We’ve been embracing the Danish concept of hygge for quite some time now and creating homes that are cosy and inviting. Now, there’s a new lifestyle trend taking the interior design world by storm and this time it’s from Holland.
‘Niksen’ simply means “to do nothing” but to do so “with purpose”. It’s a form of self-care which encourages the mind and body to de-stress by allowing the mind to wander. It’s similar to meditation in its intended purpose but far easier to achieve.
To practise niksen is to simply take a few moments out of your busy schedule to let your thoughts flow freely. But how do we create a niksen-friendly environment within our homes? Ultimately, it’s about having a comfortable space in which to relax without distraction. After over a year of lockdowns, finding some “alone space” has been hard to do, so as restrictions ease and normality returns, niksen may be just what you need for a more contented life.
In this blog, we’re sharing a few ideas on how you can transform your living space into a haven of tranquillity, allowing those moments of mindfulness.
Find your happy place!
Finding a space in which to relax at home can prove difficult in today’s world. Our lives are often busy and our living spaces designed to perform multiple functions. In order to fully embrace the concept of niksen, it’s key that you have a space in which to do so – a space which is primarily yours. If you don’t have a spare room in which to create your happy place, there are a couple of other options. Multi-purpose furniture will allow you adapt a guest bedroom, home office or box room so you can use it for relaxation when its primary function isn’t required. Or, you can create a cosy corner of your own simply with a comfortable chair adorned with cushions and soft throws in one of the more peaceful areas of your home.
Unlike other such trends, there are no set rules when it comes to designing your interiors around the niksen concept. Niksen is all about creating a haven where you can relax and free your mind from the stresses of day-to-day life, but how that space should look design-wise, is personal to each individual. However, when it comes to colours, there are a few considerations to bear in mind on the overall effect that colours can have on your mood. Blues and greens are the most peaceful of colours and are perfect for creating a tranquil ambience. Soft pinks are highly recommended too. Try to stick to one or two colours and avoid too many patterns which you may find distracting.
It has long been believed that the presence of botanicals in our homes can help us to relax. Natural mood-boosters, plants can help to alleviate stress and anxiety by injecting life into an otherwise sterile environment and helping to clean the air from toxins. Choose easy-to-maintain houseplants like succulents and cacti. As niksen is all about relaxation, consider more than one of your senses. Calming greens and simple botanical patterns will be visually calming but you could also introduce nature’s calming benefits through aroma. Scented flowers, candles and aromatherapy oils add an extra layer of serenity to an already calm interior. Lavender is particularly effective as a natural calming aid.
Clear the clutter
A clutter-free home aids a clutter-free mind. Hence, ‘doing nothing, with purpose’ is easier to achieve with fewer distractions. Cluttered surfaces and disorganised rooms will engage your brain in finding a solution for the untidiness, and make it virtually impossible for you switch off and take time out. So get savvy with your storage provision and store away anything that doesn’t need to be on display. Bespoke fitted furniture allows you to incorporate a vast array of storage options designed just for you and your space, whilst being streamlined and easy to clean; perfect for a niksen-inspired home!
Introduce Feng Shui
Creating a home which promotes positive energy and reduces stress levels is by no means a new thing. The Chinese have been doing so for thousands of years via the art of feng shui. This ancient philosophy encourages harmony between a living space and an individual through a more considered layout and the careful placement of furniture. For example, a living room should have at least two external walls and in a bedroom, your bed should be placed centrally and out of line with the door in order for energy to flow freely. Feng shui interiors tend to include wooden features and fittings, so opt for natural oaks, teaks and pine on the furniture front.
At Hartleys we design bedrooms, home-offices and multi-purpose rooms which combine functionality and style. Our aim is to design storage solutions and room layouts which promote tidy and organised living, which in turn create a more harmonious and peaceful home environment. The wood we use to create our furniture derives from managed forestations and can be enjoyed with a natural wood-grain finish or a relaxing paint shade of your choice. If you’d like to discuss your fitted furniture plans, we’d love to hear from you. You can visit our Skipton showroom, or request a visit with one of our experienced designers.