The environments in which we live and work can be the root cause of stress. Poor housing and poor design exacerbate the problems of modern life, such as modern, new built-homes that just don’t meet the requirements of a busy, modern family.
There are solutions and here are just five interior design hacks that can change the way we live in our homes for the better.
1. Include Nature
But in our pursuit of perfection, we forget something important: nature has long had our comfort at its core. From natural materials to plenty of plants in the home, the first interior design hack on our list is to surround yourself with nature.
Plants help to harmonise a home and natural materials also help us to feel comfortable and warm in our homes. Being able to connect the indoors with the outdoors is important too, so don’t overlook your garden or view from your home.
Why not add a few more pot plants about the place, especially easy-care ones such as cacti or flowering plants? In the heat of the conservatory, used lightly fragranced plants next to your rattan corner sofa to help you relax after a long day.
2. Colours that Soothe and Settle
There is ongoing research into how colour affects our mood and ability to carry out certain tasks but already, there are interesting results about how colour affects our mood. If we feel stressed, loud, bright colours almost feel like they are assaulting our eyes and so if you have bright feature walls, now may be the time to become acquainted with a roller…
Pastel shades soothe and calm, including light blues. Take care with colder colours in north facing rooms as they can look cold. If you want to inject warmth into a space, use colours with red or brown undertones, such as beige or soft creams.
Green is known to help us relax but take care, as research suggests that too much green leads to us feeling stagnant and under-the-weather.
3. Streamline clutter
Take a look at the environment of the room: what messages is the landscape of your home giving off?
Some psychologists suggest that how our homes are organised (or not!) are an indication of our current thought processes. In other words, cluttered shelving and an untidy room can be indicators of unorganised thoughts or, as some people suggest, genius.
Whichever theory you believe in, clutter in every room could be leaving you feeling hemmed in. But de-cluttering can be a painful, emotional process as well as one that takes time.
De-cluttering is not about ‘throwing everything away’ but understanding why we have these things in the first place and why we hang on to them.
There is no doubt that when stressed, you need a feeling of space, not just physically but mentally too. Streamlining your clutter is an important process but even if you don’t feel your home is cluttered, minimising items on display can be a way of creating the space we need.
A top interior design hack is to leave shelving half full and clustering items together rather than spreading them out across the space. This ‘half-full’ look is a clever trick to give the impression of more space. Try it!
4. Limit pattern
Like colour, pattern plays an important role in how restful a space is. Too much, and the space can feel smaller, more closed in, certainly not the environment you want to be in if stress and anxiety levels are high.
This doesn’t mean getting rid of all pattern and prints, but rather limiting them so it creates a cohesive sense to a space, rather than overpowering it and you.
Pattern gives depth and texture to a room. Smaller prints are busier, whilst larger prints can add a new dimension to a space. Consider adding nature-inspired patterns to help you relax.
5. Cover up technology
We are constantly connected and we know that this 24-hour connectivity can be damaging to our health. We all need downtime and even though you may have disentangled yourself from your smartphone, TV, laptop and so on, they may still be there, tempting you to look at your Twitter feed or catch up with the latest updates on Facebook…
Cover up your technology! You can do this by with furniture such as built-in TV units that close over the TV or create a room in which no technology is allowed…
Which of these five interior design hacks will you try?
This is a collaborative post.