These top tips will help create a healthy environment in your home or office
by Cate Sorour
OUR wellbeing and how we are able – or unable – to cope with life was highlighted during the recent Mental Health Awareness week. But did you know the places we live and work can have a huge impact on both our mental and physical health?
Interior designers have started to focus on wellbeing and I’ve put together a list of five things you can do to create a home (or office) that enhances your health and wellbeing:
Let in natural light
Natural light has so many health benefits, from boosting the immune system, to balancing hormones, to increasing Vitamins B and D so it’s no wonder studies show that it also significantly increases productivity and creativity.
If you have heavy window treatments that block out light or don’t allow you to control the amount of light you let into a room, then replace them with diaphanous curtains or blinds which do.
Brighten up a dark entrance hall or living room by replacing solid internal doors with window doors which will let the light through. Use tubular skylights as an affordable and cost effective solution to bringing natural light into your home.
Whatever you do, let the natural light in and you’ll feel so much better for it.
Add some (plant) life
If you’re looking to immediately improve your home or office space, incorporate broad, leafy green plants into your interior.
Beyond their aesthetic appeal, plants have positive psychological benefits. Upon seeing greenery-our stress is reduced and positivity is boosted. Plants also control humidity, absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen which means they eliminate toxins and clean the air around them.
Before heading to your local nursery, make a note of the light and heat in various rooms in your home, then seek advice on the best air purifying plants for each room and its conditions. If you’re worried about forgetting to water them, place self-watering globes in your plant pots to ensure they are looked after.
Purify the air
Beyond plants, using an air purifier is the best way of ensuring clean air inside your home and is particularly important for those who suffer from allergies or lung conditions like asthma.
We all spend a large amount of time indoors but we very rarely think about the air quality inside our homes. Just as harmful as environmental pollution, indoor pollution is all the dust, dirt, gases and pathogens in the air inside a building. It’s caused by many things including heating systems, cooking, poor ventilation and chemical cleaning products.
Most air purifiers have a multi-step air purification process with charcoal and HEPA filters, and their main function will range from allergy alleviation to pet odour control. Check out Robert Dyas, Sevenoaks or various online sites to see which one best suits your needs.
Cut the clutter
Clutter contributes to stress. Research backing up the well-known phrase ‘tidy house, tidy mind’ shows that a neat, well organised, and clean home has a positive impact on your mental health and wellbeing.
When it comes to de-cluttering, don’t wait for a free day to tackle the mess, use smaller windows of time to sort through one drawer, a cupboard or even a single shelf that needs your attention.
For a more organised approach read Marie Kondo’s book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple Effective way to Banish Clutter Forever’ which is available at Sevenoaks Bookstore.
Or if you have a more serious problem with hoarding West Kent Mind (www.westkentmind.org.uk) offers a comprehensive support program.
Consider colour psychology
Even though we each view colour differently, it is well documented that colour affects us all in how we feel, think and act. Colour can dramatically alter the mood of any interior space, so it’s important you choose colours that create the right kind of atmosphere for your lifestyle and emotional needs.
Before you decorate, take the time to think about how you want to feel in a room and find colours that map to that feeling. If you aren’t sure- take inspiration from nature to see the colours work well together. Paint large test swatches on all the walls and observe how the colour changes throughout the day. Hold up fabrics and accessories that will remain in the room to make sure the colours go together.
For samples and further advice visit Brewers Decorator Centres, Sevenoaks High Street.
To find out more about Cate Sorour of Intelier Interiors and the services she offers, go to: www.intelierinteriors.com