Your home should be your refuge- especially in a time when uncertainty is prominent in the world. These past few months have been unfathomable and things may feel out of control. However, one of the things we can control is our safe space- our home.
Strategically designing or re-arranging your home can help maintain your health and wellness during COVID-19. Choosing certain colors and textures can evoke positive emotions. Incorporating plants or investing in durable and comfortable materials for your home can lead to a more productive at-home experience.
Colors and textures
Colors can have a psychological effect on us. For example, Red is a good color for kitchens and can increase appetite. Colors like green or brown (organic colors) which are found in nature have more of a calming effect. Similarly, lighting is also a critical part of uplifting mood or creating positive energy in the home. Having large windows that let in ample amount of sunlight can give you a boost of energy.
The materials we use also affect the way we feel inside our homes. Prior to a decade ago, technology driven textile fabrics weren’t as prominent in the residential and even in commercial spaces. However, Annemarie DiSalvo from diSalvo interiors says that she’s noticed those practices changing within the past decade.
“Sofas in the past were more sleek and modern- maybe even leather. However, that’s coming out of the equation now. We are putting in much more plush- more comfort feeling very technology driven textiles,” says Annemarie.
Teflon fabrics are soft and luxurious but also highly durable and easy to wash. This makes it perfect for families to easily unzip and throw them in the washing machine. This is convenient- especially now as everyone spends most of their time at home and utilizes the living room often.
Productively working from home
There are many distractions when you are working from home. Whether it’s your kids, spouse or even your pets, so it’s important to have a designated space to be productive. One of the ways that you can maintain a quiet environment is with the textiles and fabrics that you choose.
Annemarie says that since the beginning of the pandemic- more clients are seeking sound absorbing textiles when designing their home. Sound absorbing fabrics are usually thick and porous. The best one is velour type cloth which is a plush, knitted fabric or textile similar to velvet or velveteen.
Open loft-like space has been the trend in the past where there was free movement from room to room but since the start of COVID-19, that has changed. If Annemarie has a project that requires reconstruction, one of the most prominent requests has been installing walls to separate rooms from one another.
Both investing in sound absorbing textiles and installing a barrier is an effective way to limit distractions. These changes can help increase your efficiency while working from home and allow you to rest while the kids are free to make all of the noise they want in the other room.
Plants are your friends
More and more people are recognizing the benefits of having plants in their home. One of the most prominent ways that interior designers increase wellness in a space is through biophilic design.
It is a term popularized by American biologist Edward O Wilson in the 1980’s, when he “observed how increasing rates of urbanization were leading to a disconnect with the natural world.”
Biophilia means love of nature. We are attracted to shapes, colors and smells that imitate nature-like things. Biophilic design is the idea that nature and humans are interconnected and strives to create a human-centered approach that improves the spaces that we live and work in. It is proven that plants create a calming and restorative feeling in the home, increase productivity in the workplace and overall well-being by 13%.
Diana Lilo- co-founder of Inspire Design Creative Studio says “biophilic design takes the aesthetics and function of interior design and harnesses it as a means to improve the occupants ‘overall well-being.” Inspire Design Creative Studio designs experiential environments that promotes productivity, and encourages wellness through biophilic design.
Diana’s firm designed the interiors for the first LEED Platinum office building on Long Island and they were named one of the 2018 and 2019 Best Places to Work on Long Island, LIBN.
In addition to producing a healthier environment, adding plants to a space creates a nurturing experience. In order for the plant to grow, you must learn how much water it needs, what angle it needs to be placed and how much sunlight it needs. It is a journey that can increase your own sense of wellbeing and bring fulfillment when you finally see your plant grow.
Find your Zen
Many people forget that a room has six walls. Our eyes automatically focus on the walls parallel to us, often ignoring the ceiling and floor. One of the ways Annemarie suggests changing your space is to utilize those two walls.
It’s important to create visual separation if not physical separation. Annemarie says “whether it’s changing the direction of a wood floor or adding ceiling detail,” that can help the user feel more comfortable. Applying texture to walls and ceilings is also a way to personalize a space.
Remodeling a room in your home during this time can be a way to feel more at peace and in control of your surroundings. Looking for meaning in the pieces you choose and straying away from cluttering your home is an important way to maximize your wellness especially during COVID.
“Close your eyes, take a breath and picture your happy place. This will likely land you somewhere in nature – on a beach, under your favorite tree, or at a lake,” says Diana. This can be your foundation for a color palette.
If you’re thinking about redesigning your space, ask yourself these questions.
- Are you utilizing your space to its ability?
- Are there pieces that you can reuse?
- Do you need to get rid of some furniture?
Annemarie suggest emptying out the room before you start to even imagine anything different. This de-clutters your mind so you can imagine the space in a different light. After standing and living in the empty space, start to imagine what it could look like and start fresh!
We might be in our homes for the rest of 2020, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun. You can change the colors of the the rooms in your home- painting them warm or cool colors, add texture to your walls and even learn about and buy different plants to fill up your home.
If you need a quiet space, it can be worthwhile to enclose an area of your home. Technology driven textiles can be beneficial in creating a noise-absorbing environment. Lastly, decorating both your ceiling and floor can add personality to your home.
These small changes will help your house feel like a home and ultimately- a refuge in these uncertain times.
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