Jake is sharing an upgraded repost on one of his favorite posts to help you all during these challenging days. You see, since this little buddy is keenly sensitive and affected by his surroundings, he thinks you are too. Read on for his 5 top soul makers and soul busters.

Are you aware that your home is giving you or your family or your guests a message? Yes, my dear followers, every space has the potential to be a soul maker or a soul buster.

Downsize your beliefs that your home is merely that, your home. There is so much more that your home can give to you”.

This is my opening quote for chapter 6 in my book Design Smarts, Inspiration for Home + Life. My purpose for this particular chapter is to inspire an evaluation of all home spaces with a new enlightened perspective. While literally studying and observing homes for over three decades, I saw these five obvious mistakes at the top of the list that prevent a home’s powerful restorative potential. 

5 overlooked mistakes that can block the potential of your home’s soul robbing your peace and joy without you even knowing it is happening!


Good clutter? Oh yes, for sure since this is a Christmas time scene of special gifts and times to be enjoyed. You all have experienced these times on different occasions. However, I am also certain that you, like myself, have seen this type of clutter lasting beyond any occasion. This is the way however, many live in their spaces all the time. Don’t let this be you!

Now obviously all these clothes on my bed were for packing. But again, how many of you see bedrooms with clothes stacked everywhere? Clutter does indeed affect our sense of well being.This is either consciously or unconsciously by challenging our mental ability to focus without having to do all the mental sorting.

Notice the peaceful calm in my former studio’s uncluttered space.


Jake is a happy camper with his fav treat enjoying the beautiful warmth of sunshine that also lifts our spirits. This is what correct interior lighting does for us. Too harsh or incorrect lighting is such a mood killer and definitely compromises our homes soul. I write a ton about lighting in my book, in videos, and my blogs since I believe that lighting is the number one design principle overlooked or underestimated. I often joke that this is why God invented dimmers. We can never have too much lighting, but it needs to be adjustable for all the multipurpose activity that goes on in our spaces.

Jake says that he is okay with this low level lighting since he is enjoying his snuggle time and this dimmed lighting gives him the message that it is time to just hang out and veg.

My former kitchen is a perfect example of appropriate dimmable



How many homes do we see that have only hard surfaces or textures like Jake is in here on the patio before the cushions are put out. He’s asking where can he be comfortable? Using only hard surface flooring, leather or slick fabric on furniture, no fabric on the windows, lack of area rugs, and etc give a definite message. These types of spaces are not the places that are beckoning us to restore and feed our souls. Neither do these spaces give us the essential time to reset and recharge to go out and face life’s demands again.

But Jake says, now you’re talking! Soft, cuddly fabrics do indeed provide comfort for weary doggies and people alike. These soft textures can be on a throw, pillows, or area rugs, but the point is to have something that says “this is your place” just for your own personal down time.

Notice all the soft interesting textures of our former master bedroom.


Jake is saying turn down the TV already! Most of you have heard of noise pollution, right? But have you ever realized that the constant noise in your home could actually be polluting your sense of calm and well being? When I go into a home where the TV or music is really loud, my total sense of concentration goes haywire! In todays very noisy world that is constantly bombarding us, becoming aware and controlling our home’s noises can go along way to soothing weary souls. I would even venture to say that is impossible to have a calm, quiet, and serene environment in the home with too steady or too loud noise. I love music in my home but not a steady diet of it all the time because it unconsciously requires me to listen. Distractions of any kind are the enemy that can rob your peace and creative endeavors. Turn down the volume in your homes and give your mind a sweet break.


Jake is lounging in one of my favorite areas in my previous home because it holds many of my personal treasures. In this photo you can see this 20 year old family portrait that I never, ever, get tired of enjoying. There are other special gifts or meaningful items on the tables. Potential soul busters are displaying stuff that has absolutely no meaning or value. This is another common mistake that I often see by filling up walls and tables with items that could be in anyone’s homes. In my book, I write about the “little stuff disease”. Do not let this be you! Purge that meaningless “stuff” and replace it with your personal treasures for the good of your home’s soul.

This is our current living room wall of treasured photos etc. that give us so much joy!

Most of you know that I love blue and white in fabrics so this beautiful toile fabric is truly a personal treasure for me to love and enjoy year after year. Other treasures are my autographed books, lovely antique platters and dishes, and my orchid collections. What treasures do you have in your favorite places that give you joy? For your home to truly have a soul, it must be of you and your special things that hold precious memories or identify your home as just that, your home.

