Interior design for wellbeing: making your house a haven
12th July 2022
Our homes should be our havens, places of rest, relaxation, and good health. The world is a hectic place but if our homes can become bastions of tranquillity, contributing to our wellbeing instead of detracting from it, things become just that little bit easier. In this guide, we will look at ways that people can utilise interior design to make their home a place for wellbeing and peace, rather than another factor contributing to poor mental health. From reducing clutter to incorporating natural elements, read on for some helpful tips.
Consider how you function in a space
How your home functions can play a big role in how you feel while living in it. While the aesthetics of a home are certainly important, each room will need to cater to your specific needs and provide you with a space that works for you. For example, a room that is designed in such a way that it makes moving around it difficult, will not be a benefit to your mood. On the other hand, a room that has functionality in mind can help you to relax. You won’t think about the layout, as the way you exist in the space will feel so natural.
For those with limited mobility, functionality is a particularly important component to consider when it comes to your home. Not only do you need it to be accessible, having features like home stair lifts neatly installed but the mental benefits you will receive from knowing your home is safe and easy for you to navigate will greatly contribute to your wellbeing.
Make areas of peace
No matter how hard we might try, stress will inevitably make its way into our homes at some point. We are human after all. Whether you have a family going about their busy lives or you work from home, it’s a good idea to make sure you create a space that is peaceful. Sometimes we need to retreat, collect ourselves, and just spend a little alone time in an environment that we can control. Dedicating a room of your house to this very purpose can be simply attained. For many, they might choose a bedroom, but you can consider a reading room or an office as well. As long as it’s a quiet area to relax that is free from stress. That means no work, no mess, and containing only items that will bring you joy. It’s important that you come to associate this room with tranquillity.
Find solutions to clutter
Studies have found that clutter can have a truly negative effect on mental health. Clutter is naturally in opposition to calm so when you enter a space that is packed with items strewn all over the place, it’s not going to be conducive to a peaceful existence. With all the things to take care of as part of daily life, eliminating clutter is an excellent way to reduce stress.
Melissa, from the blog dedicated to simplifying life, Simple Lionheart Life, shares this insight into how clutter impacts wellbeing: “Decluttering can have a huge impact on your overall wellbeing and the way you feel in and about your home. Clutter increases your workload, your mental load and has been proven to cause a stress response in your body.
“Clearing the clutter is a great way to free up your time, space and energy. Making your home easier to manage and take care of. As well as giving you a space you can truly rest, relax and recharge in. Without clutter pulling at your attention and constantly reminding you what you still need to do and take care of.”
For those interested in decluttering their homes, Melissa has offered the following helpful advice: “If you're ready to start clearing the clutter from your home, my top tips are to start with a clear ‘why’ and start small.
First, knowing your ‘why’ helps remind you of what you want to achieve by decluttering and of what you want more of in your life when you aren't spending so much time managing clutter. It's a great way to stay motivated and stay on track while you're working to declutter.
“And second, it can be tempting to want to dive in and start a big decluttering project right away. But often, when you take on too much decluttering too fast, you end up overwhelming yourself and/or burning yourself out. Not to mention decluttering is a skill you get better at the more you practice it. When you start with smaller decluttering projects, you can make progress clearing the clutter without overwhelming yourself or leaving you with a bigger mess than you started with. Focus on decluttering for 10 to 15 minutes a day to start. Keep it easy, realistic and manageable. And build your decluttering skills while you're at it. So, when you do tackle the tougher decluttering projects (like sentimental items), you'll have stronger decluttering skills.”
Eliminating clutter can be achieved in a number of ways and it doesn’t have to involve getting rid of all of your belongings and living a spartan lifestyle. Start slow, as Melissa suggests, and perhaps look to incorporate helpful design elements into your home such as elegant storage and make a concerted effort to put items away in their place.
Create spacious areas
Many people like the feel of a cosy home but that doesn’t mean your rooms have to be cramped. In fact, incorporating spacious areas in your home can cultivate feelings of positivity and even improve your mood. With more room in your home, it can be easier to relax due to not feeling pressed in by small rooms and lots of possessions.
With the right layout, a minimalistic approach, and correct furniture placement, every home can incorporate a sense of openness to a certain degree. With more room at your disposal, feelings of anxiety can be reduced, and other benefits can present themselves, such as having more room to entertain friends and family, helping you to share your home with those you love.
Incorporate natural elements
Plants remind us of the outdoors, of nature, and a slower pace of life, all things which are conducive to a more peaceful way of living. As a result, it’s not surprising that by incorporating natural elements into your home, tension can be reduced, and wellbeing improved. Plants are good for us, it’s as simple as that, so a good way to make your home a place of wellbeing is by bringing the natural world into your interior design.
Lisa, from the blog dedicated to helping people grow houseplants, The Houseplant Guru, explains how important she thinks plants can be to wellbeing: “I think it is extremely important to incorporate plant life into our homes. It was especially apparent during the Covid lockdown. Many people turned to plants to keep them company, to give them something to care for, and to make their home office more comfortable. Plants add so much beauty to a room and are calming, giving you the feeling of nature. They keep one company in that they are completely dependent on their plant parent for their care and existence. Without care, plants inside won't last long.”
Lisa has also kindly shared a top tip for those wanting to bring the natural world into their own homes: “Find the plant that will work in the environment you have to offer. If you have only a north window, don't buy a cactus or other succulents as they probably won't live long preferring full sun. If you only have a south window, don't expect your fern to be all that happy. Right plant, right place. AND, a drainage hole, in my opinion, is a must.”
READ ALSO: How you can become greener in retirement?
Allow for sunlight
Getting some sunlight has been found to help people with anxiety and depression by increasing the levels of a natural anti-depressant in the brain. As a result, it makes all the sense in the world to try and allow for more natural light in your home. This can be achieved in a number of ways, such as by installing large windows, French doors, skylights and by arranging a room’s layout around a spot that gets the most sunlight.
Vanja Barbul, the founder of Barbulianno Design, a resource dedicated to UK interior design, has many recommendations for improving a home’s natural light, sharing with us: “Sometimes achieving a beautiful and calming home could be as easy as utilising what we already have. For example, increasing natural light creates a visual connection with nature and improves our health, sleep quality, productivity and overall wellbeing.
“Access to daylight instantly puts you in a better mood and makes you feel more energised by increasing endorphins and serotonin. Here is how you could quickly increase the natural light in your home:
- Use curtains in lighter colours and sheer fabric.
- Elevate your furniture. A sofa or bed with legs will free up the floor space and allow the natural light to flow further.
- Avoid placing furniture in front of the windows.
- Use mirrors - a great way to reflect and further spread the light.
- Opt for items with reflective surfaces.
- Replace traditional doors with glass doors.
“When it comes to connecting home with nature even further, Biophilic design is the way to go. It's bringing nature closer to us by implementing vegetation, natural light, textures and materials.”
Home interior design tips for personal wellbeing
- Consider how you function in a space
- Make areas of peace
- Find solutions to clutter
- Create spacious areas
- Incorporate natural elements
- Allow for sunlight
Interior design can play a key role in turning your home into a haven. Creating a living space that cultivates feelings of peace can be incredibly conducive to a person’s well-being so hopefully, some of the above suggestions prove helpful.
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This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.