When Autumn rolls around and the evenings are chillier, not to mention darker, I always go into a bit of a nesting mode where I want to make my house as cosy and comfortable as possible. My new commute and working slightly longer hours means that I want to come home to a house that puts a smile on my face. There’s nothing better than closing the front door after a long day and knowing you’re walking into a home that you love.
As you may have noticed, I haven’t had as much time for blogging since I got back from holiday, so when Anne from AH Interiors offered to write something for my readers on creating a ‘happier home’, I thought it would be a fun piece to include. She has some great tips that I’ll definitely be incorporating myself. Over to you Anne!
“Our surroundings can have a surprisingly strong effect on our mood. Admittedly, there is little we can do to control the outside world. However, we can design our own homes, using interior design to craft a space full of positivity and vitality.
I run my own interior design business – AH Interiors – and I am often asked to change the atmosphere of my clients’ homes. Over the years, I have discovered that the best way to instantly lift a room’s mood is to change the lighting.
A dark, poorly-lit home will ultimately promote unhappiness. This has a scientific basis – SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is widely believed to be caused by reduced light levels, and light therapy can be used to cure some types of depression.
Therefore, it’s important to let as much light into your home as possible. Natural light is always best – sunlight aids vitamin D production, and can enhance positivity. However, if your home is naturally quite dark, artificial lighting can help.
There are three main types of indoor lighting, each with its own purpose:
– Task lighting. This is bright and direct, and is shone directly down on ‘work’ areas such as kitchen countertops and office desks.
– Accent lighting. Spotlights can be used to highlight particular features in the room. Avoid creating shadows with accent lighting, as they can make a room feel dull and gloomy.
– Ambient lighting. This is the general background lighting in a room. I avoid using overhead bulbs where possible, as this can feel stark and unpleasant. Upward-facing lights create a gentle and relaxing glow – ideal for living and dining rooms!
Here, wall-mounted lights face upwards and give the room a calming ambience
Colour is another easy way to change a room’s ambience. Your colour choice is very much down to personal preference, as each person will have a different emotional response to certain hues.
Blue can be calming and soothing, and is a popular choice in bedrooms. However, if the room is dark, it can appear cold and uninviting.
Yellow can promote happiness and creativity, and is often used in kitchens and living rooms. However, certain shades can be garish and overwhelming.
By choosing a pale shade of yellow, I turned this conservatory into a calm and relaxing space
Some believe red brings energy and vitality to a room, and is best used in dining rooms. Others believe it can have a protective, womb-like feel, making it ideal for the bedroom.
Choosing a colour scheme can be a daunting task. If you can’t make up your mind, I recommend using neutral colours as a base. You can then switch colourful accents – cushions, rugs, curtains, throws – as the mood suits you.
An excessively cluttered home can confuse our brain and sap our energy. This can lead to a low mood, and is often a contributing factor in depression.
To avoid clutter, it is important to create storage space in your home. However, beware of delegating the garage or spare room into a ‘junk room’. Messy spaces lead to unconscious stress, even when hidden behind closed doors.
As any fashion lover knows, stylish clothes are not always comfortable. Sadly, the same can sometimes be said of furniture. Uncomfortable pieces will rarely be used – no matter how pretty they are – and can quickly become a hidden source of negative energy and stress.
A pair of killer heels can be discarded at the end of the night – but a lumpy sofa could be with you for years. Your home should always be a relaxing and enjoyable space, so never forsake comfort for style when shopping for furniture.“
What are your top tips for a happy home?