Though the outside world may seem like a vast and unforgiving terrain, full of geographical, political and religious conflict, it is comforting to know that your home is still a place you can call your own. And, in fact, recent studies have shown that our environment, both interior and exterior, has a significant impact on our emotional well-being.
Simply put, the more we invest in a space we can actually control, the more relaxed and happy we’ll feel, allowing us to be the best versions of ourselves when faced with the challenges of everyday living. Here are a few simple tips that can help transform your home into that perfect getaway:
Keep things clean and organized
No matter how extensively and cohesively furnished your living space may be, if the area looks cluttered and disorganized, the mind will remain at a constant state of unrest. And, whether it is noticed or not, anxiety will rise, as it invariably does in the presence of an incomplete task. Take, for example, the space above: a well-furnished kitchen in a clean, organized state.
Just imagine walking into this space and feeling the happy, serotonin-rich thoughts enter your mind. I’m going to cook a healthy dinner. I’m going to invite friends over for cocktails and commiseration. Now, picture this very same space with used dishes and silverware stacked on the counters, with overflowing trashcans and full trash bags leaning up against the pantry, and with an unmentionable smell that fills the house, greeting you upon entry. Picture this and honestly ask yourself whether or not the same cheerful thoughts would come to mind. I’d wager that they wouldn’t.
Fill your space with inspirational pieces
Your home is a canvas, a means of self-expression which, like most artistic endeavors, can be a therapeutic and cathartic exercise. And so, it is important to not simply go to a department store with a checklist of lighting and furniture that you’ll need, but rather to research and reflect on what décor exhibits your unique personality and/or gives you that added inspirational charge as you drink the last bit of coffee and hurry out the door.
The space above has a consistent rustic wood motif which includes the kitchen table, chairs, and linear pendant lighting. This carefully crafted, organic ambiance transforms what is essentially four walls and a ceiling into a decorative space with personality and depth. Imagine what you could do, and inevitably how you would feel, using the same amount of planning and creativity.
Don’t forget about comfort
While cleaning and designing your home décor is very important, do not forget about the importance of comfort. This perhaps goes without saying, though it is often forgotten in the face of a snazzy design or low-low prices. The link between physical ease and psychological well-being cannot be understated.
Your well-furnished, regularly dusted living space will do little to improve your mood if you experience almost any level of distress and can’t relax. Keep the idea of “soft geometry” in mind, as shown in the above living space, which prescribes generous curves as opposed to hard lines and pointed edges.
Make it “family-iar”
Human beings are social creatures and thus derive a high degree of comfort and happiness from our friends and family. And, because these people cannot be there for us at all hours of the day, what better way to retain their nurturing, inspirational energy than by designating spaces for their photos, keepsakes and heirlooms?
That way, if you find yourself alone after a long, grueling day, you can always look up and see your loved ones smiling back at you. More often than not, that’s enough to get through the day. Consider the image above as a good example of healthy, family-oriented home décor, including rustic wooden signage and clothes pinned photographs of special people and cherished memories.
Much like photographs of family and friends, decorative works of wall art, such as paintings and photographs can create a pleasant and/or stylized atmosphere that makes you feel right at home. Again, your living space is your canvas, and wall art is yet another tool to help craft your masterpiece. As shown in the photo above, such creative expression also extends to the handwritten notes and poems on the chandelier.
It all depends on how, and to what extent, you wish to express yourself. But, regardless of where that line is drawn, or even if that line is drawn, the psychological and emotional benefits are rich indeed.