Events of these last 12 months have turned our lives upside down and as we continue to come to terms with the effects of the virus, the importance of our home as a safe haven and the protection of our wellbeing have been keenly highlighted.
Whilst we may be craving for a change of scenery, our homes are ideally designed to reflect our personalities and what makes us happy. Their aesthetics and functionality make us feel good about ourselves and in control of our lives – a life-line to maintaining a positive state of mind in such uncertain times. It makes sense that how we feel about our homes and our wellbeing are intertwined, and in this blog we look at simple ways to make working, resting and playing within the same four walls the most positive experience it can be.
A Healthy Work-Life Balance
The ideal scenario for a home worker is to have a separate office, so that once the working day is over, you can literally and figuratively shut the door and leave work behind for the evening. Not everyone has the space to allow for a dedicated workspace, but you still need to be able to switch off and relax. This is where zoning will help – sectioning off an area with the careful placement of furniture, or installing room dividers, which is comfortable and productive for you to work in. Freestanding shelves can act as temporary partitions and also provide storage space for any home office essentials. Room dividing is also an ideal solution if you miss the companionship of being in a busy office.
Lighten The Load
Natural lighting has a part to play in boosting physical and mental wellbeing, as well as improving sleep and productivity, not to mention reducing your electricity bill! Natural light helps produce vitamin D which fights off the seasonal blues, particularly important after the long winter we’ve had.
A roof window can be easily added to a variety of different spaces too, from a bathroom to a loft conversion, to provide both light and ventilation. A sun tunnel is a good alternative for rooms without roof access. It uses a mirror system to direct sunlight inwards to a location of your choice. The feeling of warmth on our bodies is both relaxing and revitalising, and an ambient temperature makes it easier to work and unwind in.
Bringing The Outside In
For many of us, taking a walk and enjoying the fresh air have taken on new meaning in recent times. We have taken gardening to our hearts, and simply sitting or pottering in our gardens have gone a long way to protecting our mental wellbeing. The pandemic has highlighted how much we need nature, and at all times of the year we can benefit from keeping nature close. Being in touch with nature has a calming effect, so the more we can bring it indoors, the better.
And with springtime on the horizon, new scenery and fresh experiences are in abundance to fill our senses, many of which are more easily accessible in warmer weather. A vase full of sunny daffodils and a windowsill brimming with lush houseplants are easy and inexpensive ways to bring nature indoors. Natural, sustainable materials also connect us with nature, stone and rustic wood are very popular. Wicker furniture is also enjoying a comeback and ‘worn-away’ finishes in natural tones are new and exciting, whilst cork and bark tiles provide texture and warmth.
Colour has a major impact on our mood with the power to immediately transform a space. Yellows and greens are perfect for bringing spring indoors. A fresh lick of paint is a quick and easy way to reflect the changes of the season, in a trice creating a bright, mood-boosting feel to a home. If you’re looking for a more subtle appeal, a vast array of organic, natural shades is available, such as sage greens and earthy hues.
Feel The Energy
Feng shui is about maximising the positive energy that flows through your living space. Each room is connected and in order for positive energy to flow, your home needs to be tidy and uncluttered. Piles of belongings and overloaded cupboards block the chi (energy). They will also subconsciously play on your mind, so a neat and organised home will have a positive effect on your mental clarity, regardless of whether you practise feng shui or not.
Effective storage solutions will help combat the clutter. With an accessible and specific place for each of your belongings, it will be much harder for ‘stuff’ to rebuild. Bespoke furniture, such as fitted wardrobes, will make the very best use of your space, giving your room a sleek and seamless appeal. Regular decluttering is essential because it’s actually impossible to organise clutter!
Remodel Your Space To Make You Happy
Many of us have spent the last year reconfiguring our space to facilitate short to medium term home-working, home-schooling and all the activities which we usually enjoy outside our homes. More than ever your home should make you feel happy and content, so consider whether a more dramatic redesign of your spaces, such as a loft conversion or kitchen extension, will fulfil your needs long term.
Whatever you decide, it’s important that you find a place in your home where you can switch off and can be completely at ease. Whether it’s a cosy reading nook overlooking your garden or an inspiring spot for a hobby, time and a space for self-care are good practice for a healthy mind.
At Hartleys, we are experienced in designing bespoke storage solutions to keep all areas of the home feeling and looking calm and organised. Together we assess your furniture requirements, from functionality and space to colour and style, from master bedrooms to multi-purpose rooms, home-studies and lounges. If you’d like to chat with one of our designers, ring us on 01756 700471 or send us an email via our Contact Us page. We look forward to hearing from you.