The past year has been difficult on the world, to say the least. Research says that almost one in five adults in the United States reported having a mental illness or disorder in 2020, and that was just for the first half of the year. And with no end in sight to COVID-19 just yet, we need to find ways to turn our homes into havens that can help boost our mental and emotional health, especially since we have to spend the majority of our days in it. If 2021 is really about fresh starts, our homes need to be a reflection of that. Here are some home design trends to help boost your mental health and well-being this year.
Indoor nature and greenery
There are plenty of surprising mental and physical benefits to having houseplants. Here are some of them:
- Human beings were wired for nature, and having houseplants is the easiest way to bring the great outdoors into your home.
- Greenery helps boost our moods, enhances our creativity, and reduces our anxiety and stress levels.
- Some houseplants work to purify our home’s indoor air by eliminating various pollutants.
That’s not to say that you need to turn your home into a forest; you can start small by investing in some succulents and cacti and work your way up from there. Research the kinds of plants you have the wherewithal to care for right now and place them in areas where you will spend most of your day, like your home office.
Many people agree that a home office is now a necessity, but not everyone knows that it’s equally important to create spaces in your home for rest. Remember when interior design experts suggested that offices need to have a common room where employees can sit together, have coffee, and not think or talk about work? Our homes need to have that space as well.
If you have a furnace or fireplace, consider placing a cozy couch or chair near it. Throw in some fuzzy blankets and pillows over it, and turn it into a place where you can escape from work for a few minutes of your workday. Add in your favorite books, magazines, and music player into this space. Having a cozy oasis in your home can help wire your brain into thinking of your house as a place for rest and not just for work.
Multiple studies have found that the light levels in a room can significantly impact how we sleep and feel. Insufficient light has also been attributed to mental health problems like seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Combat this by letting in more natural light into your home. Open the drapes during the day to soak in some sunlight, or convert one of your walls into a floor-to-ceiling window.
If you don’t have many windows in your home, consider investing in bio-dynamic and circadian lighting, which is an artificial light that can successfully replicate the biological effects of natural light. This kind of lighting can help change colors based on the sun’s placing to help keep our 24-hour sleep-wake cycle in proper condition.
Clutter negatively impacts our brains in so many ways. For one, it impacts our sleep, anxiety levels, and ability to focus on our tasks. It can also trigger unproductive and unhealthy coping mechanisms and escapist strategies like snacking on junk food and binging TV shows. Our physical space and mental health are closely intertwined; one can affect the other in many ways. If you want 2021 to be the year when you gain a semblance of peace, consider decluttering your home and going minimalist with your space. Here are some tips to get started on your journey to a more peaceful living condition:
- Get rid of items that you have not used in at least a year.
- Choose a neutral and earthy color palette.
- Opt for classic and durable furniture pieces that can last you a long time.
- Make use of texture. A stunningly crafted headboard can add a lot of personality to an otherwise neutral bedroom.
- Go for clean lines and mid-century modern furniture with classic edges.
- Add some warmth to your space by incorporating cozy textiles.
From Home to Oasis
Thankfully, home design trends that promote mental health tend to look good together. Houseplants add some vitality to a neutral space, and natural light makes white walls look stunning. This 2021, let your home be a haven that helps bring healing to your mind and heart.