March, 2006 Contest: What are you doing to make your home feel more tranquil and Zen-like?

Congratulations to our contest winner!
Natalie Milbrodt of Astoria, NY

My roommate and I live in a lovely flat in Astoria, New York. We have beautiful parquet floors, 1920s-era finish carpentry details, and a neighbor who lives in the basement apartment who sometimes comes upstairs to scream at us late at night because he’s bothered by the noise of our footsteps above him. We’ve decided to make a stressful situation more peaceful by instituting a few zen-like practices that help us by helping our cranky neighbor: Everyone takes their shoes off when they enter the front door and we have added rugs to soften floor noises. My roommate and I have also made some new walking paths to follow over some of the less-squeeky zones of the floor, which adds a mindfulness to our steps and has at times brought out a good belly laugh too. Our home is more peaceful due to a few small adjustments to furnishings and habits and I think we and our neighbor are all the better for it.