Some of us get really into DIY projects and home improvements, always attempting to better the overall atmosphere of a room. Whether it’s a lick of fresh paint, a sprinkling of flowers or strategically placed candles, putting a bit of thought into how a room could be improved can turn into a significant transformation. But how much of a difference does this stuff really make?
Turns out, quite a lot. Everything in our environment subconsciously has an effect on our overall mood. Colours are a big one, as is clutter, design and lighting. The shape of a room alone can have an affect how we feel. Long narrow rooms for example emanate a claustrophobic vibe, unsettling even the mellowest personality given enough time. There’s a reason why bay windows are so attractive. They open up the room, adding charm and dimension to any property, often providing the perfect nook for reading or relaxing. Because of their design, they also invite more natural light into the room for more of the day.
I’d love a bay window myself, but it’s certainly not necessary in order to fully appreciate your living space. Simply giving your pad a bit of TLC doesn’t have to come at a high cost or become a massive project, and the benefits result in a better mood just for being there. Nothing is more welcoming than coming home after a long day to your favourite personalised place. Creating an area that promotes positive feelings is going to improve sleep patterns, mental health and productivity. It’s also just nice to feel nice!
Here we’ve simplified the 6 steps we feel are all you need to transform your place in a matter of days:
Home sweet home – Step 1
Assess your space
Not everybody is working with the same tools or able to change much about their home, especially if they’re renting or sharing. However, take a good hard look at where the furniture has been placed, what could be stored away or tidied up. What do you use on a regular basis, and what could be stowed away in order to create a more open, de-cluttered space?
Home sweet home – Step 2
Getting rid of the bits
Find a home for any miscellaneous items, what you don’t need chuck away, donate, sell or recycle. The great thing about one person’s junk, is that it can be another person’s treasure. The easy way is to make four piles:
- Landfill waste
Home sweet home – Step 3
Sketch-out the room as it is on a blank sheet of paper. Consider the dimensions of each piece of furniture, draw it out again but relocating or removing furniture this time. Using a pen and paper before choosing a plan of action could save you a whole lot of wasted time. One of the most frustrating occurrences when changing the layout of a room, is having spent half a day re-arranging, only to find that the room is now worse off, or non-functional.
Home sweet home – Step 4
Take yourself into consideration
What is it you love doing at home? Or would love to start doing? Have you wanted a generous area to practice yoga or dance, or a place you can get creative? Are you a real bookworm who lusts after cosy places to curl up and lose yourself in a good story? Make sure you’re re-arranging your home to fit your needs, not just so it looks nice. It has to be practical as well as aesthetically appealing, otherwise there’s no point.
For me, it’s yoga. If there’s nowhere spacious, clean or decent enough to whip out my yoga mat, stretch and relax, I get really irritable. An immaculate, soft, de-cluttered area, preferably close to a source of natural light is my ideal way to start any given day. I need my headspace to feel de-stressed as well as my body in order to easily get into deep relaxation or meditation.
Home sweet home – Step 5
This may seem a bit dramatic, but colour tells a story. It really does. So when you’re thinking about redecorating or revamping, consider the message behind each new colour you choose. What effect (or vibe) do you want your place to have on yourself, and others? Do you want to project happiness? With bright, light colours such as yellow, lime green or orange? Sultry and majestic with deep blues and purples? Classical, with black and white throughout? Or do you want your home to be the ultimate relaxation sanctuary, boasting a spa-like interior with earthy tones…
Personally, I like my place to be mostly calming, complimented with energising accents. I want my place to feel like a bit of a fantasy land, like you’re walking amongst the clouds on a turquoise-tinted morning, or out at sea on a Caribbean island. Maybe just a stroll to the lake to feed the swans, with my duck egg wall paint and framed pictures of pretty flowered fields.
Home sweet home – Step 6
Adding the final touches
Once a room has been organised and tidied, or even coloured to your liking, that’s when the real fun begins. Incorporating little touches like a couple of throw pillows, some small potted plants on the widow sill or a soft rug can really bring a room together. Candles are cliched, but totally effective, though I’ve noticed a lot of people are opposed to them due to the potential fire hazard. I wouldn’t worry too much about danger, and simply be mindful of where you’re placing them:
- Not near curtains
- Not on surfaces that are easily moveable
- High out of the reach of pets and children
- Away from potential drafts or flammable materials
- You could also opt for electric candles and avoid a naked flame altogether, such as these found on amazon.co.uk.
A really soothing way of displaying candles is by using tea lights and floating them in a clear bowl of water, which has been sprinkled with rose petals or coloured marbles that sink to the bottom. Hello luxury!
For some more inspiration on enjoying your time indoors, check out our blog “Finding Happiness in a Life of Hygge“
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