A Happy, Healthy Home You Will Love
We all want to create a comfortable and relaxing home for our families, whether it’s through interior design hacks or eco-friendly changes. Thankfully, you can leverage your living space and what you do in it to feel healthier and happier on the daily, no expensive renos required – so you can put down that sledge hammer. There are many ways to create a happy, healthy home, to boost both physical health and mental well-being. All of these decorative touches are simple and inexpensive changes that you can use to improve your lifestyle.
Wellness, like most things, begins at home, after all. Here’s how to make sure that’s a good thing…
Bring The Outdoors In
The winter months can be a dreary time, but that doesn’t mean your home needs to be! Turn your home into a mini-greenhouse. Study after study has shown that exposure to greenery reduces stress, helps lower blood pressure and stimulates the senses. Whether it's a large potted plant, a tree, a small succulent or a cactus, the options are endless. Not only do they add a burst of color, they look great and they emit oxygen which can filter and improve the air quality in the room.
Wether you go big or small, real or faux, there is a plethora of options to bring some greenery into your house. Some of the most popular and easy to look after house plants include:
Aloe – As it's a succulent, they prefer dry soil, so they don't need a huge amount of watering. They come in smaller or larger varieties and they work great in small, sunny indoor spaces.
Monstera- This tropical plant is easy to care for, make a statement and is fast-growing—when placed in the right environment.
Spider Plant - These unusual looking plants are great to look at. They come in a variety of types and work well as hanging plants as well. Keep the soil moist and in a relatively bright space for the plant to thrive.
Peace Lily - This beautiful plant is an elegant choice. They don't like a lot of light, so they are great for rooms with few windows. Keep the soil moist.
Dragon Tree - These are one of the best indoor trees for low-light areas. They are slow growing and are popular because of their spiky looking leaves. However, they are poisonous to dogs and cats so be careful and avoid with your furry friends
Let There Be Light
Maximize Natural Light
Good lighting is key to creating an inviting space—and there’s no better light to bask in than sunlight. Natural light in a home is always better than artificial light. It bathes your room in a rich full-spectrum hue that light bulbs can only hope to duplicate, and it increases your body's feel-good serotonin levels. Like plants, natural light is inherently invigorating and reinforces the circadian rhythms that impact our mood and sleep cycles. Aside from the obvious (open your curtains), make sure there’s no furniture blocking your windows’ line of sight, use off-white or cream color schemes to cultivate a lighter feel, and put up strategically placed mirrors to send light bouncing round the room.
Employ Artificial Light
But what to do when your home is lacking in the south-facing window department? Don’t worry! Artificial lighting is still essential to any room, especially ones that lack a lot of natural light. It's the single factor in your household that can change your mood, your health, the comfort of your home, the appearance of colors, and the feeling of a room with just one aesthetic. While most of us are trying to find the trendiest sofa to put into our living room or the best shade of blue to put into our home office, how you light your rooms with artificial light can make all the difference
It's important for your lighting arrangements to compliment the surrounding space—they have to consider both functional and aesthetic value carefully. Your lighting source must be in line with each room’s purposes. Walk through your home at different times of the day to determine what activities you do the most in each room. Ambient or overall lighting usually consists of overhead lighting – while task lighting comes in the forms of under cabinet and table lighting. Ambiance lighting such as chandeliers and wall sconces add a unique ambiance to your space and will enlarge your interiors visually and make you want to linger in them longer. Choose lighting that compliments your interiors and allows you versatility in your everyday living. For example, strategically place a couple tall floor lamps in dark corners and watch your family room come alive. Layer this lighting with lamps on side tables, making the room feel welcoming and cozy.
Opt for full-spectrum light bulbs (they’re designed to simulate daylight) in the light fixtures of rooms with poor lighting to quickly brighten up your home with some soft but warm artificial light. Full spectrum lights help you feel better, see better and work better, and are proven to be better for the planet than original light bulbs.
Upgrade Your Artwork
Switching out just a few pieces that hang on your walls can inject new life and color into a space. Look for pieces that compliment your own style and add colors that you don’t already have in your décor. A new piece of art can improve your mood and increase mental stimulation. Avoid trendy pieces and focus on artwork that speaks directly to you. Choose artwork that depicts the natural world, helping to create a calm atmosphere. Whether it's a collection of small pieces for a makeshift gallery wall or one oversized statement piece, be sure to hang your new art in a prominent spot where you can see it every day.
Remember, you don’t have to make a big investment to get a big visual change! Adding small accessories to the artwork you already have hung is a great way to give it a fresh new look. Hang up photographs of your family and friends. Switching or even adding a new frame dresses up and gives depth to the artwork.
