It is said that the state of your home reflects the state of your mind. Sometimes I wonder if a poor state of mental health causes the clutter and disarray of the home or if it’s the other way around?

The truth of the matter is that our surroundings affect our state of mind, our moods, and even the way we live. And we can do something about it! We can control the surroundings of our home and in turn the effect on our mental health.

I’ve always maintained that every room has a story to tell. Interior design is not only about aesthetics. It’s about creating spaces that are visually pleasing and highly livable – resulting in a ‘healthier’ environment. With the help of a few interior design principles, one can create a space that fosters harmony.

Promote Calm with the Right Colors

Light colors like pastels bring a sense of calm and comfort. These colors brighten surroundings and lessen the feeling of claustrophobia in smaller rooms. Blue, on the other hand, has positive effects even in darker shades. Light shades of blue can make you feel at peace while darker shades, especially when used on ceilings provide a sense of comfort and safety.

Bright colors, depending on their saturation either make you feel relaxed or make you feel more energized and motivated. Depending on the mood you’re looking for – you can replicate these effects without repainting your walls or ceilings. Simply use these colors in your bedspread, cushions, area rugs, furniture upholstery and accessories.

Declutter Your Space and Mind

As you pick up the clutter, you are also decluttering your mind. This simple task can take your mind off things but better yet, minimize clutter altogether.

Create storage solutions that fit your lifestyle. Use a coffee table with a bookshelf or storage space for your trinkets. DIY floating shelves allow you to keep things organized within your line of sight.

Designate a space as a mudroom with storage space for shoes and other gear; reducing the stress of having to clean up after a long day.

Finally, let go of the things that you no longer need or haven’t used in a while. One way of freeing your mind is to rid yourself of things that needlessly occupy your time and energy.

Let Energy Flow Freely

A stuffy room can prevent the flow of positive energy. Anything that restricts the natural flow of air and light into a room can create a negative effect on your spacial perception, affecting both your exteroceptive processes (your awareness of your relationship with your surroundings) and interoceptive processes (your self-awareness). Where possible, use sheer drapes to promote the flow of natural light.

Improve Your Mood Even at Night

Artificial light, especially bright lights can cause sleep and mood disorders. Its use is unavoidable but you can reduce exposure to artificial bright lights with the use of mood or ambient lighting and candlelight. Aside from improving your mood, low light settings can make your home more inviting. You can also relax with the help of scented candles. Different scents provide different effects. Lavender scented candles, for example, promote better sleep while pine scented candles reduce stress levels.

Go on! Nourish that green thumb!

Plants and flowers create visual interest and with proper placement, can improve the overall look of the room. Aside from boosting oxygen levels and purifying the air from toxins, plants can have positive effects on your concentration, productivity, and mood.

Orchids and succulents are excellent plants for the bedroom since they do not release carbon dioxide at night, unlike other plants. Succulents and herbs are great windowsill decorations. You can also be creative with pots, containers, and plant hangers.

Surprisingly, fake plants and flowers can provide the same mood-boosting effects as the real ones. Using fake plants can give you more leeway in styling them to your liking and placing them in rooms that do not receive ample sunlight.

Be ‘hands-on’

Busy hands are happy hands but it’s probably the mind that benefits more from the task. Clear your mind and relax with activities like crafting, pottery, woodworking, and other DIY projects. By sharing these activities with family and friends – you’ve now created a way to spend quality time with them.

A clean and tidy house can give you a sense of comfort and security. Using the tips above will give you a head start towards creating a space for you and your loves ones to enjoy and thrive in.