Experience emotion in your space

Amy MayFocal Point

I am THRILLED to be back in my office/studio. I’m surrounded by my library of material samples. I’m sitting at the work table that was made with love by my father. There is joyful artwork all around me. This is my happy place.

After sheltering in place for 12 weeks it’s hard not to think of all the things I grew to cherish while working from home along with my husband:

  • Laughter— I was guaranteed to laugh a lot more with my husband and kitties lingering about.
  • Connection— James and I shared small (but meaningful) moments throughout each day.
  • Simplicity— My mind became much more attuned to finding pleasure in the little things.
  • Teamwork— We both stepped up to support one another; for example, James knows I enjoy cooking dinner, so he decided to handle lunch every day.

Those are experiences that everyone deserves to have in their space. So let’s talk about how to achieve (or improve) them in yours, even when you’re not sheltering in place!



Laughing more at home starts with, well, finding items that make you laugh. (Hard to believe, I know.) One that always gets me smiling is a picture of my kitties we had taken when we first got them a year ago. They are no longer that tiny, but it is a fun reminder of that time and how their personalities have really developed.

Walk around your space and take a closer look at the items on your shelves, hanging on the walls, even in your kids’ rooms. It could be school artwork from when the kids were younger, crazy photos from when you were younger, or anything else that brings up fun memories. Create a collage or a cluster of them, and your day will brighten every time you walk by! (Check out this post for tips on how to display items for maximum impact.)

Not finding anything around the house? Dig a little deeper—or go get something! This can be an activity for the whole family, too. It could be something as simple as a seashell you found while visiting the coast, or painting a rock from the back yard. Maybe try to recreate old family photos or that grade-school art. Or take things up a notch and have a photo session with your pet. (It’s well worth it, I promise.)

Dirtie Dog Photography captures the story of your furry family members for you to hold on to and love forever!



The next time you sit down for dinner together, have each member of the family talk about which room in the home is their favorite and why. I bet you’ll learn something new about yourself, your family members, and even your space!

This might also make you more aware of the effect your home can have on you. For example, if you are having a less-than-stellar day, sneak away to your favorite place for some alone time—or better yet, try a spot that someone else in the family brought up during your conversation. It will do more than just improve your mood; it will help you feel more of a connection with your family and home, too.

Still looking for beauty and function in your home? Some changes may be in order, and I can help! I take great pride in my Soulful Design process to discover the potential in your house to transform it into your home.



Sometimes, you can’t truly think and see clearly until you cancel the rest of the noise. And although it is important to find connection with the items in our homes, it can also be immensely gratifying and comforting to simplify!

Pick one area in your space to declutter/organize. If it’s a common area, turn it into a game with the family to see how long everyone can keep it organized—you can even have a prize for reaching a milestone.

Take a few days to adjust and see how the space makes you feel in its new state. If it seems too stark or dull, add an item that sparks emotion and brings you joy, such as a framed picture, an artifact from the living room shelf, even fresh flowers from your yard. If that isn’t enough, add another piece. The goal of keeping things simple is to let each element shine, enhancing your appreciation and giving you a new perspective.


I recommend a team when deciding on changes to your home—whether they are small tweaks you want to make on your own as a family, or larger architectural redesigns or renovations that include a professional on the team. With collaboration and discernment, not only will you be happier with the outcome, your family will be, too!

Here’s to filling your home with laughter, connection, and all the other things that matter most.

After all, your home should be Modern. Authentic. Yours.

-Amy May