Arranging a healthy space
Do you ever walk into a room and it just feels “right?” We don’t always know what it is about a space that makes us feel good – perhaps it’s the lighting, the colors, or the furniture and décor – but it will just have that certain something that gives it a comfortable vibe.
Some believe that the good feeling you have when you walk into a space is the result of feng shui, an ancient Chinese practice that explores connections between people and spaces, and maintains that objects have energy that affect the well-being of a room and everyone in it.1 The belief is that everything around us impacts how we think and feel, so placing the right object in the right position in a space can make us feel good.
Even if that theory is a little “out there” for you (there isn’t actually any science to back it up, after all), there are principles of feng shui design that can be used to give the rooms in your home or office that comfy, cozy vibe that brightens your mood and calms your mind.
If you have a space that doesn’t make you happy right now, consider trying some or all of the following tips to make that room one you’re happy to spend more time in:
- Declutter. You may have heard about the KonMari2 method of decluttering which instructs you to hold every single item you own in your hands, one item at a time, to determine if it sparks joy. If it doesn’t, out it goes! That’s one way to go about it, but you can also simply look around the room to determine what isn’t needed, wanted or being used, and throw out or donate those items. There’s something about an uncluttered space that seems to calm the mind.
- Clean. It’s hard to love a room that needs a good dusting and hasn’t seen a vacuum in way too long! Give your space the TLC it needs and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and relief when your newly decluttered space sparkles.
- Brighten up. The only time you really need a dark room is when you’re sleeping, so add lamps for nighttime atmosphere, and opt for light curtains instead of blinds during the day to keep your space bright and cheerful.
- Clear your path. Decluttering will certainly help, but even after you’ve cleared out the unwanted items, you may still have an issue with flow. Walk around your space and make sure there are no obvious unnecessary obstacles that prevent easy movement throughout the room. A clear, open path is inviting and welcoming, especially in a smaller space.
- Green it up. Pet-friendly, non-toxic plants are a wonderful way to quite literally add life to your room. In addition to their beautiful fresh color that can’t help but lift spirits, plants are good air purifiers, so they are a healthy addition for both body and mind.
- Choose color wisely. Studies have shown that color actually can impact your mood,3 so determine what colors make you feel good, energized and peaceful and use those in your decorating whenever possible.
- If it makes you happy, add it. Do you have a thing for owls, or does Snoopy make you feel ridiculously happy? Whatever it takes to make the room feel like a place where you’re happy to spend more time is what you should strive for, so add those personal objects and surround yourself with comfort.
Your home and office may be where you spend a large part of your time, so making each a space that gives you comfort and lifts your spirits is a good way to ensure that you are always as happy and as calm as possible.
For tips on changing your rooms to suit the changing seasons, check out our article on seasonal decorating, and for good advice on improving the air quality in your home check out our article on minimizing indoor air pollution.
414940E CAN/US (05/17)