Inspiration for this post comes from an article by Indigo2Ash, about decorating tips for either introverts or extroverts.
I decided to come up with ways to create an environment in which both introverts and extroverts feel comfortable and satisfied. Not only does creating balance in ones home make it more inviting for all, but a balance of intimate and gathering-oriented spaces in your home also pushes one to not become too complacent with either quietness or ongoing chaos. We all need time for self reflection and quiet indulgences, as much as gatherings and connections are a vital part of life. But a balance within your home can nurture all who live there and make your guest more comfortable.
The basic tips for cultivating a comfortable home for introverts include:
Soft materials: blankets, throws, plush bathrooms towels and lots of pillows. Introverts find comfort in the softness of these textile materials, and nurtures their need to take a break and feel safe and comforted.
Wood instead of steel or aluminum might be used to make a space more soothing. The natural aspect of the wood is another way to create a calming space that fosters mindfulness.
The lack of overstimulating color: Whites, light, calming blues and cool grays provide a comforting environment.
Soft lighting: Soft lighting is key, both to an introvert’s home and to a hyggelig atmosphere. It’s interesting, that many of the ways to make your home more introverted are the same as the ways to bring more hygge into your home. I think because hygge aims to find a quietness in our busy, bustling world.
In a world that continues to get louder, busier, and more distracted, it’s important to take time to be still. However, we must also make time for loved ones and friends, to have gatherings and celebrate events and achievements.
Our homes can invite connection and conversation with:
Open space: Large, open spaces in the living area and kitchen tend to help people feel more welcome. Often, gatherings tend to center around food, so having a large table and open space between the dining and kitchen areas helps to keep everyone connected as food preparation is taking place. With large spaces, take care not to let the hugeness of it feel cold or office-like (is that a word?)
Hyggelig lighting: Similar to the introvert’s desire for soft lighting, a warm glow can help people feel closer and inspire deeper discussions.
Seating capacity: One doesn’t necessarily have to have a whole lot of seating capacity. But have enough stools or chairs for small gatherings and events so that everyone can be comfortable. You may also want a few cushy armchairs
Variety: Use a variety of textures. While introverts may be comforted by soft materials and wood, you can use those in combination with steel, aluminum, or tin. And adding a variety of textures to your gathering places (such as table settings) helps to create an interesting visual and center point for conversations and connection.
Display: Display things that matter to you. Handmade items, art, photographs of you and your loved ones. Celebrate kinship and conviviality in your home by finding creating ways to display the things you love (see my blog post on why I display my highschool english homework).
I’ve found that it’s easy to create either an introvert or extrovert-centered environment based on the room. The bedrooms could be lots of soft materials, plush blankets, large pillows, etc. They should have soft lighting and plenty of natural light, and be kept clean and organized to inspire relaxation and clarity. The kitchen and living areas could be more lively to invoke congregations and conversation. However, keep the lighting warm and welcoming to create an atmosphere where deep discussion and closeness is welcomed. Have plenty of seating and a variety of textures, but make sure the seating is comfortable and provides some coziness to your guests. You can create the most meaning, however, in the way you invite people into your home and how you make them feel while they are there. Make it a place where people leave feeling better and more inspired than they were before . . .
Take a look at your space. How can you make it more inviting for all? Are you an introvert or extrovert? How does your space nurture that side of yourself? What can you do to nurture others in your home? I’d love to know your thoughts on this, and any other tips you’d like to add to my list.