The Redefined Life
"A real rebellion in art would be to show people that there is real beauty and grace in the world." Photographer, Rodney Smith

How to LOVE your New Home Leave a Reply


We’ve all felt it … buyer’s remorse! It’s real. It’s natural. And it can cause a lot of unnecessary angst. So instead of focusing on whether you paid too much or you bought a lemon or that you can’t return if it doesn’t fit, remember there are no coincidences. Everything happens for a reason, so it was meant to be. You were drawn to the house, you made the decision to buy it, and now all you need to do is make it home. Yes, it’s your home sweet home!

It may need some work to reach the ‘home sweet home’ stage, but every step draws it closer to your heart and to becoming a member of the family. Here are some tips to help you embrace your new family member.


  1. Be gentle with yourself. Moving into a new home can be a HUGE stress and it’s totally normal to have second thoughts. So instead of focusing on the stress of moving, painting, decorating, and adjusting to a new neighborhood and routines, focus on why you loved the house enough to buy, the new friends you’re about to meet, the clean slate waiting for you to give it personality and flair. Then once you are given the key and enter the front door, say a little blessing inviting it to embrace you and your family with joy, harmony, peace, and love. Making this mental shift will immediately shift your buyer’s remorse.


  1. Keep one room clutter-free. Moving in can create absolute mayhem. To help your sanity, keep one room free of boxes and clutter. No matter what, keep this area open, light, and clutter-free. Make it cozy and relaxing; bring in a couple of your favorite chairs, a coffee table, ottoman, etc. When the chaos gets the best of you, head to this spot to sit back and breathe.


  1. Try some not-so-subliminal messaging. As soon as possible locate some art that makes you smile or gives you a warm welcoming message, and hang it where you’ll see it frequently. Just seeing it will lift your spirits. At first it will be a conscious greeting, but as time passes, it will become a subconscious greeting, quietly uplifting you as you busy yourself with the tasks at hand.


  1. Add touches of the familiar.Dig out some favorite accents or lighting fixtures you loved in your old place, and try repeating some of them in your new home. This can help a new place feel familiar. But don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t feel exactly as before, after all your new home has new energy which is part of the excitement and creating a fresh start. So an old favorite may add some familiarity yet take on a new personality making it new again. How fun!


  1. Celebrate the tiny victories. Feeling so overwhelmed that you’re not sure where to begin? Try not to focus on the whole house; but select one area that will affect your daily routines the most: your bedroom, medicine cabinet, clothes closet, or kitchen. Take your time with these areas — neatly organizing them from the start sets the tone for how they will most likely stay. Then pat yourself on the back and admire your handiwork before moving on to the next area!


  1. Out with the old, in with the new.There are traditions worldwide relating to moving into a new space. As mentioned before saying a blessing for your new house is very uplifting. This can be a simple silent intent between you and the house or it can be a part of a housewarming with friends. Other traditions are: symbolically cleanse traces of the past owners by misting each room and corner with a lavender and sea salt mist; or purify the air in each room with a sage bundle; or have The Redefined Home clear the air with Feng Shui. These traditions have stood the test of time, creating a wonderful new energy the whole family will feel.


  1. Bring your house flowers.Fresh flowers are a gesture of love, so buying them for your new home can be surprisingly meaningful. The vibrant color and freshness will be energizing, so don’t wait for things to be perfect to start treating your new home well!


  1. Continue staying positive. Try keeping a daily gratitude journal, paying special attention to all the things you appreciate about your new home, from the big (a roof over your head) to the small (great water pressure!). To make it easier to remember to journal, try pairing it with another daily routine, like your morning coffee or before sleeping. For more inspiration, check out my article Shower Your Home with Gratitude.


  1. Enlist some help.If things just aren’t coming together as you’d hoped, it may be time to call in reinforcements. Whether you invite a creative friend over to help solve the furniture puzzle in your new living room or hire The Redefined Home to help select beautiful colors or solve some bigger dilemmas, getting another set of eyes on your space can bring new insights to your home.

BEFORE. The furniture puzzle.

AFTER. The Redefined Home’s puzzle solution, creating new energy with old favorites.

