It is often said that home is where the heart is, so after a stressful day at work, there should be no better place to be than under your own roof. If you are still feeling uneasy once you return home, it may be your living space causing this undue stress, and you may have to make a change. Luckily, professional interior designers around the world have found that changes we make around the home could improve your mental health in more ways than you thought possible.
That’s right. Through selective colours, lighting, and home decor, you can create a calming space that can provide the balance you require after a long day. On top of the appearance of your home, decluttering and adding some greenery can also make a significant impression. Let’s look at some design ideas you can try to improve your mental health.
Photo by Vincent Rivaud
Colour is King
The importance of prioritizing your mental health cannot be understated because, without a positive mind frame, other portions of your life can suffer. By constantly fretting over any minor issue, you lose sleep, and when you lose sleep, you wake up too tired to exercise, and the endless cycle can leave you exhausted and can even lead to physical illness. In addition to seeking professional help for more advanced issues, you can make changes at home to create a more peaceful atmosphere that will produce an instant calm as soon as you walk in the door.
It starts with the colours of your interior. While not an exact science, different colours often bring out specific emotions. For instance, many people find that shades of blue, white, and yellow bring out feelings of calmness, happiness, and purpose that can put them at ease. The colour brown often creates wholesomeness and dependability, while orange provides a sense of energy that may be just what you need.
When you are applying colours to your living space, it is more than just painting the walls. It is about creating an aesthetic space where everything in the room works together to provide that peace you desire. Pick a colour scheme, such as blue and white, and apply it through the room with the wall art, furniture, and the drapes on your windows. By making all of the elements in your room match and coordinate, you are creating order in your world, and that structure can help you feel centred and provide consistency.
Use of Light
In addition to the colours of your room, the use of light can also lead to an improvement in your mental health. The best source of illumination for your soul is the natural light that comes in through the windows of your home. Studies show that natural light is not only good for supplying Vitamin D, but it can also improve your mood by increasing your level of serotonin, which is the hormone that excites our brain cells and improves your mood. Your interior design should showcase your windows and avoid the use of heavy drapes so you can achieve maximum light.
When night comes around, and the sunlight dissipates, you can stay in good spirits by implementing certain forms of artificial light into your home. For instance, bulbs that emit bright light can create a feeling of warmth that can be especially important during the winter months. You can also have accent lighting installed in the ceiling to showcase your favourite pictures on your fireplace mantel or the items on a special table. The constant reminder of the things that mean the most to you will fill you with great memories and elevate your mood.
Organization is Key
Even with the perfect colours, if your living space is filled with unnecessary clutter, then you are likely to still feel stressed when you return home every evening, and you may continue to deal with mental health issues over time. That is because clutter is associated with chaos, and if you don’t have structure and constantly worry about where things are, then you will never truly relax. When clutter gets out of control, the individual can often feel like there is no way it can ever be cleaned, and that reduction of productivity can often lead people to give up and stop trying, and things can quickly go downhill from there.
The good news is that even though it may be challenging to know where to start, there are ways that you can declutter your home without it being a major project. An easy way to start is to take it one room at a time and clean out the things you no longer use or need. You can take out and donate any clothes you haven’t worn in the last year in the closet. The living room is often filled with shelves of DVDs and kid’s video game consoles that can quickly get out of control. If you no longer watch the movies and the children have outgrown the games, you can donate those as well. Continue that process as you have the time, and you will be amazed at how much better you feel.
Once you are left with only the essential items you need, you can use clever home hacks to keep everything organized. For instance, you can hang a shoe organizer over the door in your pantry and use that to store small snacks or ingredients and have them at arm’s reach. You can also try using a vertical letter organizer to store your flip-flops, so they are out of the way and easy to access.
From an interior design standpoint, you can install shelves to keep the floor free of clutter, or you can store items in plain sight through the use of baskets or stylish storage containers. In entryways and garages, you can make use of hooks to hang jackets and purses on the walls.
You can keep the clutter at bay going forward by maintaining a ‘one in, one out’ policy where you don’t buy something new unless it can take the place of something you can donate or otherwise give away.
Plants Make All the Difference
Another colour that can improve your mental health is green, which often creates a restful and fresh feeling in our minds, and you can add a splash of green by incorporating plants with your interior design. House plants can make a world of difference inside the home as it has been found that their presence can help us feel more relaxed, enhance our concentration and memory, and even improve the healing process for those recovering from sickness. It’s all because the plants remind us of nature, and in the back of our minds, nature feels like home.
There are many ways that you can implement plants within your interior design strategy. You can start by placing a variety of succulents on bookshelves and counters. They require minimal watering and will last a long time. Hanging plants are also an excellent addition that you can place in the living room without creating unnecessary clutter. Another great idea is to dedicate one section of your favourite space to create a green wall with a built-in watering system. Just looking at it should give you great joy.
If you don’t have all the time in the world to water and care for real plants, worry not. You can purchase fake plants from Amazon and many other online retailers with that same green goodness without all the hassle.
As you can see, a splash of paint, a bit of organization, and some natural flair can do wonders to improve your mental health. Try the tips discussed here and feel good when you come home from those long days.