There’s much more to creating a space you feel truly happy in, than simply making sure you’re on top of the latest trends.
We believe coming home each day should be a joyous experience. Whether you can’t wait to pat your furry friend, put your feet up and watch TV, or see the faces of your loved ones, walking through the door after a long day can more often than not, be the thing we look forward to most.
But this isn’t the case for everyone: For a range of reasons, there are some people who experience a lack of homeliness or extreme heaviness, weighing them down in their own abodes.
Here, interior stylist, Emma Blomfield, Feng Shui consultant, Liz Wiggins, and psychologist, Jacqui Manning, reveal some tips to help transform your home into a happy and healthy place for you and your family.
1. Colour your world
All experts agree on the colours we use in our homes can have a huge impact on our wellbeing.
“Colours promote different feelings and physiological responses,” says Jacqui.
“Red is stimulating and can raise heart rate, while blue is intellectual and soothing.
“Yellow, on the other hand, can encourage an optimistic and positive mood. Be guided by what works with the style of your home and the light available, as well as your personal taste.”
Emma agrees and suggests pastel hues and vibrant tones. “Some go-to colours for me are peach, lilac, lemon, pink, sky blue, lime, teal and magenta.
“And avoid anything dark and heavy – this brings the mood down. Decor such as black velvet curtains and dark rugs can make the room feel cluttered and heavy.”
2. Live clutter free
“If you imagine everything in your home connected to you with an invisible string, too much stuff starts to tie you down and drains you of energy,” says Liz.
“When it’s time to discuss decluttering with clients, I look at something and tell them: ‘If you love it, keep it. If it drains you or brings up any negative feelings, get rid of it.’”
Most of us hate doing it, but try to remember how liberated you felt the last time you cleared out your closet.
“The majority of people feel fantastic afterwards! They feel much more organised and a whole lot lighter,” says Liz.
3. Breathe easy
Not only did a recent Harvard study prove plants can extend our lives and improve our mental health, but greenery inside your home is also known to improve air quality by removing toxins and producing fresh oxygen.
“Yes, plants make the air we breathe healthier, but they also add a living element to our spaces and fill vacant corners of our homes nicely, too,” says Emma.
“Plants lift the energy of a room, so it can be best not to have them in a bedroom,” Liz adds.
“That being said, a dead plant will have the opposite effect so always make sure you keep yours lovely and healthy.”
4. The company you keep
Some people love living alone, while others crave the companionship of another person.
“Company at home can be both positive and negative depending on what you’re used to,” says Jacqui.
“When you first move in with someone, it will take time to get to know each other’s habits and share the space both physically and energetically.
“Pets can be a wonderful company if you’re looking for a non-human companion,” she adds.
Seeking a relationship? Liz recommends implementing some Feng Sui principles in the home.
“If you would like to invite a relationship, try and have things in pairs: Two pillows, two matching bedside tables and so on.”
See more: Understand the HDB Pet Ownership Policy
5. Start at the front door
Do your best to make your home a place you enjoy coming home to – and that begins before you even walk in the front door.
Dying grass, dirty windows, weed-riddled garden beds and blocked gutters will all hinder your home’s energy, says our Feng Shui expert.
Place items you enjoy looking at in your entryway to make coming home after a long day feels like a little slice of heaven.
“Bringing joy into your home is important, whether that’s in the form of artworks, plants or personal trinkets,” says Jacqui.
6. Play the long game
Like the fashion industry, trends come and go. While many of us want to be at the forefront of interior style, Emma encourages homemakers to refrain from buying inexpensive or poorly-made decor simply to fulfil this need.
“Think longer term with your purchases. Purchasing well once, rather than purchasing replacement pieces every two to three years because items don’t go the distance, will ensure you feel a sense of pride and satisfaction in your home space.”
7. Switch off
While we love a smart home just as much as the next modern family, our experts agree there should come a time in each day where technology takes a backseat.
Learn to power down from all devices in the last hour before you go to sleep. Smartphones, laptops, tablets and televisions all emit blue lights, which hinder your body’s natural production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
“Bedrooms [in particular] should be free of any electronics and should be considered a place to rest and rejuvenate,” says Jacqui.