Every time I enter my home, I feel as if I am walking into a sacred temple, a place where my body, mind, and soul can rest from the busy day. I have consciously organized my SoulSpace so that it makes me feel cared for and supported. It allows me to let go of my day and slip easily into the comforts of the evening, whether I plan to be spending time alone or entertaining company.
When I walk through the door, soft instrumental music is playing, and I have the lights set on timers to go on when the natural light dims. Fresh flowers are placed around the house, and before I leave in the morning, I lay out my robe and slippers so they will be waiting for me when I arrive home. I make sure that in the kitchen there is always a little morsel to nibble on. After all, whose job is it to care for me if not mine?
Creating a Space to Nourish & Support Your Soul
For many years, these rituals have been part of my SoulSpace in Los Angeles. At Sowden House, I spent years creating a space to nourish and support my soul. I took time to collect items I love and cherish, and pulled them together into an ideal environment to soothe my soul and nourish my creativity.
Then I began work on the renovation project in Maui. Suddenly, practically overnight, I was thrust from this safe and carefully edited SoulSpace, a space in which I was in control of all the elements, into a very different lifestyle, with very different surroundings. Instead of opulence, Jason and I had bugs that took every open door as an invitation. Instead of a courtyard blooming with bougainvillea cultivated over years, we had a muddy expanse of soil. Instead of hand-picked fabrics, chosen for luxury and comfort, we were living in a beat-up bungalow in the middle of a construction site, struggling to create a semblance of home in this raw, unfinished space.
Creating A Space Where You Can Flourish & Evolve
After months of work, we knew, this land would take its own gorgeous shape. But for a while we were basically camping out with hot running water. Armed with a list of numbers we pulled from Craigslist, with a big truck to put all our finds in, we set out to turn this temporary home into a place where we could flourish and evolve along with the property.
A week, two weeks, a month in a space — any traveler or business nomad knows how quickly people root in a space and want to make it theirs, want to feel as if it is theirs. Just because it wouldn’t be our home forever did not mean it was not our home right now.
Elevate Your Home into a Temple
"Elevate" encourages us to nourish all our senses and make living in our home a richer experience.
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Jason is magic when it comes to elevate. He got out his broom and showed those bugs who was boss. He hung curtains so that we could have privacy. He covered the harsh lamps with fabric to soften the glow. He bought candles. He got inexpensive rugs for the doorways. He bought orchids and put them on the coffee tables. He bought incense and candles to light each night. And he always seemed to pick just the right music to play that fit with the environment we were living in.
When he was done, it was as if someone had flipped a switch. Walking into this little bungalow, we didn’t feel like homesteaders on the slope of a volcano; we felt as if we were home.
The Soft Touches That Make a World of Difference
Elevate is ongoing and can take only a moment — to hit “play” on your iTunes, to make the bed, to fluff the pillows. elevate is packable, transportable, an ideal way to bring your SoulSpace with you on your next vacation or business trip as well as to turn your home into your temple, your sanctuary, your place of rest and renewal.
Elevate asks you to soften the edges with lights that dim. It encourages you to pack your suitcase with a loved photo, a scented candle, a familiar throw. It begs you to include little luxuries in your everyday life, from drinking glasses that feel great in your hand to a down pillow on the sofa that you can rest your head on in the evening. It teaches you to breathe life into your space by adding grace notes, the delicate touches that speak volumes.
Using Grace Notes to Elevate Your Space to a SoulSpace
Grace notes might include fresh flowers, from an individual, gorgeous bloom floating in a shallow bowl to an armful of wildflowers found at the side of the road (or in your florist’s shop); soft, pink lightbulbs that make everybody look younger and prettier, instantly; sheer curtains that add a layer of delicate privacy but still let the day glow through; a bowl full of nuts or chocolates; the sound of your favorite instrumental music playing low in the background.
The details of luxury and comfort that might cost only a dollar yet make us feel as if we have been transported to a beautiful boutique hotel, grace notes can be music, candlelight, fabrics that make us feel cozy and snug, or scents that uplift and calm us.
Copyright © 2011 by Xorin Balbes. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
New World Library. www.NewWorldLibrary.com
This article was adapted with permission from the book:
SoulSpace: Transform Your Home, Transform Your Life
by Xorin Balbes.
Xorin Balbes created his eight-stage SoulSpace process to help his clients create homes that reflect and celebrate what is essential about their inhabitants. The process works for any budget, anytime, anywhere and results in inspiration, self-discovery, and practical solutions. Xorin’s wonderfully unique technique will nurture and transform both your soul and your home.
About the Author
Xorin Balbes is an award-winning architectural conservator, designer, philanthropist, and co-owner of the interior and architectural design firm SoulSpace Home. His most recent project is the transformation of the Fred Baldwin Memorial Home on Maui into SoulSpace Sanctuary, a rejuvenation destination with twenty-eight ocean-view bedrooms and a farm-to-table restaurant. Xorin is also the cofounder of the nonprofit organization Global Vision for Peace, which launched at the 2002 Academy Awards, with many prominent celebrities and Oscar winners sending a message to the world that Americans were standing up for peace. The organization’s focus and mission have recently evolved to promote awareness of and solutions to the burgeoning problem of homelessness, focusing on one person, one family at a time. His website is www.SoulSpaceHome.com.