Homes without a soul can really leave us this sad like Jake looks in this image. I hope that you have allowed Jake and me to awaken your unconscious to the conscious knowledge of your home’s potential. This is essential for you to live in a peaceful and restful home. After all, don’t we all want to live and be in these homes? Knowledge is a powerful tool for all aspects of living life to the max so Jake wants you all to rock on in all your days and years ahead! Therefore, be smart, be Design SMARTS!

Living and Loving Life Together,

Don’t miss any of my relevant and inspiring blog posts by signing up here!

Mitzi Beach DesignSmarts Front Cover

To order your very own signed copy of my book click here!

P.S.  Please Be sure to follow me on InstagramYoutubePinterest, and like my Facebook page


  1. Lisa Peck April 11, 2020 at 10:31 am

    Such important advice.
    Thanks once again for sharing your wisdom and I got a kick out of Jake!

    1. Mitzi April 11, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      Your so welcome Lisa! Yes, Jake can be quite the ham but oh how much joy he gives us.

  2. Carla Aston April 11, 2020 at 10:33 am

    Love that former home office of yours, Mitzi! I wish I had that square footage in mine right now. But all good, I’m decluttering and downsizing myself! Good tips here!

  3. Mitzi April 11, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    You would definitely loved working in this office Carla for a zillion reasons. Thank you that you appreciated my tips. BTW, starting a Facebook group very soon calling it Life Smarts for the 50+. The emphasis will be downsizing, wellness, and aging in place.

  4. Julie April 11, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    You have such an excellent model here! He is adorable. I agree wholeheartedly with all of your points. I love the collected look which gives heart and soul to a home.

    1. mitzi beach April 14, 2020 at 9:46 am

      Happy to hear that you enjoyed our little buddy Julie! And thank you so much for commenting! The collected look does indeed give heart and soul to a home…wellsaid!

  5. Janet Lorusso April 11, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    All such important points and spot on, Mitzi! Lighting is my personal hot button and I totally agree it is the most overlooked and highest impact design element! Right now I have a huge amount of work clutter that needs to be dealt with….At least it is blessedly confined to the lower level so I can escape it most of the time, but you’ve reminded me how important it is to get to it.

    1. mitzi beach April 14, 2020 at 9:49 am

      Love it that you understood these design points Janet because as you so know, it is not a given that even designers understand the essence of home soul. And I get it about the clutter! I am finally coming to end of mine from downsizing and moving…whew! But, now the challenge is to keep the clutter out of here!

  6. Mary Ann Benoit April 11, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Perfect tips and you have the best little blog model ever!

    1. mitzi beach April 14, 2020 at 9:50 am

      Thank you Mary Ann! He is a little ham, that is for sure…:)

    1. mitzi beach April 14, 2020 at 10:05 am

      Thanks Christina! I am happy to hear that you liked my post…and our little buddy Jake!

  7. Sheri Bruneau April 12, 2020 at 11:22 am

    First of all, Jake is so darn cute!

    Mitzi, all of your points in the blog as so true. When we stop and take stock of our home, where we are spending more time in them, it truly does speak volumes.

    I know for myself, clutter (physical and noise) affects me greatly. Thank you for the sage advice!

    1. mitzi beach April 14, 2020 at 9:54 am

      I am glad that you appreciated this take on being less serious with our postings Sheri. During these times, I thought a little whimsy would be good for our souls in writing about our home’s soul.
      Clutter and noise probably are the least recognized obstacles to having a peace filled home. I am not surprised as a keenly aware designer that these points bother you like they do me.

  8. Leslie Carothers April 12, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    Hi Mitzi ~

    I really enjoyed this post and so agree with you: lighting is the single most overlooked way we can create more functional beauty in our homes. I love small pools of light all over my home, at different levels, and never turn some of them off. Each morning I’m awakened and giving a sense of calm and order by the way light flows through my home.

    Thanks for all the other important tips, too. You and I (and Jake! ) are very simpatico in how we think about our home environments.

  9. mitzi beach April 14, 2020 at 9:59 am

    Hi Leslie! Yes for sure on lighting being so underestimated and overlooked in most design projects and in homes today. It can make or break not only our peace and joy but poor lighting can be the culprit also for unrealized stress too. And when in stress, there is no peace!
    How lovely that you have these pools of light giving you a sense of calm and order. I totally am with you on this lovely benefit of natural lighting.


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *