The design of your home has a big impact on your mental health, a new study has found. It seems that your living space affects your circadian rhythm (your body clock), and can stimulate the release of cortisol, the stress hormone, among others. With all the time we’ve spent indoors during the pandemic, it’s never been more essential for us to design our homes with a focus on wellbeing.
Bring mindfulness into your home with some simple wellbeing design hacks from internationally renowned interior designer, Michelle Ogundehin, below.
1. Discover your palette
Take the time to work out your favourite colours, patterns, materials and finishes. Dark hues or pale? Smooth surfaces or textured? Big bouncy florals or more demure stripes? Or ideally a super textural mix of everything? The point being, once you identify the things that make your heart sing, you tap into who you really are, and therein lies the key to creating a truly mindful space.
2. Authenticity is everything!
Forget trends, dismiss must-haves, and ignore what the pollsters say, the only thing that matters about the way you decorate your home is that you love it. So purple polka dots and glittery cushions? Excellent! Leopard print and pom poms galore? Brilliant. This is your private and personal corner of the world, so don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.
3. Lower your toxic burden
A clean home is a calm home, and it starts with good air quality. Bin candles made from paraffin wax (most cheap ones are I’m afraid) and welcome essential oil burners or plant-based wax candles instead. Look for low toxicity paints. And watch your cleaning products too. If it necessitates a warning symbol on the back, you do not want it in your home. You are what you breathe, safer alternatives exist.
4. Clear the clutter
Mess equals stress. And while some gifted individuals may be able to work among chaos, for the majority of us, it’s impossible to concentrate or find any semblance of peace if surrounded by detritus. And by this, I mean things that make no active contribution to your life — broken things, annoying things (like jugs which dribble), unused things. Banish such items and you get rid of stagnancy from your home.
5. Keep the energy moving
When we understand our homes as capable of affecting how we feel, it makes sense to keep them charged with life and vitality. This is all about engendering flow aka a state of brilliant balance. So, from regularly flinging wide your windows to keep fresh air circulating, to choosing rounded forms for your furniture rather than pieces with pointy corners (especially for low tables), the idea is to be able to move about your home without impediment, and for no corner ever to gather dust.
Many homeowners are focusing on two key wellbeing home design principles: reducing clutter and clearly zoning work and living areas. 92% more garage conversion jobs were posted on Rated People in April and May 2021, compared to the same period in 2019. On the other hand, demand for garden offices and studio constructions has grown by 139%. Whether you want to build it out or adapt inside, find a tradesperson to help you with your wellbeing home design project on Rated People.