Lessons in conscious interior design
Mood boosting conscious interior design tips
The way we feel inside our homes is not something we often think about, many of us take the space for granted, and often learn to live with elements we don’t love, like piles of paper accumulating, a build up of kids’ toys or furniture placed in a spot that doesn’t feel quite right.
When we finally get around to decluttering or rearranging the mood lifting effects are instant and hugely gratifying.
Consciously curating the space we live in to benefit of our health and the planet is a thing and it’s something we are fascinated with at the moment at G+S HQ. So to better understand our interaction with our homes, and the concept of conscious interior design we enlisted interior designer and co-founder of Studio Mae Liz Linforth.
WHAT IS CONSCIOUS DESIGN?
Bring the outside in
“By bringing natural elements into your home, you can reduce the negative impact of artificial elements. We often refer to this as biophilia in the interior design world,’’ Liz says.
“Every space deserves some greenery and being exposed to nature as often as possible has been proven to reduce stress and enhance our immune system. For the bathroom, choose plants like ferns that thrive in steam or dried eucalyptus and lavender leaves that will produce beautiful medicinal oils when exposed to steam and moist conditions.”
“Organising our belongings and making order out of chaos is so fundamental to improving our mental wellbeing. Even the process of decluttering can have a therapeutic effect,’’ says Liz.
“Sprucing up your home can help to remove visual distractions and therefore quieten the noise in a busy life. This in turn allows us to enjoy the spaces we live in more freely.
“Look at what you have on display at home. How does it make you feel? Do you feel calm, energised, anxious or depleted? What can you remove or hide from view? What can you showcase that makes you feel happy or calm?”
Let the fresh air in
“Breathing is well-known for decreasing stress and boosting mental and physical health, but it’s so much better to do that in a well-ventilated space,’’ Liz says.
“It may sound obvious but throwing open the windows and ventilating your home reduces moisture levels and stale indoor air and allows fresh air to circulate better. Scientists who measured indoor air quality found that cooking a single meal on a gas stove can produce levels of nitrogen dioxide that would be considered unsafe if outside.”
Get your light right
“Never underestimate the power of light in your home for boosting health. Light affects our hormones, immune system, mood and sleep quality,’’ says Liz.
“Look at how and where the natural light falls in your home throughout the day. Are you making the most of each kind of light to suit how you use that space? Try to emulate the sun at different times of the day, and make sure you soften the lights at night for better sleep.
“This means removing blue light from our bedrooms and cutting down on the use of screens and devices a couple of hours before bed. The blue light from our phones and computers messes up our circadian rhythm which in turn affects our sleep and daytime focus.”
Create a sleep sanctuary
“In times like these, you may be finding it hard to relax and sleep soundly. But with sleep so paramount for good health, it’s worth finding solutions for a dream-filled snooze-fest,’’ Liz says.
“Your bedroom interior can make or break the quality of your sleep and there are countless ways to make improvements.
“Aim to create a cocoon-like space free from distractions, clutter, noise, bright colours, and bad lighting.
“Remove everything in the room you don’t need, and all the items that cause your mind to race or stress (including that pile of laundry on the floor). Introduce soft lighting in your bedside lamps and switch off the brighter ceiling or dresser lights. Bring in some candlelight (beeswax, obviously) to calm the mind as you wind down and get comfortable, and leave your phone in another room. Step away from the screens, people.”