What comes to mind when we think of a ‘healthy’ space? Of course, there are different kinds of health to consider – i.e. physical vs. mental health. And while the overall health of your home is going to be judged mostly on its physical appearance, by visitors especially, the minor details in the way your home functions can play a major role in your mental health.
One of the most basic needs we have as humans are physical needs. When we think of physical needs in a home we want to think of very basic necessities - things you’d look for in a hotel room, perhaps. Is the room easily navigable? Is it well lit? Clean? Safe? These are checklist items we have to determine whether a space is livable in general.
Some individuals will have slightly different physical needs than others. For example: someone in a wheelchair may want open space underneath their countertops and wider doorways. Another great example is added security for those who would like to feel safer in or leaving their homes. That said, for the most part, building codes and general rules cover the physical needs of most individuals. However, the minute details in a person’s home, are what is going to make it functional for the individual and affect mental health the most.
The two biggest factors that are bound to affect a person’s mental health in their home are coordination and color. While coordination and organization is probably the most important factor that will affect the healthiness of your home, color is extremely important as well!
When you enter your home, do you experience peace or chaos? Satisfaction or frustration? Is there a place for everything and everything in its place? The coordination and organization of your home is a very important part of its function and keeping you content.
The ease at which your home functions and meets your needs is a major factor in ‘keeping the peace.’ Items used daily should be easily accessible and just as easily put away. Avoid two step storage systems that don’t add function or increase use of space for everyday items (i.e. drawers inside of doors). Items that are rarely used can be stowed away but shouldn’t be too difficult to access when the time comes. It should be easier to get out your holiday decorations than to buy new ones.
Furniture storage solutions or built-in storage may be a great solution to ‘declutter’ your home and mind; but in reality, most of us have too many things and need to purge to keep it manageable! Is there too much ‘stuff’ on all the surfaces? Is there a plan and purpose for each accessory or just a place to put something? Grouping items together will help ‘reign’ in the need to fill up the space. Your mind will appreciate not having to focus on too many things at one time.
Believe it or not, simply just the color of our environment plays a role in our general feeling and mood. Have you ever noticed how much peaceful things seems with greenery in the room? How about how crazy that bright purple house looks as you drive down the street? Different colors, textures and tones can range from making us calm to creating way too much stimulation.
While individual colors will make you feel a certain way by themselves, combining them may create a different feel. Are the colors you have compatible with each other? Not necessarily the same, but do they complement each other or contrast nicely? Blending and combining colors properly is important to our state of mind.
Lighting is another important factor. Is the lighting sufficient for you needs? Is it too dark, which tends to suppress our mood? Is artifical lighting adjustable throughout the day based on how much natural light is being let through? There are tons of ways to bright and lighten a space. Sheer or partial window coverings, can lights, decorative lighting, strip lighting, and more!
All of these things make healthy living – in a healthy home. We are spending more and more time in our homes. Working from home, kids doing virtual school. How do you make your space, your home, your habitat, the most it can be? Your personal oasis, as much as you can afford it to be. We would love to help you achieve your healthy interior!
Lauren Oddo has been with US Design Source for six years managing sales and specifying products. Upon graduating from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship, she sought a career that would allow her to combine her love for home design and education in entrepreneurship into one passion. The owners of US Design Source, Michael and Ginny Hill, have been part of the Orlando flooring and building industry for over 50 years. As a company, we've installed hundreds of thousands of square feet of flooring throughout Central Florida.
Marilou Stones founder of Stones Design, LLC, is an award winning and international designer with a degree in Interior Design from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been licensed for 34 years and is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers. Marilou is passionate about her design and the relationships that she builds with her clients. Listening is the key. Her projects range from designing commercial buildings and the build outs to large residential remodels and new construction homes. Simple hourly consultation is also available.