Designing a happy and healthy home is synonymous with creating a happy and healthy life. It’s about taking action to achieve your health and happiness.
A comfortable and healthy life is about living blissfully, with passion and purpose, and it’s about designing a life you love. It’s about being happy where you are in your life. It’s about relishing your surroundings and feeling comfortable in your own home. It’s about harmony and balance. You can design a happy and healthy home and life.
You can design a healthy lifestyle no matter where you are in your health journey, whether you’re dealing with an illness or recovering from an injury. You can create your life to reflect a happy you, no matter the circumstances. Taking small steps can have a significant impact.
You can design your content and healthy lifestyle blueprint based on discovering what brings you joy. Your healthy blueprint is unique, based on what you love and on your tastes, preferences, needs, interests and goals. Health design is about creating your home and life to reflect who you want to be. The great news is that you don’t need a major overhaul; small steps can have a considerable impact.
Is your home or apartment joyful? When you look around, does it make you happy? Is it stylish? Does it evoke joy and bliss? Does your living space reflect who you are as a person? Or does it stress you out? Is it dismal and cluttered? A constant unkempt, cluttered living space can cause stress.
Everyone feels pressure from time to time. A little focus may not be wrong, but when stress becomes chronic, and your source of stress is constant, that’s when it can wreak havoc on your health. Research shows chronic stress is attributed to heart disease, obesity and depression. Small steps can significantly impact, so choose what you love and surround yourself with beauty to help boost positive emotions.
How Your Interior Design Is Influencing Your Subconscious
Usually, when we discuss interior design, we talk about the aesthetic aspects – how to achieve a specific look, which decorating style you should emulate, new design trends you should check out.
That’s only one piece of the puzzle. An area that’s not always considered is the philological effect of interior design on your subconscious. Believe it or not, your choices when deciding how your home will look have a documented effect on your emotions and perceptions. The colour of the walls in your kitchen might be contributing to your anxiety, and your brand of couch could lead others to assume that you’re standoffish.
Colour Choice Affects Your Mood
It’s no surprise that colour is the main component of how we experience the world around us. But, what may be surprising to some is the fact that that the colours in our environment have a definitive effect on our moods and emotions. As you begin to conceptualise your home’s interior design, make sure that you are using colours in ways that fit with the tone you want to create in the space. Modern colour psychology dated its origins to the early 19th-century when Johann Wolfgang von Goethe published his book, Theory of Colours. Though there is some debate regarding the implications of certain shades, researchers, interior designers and marketing professionals seem to agree on these basic tenants:
- Red Symbolises power and passion. It can be used to warm up spaces and make them feel more intimate.
- Orange: Offers a jolt of energy and innovation. It’s best used as an accent because too much can leave people feeling overwhelmed.
- Yellow: Associated with happiness, creation, and creativity. It works well in combination with a calming neutral and in rooms with lots of natural light to create a peaceful environment.
- Green: Known for its soothing qualities. Green is the perfect choice for a foyer or entryway because it eases the transition from the outdoors.
- Blue: Perpetuates feelings of calm and freshness. It’s a good fit for high traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
- Purple: Connotes royalty and luxury. Purple is a great choice for formal living rooms or master bedrooms because it adds an air of lush sophistication.
- Gray: Gives a sense of relaxation and serenity. Use grey in spaces like home offices or bathrooms.
- Brown: Like green, brown’s natural roots give it a relaxing touch. Choose it for rooms where the family gathers and furniture groupings that will incite conversation.
- Black: An assertion of power. Use black for statement pieces that you want to draw the eye.
- White: Relates a sense of cleanliness and purity. It is great for defining a space, but use white in conjunction with other colours since too much reads as sterile.
Remember, when you choose which colours to include in your interior, three picks are better than one. Choose a neutral for the largest items like walls and flooring, a calmer colour for furniture and other sturdy items. Then, pick a third more dramatic colour to pop in your statement accessories and décor.