Splash Some Color
From the color of your couch, decor, bedsheets, and just about everything else in your home, it's important to carefully choose the accent colors in your home. Colors and emotions are closely linked. Introducing a new color palette to a room makes a dramatic difference to the way we feel in the space — and you don’t have to go overboard!
An easy way to introduce color is to select two colors and one neutral, and then use a ratio of 60:30:10 where 60% of the space is one of those colors, 30% is another color and 10% is your accent color. This is an effortless and fool-proof way to introduce a color palette that feels harmonious. For reference, warm colors can evoke different emotions than cool colors and bright colors can create different feelings than muted colors. The brighter and lighter a color, the more happy and optimistic it will make you feel. Colors such as muted greens or rustic greys are calming colors.
If you're feeling bold go big, dress up an an entire wall with an accent color. Not only will it serve as the perfect backdrop, but will make a deep and dramatic visual impact on any guest you invite over. Consider it a real conversation starter!
Dress Up Those Walls
Decorating with neutral colors is safe, and timeless. A monotone home may be the newest design trend but adding a fun patterned wallpaper is an easy and impactful change you can make in your home today. Nothing wakes up a boring wall more than a fun, decorative wallpaper. Incorporating a pattern or a bright color on your wall can boost creativity and impact your overall mood. There's no shortage of wallpaper styles, colors and textures, leaving you with a plethora of options. The patterns are endless, and even customizable with anything from a blown up family portrait, your favorite quote, or a hand drawn design!
Pro Tip: Add a textured wallpaper to give the room a new sense of depth, and dimension!
Rearrange What You Have
Go shopping in your home! You don't have to break the bank to make a big switch in your home. Sometimes the smallest changes make the biggest impact. Rearrange the furniture you already have to give each room a fresh new perspective. For maximum impact relocate and mix items from one room to another. You'll be surprised at how new your home can look.
Rebrand your Home's Scent
Every home has a unique scent, it's the smell you crave when your homesick, your neighbors recognize, and unnoticeable to you and your family. It's a process called occupant odor. This is a combination of odors released in the air through detergents, foods, pets, and other daily factors. These scents then occupy spaces like curtains, carpets, cushions and pillows. Combined together, the meshing of these scents creates your distinct home smell. While some homes have a more pleasant aroma than others, there are certain smells that you would prefer to avoid.
Having flowers in your home does not only enhance the room’s aesthetic appeal with scent and color, but it can also have a positive impact on one’s health, from the fresh, filtered air they produce as well as from the mental health benefits associated with being in nature. Walking into a room where you can see them can immediately boost your mood and reduce stress. Flowers have been reported to encourage concentration levels and creativity, and increase cognitive performance. Choose floral arrangements that resonate with your personality. Brighter colors exciting and can really boost your energy and make you feel very exhilarated and happy. Yellows and oranges really pump those feelings up. A bouquet with a softer pastel palette can help you feel calm and serene and relaxed.
To start your day off right, have fresh flowers on your nightstand so you see them as soon as you wake up. Put them in the kitchen and office, too, since that’s where you likely spend most of your time. Displaying some lovely bouquets at home has so many benefits, so next time when you feel like getting some flowers for yourself, do not hesitate!
Whether it’s the heady aroma of fresh lavender or the sweet, floral notes of roses and peonies, your chosen scent is what gives your house its personality. Using candles in the home creates an intimacy that sets a mood to a room. They emit scents that create specific feelings – from nostalgia, tranquility, romance, and more. The soft burning light elevates the rooms ambiance: There is just something really warm and inviting about a room with the look of a flickering candle in it. Traditional candles are often filled with toxic chemicals that are eventually released into the air, and home. Be sure to look for eco-friendly candles that are non-toxic and reusable, and recyclable.
Essential oil diffusers pump out billowing, fresh plumes of fragrant water vapor, only occasionally having to be filled with a small amount of water and a few drops of essential oil which help improve your mood. Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants used in aromatherapy. Diffusers can vary from scent, size, shape, material, and power source. A perfect alternative or addition to scented candles.
Clear the Clutter
Physical clutter in your home can have a direct impact on your overall well-being. To create a more calming space declutter your home with a few simple and easy tips. Start small and work your way around the house. In doing so, you can have what you need, where and when you need it, which is a great way to reduce stress and save you time.
A healthy home is good for the body, a happy home is good for the soul – so make your home your own, and a happy place to be.
What are some of the ways you create a happy, healthy home for your family? Tell us about it in the comments!