Get ready to self-assess how healthy your home is and what you can do about it. Like it or not, we all need to think about how our home looks and feels right now since it is the only place we’ve got.
All design styles in history defined the “look of the day” through concepts of healthy living. Today is no different. The wealth of verified knowledge that spans from eastern Fengshui to western modernism constantly shapes design with each and every project. We carefully rethink wellness principles and apply them to interiors. Light, space, air and water are the basic tangibles, and mood, atmosphere, feel and flow are the intangibles.
Leaving the more complex aside, here are three easy tips for healthier interiors that do not require construction. Read how you can easily apply them yourself and turn your home into a nourishing and more enjoyable environment for you and your family.
While some feel that the terrifying situation at hand is paralyzing, there is nothing better than carving your own pattern of normality to get you thru it. So take action and use these tips as a positively practical distraction. And while for sure not all the information is groundbreaking news, what these tips will give you is a system to tackle the tasks and get the work done. And the bonus: instant satisfaction to immediately enjoy. Get prepared, do what you can do now, and plan for the rest after.
make your bedroom a relaxing oasis
Sleep, sleep and more sleep is part of every recipe for getting or keeping healthy. We all know how grumpy you can be when agitated and how physically challenging it is to get through the day if you’re not well-rested.
The custom bed and headboard together with the built-in cascading night tables are our contemporary take on 20’s glam. Silver coloured side panels, pleated lampshades and the three-dimensional eco-vinyl upholstery fabric create a surprise visual mix through seemingly un-matching textures and colours. Designed by and Photo courtesy of Dochia interior design
The comfort of your mattress is indeed very important and a first to start with. Besides that, however, here are three design aspects to consider when setting up a healthy atmosphere and they all revolve around the less talked about aspects of bedroom activities, the preamble to good night sleep, from undressing and stretching, to putting on your pj’s, to reading and spending time with your partner. A properly designed bedroom sets your mind at ease and relaxes you, before you hit the mattress.
That’s why when I design a new home, I always take the time to pay special attention to the bedrooms, the health-nourishing rooms of the house.
Photo courtesy of ZayZay Living
So start easy, by ordering a new set of bedding and indulge. Do you have a colour or texture that you really like and never got around to buying it? This is the time to get it. My suggestion is to go artsy and pick up one of the fabulous sets from ZayZay, colourful, soft and breathable. There are lots of other local options from West Elm to Au Lit or Ikea, covering every look and budget. Going out on a limb and buying something that you would normally not buy is a pleasant and enjoyable way to upgrade your bedding. It sends good endorphins to your brain and like shopping therapy, it relaxes your mind.
Next item on the list, lighting. Get dimmers for your lights, if you do not already have them. Consumer-ready dimmers are easy to install and do not require an electrician. But be sure to turn off the right breaker and definitely do not attempt any electrical work now, if you’ve never done it before.
Photo by yours truly from Home Depot site
And last, open your windows and let the fresh air in for fifteen minutes before going to sleep. Nothing like good old oxygen to help your brain cells through the night. Fun fact: Ontario Codes ensure operating windows in bedrooms are a must. Ventilation is part of the reason however, the fire escape route is the key motive.
SEARCH AND SET UP MORE USABLE AREA IN YOUR HOME
Rethink your layout and set up at least three areas of activity to use throughout the day. With your footprint reduced to the confinement of your home, look inward and see what spaces you have that are under-utilized. Moving furniture around can be fun and sets you up for nice surprises. Not to mention, it gives an opportunity to start early on the holiday cleaning! And whichever area you want to tackle, make sure you get everyone in your household involved with it.
When we go about our lives the normal way, we use very little of our house on a daily basis. The kitchen, the family room, the bathroom and the bedroom get the most attention while other rooms not so much.
In this second-floor office, a small coffee table is paired with a comfortable chair – a small little oasis for morning- time coffee to be enjoyed away from the work desk, while basking in the sun. The rattan-like furniture plays on the proximity of the rooftop terrace. Designed by and Photo courtesy of Dochia Interior Design
Living and dining rooms, for instance, tend to be rarely entered in homes that have both, a living and a family room.
Now you have a great opportunity to move the living room couch on a different wall or, if you have an open concept, place it as a divider to the dining room. Always start by relocating the larger pieces and after, play around with the smaller ones. Moving occasional tables from one room to the next can also be fun if you can’t or do not want to haul the heavy furniture.
Once all done and set up, take a seat and enjoy the new view. It is refreshing to view a familiar room from a whole new angle.
When done, if you do not like it, move it all back. As much as it does not sound that great, sometimes this happens and it’s ok!
SELECTIVELY DECLUTTER: KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO HAVE AROUND AND GET RID OF THE REST
It is documented that visual declutter helps the mind stay relaxed and reduces anxiety but the best solution for decluttering is not throwing things away.
Every object in its place requires careful planning. In closet design I employ a series of techniques that use every inch of your space. Here the variation in storage depth accounts for the variation in storage: deep large cubbies for purses flanked by shallow strip-trays for belts and scarves. Designed by and Photo courtesy of Dochia Interior Design
The bombardment of decluttering methods out there fail to recognize one important detail: people have different levels of comfort related to the amount of “stuff” they need around. With all the decluttering in the world, if you end up with less than what you want to have, you will just go and buy more to fill in the recently found gap.
So before you dump more than what your comfort level is, consider a more practical and realistic approach: first, self-assess where you are at on the clutter-comfort scale and what you want to hold on to. Then, build proper space in your house for it.
Take the case of closets, for instance. A custom built-in closet will always give you more storage than a ready-made system for a very simple reason: it uses all the height you’ve got. How many times have you bought a closet organizer system that is six feet tall and after install, you’re left with two-three more feet of unused space above?
So what you do, if not ready to spend big on built-ins, is look for either a flexible system that can adjust for height or, buy two sets of the same or complementary systems and be creative about how you install them. Lots can be ordered online and putting them together will take a few hours of your week. Keep it simple, stay with Wayfair resources, Ikea or even Home Depot. Not the most glam, but certainly a quick and very productive fix.
We’re not all made for picture-ready closets, and that’s ok. But we all want to be able to find our outfits in there without fishing for them for hours.