Updated: Jul 19, 2021
Our emotional and physical environments influence each other immensely. Most important is the way they impact our overall wellness. When we consider the spaces we call home, we can all benefit from being aware of the ways that we use those rooms and the experience we would like to create. When you walk through your front door, how would you like it to feel - warm and cozy, modern and earthy, bright and inviting? How can we use what we have and make it work optimally for us?
Wellness at home doesn’t require a huge budget, but it does require intentional choices that change the way we live. Our homes have the potential to support or even trigger our most intense feelings, i.e., loss, being overwhelmed, tense, and even invisible. As such, we need to prepare our homes to become places of comfort and retreat, havens that provide meaning, build balance, rest, joy, and beauty. While this process is intentional it doesn’t require perfection, only a commitment to creating an environment where you’re happy to be, and a home that evolves as you do.
There are certain components that emphasize a holistic approach in our homes. I prioritize the importance of placing your personality in your rooms. What parts of your life have you most enjoyed, what is most meaningful, what represents you? Additionally, I include elements of biophilic design that build on nature as a canvas for supporting wellness. Simply put, it’s the idea of bringing the outside in. It’s no accident that many of us would feel more relaxed laying on the beach, feeling the sand beneath our fingers and hearing the waves lap in the distance or laying on the warm grass in our backyard, than we would when sitting in a rigid chair in a room with no windows. Engaging our senses, and our whole person, creates an experience which grounds us to the present.
I love nubby blankets, silky velvets, woven baskets, personalized art pieces, and the slightly rough feel of unglazed pottery. What are your favorite items and textures? Our homes have so much potential to tell our story. Imagine pieces you may currently own that add interest like a heirloom art piece, or even the smoothness of that butter leather sofa, your first big purchase when you moved into your new house. Often times these textural items create a sense of comfort, so it’s important to allow your space to contain pieces that are simply special because of how they make you feel.
An impactful way to add life and energy in a room is by introducing plants. They are truly my love language and I typically have near 20 plants in my home at any given time. The rewards are endless, from reducing toxins in the air to infusing calm, and they allow us to bring the best of what exists outdoors in. In a separate blog post I share some of my low maintenance favorites. (If you have others you love, please share them with me in the comments).
To further embrace nature, its important to speak of the power of light for opening up any space. No matter the size of the house, an inviting and sunlit room is every realtor's friend. Natural light allows our spaces to feel more welcoming, happier. Research concurs that a product of sunshine and bright spaces is the release of natural chemicals or endorphins triggering positive sensations and emotions. I would say it’s the reason we often use mirrors as a supplement in our rooms, to carry light across as many spaces as possible.
The saturation of light also allows us to highlight paint color as a feature in our rooms. Dark colors often create atmosphere, drama, mood and can be a nice complement in expansive spaces or to create effect with an accent wall, or cozy, organic pieces. On the other hand, lighter colors can make smaller rooms appear larger and more tranquil when used on all walls. Installed lighting is also important depending on how you use your home in the evenings and at night. Creating mood lighting with soft LED, non fluorescent bulbs has the benefit of creating a more restful, energy efficient environment. Fluorescent lights tend to be glaring and overstimulating, better suited to commercial, high traffic zones like train stations and airports instead of living spaces and bedrooms. Creating planned environments that follow our transitions encourages us to rest and recuperate, thus improve our ability for self care.
Another element that is a beneficial consideration to our health is how we experience space. The sense of space is not necessarily just based around the size of our home, but how we choose to fill it. Do we prioritize organization, having what we need, or maintaining collections? Look around. Ask yourself, what do I have space for? Have you created an environment that caters to your needs or one that fosters clutter, discomfort, and excess. Sometimes in our efforts to convince ourselves that we have created value in our lives, we simply accumulate stuff. When we amass things in our lives, that we don’t intentionally select, have room for, or haven't purposely removed, physically and emotionally, we sacrifice our space.
Ultimately your home needs to reflect your values, those things which embody what is most important for you. Does your living room need a chair large enough for you and your three year old to snuggle in as a you read a story before bed? Do you need a study and yoga space of your own that allows you to gather your thoughts and jot down the events of the day? Does the stress of caring and giving require that you have a sanctuary, a restful place that allows you sleep? Whatever your needs- identify, acknowledge, and make room for them.
Contact me today! Schedule a free consultation to discuss how I can help you strengthen your emotional wellness and create a home that heals.