Life is stressful. Deadlines come quickly, traffic gets annoying, grocery stores get crowded, pandemics hit. Regardless of the day, we always head home at the end of it to unwind, destress, and recharge.
“We become better friends, coworkers, and family members when we have a space to destress.”
Having a home that emulates tranquility and peace is crucial to our mental wellbeing. Is your home up to the job? Or is clutter, bad lighting, and general chaos getting you down?
Here are 6 ways you can easily transform your home into a stress-reducing, mood-improving oasis.
Reiko Gomes, a feng shui expert and interior designer based out of the Hamptons, NY, says that there’s no better way to create spatial harmony than decluttering. But the benefits of a clean and tidy space extend far beyond an appealing aesthetic. They also reduce stress and lessen anxiety.
Here’s the trick… start small. Find a contained space – one closet, one drawer even! Step one – throw out everything you don’t use, is expired, or you don’t wear anymore. Step two – go through what’s left and ask yourself “does this make me happy?” If not, get rid of it.
Even though we’re starting small, decluttering small spaces gives us a great morale boost and pushes us to tackle even bigger projects!
Rooms with open space reduce anxiety, stimulate creativity, and help create a peaceful home. Many think that to have a spacious home is to have a lot of square footage. But whether you live in an enormous estate or a small apartment, interior design tricks can expand any space.
One of the simplest tricks to creating space is using color schemes. Painting walls in light or neutral tones immediately creates an illusion of added space. Replace dark rugs or furniture with colors of white to brighten up a room and expand space! Added bonus – brightening up a room will brighten your mood, too!
Another step is minimizing. Get rid of the furniture you don’t use or need, and rearrange furniture that’s getting in your way. If you have to walk around an end table every time you walk to the kitchen, find it another home! Spaces that are easier to navigate are proven to reduce anxiety and lower stress.
Reimagine Living Spaces
The effects our homes have on us are largely defined by how we live in them. If we separate our homes into areas with too stringently-designed purposes, we can’t maximize each room’s capacity. By creating spaces geared towards the things we enjoy, we can expand the way we interact with our homes and give ourselves more space to decompress.
Living rooms for example… instead of an area just to watch TV, visualize a space for friends and family to gather, too. Transform your living room into a cozy abode that works for both. And by making sure there is a spot for everyone in the family, you’ll reduce stress and create a more harmonious vibe. Just make sure there is comfortable seating in the family rooms that can also handle everyday wear and tear from kids and pets.
Adding some candles or diffusers to your spaces will help you feel calm and safe… and they are powerful mood boosters. Lavender, eucalyptus, and rosemary are good for mediation, grounding, and invigoration.
Bottom line – create spaces in your home around things that make you happy! I redesigned my kitchen so that all the typical countertop kitchen items are all tucked away. Now, I can sit with my kids after school and focus on them, and enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning while I catch up on emails without distraction.
Add some Plants
Know that reinvigorated feeling you get after a morning walk? Adding plants around the house is the best way to incorporate design that will naturally boost your mood.
Studies show that plants can improve concentration, reduce stress, and generate happiness. They also increase energy levels and feelings of vitality. Houseplants function as natural air filters, which increases air quality and oxygen in the room. Plants also add a great pop of color to a room. The color green emulates feelings of tranquility, peace, optimism, and motivation. Plus, they’re an inexpensive way to spice up your home.
A few quick and easy ideas – pop some succulents on the windowsill, add an orchid to your kitchen island, or add some hanging pots with green ivy. You’ll create an appealing aesthetic for your home while also generating an environment of tranquility.
There isn’t a single bad day that can’t be made better with a plant.
Getting enough natural light during the day can help you feel more awake, and help you get a good night’s sleep at the end of the day. Whether you get your sunlight outdoors or through a window, sunlight will boost your mood.
I like to keep my drapes and shades open during the day to let as much natural light in as possible. Try positioning your furniture in your home office and living room in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and centered towards natural light. Another great design trick to increase natural light is to use mirrors. Mirrors bounce natural light from your windows all around the room, helping to create a bright and airy space. And on sunny days, crack a window and let the outside wind circulate through your home to reduce purified, stuffy air.
Art & Color
The way our brains process different colors evokes different feelings and emotions, making our color choices a vital part of any interior design scheme. The color yellow is often associated with warmth and energy, and the color blue is often associated with being calm or tranquil. While mood-boosting colors are not a fast fix, they can make a difference in our everyday lives. It’s hard to be in a good mood when our home feels like a gray cloud!
Art is one of the easiest and most aesthetically pleasing ways to incorporate color into a room. But it’s important that the art we choose is something that brings us joy. Whether it’s an intricate painting by a famous artist or a framed drawing by your kids… if it makes you happy, hang it!
Our mental health matters and the places where we live have a big impact on how we feel. So don’t be overwhelmed. Just start small. And when we design our homes with specific attention to our own likes and dislikes, the results can be amazing. If you don’t feel welcomed and relaxed when you get home, it’s time for a home makeover!