It's widely accepted that our surroundings can affect our feelings. For example, when our home exudes warmth and welcome, it can help us feel comforted and safe. We feel happy and energized when it’s full of vibrant and energetic colours. I want to go one step further today and say that our surroundings can affect our actions.
Careful design of our homes for overall function (with your desired lifestyle and habits in mind) can affect our habits in our home. Here’s how…
1. Design Reduces Stress & Gives You Back Control
You may be entering the new year intending to live a more simplified and efficient daily life. A clutter-free and organized environment makes every task you do in your home easier, from getting out the door on time in the morning to cooking up a healthy and delicious meal at the end of the day.
When I work with clients, I listen carefully to how they live in their homes and how they would ideally like to live in their homes (kind of like that 'fresh beginnings feeling' of New Year resolutions, but year-round). Then I design based on your preferences, lifestyle, and goals.
For example, suppose clutter-free living is on your wish list for the new year. In that case, there's nothing like a beautifully redecorated home to make you think carefully about all the accumulated knickknacks of a lifetime and what truly still deserves space in your home. Many of my clients are empty nesters, and I always hear laughing tales of the discovery of plastic sippy cups or the like, still in the back of their cupboards when clearing out in preparation for a kitchen reno (Please note, their children are now in university).
I make sure to incorporate plenty of storage solutions in each room as needed, from striking built-ins to pretty baskets to clever closet organization, so that everything has a place, even all the childhood nostalgia stuff your grown children have left behind for you to store.
2. Design Space for Authentic Meditation & Mindfulness
Lately, there's been a fundamental shift in attitude towards technology and media. As a result, I hear from my clients and friends that they're craving a little less virtual reality and a lot more actual reality.
Creating rooms in your home that are technology-free zones can bring peace of mind and a sense of quiet in our busy and sometimes overstimulated lives. It could be a cozy sitting room for reading and reflection, enjoying a glass of wine, and connecting with a friend or partner.
Or maybe it's a serene and open space that will allow you to do the activities you promised yourself for 2023, like a peaceful open space for yoga or meditation, or a room flooded with natural light to explore your inner artist or crafter. Having areas that make it easier for us to have in-the-moment experiences invites mindfulness and authenticity into our lives.
3. Design Propels Your Desire for More Physical Activity
Daily physical activity dramatically impacts how we feel —physically and mentally. There's a reason that exercise has always been one of the most popular New Year's resolutions since the beginning of time. Sadly we also know--witness the surge in second-hand ("Hardly Used!") treadmills on Facebook Marketplace--that those big plans are often abandoned a few short weeks into the year.
If you've found an activity you love, make it as easy as possible to keep enjoying it all year by thinking about the details in the design of your home. And I don't just mean finding a spot for the Peloton somewhere in your house, although that's a good start.
If your goal is to carve out time for a run each morning, consider this: the proper window treatments will not only look beautiful, they'll block light effectively for a good night's sleep and then open wide to let the maximum morning sun (and motivation) stream in.
An organized closet where your running gear has a designated, and easy-to-access spot will help you get out the door every morning before you can change your mind. That quiet yoga room I mentioned above will allow you to access the joy of yoga regularly, even if that 'room' is a corner of your home office, with a spot to tuck your yoga mat and block out of sight when not in use. A kitchen organized to prepare delicious and healthy meals in a snap keeps us fuelled and full of energy for the activities we love.
This year, February doesn't have to be the month where your resolutions go to die; once your home supports your goals for how you want to live your best life, you'll already be well on your way to setting yourself up for success in 2023.
Need help planning your home for good habits, daily joy, and everything you want most? Let's talk.