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Home With A Heart

12.08.21

We often think of mindfulness in relation to meditation, but our homes and interior design can significantly enhance our emotional well-being. Interior stylist to the stars Lucinda Deacon, offers some feel good pointer

Do your surroundings look and feel like an expression of who you are? Demystifying the links between mind, body and soul – in effect harnessing the power of mindfulness – has been found to deliver quite exceptional results when trialled indifferent environments. The resultant outcome? Helping individuals to choose interiors that can not only boost health and wellbeing, but also support a more considered lifestyle through design of supportive room layouts, the consideration of effects of colour, as well as embracing more natural elements when styling our personal space.

So how can we dig a little deeper beyond aesthetics alone and tap into wisdom from neuroscience for a happier home?

Choose Your Cheer

What makes your heart sing? Personally, I love filling my home with treasures from my travels, but for others, it could be calm tones and neutral walls. Do you yearn to wake up in a room that feels cosy; maybe you hate clutter, or you want to nurture nature with an abundance of plants and foliage?

According to a recent study by Oxford Economics on Living Well, people who eat together more than once a week are happier than those who eat alone. It makes sense. Chatting about your day over a meal is so much better than snacking solo in front of the TV.

So, if your happy place is cooking and entertaining, then maybe it’s time to makeover your dining room or kitchen to reflect your sociable nature. Now that lockdown is easing, try hosting a meal at your house once a week with friends and family to help bring back balance to daily life.

Begin With Balance

The Japanese concept of Kyo-Jitsu believes that when life is too full, something has to give. The terms Kyo and Jitsu describe two extremes. Kyo is the quality of emptiness, indicating depletion, under activity or lack of local energy, and Jitsu describes a sense of fullness, excess, over activity or oversufficiency of Ki. Try applying this principle to your home layout. Are there rooms you could empty out more for a more streamlined look? By the same token, there may be a space that needs a boost with furniture and accessories.

Claim Your Space

With our busy lives, our homes are now serving many functions

and roles. My apartment is the place I work in; it’s where I relax in the evening; I love to entertain friends and family too.

Just because where you live is multi-functioning, it can still feel like a place to work, rest and play. How? Transform your spaces by creating ‘zones’ that can be used for different tasks. One way is to use rugs in open-plan spaces to define different areas. Or try bamboo screens - very on trend and a stylish way to section off a space.

Be mindful too, of clutter taking over your home. If your dining table is also your ‘office’ or where your children do their homework, make sure there’s a place to store all your paperwork at the end of the day, so you can sit down for a meal together. Set aside time to claim your space for some much-needed R&R.

Discover Your Colour

Colour is a great tool for lifting mood. The right paint shades can ‘fill’ you with joy and positivity. By contrast, the wrong tones can turn the mood of your home into something altogether more sombre.

As a starting point, purchase an eclectic mix of paint samples and see which ones speak to you. You may be in love with sky blues that remind you of a cherished family holiday. Or charcoal walls tones that bring back memories of a historic house. Pairing blues or soft grey ceramics with warm woods and natural linen in simple muted colours will deliver a palette that’s both soothing and stylish. Or, you may prefer natural colours inspired from nature.

Touchy-Feely Fabrics

One design aspect many of us overlook when creating a calming space is texture. Lots of touchy-feely fabrics will transform a cold space into the haven of your dreams. Texture can come in many forms. For a luxe look, you can’t beat velvets and faux fur. For a more natural room, why not add seagrass and pampas? A strong look is to mix metallic with woods. It doesn’t matter if you go for silky fabrics, worn linens or woven grasses - trust your instinct, it won’t let you down.

Bring The Outside In

Use the principles of biophilic design and bring plants and fresh flowers cut straight from the garden into the home. Aside from their decorative appeal, plants have air-purifying qualities and can help reduce stress levels, increase productivity and keep us feeling relaxed. Give plants the love they deserve and display them in ceramic jugs, pots and mugs made from natural materials.

Mindful Moments

Make sure there are spaces around the home where you can take a breather, escape the daily chores and re-set. A corner can be transformed into a haven of calm with soft cushions, throws, a good book or a podcast. Add items that bring a smile to your face too, such as holiday photos. A light nook by the window is an instant connection to the outdoors and makes a perfect spot to sip a warming green tea from your favourite mug. Natural fragrances like lavender, chamomile and sandalwood have calming properties to help create a sense of tranquillity.

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