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The feelgood home

I’ve finally moved into my new home. It’s taken a long time and a lot of hard work to bring this neglected little Victorian terrace back to its bones and then build it carefully, lovingly, up again – but it’s been worth the wait.
A year ago I left my old house feeling desperately sad (I was losing, not only my beautiful home but my marriage too). I went to India, to visit the ila-only spa at RAAS Devigarh and it turned out to be a place of deep healing. I fell in love with everything about this magical hotel and decided it would be the inspiration for my home-to-be.

20 years ago (how did that happen??), I wrote a book called Spirit of the Home (HarperCollins). In it I talked about how our homes shouldn’t just be ‘lookgood’ places – they should engage and delight all our senses. Devigarh hit all the right notes – it looked wonderful (calm and serene with splashes of juicy colour); it smelt divine (all those stunning ila candles and oils); it sounded gorgeous (the flutter of birds, the gentle rain, the soft chanting) and it felt…like home. Okay, you might think, but that’s a luxury hotel in Rajasthan – can you really bring that feeling into a simple city terrace? Yes. Absolutely.

Of course I couldn’t run to marble floors studded with precious stones, but I could emulate the simple colour scheme. So I painted pretty well everything white (even my dog had snowy spots by mistake). Then I took a long hard look at all my possessions and realised that it was time for a good cull.

With a clear canvas, I started space clearing. I clapped out the corners of the rooms and followed up with a good session of smudging. For more information check out The Smudging and Blessings Book . I then filled the house with gentle chanting from Wah! Deva Premal and Denise Leicester, the founder of ila.

By serendipity, Denise’s new diffusion range, ilapothecary, launched just as I moved in. The synchronicity made me smile and I love that the brand not only has ranges for men, women and families, but also for homes.  I’m besotted with the Good Vibe Reeds – everyone who comes in comments on the delicious scent.
Denise has also formulated three special diffuser oils, each with a special focus. Transform Space includes sacred wood palo santo – it purifies and dispels negative energy, creating space for positive change.

Then there’s Create Space with chamomile and sandalwood, helping to attract an inspiring atmosphere of creativity. Finally there’s Dream Space with vetiver and spikenard, to set an embracing aura of soothing peace and quiet.

Of course they smell delicious but that’s only part of it. Essential oils have a profound effect on our minds, bodies and spirits. So please, don’t buy cheap synthetic room fragrances. If you can’t run to these divine blends, experiment with your own mixes of pure essential oils. Mandarin, geranium, bergamot and chamomile won’t break the bank – but will give your home that delicious smellgood, feelgood factor.

This first appeared in Natural Health magazine.  Spirit of the Home will soon be available in a fresh, twentieth anniversary edition.