How a more health-conscious approach
to interiors could improve your health
Mindfulness – the art of focusing on the present moment – is constantly growing in popularity. Flick through Instagram and you’ll find plenty of zen-looking people meditating and practising yoga. In fact, “Mind, body & spirit” is now the fastest selling book genre in the UK.
Scientists are now taking philosophies like Indian Vastu Shastra and Chinese Feng Shui to a new level by analysing our physical and psychological responses to different environments. There’s a real buzz behind this new intersection of art and science, coined neuroarchitecture.
Here’s some of our top tips for creating a wellness-orientated approach to your interiors…
The colourful truth
Colour psychology – the growing body of scientific research into colour – states our reactions to colour are grounded in evolutionary and personal life history. That’s why choosing the right colour is so important when it comes to interiors, rather than following the latest design fad.
Pick warm yellow, green or orange tones for your hallway, living area and kitchen to energise and uplift you. Using cool blues and purples in your bathrooms and bedrooms is said to promote clear thinking and calmness.
Colour doesn’t have to be limited to the walls; you can introduce these shades throughout your home with carefully selected upholstery and accessories.
Let there be light
According to Dr. Alan Lewis, a lecturer in architecture at Manchester university, our bodies and minds need natural light to remain functioning at their best. It provides us with Vitamin D to support a healthy immune system, better sleep and enhanced mood. During winter, artificial light is unavoidable but slight changes in your home can help.
Exploit available daylight by cutting back surrounding bushes and trees which block direct sunlight. Add mirrors to bounce light around darker rooms and consider frosted or tinted glass for external doors. Some paint brands even offer ranges which have light-reflective particles allowing natural light to reflect off walls.
If the availability of natural light is limited by the physical design of your home, consider skylights or daylighting systems, which funnel daylight through pipes from your rooftop without requiring structural modifications.
According to NASA research particular plants throughout your home could help create a healthier environment, as common indoor plants can neutralise harmful toxins found in furniture, household products and decorating materials.
Purchase items such as snake plants, which give out bursts of oxygen at night and can be placed in bedrooms to promote better breathing. Aloe Vera can be used to fight benzene found in detergents and plastics so works well in kitchens. Specially designed plant pots are now also available with built-in fans to filtrate your room’s air through its soil.
Space to think
Eliminate visual stress by finding clever storage solutions with under-bed boxes, floating shelves above your doors, or fill a case with items you hardly use. If after 6 months you haven’t opened it, donate the contents to charity!
Placement of radiators is key – a radiator in the coldest part of a room heats the cool air from draughts and encourages more heat output. Radiators under windows convect the cold down drought upwards creating an even distribution of warm air.
Keep social spaces open to encourage interactions and shared experiences, but make sure you have cosy, quiet areas for when you need to focus or relax.