We are all aware that over the past year we’ve seen a rise in mental health awareness and focus on reducing stress and anxiety in our lives. Yes these past 12 months have been challenging for us all, in many different ways and especially on our mental health. But why am I writing about this today?
If you know me, you’ll know that I have an interest in creating wellness, balance and a sense of calm through the work that I do with my clients. Your home can help to support a healthy mental state, it really is all about what we surround ourselves with and how we process our surroundings.
So today I thought I would write about some key areas to focus on if you are looking to create a home that can lead to a happy heart and a happy mind.
Firstly, we have to address the organisation in your home. Clutter, mess, and disorganisation can lead to more anxiety. Remember that feeling when you finally get to clearing out that messy cupboard or sorting through your wardrobe and clearing unwanted items. There’s no feeling like it. This plays into the sense of calm, reduces anxiety and it’s so simple to do.
So, when I’m designing a space, I ensure EVERY room has good storage. I ensure I understand what my client’s needs are and find space to make sure everything has its place. Making a linen cupboard deep enough to store that clothes airer, ensuring there is power in a cupboard to recharge and store your vacuum cleaner. Plenty of closed storage for kids’ toys, well organised robe spaces in each bedroom. If you design your joinery and storage needs well, this will go along way to reducing the clutter.
Also have a declutter at least every 12 months in areas where you tend to store things for later. I’m not kidding, I probably do this every 6 months. I can’t stand clutter.
VISUAL COMFORT & LIGHTING
Lighting in your home is important for many reasons. And I’m sure you’re aware of the impacts of light on your health, and that’s not just natural daylight, artificial light can also have both a positive and negative impact. Therefore, if you are renovating and lucky enough to think about a complete lighting plan make the most of this.
We talk about visual comfort in lighting. We don’t want artificial lights to be too bright on the flip side if you are lighting a task area too dim is also an issue. Mix into your lighting plan various types of lighting such as downlights where you absolutely need them (and that doesn’t have to be all throughout your ceilings), wall washing is a technique that lighting specialists use when lighting a whole room effectively and simultaneously creating visual comfort. This type of light is very easy on the eye and can provide plenty of light in a room. Then add in your feature pendants above areas where you socialise, or want to highlight. And then floor and table lights for rooms where you spend a lot of time relaxing. These are the best for creating a cosy space that aids relaxation and anxiety release.
When creating a calm space I focus on having a base neutral and overlay this with some rooms being highlighted in muted colours. More muted colours, like visual comfort lighting are easy to live with, and can go a long way to feed into that calm energy we are creating in each space. Muted colours tend to be less fresh and clean and perhaps look more dirty. Don’t be afraid of this, soft warm taupes, greens and skin tones (super popular right now) are all my favourites for bedrooms, TV rooms, chill out spaces, even home offices.
A COMFORTABLE BEDROOM
Probably the most important room in your home if you’re focusing on bringing a sense of calm and wellness into your space. This is where we do most of our resting, repairing and relaxation. So what things do we need to think about here?
Firstly, a super comfortable bed, the best you can afford, with wonderful bed linen. Make your bed really aids relaxation and a good nights rest. I find that memory foam pillows go a long way, amazing support and last forever.
The all of the above principles feed in here, great soft lighting, I love a wall light either side of the bed for this, install them on a dimmer. Don’t use a colour that’s too cold, bring in some warmth with your colour palette if you are trying to create that cosy calm vibe. And lastly don’t have too much stuff around you. Everything does need to have it’s place, so good wardrobes, a tall boy or chest of drawers, and minimal surfaces where you can dump ‘stuff’. I purposely keep my linen basket in the bedroom so clothes find their way into the basket easily and I don’t have a chair where items can be dropped and left for days.
I hope these tips help if you are on a journey of creating wellbeing in your home. I feel that this aspect of interior design is so underrated but can have such a wonderful impact on the people that live in the home.