Most people consider design to be all about aesthetics, but our surroundings have a profound effect on mood, stress levels and overall happiness. Following are ten ways to improve your home and increase your wellbeing:
Anyone who follows me knows that there’s nothing I love more than a deep de-clutter. Whatever the opposite of a hoarder is, that’s me. I have been Marie Kondo-ing before Marie Kondo was a thing and I think may be able to out Marie Kondo, Marie Kondo. Anyway, you get the picture. Clutter and disorder in the home create clutter and disorder in the mind. So either get hold of a ‘Marie Kondo’ how to and start sparking some joy or just go through your home room by room and get rid of anything you no longer need. Simple and oh so satisfying.
- Fix It
Disrepair in the home is bad Feng Shui and is a drain in your mental wellbeing. Think about how many times you walk past that dripping tap or peeling paint and think ‘I must get that fixed’. Set aside some time to book in any trades you need and just make the commitment to do it.
- Natural Light
I’m sure I don’t need to go into how many studies have been done on the benefits of natural light and the depression that can result in a lack thereof. Natural light is crucial to our emotional wellbeing so make sure that you are letting it in! If there are areas in your home where natural light is lacking do whatever you can to maximise it. If you have the budget, consider sky lights or changing the current windows. Be aware also of your window treatments and how they affect your natural light.
This is another big one and just as important as natural light. Many studies have been done on the effects of colour on the psyche and how powerful it is. Think about when that old, dark house is transformed by painting out dark timber and yellowed walls into a bright, fresh abode. Carefully consider how you want a room to make you feel when making colour choices. A rule of three is a great place to start. Pick one neutral tone for the larger areas such as walls and floors, a calm colour for the large furniture items and then something more interesting for your accents.
- Feng Shui
I believe every home I enter has a certain energy and it’s good to be aware of this so you can maximise positive energy within your home. The ancient Chinese Art of Feng Shui has been practised for over 3000 years and participants believe that adhering to those principals can help attract good luck, success, positive energy and love. True immersion in Feng Shui means either many years of study or hiring a professional. But If you’re not ready to take the plunge there are a few things you can do to improve the energy of your home. Ensure that your entry is clean and welcoming and make sure that your home is in good condition and free of clutter. Arrange furniture to allow you to clearly see a room’s doorway and appear inviting to guests. Decorate with natural elements such as fresh flowers and ensure there is plenty of light and fresh air circulating through your home.
- Indoor Plants
Not only are indoor aesthetically pleasing, studies have shown that they also improve mood, concentration, memory retention and stress reduction. Who doesn’t love the sight of a lush, green plant filling an otherwise empty corner? You get the benefit of visual beauty with better air quality as a bonus. Win, win.
- Furniture & Style
Your furniture can have a huge impact on the overall feel of your home and should be carefully considered. It should be chosen with care and forward planning to bring out the best of your available space and reflect your personal style and taste. Treat each room as part of the home as a whole to achieve a cohesive result.
- Seating Arrangement
Seating arrangement can influence how well people interact in your home as well as the flow of energy. Consider how you want each room to function and how many people it should accommodate. A great example is an island bench in the kitchen. The simple act of placing stools in the space creates a hub for people to gather. Be sure not to overcrowd rooms with too much furniture.
So important! Artificial lighting is just as important for mood as natural light so choose with care and be sure to layer. We all need general overhead lighting but including mood lighting is essential. Creating a relaxed ambience for a dinner party or relaxing TV in the evening isn’t possible with harsh, overhead lighting. Consider the function of the rooms and how you want them to feel when making your lighting selections.
As eyes are the windows to the soul, windows are features of the home. Externally windows make a statement and contribute to the look and feel of your home. Internally, framing your windows is essential for how you want them to look as well as how you want them to function. Make sure windows are clean and clear and make the most of the light and views to the outdoors.