With everyone leading busier and busier lives, it’s hard to take time out for yourself and look after your wellbeing. A recent study by Homebase shows that we only spend 58 mins a day with our families, so we need to take time to improve the way we live, form stronger ties with friends and family, alleviate stress and make our slives more rewarding.
Design and Well-being expert, Oliver Heath in conjunction with Homebase has come up with the 10 fundamental pillars to creating a more harmonious home…
1. Social Spaces
A lot of us are ‘double screening’ – watching tv whilst checking our phone or looking up something on the internet on a tablet. We need to take more time to sit together and have a conversation to strengthen family relationships, so choose furniture that promotes sociability such as a large sofa that all the family can relax on and use the dining table for meals with the tv turned off and devices banned.
Courtesy of ikea
2. Private Spaces
Take time out for YOU, find a space you can be alone, so take a bath, place a chair looking out into the garden or place your desk by a window looking out onto greenery and sunlight. This has been shown to increase our cognitive abilities, work more effectively and allows us to recuperate.
Get children to choose their own colour scheme and, if possible, get them to do some of the decorating. It has been proven if they put the work in, they will keep it tidier. We all react well to colour – choose blues, greens and aqua for a calming feel and reds, yellows and oranges for energizing
Courtesy of dulux
Exposure to natural light is essential to our wellbeing, so make sure windows are clean and clear, declutter messy windowsills and push curtains fully back to allow the maximum amount of light in. Opening up rooms also allows light to flood from one space to another.
Bounce light off the floor and ceiling.
Courtesy of homebase
5. Multifunctional Spaces
The rise of technology in the home means that our rooms have to adapt to modern living. Its possible for different members of the family to work, eat, read, watch tv, use social media, all in one space. Teenagers are masters of this, they do all these things in their room. So our rooms need to adapt to be more multifunctional.
Creating a dedicated work space which is separate from other rooms is a good way of keeping work life and relaxation separate. Concentrate on the task in hand, away from distractions then at the end of the working day, leave your laptop, tablet and phone in the office to charge and join the family for quality time. If you don’t have a spare room, create a work corner in the lounge or use the dead space under the stairs.
Courtesy of Hillarys
Apparently we lose valuable time in the morning searching for shoes, keys, bags and coats in the rush to get to work, school or college. So make everything easy to find and regain valuable minutes whilst also reducing morning stress!
Place a shoe storage bench and coat hooks in the hallway and a storage unit with cubby holes for bags, then make sure everyone puts things away in the right place!
8. Access to Nature
If you don’t have a garden or even if you do, plants and greenery in the home are a great way to make us feel better. Having plants in our direct vision has been scientifically proven to reduce physical and psychological stress. They also remove toxic Co2 gasses and humidity. So add plants around the house and take time to look after them as a bit of ‘me’ time.
Courtesy of Westelm
With 7.6 million people around the world getting less than 5 hours sleep a night, it’s essential that we do everything we can to create a relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom. Lack of sleep can make us irritable, affects interpersonal relationships, cognitive focus and can affect concentration at work. To address this, we should switch off all technology at least 2 hours before we go to bed and don’t leave your tablet or phone on in the bedroom. The blue light they emit makes our brain think it’s the middle of the day. To create a relaxing mood, use tonal colour schemes and soft amber lighting which is like the sun going down at the end of the day.
Courtesy of Homebase
Modern living means that many of us don’t know our neighbours or take the time to speak to people who pass by. Improving our local community and increasing social connections will help our wellbeing enormously. Having a view to the street, planting a front garden and saying ‘Good Morning’ to passers-by will all contribute to a better way of life. It can even improve property prices!