes in to play.  I'm a fan of no rules, travel collected, hippie-esque, handmade, vintage, funky, down to Earth, natural and full of life decorating. Which I suppose could be best described as bohemian. So this is a little turning (slight) turning point for Gypsy Yaya. From now on I'm going to be sharing more of whats going on in my own Holistic living and designing world. From DIYS to tips and inspiration to help you get your home into tip top healthy and beautiful shape!

Whew! That was a long and very wordy post for me but I think it did the trick in helping me zoom my focus in on what I really want Gypsy Yaya to convey. Hope ya'll enjoy the journey. See you soon!



  1. "Where did it come from? What is it made of? Is it a quality thing that will last? Is it toxic or disposable? Does it have age or history?"

    gee, I was just thinking about this one of my aims is to try to upgrade my stuff with items with a personal family...someone else's family... or even just my own imagination

  2. Jason~ It's a process I have been going through for a while....especially with losing so much in Katrina. Many of my possessions were purchased out of necessity and I really felt the need to go back to reevaluate and upgrade them with something more meaningful.

  3. What an incredibly timely post for me right now! I am decorating our home with exactly the same goals that you have stated, but hadn't the words. Thank you for this wonderful post!

  4. Patty~ I'm thrilled this post hit home for you! I plan on sharing more thoughts on this in the future and look forward to hearing about your progress/thoughts :)

  5. This was an interesting reading, and i like your approach -- beautiful, natural & healthy! :)
    Lovely little pic-tour around your home, too!

  6. Anonymous6/16/2014

    With the twinners at the age they are now I have two little helpers (most of the time) to do things around our home(stead). We are planning to use this year to thrift up and beautify our space. The world has been so non stop crazy cakes the past two years so we haven't had the opportunity.
    It's exciting to go "guerrilla recycling" (aka dumpster diving or shopping on garbage day) look at reclaimed "stuff" and imagine what it could be and how we can use it to transform what we have to where we want to be.
    Dark Side phor lyfe
    Love the blog keep it up, loving it from Scotia

  7. I love to gather and decorate and get discarded items and add them to the beauty of my home. i follow you and Lloyd Kahn for inspiration!!


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