As Humans spend around 90% of their time indoors, it's crucial to ensure our surroundings benefit our state of mind. After a long busy day, the last thing you want is to return to a hectic house that can cause strain on your emotional wellbeing. Thankfully, there are plenty of tips and tricks that encourage a happier, more tranquil home environment. Often, it’s the little changes that can make the biggest impact.
Here are 7 things to consider that will create a more soothing atmosphere in your home:
Using raw and natural materials such as wood and stone creates a more tactile environment. Natural materials have integrated sensory messages, for example a wooden table feels, sounds, and ages solidly and honestly - a glass or plastic one doesn’t. Try to introduce a variety of materials within your home, whether it be big changes such as wooden furniture, or something more discreet like cork adhesive tiles for a feature wall. Integrating more natural materials within your home (big or small) will contribute to a sensorially richer (and frankly happier!) environment.
Access to natural sunlight has been proven to significantly improve emotional wellbeing. Mirrors we can reflect more light into a room, light-colour walls and natural-coloured furniture can help lift the space, and positioning furniture to draw attention towards the windows and views willp maximise on any outlook you might be lucky enough to enjoy.
It is no secret that colour has a strong bearing on subconscious responses within interiors. Vivid colours such as orange and red are known to energise and encourage creativity, whereas green and blue hues (more indicative of nature) have calming effects. Green is recognised as the colour of balance. Integrating more green and blue calming hues into your home will blur the line between the interior environment and the natural world and help to create a stress-free environment.
Plants are a great way to breathe some fresh life into your home. Not only do the changing nature of plants add variety to living spaces, but scientists have proven the presence of plants indoors can boost serotonin. Additionally, the fact that plants will only thrive if they are cared for gives a sense of accomplishment when you are looking after them and watching them grow as a result is a great reward! The act of nurturing a plant is extremely therapeutic, it is a great hobby for the mind and will benefit your home too!
If looking after plants isn’t your thing, there are other alternatives such as cacti or air plants which require less maintenance. Self-sustaining terrariums are a stylish and unusual way to inject some greenery into your home, the benefit is when they have been watered once, they can be sealed and become self-sufficient as they create their own eco-climate.
Air quality and ventilation.
The air quality of our indoor environments is deeply linked with human response- it is no wonder that our heart and lungs respond so sensitively to emotions. As a result of this, it is important to ensure good ventilation and fresh air throughout our homes. Something as simple as opening windows regularly will lift and refresh your space.
There is a direct link between excessive exposure to background noise or white noise (this could be a TV, washing machine etc.) and poor mental health. Integrate materials that have auditory qualities to reduce echoes in your home. Forbo is a great example of this.
Or perhaps you can bring in nature sounds as, theoretically, the subconscious responses of hearing natural sounds evoke feelings not too dissimilar to that of seeing natural views or greenery, which has been proven to significantly improve wellbeing. Try it! The sound of birdsong, a river flowing or pebbles rolling up a beach may encourage a relaxed atmosphere and combat the white noise in your home.
Finally, here is the one we all know will make a difference, but it takes so much effort to do… decluttering. As the saying goes, a tidy home is a happy home, so schedule that tidy up and get clearing out the drawer of Tupperware that doesn’t match, empty the understairs cupboard that’s bursting at the seams, and donate that box of 'I might wear this one day' clothes! Having less clutter is key to a stress-free home.
So, there you have it - our tips for creating a stress-free home. Start with small adjustments like airing out the lounge and letting in the light, then build up to bringing in more natural materials such as a new plywood dining table or a Forbo desk. Forbo is great material for creating a calm interior, and you can read more about it here.