Your Processions Reveal Your Personality
Once you put colour on the walls, it’s time to decide how to fill the space. In his book, The System of Objects, sociologist Jean Baudrillard argues that every object chosen to fill a space helps to inform its function. But, beyond that, the combination of every item that fills an interior – from the seating arrangements to the wall hangings and down to the coasters that sit on your coffee table – act as an expression of our personalities and desires. He suggests when we invite guests into our homes, they instinctively evaluate our interiors on four distinct value criteria, in addition to how the rooms look at face value:
- Function: Will this item fit your needs? Is the kitchen table big enough to seat your whole family? Will this flooring cover the entire area of the room?
- Exchange: Is this item worth the price? Would you rather have this singular high-end couch for $1,000 or a whole bedroom suite for the same price?
- Symbolic: Does this item have an emotional attachment? Did you choose a collection of family photos for your décor or a print of a painting?
- Sign: Does this item have a particular or status symbol? Is it a name brand or a generic?
How To Give Your Home A Wellness Makeover
Use Indoor Plants To Boost Your Mood And Improve Air Quality
Having lots of greenery in a home is an obvious and easy stimulant to our overall wellbeing and health. They have tons of wellness benefits, from improving the air quality (by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen) to regulating humidity. They also provide a natural mood-boosting lift and, according to some studies, can even reduce stress levels, increase memory retention and concentration, and filter out VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and some pollutants.
Not to mention, they are great and inexpensive design elements as well that can jazz up even the most boring or coldest spaces.
Orchids or aloe vera are great for the bedroom because, as opposed to most plants, they emit oxygen even at night. I love smaller succulents for the home office, snake plant or dracaena for the living room, and herbs for the kitchen for an ultimate wellness kick. Don’t forget about the bathrooms either. Bamboo, ferns, or a philodendron can transform that space into a wellness retreat in an instant.
Pay Attention To The Humidity Levels
For the most part of the year, my air humidifier is one of the most important items in my home. I cannot emphasise its health and wellness benefits enough. It adds moisture back to the air, prevents skin from being dry or dehydrated, reduces the risk of infections and the transmission of viruses and bacteria, and is also great for sinus health. Here are some additional benefits and how you should use a humidifier.
Designate A Zen Spot
My favourite spot in my last home was e a small corner nook in my living room. It was next to the windows, so there was ample natural light. This was where my favourite, most comfortable lounge chair was, with a small footstool and the coziest shrug on it. There was a tall, sleek reading lamp next to it, as well as a small table with books, a candle, and the sound system. This was where I usually read, journaled, or watched Netflix on my computer. This was my zen spot.
And I think everyone should have one. I’ll definitely pay great attention to it when we move to our new home.
Your zen space doesn’t have to be a whole room (though if you have space, go for it). It can be the corner of the couch or a small nook. It can be at the kitchen counter, in your bathroom with a bath tube and some pampering tools, or outside in the garden. But it must be a happy place, one where you go for relaxation and winding down.
Comfort Above All
In my design philosophy, aesthetic and comfort are equally important and definitely go hand in hand, but there are a couple of things where comfort should definitely be a priority: like with the bed mattress, bedding, and the chairs.
Selecting a good mattress is a serious matter. The quality of our sleep can depend on it. There are many options but, in my experience, no universally applicable solutions – you really have to find the one that works the best for you. A lot of brands allow customers to actually select and try the mattresses for a couple of days; I’d suggest using that option – we definitely did.
The bedding is another important thing to take some time on – especially the pillows. They should be tough but comfortable at the same time. The fabrics are also important to me; I very much prefer natural fabrics like cotton or linen for the bedroom.
Chairs, and especially office chairs, should be chosen with the same care – after all, we spend many hours in them all day, and no one wishes for a constant backache. In this case, I don’t even care that much about the design – comfort above all. The best options are probably ergonomic chairs (chairs that can be adjusted to fit your body), but it’s best to go with the try and test method in this case too.
Clutter can cause anxiety, discomfort, and it should have no place in your home. Try these minimalist home hacks for keeping your home organised and clutter-free all the time.
