How your interiors can affect your mental health
Over the past year or so, it’s fair to say that mental health has been an increasingly pressing item on the national agenda, and the impact of the on-off restrictions has given millions of people their own new (and unpleasant) first-hand experience of it. And since we’ve all been forced to spend so much more time in our homes over the past 12 months, you’ve probably already got a pretty good idea of how much your interiors can affect your mental health.
This relationship with our interiors is one of the biggest reasons why something as simple as changing your sofa covers can have such a dramatic effect on your space. Here are some of the most pivotal ways your surroundings can affect your happiness – as well as a few suggestions for what you can do about it!
De-clutter your home (and consider re-arranging)
Come on, you knew it was coming. I’d be remiss if I didn’t start off with this one. I know that keeping on top of mess can be a challenge sometimes, especially if you’re in a busy family home. But don’t give up! Mess and clutter tends to stress us out for a variety of reasons, but a lot of them come down to the basic fact that when you find yourself looking over an intensely messy room, your brain has to process a tonne of excess visual stimuli. That can make it more difficult for you to focus, and gives rise to nagging feelings that there’s still always stuff to do, which prevents you from properly relaxing.
Now, I’m not suggesting you have to go full Marie Kondo. You can achieve a lot simply by doing ‘the bin bag challenge’. Essentially, that involves setting a timer for ten minutes, and zipping around the house with a black bin bag and getting rid of anything that you think doesn’t absolutely deserve to be there. You might be surprised at how tidy the place ends up!
It’s worth saying, of course, that you might find this task a lot easier if you’ve arranged your furniture and interiors with cleanness, neatness and spaciousness in mind. It’s the same principle, but scaled up – a neater space feels more open and spacious, helping you to feel calmer and more relaxed.
Get as much natural light as you can
Rearranging your interiors has another major benefit too, namely in that you might find shifting things around a little allows you to enjoy greater amounts of natural light.
As far as boosting your mood goes, this is one of the most useful tools you have at your disposal. When it comes right down to it, humans are daylight animals. We’ve evolved to find daylight energising, both mentally and physically, so if we get too little of it then it can leave us feeling tired and dejected.
If possible then, it’s worth rearranging your interiors to allow you and your family to enjoy as much natural light as you can. They don’t have to be big changes. It could be something as simple as moving a bulky bookcase, or turning your chairs or sofa to face a different way.
Don’t worry if you’ve not got a tonne of natural light to work with. You’re far from the only one! But you can add lots of little touches to make up for it. Blank walls can be enhanced with mirrors, as their ability to reflect light can make the space feel larger and more spacious than it really is.
In fact, for when space is at a premium, there’s another foolproof way you can make your interiors feel a bit more spacious…
Get some colour into your life
We respond instinctively to colour, so it’s a very useful way of giving your space a certain mood and feel. Generally, we tend to find long wavelength colours like red, orange and yellows very stimulating and energetic, and they can be used to create warmth in your interiors.
On the other hand, short wavelength colours like greens, blues and purples are more calming. Blue is a particular favourite for living rooms and bedrooms, as it can be used to create a sense of serenity and calmness. Green is another popular choice, as we tend to associate it with growth and nature, which can help to create a sense of peace and comfort. (The same goes for plant life, which is why so many interior designers enjoy incorporating plants into their own designs.)
If you want to make your space feel a bit bigger, you might want to consider choosing white. Since it so beautifully reflects light, it can give the illusion of making a room feel more open and more spacious.
Neutral colours like creams, soft greens or pale greys are all amongst some of the most timeless choices for all styles of interiors. That’s largely because they’re not so vibrant as to be overwhelming, and also provide a fantastic backdrop for darker or bolder accent colours. That gives you the freedom to create some quite distinctive final effects. And that leads me on to perhaps my most important point.
Focus on creating a space that is wholly, fully you
British philosopher Alain de Botton said it best: “We need to get home to remember who we are.” That means that while you can take all sorts of inspiration from Pinterest and design sites, you and your family are the ones who are actually going to be living in the space at the end of the day. Trying to recreate a design down to the last detail can end up making a space feel slightly soulless. Not only will you never be fully comfortable, but you might spend a lot of time worrying about how to keep it in picture-perfect condition. That can add up to a lot of stress!
Instead, it can be liberating to put your own spin on the design with little touches here and there. Not only does it give your space far more visual interest, but it can help you to feel more personally connected to it.
I’ve already touched on using mirrors above, but you can also put your own stamp on the space with artworks and canvases, making them as quirky, vibrant or serene as you’d like. Whatever suits the mood of your space!
Here’s where your loose sofa covers can come in handy. Patterns like our Cotton Diamond – Pink or Highland Check – Red can add a great sense of energy and life to your interiors, while soft furnishings like throws and blankets can enhance the feeling of comfort and safety. It’s all up to you!
As for the team and I here at Cover My Furniture, we like to play our own part in helping your interiors to make you happy. We take care to provide a comprehensive range of sofa covers, chair covers and more for you to choose from, so that you’ll always be able to find plenty of options to suit you.
If you’re having trouble making a decision, or you’re looking for something in particular, don’t hesitate to let one of us know. You can get in touch using the contact form on our website, or through our Facebook or Instagram. We’re always happy to hear from you!