We are all trying to live a healthier lifestyle, whether it be to eat better or exercise more. We have those resolutions we make with ourselves to reach a goal or to maintain health. Let’s think about bringing some of those thoughts to our interior design. There are several ways we can create a better living space to promote healthy living and wellbeing. Let’s look at a few and see what we can incorporate into our everyday lives.
First and foremost, I think it is always best to get rid of the things in your life that are not bringing you any joy or value. No more clutter! I’m talking about purging your home of those unnecessary things that you haven’t used in several months or those “special items” or “projects” that you are saving for a rainy day. You know good and well that you will never use them again. Jamie Gold of the Mayo Clinic and certified wellness coach says: “Start by focusing on what’s needed for the space for functionality and by looking at what’s getting in your way.”
I love to purge my closets, my kitchen and my garage. It makes me feel “light” and free. I know it may sound funny to say that but it’s true. It’s like a big weight has been taken off my shoulders and I can move through my home with ease and peace of mind. If the items are in good condition, I donate them. I enjoy the idea of letting someone else enjoy items that I no longer need. Repurpose belongings that you’re no longer using.
Another way of living healthily in your home is to incorporate biophilic design. Biophilia and evidence-based design has been practiced in the healthcare industry with patients in hospital recovery rooms. I also teach this to my interior design students at Houston Community College (HCC). Why not bring this practice into your home as well. “In the healthcare setting, patients with a window view to nature had less pain, reduced stress and recovered more successfully than those who did not,” according to Foundations of Interior Design by Susan J. Slotkis.
We can do this in our homes by using natural colors in our upholstery and by utilizing drapery fabrics with natural fiber. We can also add softness underfoot with beautiful rugs. Rugs made from wool or combinations of wool and silk are not only beautiful, but they anchor the furnishings in the space and also provide sound absorption for a restful slumber. Using these items helps us with our connections to the outdoors, giving us a sense of peace and tranquility. This brings me to our next point of creating calm environments in our bedrooms.
I have said many times before that our bedrooms should be a retreat or our escape from the everyday hustle and bustle. To do that, we need to incorporate a few things to achieve our goal. Of course, tidy up. Let’s put up the laundry that we haven’t folded yet and put everything in its proper place. The clutter in your space creates clutter in your mind. I can’t relax if I know there are clothes that need to be folded.
Another very important note is to make sure you are sleeping on a quality mattress. It is when you are the most comfortable that you will be able to get the best sleep for your wellbeing. Let’s also keep our nightstands clean and free from clutter. I used to have my table lamp, several photos, books or magazines, hand lotion, my phone charger, a cute little fern and a bottle of water all on my nightstand. I have since taken my own advice and now I have a lamp, place for my phone and one photo. That’s all. I put everything else in the drawer of my nightstand. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure that out. Old habits are hard to break, I guess. But since I decluttered my nightstand, I feel much more at ease, and I don’t have to worry about knocking anything over in the middle of the night. I appreciate this peace of mind.
Finally, think about introducing calming scents into your bedroom. Lavender and chamomile are some of the most common scents for aiding in relaxation. Cedar is another tranquil scent to have in the bedroom. One last note is the bedding itself. If you are a hot sleeper, think about trying sheets that are cooling like linen or percale. If you are a cold sleeper, flannel is always an option. I love my flannel sheets in the winter!
So, remember that living well doesn’t just mean eating well. Living well is something we can incorporate into our everyday lives with our home furnishings and interior design. Remember to declutter your surroundings and keep the things that matter most to you and bring you joy. Living well will keep you happy in your space for many years to come.
Until next time, let your creative juices flow!