Envisage the moment you turn your keys in the lock and step into your home. In an ideal world, it would be a moment of pleasant anticipation, relief, and possibly even excitement. But all too often, the chaos of life dictates our emotions, and we can focus on little but the tasks at hand; babies to feed, tidying to be done, and bills to be paid.
These are, of course, the stuff of life, and they’re not going anywhere in a hurry, but our approach to them can make all the difference. And we believe that the design of our homes significantly impacts our behaviour and mood. Here, we explore the connection between our homes, interior design and how we feel so that we might learn how to feel better.
Our Happy Homes report was a piece of pioneering research that gave us unparalleled insight into what qualities contribute to a happy home and supported our belief that your home environment can have a major impact on your mood. We’re going to unpick these factors and offer some insider advice on how to use each to improve your wellbeing. The six standout factors were:
• Secure - provides shelter, safety and stability
• Nourishing - provides healthy conditions
• Adaptable - meets changing needs
• Relaxed - makes us feel at home
• Connected - provides spaces to interact
• Mirrors - reflects who you are
Our findings for this factor were largely linked to the sense of security felt by homeowners and private renters. Many homeowners had anxieties around managing their mortgages, keeping their homes and affording to protect their properties from damage while private renters reported feeling at the mercy of their landlords. The good news for homeowners is that there’s plenty of advice and support out there whether you’re muddling through or you’re looking to maximise the value of your property for the future. If you’re specifically looking to add value through the design of your house, try out our Quick Quote Calculator to see how much it could cost you.
While it’s not possible for everyone to join the housing ladder, some stability can come through actively managing bills and maximising saving opportunities. This doesn’t fall under a design choice but it’s important to cover anyway. We recommend using the Citizens Advice Budgeting Tool and exploring sites like Money Helper for practical advice. And, if you are a private renter looking for design tips, we recommend speaking with your landlord and seeing if you have any leeway to choose a new colour for the walls or refresh cupboard doors. If you have limited luck, not all is lost: make the most of textiles and unique furniture to put your own stamp onto a property.
Nourishing homes have optimised light, sound and ventilation which help the residents feel at their best – here, we’re going to focus on light for its proven mood-enhancing abilities. Absorbing enough sunlight can be challenging in the UK, particularly in winter. Depending on your property, installing skylights is a fantastic way of increasing natural light in the home.
The potential benefits are endless – Healthline suggests increased light can promote better sleep and ward off seasonal depression. And skylights come in vast shapes and sizes, so you can choose one that suits your personal space. Check out Pinterest for inspiration and book a free advice call with one of our consultants to learn more about your options.
We’re often told that change is good, that we need to embrace change, and that we need to learn how to adapt – fast! While all those zeitgeisty notions are helpful in principle, they can be tricky in practice. A home that’s adaptable to your changing needs can alleviate pressure and provide essential headspace. If you’re expecting a little one, your home will need to be ready to accommodate them as they grow and, if you’re caring for elderly family members, you’ll need just as much flexibility from your home to support you. All of this can feel overwhelming but we have good news: whether you’ve got a small flat or a detached house to work with, achieving adaptability is within reach.
If you’re welcoming another family member into the home, you might want to explore adding in a new bedroom. Another option, if you’re working with limited space, is to reimagine the existing space with clever storage solutions to make room for another person. We love the decadence of Tylko’s shelving solutions for inspiration and the satisfying practicality of IKEA’s classic under-bed storage.
Incorporating relaxation into the design of our homes is crucial to getting the most out of them. Choosing a calming colour palette is a great place to start – pick up a sample selection from paint and colour experts Lick, so you can experiment with which colours soothe you most before committing to a whole pot.
Once your walls are painted and it’s time to hone in on the details, getting your sleep set up spot-on should be a priority. Our increasingly plugged-in lifestyles can be detrimental to sleep and, in turn, productivity, positivity and physical health. So, first and foremost, choose a bed and mattress tailored to your needs and then look for bed linens in soft hues and textures to complete the space. For even more tips for creating a peaceful home environment, explore our article on practising Feng Shui in the home.
And here is where our findings for the Happy Home Report support the age-old adage, ‘home is where the heart is’. For a home to be happy and fulfilling, we require spaces dedicated to connecting with loved ones. So, it was no surprise to us that one of the Top Home Trends for 2023 is predicted to create entertaining spaces. Reflect on how you like to socialise at home and seek interior designs that best serve your preference.
If you’re a home-cooking enthusiast and love sharing feasts, a kitchen extension could be for you (explore our ultimate guide). And to add a personal touch, choose home accessories that stand out – we love this set of glazed plates from Anthropologie. Or, for those of you that feel most sociable in intimate settings, choose designs that elevate comfort, like sofas made for hours of chatting an afternoon away. Loaf sofas are renowned for their squishiness, and we’re here for it.
Injecting more of your personality into your property can be a great pathway to feeling happier at home. Consider this a call to get creative and choose colours, prints, patterns and furniture that you love, whether or not it adheres to any interior design trends.
If you’re seeking inspiration for how to project your taste onto your home, self-professed ‘Interiors Addict’, Zeena Shah’s Instagram page is infectiously joyful and unapologetically her. Take a leaf out of her book and be bold when decorating your home.
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