The look and feel of your home can reveal a lot about you. Everything from your relationship status to even your age can be ascertained with just one glance at your home. For instance, enter a house featuring multi-functional furniture (think sofa-cum-bed), AI-powered lights, and tonnes of souvenirs from around the world and you would instantly know that the resident is most likely a single, well-travelled, tech-savvy millennial.
On the other hand, a home with antique furniture, well-organised book shelves, smell of baking in the air and healthy potted plants would probably tell a diametrically opposite story.
So, without doubt, every living space exudes a distinctive aura or personality that is a reflection of the resident’s inner and outer self.
Conversely, living in a home that is pieced together with great thought could significantly improve your physical and mental well-being and efficiency.
To that end, here are five steps that are sure to help inject more character and positive energy into your home:
1. Play around with the light: When building your home, make sure to orient it in such a way that the main living areas get the most sunlight. As outlined in a recent article by Forbes, even 5-15 minutes of daily sun exposure can enable release of the right amount of the ‘happiness hormone’ serotonin in your body. This is sure to enhance feel-good vibes within the property.
Naturally, this also means that you start waking up as the sun rises, enabling a perfect sync with your body’s circadian rhythm. Such a well-timed sleep-wake cycle would, in turn, improve your daily productivity levels according to Namni Goel, a research associate professor in psychiatry in University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine.
And since there is no such a thing as too much natural light or fresh air, allow your dream home’s floor plan to include light-transmitting structure such as skylights and French windows.
2. Let colours weave the story: A study by a leading brain research facility concludes that there is a direct correlation between the colour of a room and emotions of the person(s) in the said room. So, decide what you want your living space to communicate and pick a colour palette for the interiors accordingly. For example, if you wish to project a welcoming and down-to-earth personality, go for shades of brown. Cool colours such as green and blue are elegant, calm and soothing in nature. On the other hand, warm colours such as yellow and orange symbolise optimism, fun and spontaneity.
Harness the psychology of colours to set the tone of your abode. Also, remember that picking light colours can make small rooms look bigger and airier, while warmer colours can shrink rooms that appear too vacant and expansive.
3. Escape into the lap of nature: Choose to setup your home far away from the incessant cacophony of the city. This will offer you, literally, a breath of fresh air. If you have the option, pick something closer to the soothing sounds of the beach, calmness of the hills or the gentle ambient sounds of the forest. This kind of proximity to mother natural is known to elevate the mood around the house, giving it a leisurely and fresh vibe. A study titled Environment and Behaviour, even theorises that staying close to nature has a distinct happiness benefit.
Alternately, you could pick a community that has plenty of accessible green spaces. Then, add on other soothing elements such as potted plants, a backyard garden, and water features (such as mini fountains, water gardens or ponds) around and within the house. Not only do these stylistic accents enrich the aesthetics of the home, but they are usually also Feng Shui-approved.
4. Clear out the clutter: Finally, nothing says zen-like environs like a clutter-free home. Don’t be afraid to throw away damaged goods, and sell or donate things, everything else that is unwanted. The mantra to follow is: if you haven’t used it for a more than two years, you are unlikely to use it in the near future. Once you are done removing the unwanted items, arrange them neatly into storage containers and home organisers to create a distraction-free home. In fact, research conducted by the Princeton Neuroscience Institute points to the fact that decluttering your life can improve clarity of thought.
5. Match mood to fragrance: Home fragrances add another almost-tangible layer to the personality of your living space. Especially natural or plant-based scents frequently lead to positive emotional responses—a finding corroborated by Weber and Heuberger’s (2008) research.
Hence, consider using a diffuser with aromatic oils or incense sticks to set the right mood for your home. A scent like cinnamon is apt for inspiring creativity in kitchen areas, while peppermint can be used in the study room as it’s known to increase brain activity. And for those looking to create a relaxing environment, perhaps in the bath or bedroom, notes of pine and cypress can work wonders. The trick is to mix and match scents to find the one that suits you and your home best.
Start implementing some these hacks right away to develop your personal nirvana.
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