  1. And last but not least, embrace the-not-so-perfect. It’s easy to fall into the trap of expecting your new home to be perfect. But just like people, no home is perfect. As you discover your home’s quirks, accept them and live with them for a while. Over time those quirks may become a part of your home’s personality or you may find ways to improve or repair them. Whatever the case, embrace your new home and hold on to its positive qualities instead of holding on to an impossible picture-perfect ideal.

Shower Your Home with Gratitude Leave a Reply

Give your home some love with these thoughtful ideas and watch it return the favor —
now and throughout the year.

1. Invite in friends. Whether you think of it as a New Year party, a housewarming, or a home blessing, welcoming friends and family into your home is a meaningful event. This fills it with laughter, love, and camaraderie. Sharing your home is a fun way to enliven it; and you will feel the good vibes vibrating.

2. Display a guest book. This is a fun way to tell your friends you value their friendship — it doesn’t have to be fussy, maybe it’s a nicely bound journal or sketchbook. Have guests write a message in it when they visit your home. It can be replaced annually giving every new year a fresh start. It’s a lovely gesture that brings joy into your home and it’s especially fun when having a party.

3. Make an “always-changing” photo book of your home for your coffee table. What a fun way to show your gratitude! Online photo sites make it easy to combine photos with your own text, making it personal and self-explanatory; or you can put together a traditional album. The photos do not need to be professionally taken; make it fun and informal. Capture the small, everyday details (like your child’s attempt at cleaning their room or potting flowers on the porch) to make this book a treasure and a conversation piece. Remember to keep it updated by replacing outdated pictures with current pictures. This keeps the book fresh and evolving, and in step with your lives. You may want to include snippets from your guest book as well.

4. Make a list of things you are thankful for about your home. This can simply be acknowledging the roof over your head, the warmth on a cold winter’s day, the way the front door welcomes you home, the way light streams through a window or how a breeze dances with a curtain, even the bird’s nest on the porch — record it all. And this, too, can be placed in your coffee table photo book!
DCF 1.0

5. Nourish your home with fresh flowers and a fabulous scent. Pick up a bouquet from the market (it doesn’t need to be expensive to be lovely), or cut flowers from your garden or country roadside ditch. Then, continue to delight your home (and yourself) by filling it with a refreshing scented essential oil candle or natural room fragrance. These simple gestures make a home feel loved and you’ll feel loved in return.

6. Fix a decorating dilemma that’s been bugging you. From awkward spaces to the lack of storage, all homes have quirks. If something annoys you, get creative and fix it. Shoes piled by the door? Too much stuff on the counters? Big or small those annoyances compound over time and are well worth the effort of resolving them. If your house has a place that’s difficult to decorate, don’t hesitate to resolve it. If you get stymied, invite a design-savvy friend over to help you brainstorm and move furniture, or have me stop in for some fun and unbiased design solutions — just do what you need to do to find a solution.

7. Clean every nook. It’s normal to skim over corners when doing a quick cleaning — but there’s something symbolic about clearing the (real and metaphorical) cobwebs from your home. Go straight to those nooks and crannies and thoroughly vacuum and mop. Often-neglected spots are: corners, baseboards, tops of picture frames, areas behind appliances, bed frames, beneath furniture, and ceiling fixtures (fans).

8. Stay home and enjoy. Once your home is fresh and clean take time to stay home to savor it. Whether you listen to music, light candles, watch movies, play games, or read – it does not matter as long as you take time to enjoy your home, which is the utmost form of gratitude!

9. Give your home an honorable name. This is a lovely gesture of gratitude for your home. Maybe it feels like it should be named after a famous home, fictional or real, or maybe it should reflect its location or physical characteristics; just make it a respectful name because it will not only reflect the dignity of the house but also the people who live there. Once named remember to include it in your photo book and guest book; you can even display it prominently in the foyer, or outside the front door, or at the property entrance. Do not place it on the floor or door mat though; give it a place of honor.

10. Hang a portrait of your home. Portraits are symbols of honor also — whether you commission a photographer or an artist, this makes a lovely tribute to your home for being the vessel that holds and nurtures the lives of you and your family. You may want to label the portrait’s frame with the address or the name you gave it.

