Mindful Interiors: How To Make Your Home a Sanctuary
2020 has got us spending a lot of time in our homes. Once havens simply for the fact that they weren’t the office, we’re now stuck in our homes a lot more and less able to take our daily stresses out on the road like before. This is where it pays to create a home space that you not only enjoy, but also serves to help you keep your mental health in check.
Jo Benning, founder of homeware shop House of Bohème, is also a meditation teacher and interior stylist, and an expert on the link between mindfulness and our home space.
“Our external and internal space are closely linked and have a massive impact on each other,” explains Benning. “So it’s really important to make sure we consider this when planning our home design. All five of our senses are constantly absorbing our environment, sending messages, often unconsciously, to our brain. Our mood and emotions are constantly being triggered by what’s going on around us. That could be colours and lighting, sounds, textures or scents.”
To help you get started in making your home a sanctuary Benning has put together this mindful interiors starter guide, which includes everything from calming colour palettes and soothing scents to the ways your bedroom can affect the way you sleep.
Choose quality over quantity when it comes to furnishings. Invest in well-made pieces that will last, both for the sake of the planet (to reduce landfill) and for the sake of how much you love and treasure what you have.
This doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive, you can find beautiful, unique goods at vintage furniture stores and if you’re feeling creative, you can always up-cycle them to your own taste.
I opt for natural materials such as wood, wicker, bamboo, or natural fabrics such as cottons, wools, and linen rather than synthetic. They tend to look and feel warm, organic, and high quality, in comparison to metal or man-made materials, plus they’re a lot more sustainable.
Colours And Tones
Colours can dramatically affect moods, feelings, and emotions, so they really should be chosen carefully. As I mentioned above, I personally opt for neutral, earthy tones, as I find the simplicity really helps to calm my mind.
However, there are plenty of people who would find this really boring and enjoy using colour to add personality or more vibrance to space.
Spend some time thinking about each room and its purpose, as well as how you want to feel in it, before then choosing the right colour palette.
Warm colours (reds, oranges, yellows, pinks) create warmth and comfort but can also evoke feelings of anger or hostility.
Cool colours (blues, greens, purples) bring a sense of calm but can also feel unwelcoming or even depressing.
Say no to primary colours, as they tend to feel basic and lack tone or depth. The most important thing is to avoid using too many different colours though and ensure those you decide on complement each other well.
9 Tips For Making Your Home A Mindful Sanctuary
A cluttered home is a cluttered mind so I’d always say the first step is to have a good clear out and take anything that no longer serves you to a charity shop.
Then organise what you have into baskets, drawers, or neatly on shelves so you always know where to find everything, while making your home more minimal and feel less chaotic in the process.
Open your windows and take some time to clean your space from top to bottom, using natural, toxin-free cleaning products. This allows you to re-set and start again with a healthy, chemical-free blank canvas.
Lighting is the key to creating a nice ambience, so invest in some side lights with a soft, warm glow to instantly give your home a cosy atmosphere.
Plants breathe life into a space that may feel a little dry or soulless. Certain plants such as the snake plant, spider plant, or aloe vera naturally purify the air, which will in turn boost your mood and create a healthy environment.
Burning scented candles (paraffin-free only, such as soy wax or beeswax) not only fills a room with a gorgeous scent but also add warmth. A naked flame is often used in meditation as a focal point as it can be relaxing and hypnotic. I also love using an oil burner, incense (with a window open), or a diffuser with a specific essential oil, depending on how I want to feel.
I’m a massive advocate of essential oils, and once you start using them it’s crazy to see how much of an impact they can have, from helping you sleep to boosting your mood or helping you concentrate.
Rugs, cushions, blankets and poufs can be used to soften a room and make it feel more inviting. They also add personality with layers and different textures, as well as obviously making the space a lot more snuggly.
I absolutely swear by creating some sort of nook or cosy spot to make your go-to happy place at home. A place you can get comfy, read, journal, meditate, do breathwork, yoga, whatever your practice, just a little den that you can always retreat to and take some time out for self-care.
It can be difficult to let things go, particularly if they hold sentimental value, but it’s important not to have objects around you, that have a negative psychological effect.
If you have framed photos on display that trigger a sad memory or artwork on your walls that doesn’t feel good to look at, consider creating a memory box for the things you want to keep, but don’t necessarily want to look at every day.
Say “No” To Technology In The Bedroom
The main purpose of the bedroom is sleep, so it’s essential to create a relaxing and non-stimulating environment. TV, phone, laptop, and iPad screens emit blue light, which is known to suppress the natural melatonin in our body, making it difficult to fall asleep.
Also by watching TV or using social media, we are keeping our minds active and not giving ourselves the chance to switch off. Investing in a good old-fashioned alarm clock can be a real game-changer, meaning the bedroom can be phone-free and taking away the temptation to check emails or socials just before bed or as soon as you wake up in the morning.
The House of Bohème is here to help you create a sanctuary in our mind, body and home. Try your first class for free and get an exclusive 20% discount on our online shop with the code: bohemeform20