As you may know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. With most of us now spending so much time at home, it's crucial to better understand the different ways in which the space around us affects how we feel and behave. We want to take this opportunity to give you some ideas on how to transform your home so that you can be a healthier version of yourself. By using the following 4 strategies, you can improve and enhance your overall wellness.
Think of it this way: the room where you are right now is affecting the way you feel. Regardless of your living arrangements, we all need a functional and beautiful space in which we can work, relax, share, and gather. The following 4 tips are a great way to make your home your own personal wellness sanctuary - let's get started!
1. A Well-Coordinated Colour Scheme
There is vast research that shows the psychological effects colour has on us, in both positive and negative ways. We all have certain preferences for colours, but regardless of your favourites, all colours affect us in similar ways. Certain colours are meant to be electric, bright, and clashing; this is the reason why fast-food companies commonly utilize yellow, red, and orange. On the other hand, blue, green, and purple suggest comfort and trust and are widely used in a variety of industries such as banks. These are just two examples of the way colours are used to affect how you feel in a space.
For a balanced, calm, and relaxed atmosphere, we suggest staying away from electric, bright colours and choose softer shades. If you want a bolder colour scheme, then we suggest very pigmented versions of terracotta or blue.
2. Natural and Artificial Light
You've probably heard it before, and it's true - natural light is a must, so open your windows and let the light in! Sunlight is great for boosting productivity, and access to the outdoors injects nature views into our interior. If you have a room with small windows (or no windows at all), we recommend adding skylights or using mirrors to reflect and project the light from other sources in the house.
At nighttime, artificial light is just as important as natural light is during the day. Poor lighting not only makes you feel tired but also affects your eyesight. Always have a nice table or standing lamp handy in your floor plan. We also recommend exploring smart lighting! There are many options available in the market that can be added to your home. With smart lighting, you can choose your light temperature and colour, and set different moods for different rooms. You can also use mobile apps on your phone, tablet, or laptop to control your lighting remotely. Another option is to add smart lighting switches to the rooms where you work or relax.
3. Out of Sight, Out of Mind!
The Home Edit
We constantly hear from clients who are struggling with a lack of storage, or with multifunctional rooms that just don't stay neat and organized. The solution for this problem is to keep tidying as you go - don’t let the clutter have the advantage! We recommend having a smart organization system that works for everyone who uses the space. Designate specific areas for different activities, add a combination of open storage for things you want to display, and enclosed storage for items you want to keep hidden. Accessible boxes or bins are also excellent for items you need to keep handy. If you want to take it further and have some fun, add labels, and play with colour coding.
Pro Tip: For multifunctional spaces, the secret is to have mobile and flexible furniture pieces with more than one function. Some examples of these pieces are beds, sofas and ottomans with storage, expandable tables, and height-adjustable desks. It is also important that large pieces have wheels or are foldable so that they can be easily moved. These are some of our favourite functional products that can make your life less messy:
4. Comfort is Everything
Different Furniture for Different Activities:
When we speak about comfort regarding furniture, we refer to ergonomics, which is the way that a piece of furniture is designed in relation to the body. Your favourite chair to relax in is most likely designed differently than the chair in your office that you work in.
At the office, ergonomically designed chairs and desks made our everyday tasks easier, but at home, you're probably (we hope not) using a dining chair as your daily work chair. This is damaging for your posture, so we suggest having comfortable furniture pieces specifically designed for the areas that you spend the most time in.
As we mentioned before, both natural and artificial lighting are crucial for your overall comfort and productivity. Get yourself an extendable task desk light for work or study, and a combination of smart lighting for the rest of your house. Some people prefer bright exposed bulbs, and others prefer dimmed frosted bulbs. Know yourself and aim to have the right lighting for you!
Remember those days at the office when it was either too cold and you were freezing, or too hot and you couldn't cool down? Temperature has such a huge effect on the way we feel! One of the perks of working from home is that you have complete control over the temperature, so find that sweet spot and alter it when you need to.
Pro Tip: Colder temperatures have shown to increase productivity and alertness. Depending on the season, the ideal home temperature for both comfort and efficiency is between 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Personalize Your Space:
We can’t stress enough how important it is for you to see yourself in your space. Your room should be an extension of who you are, what you like, and what you do - so add in your own personal touch! It could be a gallery wall filled with your most precious memories of places you have been and the people you love. It could also be your chance to display those unique and beautiful souvenirs you've collected during your travels!
It's important to feel relaxed in your home, for you to enjoy the space and feel that it is yours! We all have a kinship with our personal items, similar in the way that we develop relationships with other people. Your favourite mug, blanket, or that sweater you love all work to make a space your own personal retreat.
The truth is that we all need that tranquil place at home for our mental and physical health. Know yourself, know your personal levels of comfort and remove any stressors! We hope that you can use some of our tips to improve your overall wellness this May. Remember that improving your surrounding area is the first step to better mental and physical health.
White Dahlia Design Team