We’ve all been dealing with a lot of challenges lately. With the world slowly opening up to the things we’ve missed, its left many of us reflecting on how we might better prepare for difficulties in the future. Wellbeing has never been more important, and our immediate surroundings can be vital to our health – not just outside of the home, but inside it, too.
In the spirit of World Wellbeing Week, we’ve decided to share some design principles with you that can help give your mind a boost, or at the least provide a breath of fresh air to an environment we’ve all spent a lot of time in recently.
Five Tips to Design Around Mindfulness and Comfort
Here are some ways in which you can get a clear head around the house – from minimalism to finding a deeper connection to the things that make you, you:
The KonMari Method
Perhaps the most popular in recent memory, Marie Kondo’s style of minimalist tidying can be applied to interior design, as well. A comprehensive declutter can help you get a fresh perspective, making each room feel more geared to its purpose so you can work where you work and relax where you relax.
Our natural ancestors spent most of their time outdoors, but in modern life, it can be easy to feel cooped in. One way to combat this is to apply natural materials and colours to the interior of your home – even something as simple as placing plants on the windowsill can brighten up your day. It’s also an opportunity to bring lovely fragrances and splashes of colour to your designs.
This is something we try to do at Dandara when we design new homes. However, the placement of furniture and what coats of paint you choose can have an effect, too. Consider ways in which you can bring light into larger rooms. Conversely, you don’t want to try too hard in smaller rooms that might have less natural light – it’s perfectly valid to opt for a more hygge colour scheme with darker, warmer hues. Work with the room you have.
Work with Colour
Speaking of colour, consider each room’s purpose and what you want to spend time doing in there, then use colour to bring that harmony forward. If you have a study, opt for calming pastels, soothing greens and warm whites. You don’t have to go overboard on sunny colours, either – your house ought to have sanctuaries such as your bedroom and bathroom where your eyes can rest a while.
There's no quick fix to strive for mental wellbeing, and it all depends on your own needs. If minimalism feels upsetting for you, there’s no reason you have to grit your teeth and bare it. In fact, a recent experiment by Google and the John Hopkins university discovered, surprisingly, that the most stimulating rooms weren’t necessarily the ones they felt calmest in. Try to find places in your home that suit the joy-sparking trinkets that speak to your life journey.
It’s always good to seek out inspiration if you’re serious about revitalising your home. Making a firm change and taking control over your environment is one of the best remedies – but we’d be lying if we said any amount of interior design wisdom is a replacement for help from others.
If you’re struggling at all, mentalhealth.org.uk has a great page that includes advice as well as helpful hotlines. Above all else, we encourage you to eat well, get enough exercise, sleep and reach out to friends and family when times are hard.
What we do to help
No matter how wonderful the interior, stepping outside and getting some fresh air is vital to your mental wellbeing, and it’s something we try to contribute to whenever we build.
In addition to our environmental commitment, which includes planting thousands of trees, shrubs and spring bulbs near our developments every year, we try to build in locations that place the wonders of the natural world close by: from the breath-taking country parks near Dalkeith to the quaint village market town of Buntingford.