Homes are at the center of our lives – will you be showering your home with gratitude?

Powering Up! It’s Spring! Leave a Reply

IcedTea Blog

Lazy warm days, iced tea, and plants dancing in gentle breezes bring my summer thoughts to life. The longer days seem to fuel my thoughts, charging me with super powers for creating a gorgeous outdoor retreat. The fact that my gardening muscles haven’t been used for six months (or more) doesn’t matter; I’m invincible and ready to bring an oasis to my barren landscape. No sweat……well, maybe a little a lot of sweat, but sweating is good, right?

Two years ago we moved from a house with large trees and mature gardens to a house with no landscape. We wanted less maintenance and had a vision of a park-like landscape with a few key trees and native grasses. We had no idea that a two year drought was ahead. Our attempts to landscape were squelched by drought, deer, and Iowa storms. But, that was then and now its spring and I have super powers!

Every spring super powers take over my otherwise normal life. It’s not just me, super powers are everywhere; plants emerge from frozen soil, people purge closets and garages, joggers run marathons, etc. And every spring my super powers quickly fade. This is always humbling as well as discouraging. But I’ve finally realized that starting projects designed for my human powers keep my super powers active, because completing lots of little goals encourages completing more goals and eventually the overall goal is completed and I am super woman! It makes a win-win feeling instead of a failing one.

It’s taken years for me to realize this. But now I can happily return from the garden center with only what I can plant in a single weekend. Besides, by the time I’m actually ready to plant, garden centers have plants on sale and those savings can help with the replacement costs for the plants that didn’t survive. Loosing plants is sad, but by planning for replacements creates another positive, and helps me accept the losses.

And so goes the inner tug-of-war between super power and human power ….. but staying focused on how to capitalize the short-lived super powers so my human powers can wrap things up is key.  It’s challenging to think about my humanness when feeling invincible, but it can be done! So with super powered enthusiasm and human powered rationale, my home’s barren front will soon come to life and the back will get a few key trees. Then let the dog-days-of-summer find me with an iced tea and plants dancing in midsummer breezes….. I’ll post ‘Before and Afters’ in a couple of months!

Do you have any plans for your spring super powers?


Blog Vinegar

Two gentlemen came into the gallery the other day and were having fun browsing the eclectic mix of art, furniture, and repurposed industrial ambiance. When they came across the solid maple and cherry cutting boards made by Brendan Zimmermann, reminiscing led to the great things one can do with a cutting board.

There were so many reasons to own a cutting board! It’s a writing surface when there’s no table. It can wedge a window open, block a door open, be a wheel chock for a trailer, and a carving block for woodcuts….. of course! Why didn’t I know of these years ago?

At last, but not least, they came to cutting veggies, fruits, and meats and this morphed into using it as a serving tray! Yes! That’s what I thought! But then the conversation came to how to clean wood after chopping onions, peppers, raw meat, etc. The one gentleman thought chemicals should be used to kill the bacteria and fungi; the other disagreed, because the chemicals could contaminate the food. Both were right.

Cutting boards definitely need to be sanitized. Using digestible products are safer than and as effective as harsh synthetic chemicals. You’ll want to disinfect the boards at least once a week and after each use, especially after cutting meat. It’s so easy to do and cheap, too! Simply apply a liberal coating of salt, let it set for 5 minutes, then wash it with ½ cup vinegar. (You can also use fresh squeezed lemon juice instead of vinegar.) Your cutting board will stay sweet-smelling, sanitary, and ready for your next task, no matter what it is. Wipe traditional wood boards with vegetable oil once in a while, as well.

Another way to clean, disinfect, and deodorize wood boards is to rub them with baking soda, then spray with vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, rinse with clear water. This mix is fun, because the baking soda and vinegar create a fizzy bubbly reaction.

Wood cooking utensils, cutting boards, chopping blocks, dough bowls, and mixing bowls have been around for centuries and timeless cleaning methods have proved the test of time.

So, tell me, how do you use your cutting board?