Use The Power Of Scents
I take scents at my home very seriously – they are an integral part of my wellness routine. You don’t have to be an aromatherapy expert to take full advantage of the many emotional and wellness benefits of scents. And it’s not a pseudoscience: When we inhale aroma molecules, they go through the so-called olfactory bulb that is directly connected to the brain and incites strong emotional responses.
Various scents can impact the brain in very specific and unique ways. Some of them are invigorating. Others are soothing and calming. Some of them can actually bring back memories and truly alter our mood.
My absolute favourite wellness home tool is probably my essential oil diffuser. It’s the first thing I go to when I wake up and the last thing I switch off before sleep. I use various scents for the particular mood and vibe I’m going for:
+ peppermint for a cold fresh breeze
+ sweet orange or tangerine for a sweet, spicy pick-me-up
+ rosemary or eucalyptus for a big energy boost
+ lemongrass for a fresh, earthy, invigorating smell
+ lavender for relaxation
It’s such a simple wellness trick that still has enormous benefits on our mood and wellbeing (just make sure you buy 100% pure essential oils, not fragrance oils).
Manipulate The Light Sources
Light is increasingly becoming one of the most important elements in home design: Spaces designed around natural light sources, the increased use of light reflecting materials like glass and metal, smart lighting systems to better match our natural rhythm. And natural light (or the imitation of it) takes the central stage.
Something as simple as natural light can provide a tremendous health and wellness boost. There are numerous studies that emphasise that it improves productivity, alertness, mood, and overall psychological health. It’s also incredibly important to our natural circadian rhythm.
I try to be very mindful of the light in my home. I have quite sheer curtains that are usually drawn aside to let in as much sunlight as possible. The first thing I do in the morning (whenever the weather permits) is open all the windows to let the sunshine and fresh air in. I also try to work next to the window in as much natural lighting as possible.
Another important thing to pay attention to at home is blue light. This is really not just a simple living fad. It actually can affect our health significantly. Blue light is a specific wavelength that is present in a number of light sources, from the sunlight to light emitting from electronic devices and artificial light (LEDs especially produce a lot of blue light).
Blue light boosts vitality and energy, so it’s important during the day but can actually be pretty harmful at night as it can suppress melatonin production and totally disrupt our sleep cycles. That’s why it’s essential to leave blue light out of the bedroom as much as we can, which means reduced exposure to the electronics, like tablets, phones, TV, computers, electronic clocks etc., at night and preferably dim lights. I haven’t tried it yet, but some people say red or pink light bulbs are the best choices for the bedroom because they do not affect our sleep like the light blue ones.
Play With Textures
I already wrote about how textures can improve the feeling of spaciousness, but I also think they can be important tools for boosting our well-being. Especially if we use different textures at home according to the season. The cooling sensation of silk or linen in the summer, the cozy, warm vibes of chunky knits, cashmere in the winter – switch up your textures in sync with the weather and the mood you’re going for.
Pay Attention To Colours
How we choose the colours for our home is largely a matter of personal taste and creativity. But it can also greatly influence our mood and wellbeing. The power of colours is well-documented and can be factored into the interior design.
There are some colour trends that are more or less generally accepted: neutrals and natural colours are said to be calming (no wonder most spas are a mixture of white and natural), red is stimulating, green is associated with calm and balance, yellow is energising, blue is cooling, black is dramatic. But I also think that various colours incite different emotional responses in all of us, so it’s wise to factor in personal preferences when choosing colours instead of just blindly following these colour therapy advice.
Even if you cannot repaint all your rooms at once, you can choose some signature items with the right colours for the different spaces, all in line with the designed function and the way you would like to feel in that space.
The Small, Finishing Touches
The things that transform a space into a home are the personal touches. And that’s true for improving the wellness aspects as well. Find what small things make you happy and calm when you look at them and then fill your home with them. For me, it’s some personal photographs, a white design bowl with fresh fruit on the kitchen counter, and fresh flowers on my coffee table.