Finding Space Leave a Reply


That verse is so insightful! It’s the space within our lives that nurture and support us not the stuff. Whether we live in a stately mansion or a charming bungalow, the space within and around our homes affect us.  When our spaces get filled with random stuff it creates clutter. Clutter weighs us down, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Clutter ties us to past activities and unfinished projects; it creates mental fatigue and scatters our thoughts. Clearing clutter liberates us, making room for new possibilities and inspirations. After all, it is the open space on the desk that makes it useful, not the piles of paper.

Since our surroundings influence us, then how we arrange our possessions are vital to our existence. Bringing unity, rhythm, harmony, and open space into our rooms is where design and Feng Shui unite! And that’s where I can help transform houses into homes! But there’s more…..

What about finding space in our calendars? After all it’s the open slots, the unstructured time, which liberate us. Americans tend to be yang (action) oriented, focusing on “things” such as billable hours, tasks, meetings, the busyness that fills our days instead of making space for quietness, reflection, mental healing, and listening to our inner wisdom. Opening up our calendars is just as vital as opening up our rooms. Scheduling nothing brings yin (calm) qualities into our lives, restoring our balance, creating inner peace, allowing us to unwind and process our yang world, and nurturing our essence.

Too often our lives get so cluttered that we can’t breathe. By finding space every day, even if it’s only 15 minutes, our lives will open in ways we never thought possible. It may feel awkward at first, but you’ll soon own and cherish your open slots and love the renewed liberation!

Find Some Pizzazz with Color Leave a Reply


I love color. Maybe that is why I love spring; nature is vibrating with color, enlivening everything, including us. Bright green leaves radiate against dark wet bark, flowers sparkle with dew, the sun seems brighter and the blue sky bluer, everything is waking up and vibrant. The whole world seems happy and is inviting us to join in. So just think, if nature can use color to lift our spirits, what could it do for us when we bring it indoors?

 I love using color to wake up rooms. A room should make you feel the way spring makes you feel. It should invite you in and then embrace you, filling you with happiness and renewing you. After all that is the whole point of décor. It’s the décor that makes you smile every time you stop in, and color plays a major role in the décor and your happiness.

 Color affects our vitality, so when people say they are tired of neutrals and need more color in their life, it’s their intuition telling them to recharge. Color is amazing and affects our senses, mental clarity, emotions, and overall health. For instance, if a home has too many neutrals, overtime it can cause a feeling of being stuck or blasé, or of being tired or drained. It can cause boredom and depression. Too much color can cause the opposite reaction by stimulating over activity, promoting hypertension and stress, creating distracted or scattered thoughts, and even causing heated conversations.

 So it’s all about balance and having your home’s décor be the best for you. One way to easily do this is to let color create visual rhythms and focal points. Our eyes are drawn to color first, so using it thoughtfully will enliven any space. Here are a few simple ways to create some pizzazz ….

    •  Add color to the outside entry of your front door. This is the first impression of you and is a perfect place to make an impressive impression. Since our eyes are drawn to color, use it to greet and welcome your visitors; it will make them smile. Select a palette of 2-3 vibrant colors, then add a softer color for filler; consider using the lighter color of your house’s color motif. Use these colors in flowers or plants placed in containers, or in the gardens, or both. (Always replace dead or dying plants with healthy vibrant plants.) Or use splashes of these colors on a bench or chair, a door wreath, or door mat.
    • Carry the hospitality inside by having enough space for 2-3 people to easily enter your home. Next decide the path your guests should take once they enter, then lead your guests to these areas with splashes of the same colors used outside. This creates a lovely transition from the two areas and can be as simple as a vase of flowers, a beautiful picture, or a chair with a colorful pillow. Be inspired.
    • Continue using splashes of color in other rooms by first deciding where the room’s focal point should be and then use color to invite people in. The color adds visual interest and vibrant beauty. For instance, centering a coffee table on a fireplace creates a perfect focal point; add a colorful accent to the coffee table to provide a visual foundation and then carry that same color to the fireplace mantle for unity and balance. This also works for the dining room by placing a beautiful center piece on the dining table, creating an inviting visual anchor for the chandelier; and again in the kitchen, by adding a colorful bowl of fruit to a spacious island or open counter, making the room delicious.

 As you can see, color can quickly and easily wake up a room and it does not have to cost a lot to get amazing results. So have fun putting some pizzazz in your home!

Listen to Nita on Mad Businesswomen’s Radio Leave a Reply

Listen in for my debut interview on Mad Businesswomen’s Radio! With Valentine’s Day this week, I had the opportunity to talk about creating a place for love and happiness to grow in your life. We had a lot of fun! Check it out.

Change Me, Change Me Not Leave a Reply

I thought a blog for The Redefined Home would be a great a place for us to take a break from our harried day; a place for us to share helpful tips and some food for thought (some things to savor with our tea or whatever you drink while online); a place for good conversation that honors the beautiful people we are; a place where friends could gather!

After all we are all beautiful and we all probably want to bring more beauty into our life, which is why I really wanted to call this blog “The world of art, design, interiors and all things beautiful.” What a perfect title – it said it all! When I first read these words my eyes widen with excitement – this was exactly what The Redefined Home was about! I was elated. Then I realized I was reading these words not because I had just written them and wanted to admire them, but because someone else had already done so. Being a person that honors others cleverness, I decided to continue admiring them and move on.

After a brief pity party about not creating this beautiful phrase first, a friend suggested The Redefined Life. I thought, “How very nice… it’s short, sweet, elegant, and it’s exactly what we do every day.” That may sound a little cliché, but it’s very true, every day we choose to redefine our life or keep it the same. Choosing to redefine our life lets us bring more meaning and all things beautiful into it. Creating a blog community where we can redefine together just seems fun. So it was; The Redefined Life took life!

I hadn’t really thought of it as redefining my life, but that is exactly what I’ve been doing ever since I realized the Law of Attraction works 24/7 whether I’m aware or not. Realizing my thoughts attract my experiences helped me realize I needed to stop thinking about the difficulties in my day and focus on the awesome things in my day; then be grateful for every single one. Simply focusing on the beauty in my life simply brought my life more beauty. Interestingly, this simple change completely changed my outlook. This took me on a whole new journey. A journey I truly wanted to take. Looking back I’m so very grateful for how my life has been redefined. I absolutely love what has and is still unfolding. And the most beautiful thing about all of this is that anyone can do it!

It’s sort of like winning a lottery every day, except the odds of winning are better and the reward is 1,440 minutes instead of $1,440. Intentionally defining those minutes escalate the rewards. One thing though, this means things will change and change can be uncomfortable at times, causing doubt. Doubt can stop everything, immediately. But, if we really want to redefine our lives, then we have to stop doing what we’ve always done. Making new intentions permits the Law of Attraction to bring them to life. Then, trusting the changes are for the better allows the journey to bring rewards bigger than any lottery!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I haven’t had doubts as changes happen in my life. I have. I’ve even tried to take control. This didn’t usually work and usually made things much harder. It’s sort of funny that when we try to take control how difficult we can make our lives. But allowing the Law of Attraction to do its magic, things can work in ways never dreamed and can lead to things beyond our wildest expectations.

So I guess it all comes to whether we really want to redefine our life or not. It’s our choice …. to change or not to change. We’re all deserving of all things beautiful, so why settle for less?

As for me, I’m still a work in progress and every day amazes me. So tell me, have you ever had a beautiful dream that started to unfold and then doubts crept in making you really uncomfortable? If so, did your doubts stop your dream or did you allow it to unfold?

Welcome Leave a Reply

“A real rebellion in art would be to show people that there is real beauty and grace in the world.”

Photographer, Rodney Smith said this years ago and it has been my mantra ever since. In fact I try to bring it into everything I do.

The Redefined Home is my passion because it allows me to bring beauty and grace to others as well. I absolutely LOVE redefining interiors and helping others love where they live. Ok you’re probably asking yourself, what makes me any different from anyone else… Well, there are two things that set my style apart from others. One is my creativity, and the other is how I blend interior design with how people’s surroundings influence their emotions, attitudes, thoughts, relationships, health, and lifestyle.

Hummmm, that may be more than two things… anyway, it’s these things that help me to transform tired rooms into energizing beautiful places that are as unique as the people using them—beautiful places people love to be in, love to look at, love to invite friends to, and love to relax in.

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The Redefined Home
The Redefined Home