Why Home Improvement Is Essential For Mental Health
Our homes are far more than just a place to rest our head and store our collection of myriad objects.
A home is a welcome refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday life that should be filled with all the things that bring us joy and enhance everyday life. Decorative items such as inspiring wall art, sumptuous fabrics and strategically placed houseplants can transform a basic four walls into an inviting living space. Home improvement is far more than just a necessary task or pleasurable hobby, it is an often overlooked form of self-care that can have a noticeable impact on mental health.
The Link Between Internal and External Environment
Donald M. Rattner, renowned architect and author of many books on design psychology, wrote that “Our mental space stands in direct proportion to our perception of physical space”. An unwelcome piece of furniture or jarring colour palette in the home can actually raise levels of stress hormone cortisol in the body every time we are confronted with the offending item. In contrast, an aesthetically pleasing space can promote feelings of calm and happiness and can even stimulate a person's creativity. The human brain is designed to seek out order and meaning, so a well designed home will be far more conducive to a calm and relaxed state of mind.
Home Improvement on a Budget
Home improvement doesn't have to be expensive, and there are many ways to change the look of your home without overspending. Wall art is perhaps one of the easiest methods to transform a space by adding a burst of colour to an otherwise bare wall. Downloadable prints are a fantastic way to purchase artwork for your home that can be downloaded instantly and printed at home. There are many different styles to choose from including nursery art, kitchen art, or even yoga art that will instantly provide a stunning focal point to any room. If you decide to update your furniture, consider whether your existing pieces can be upcycled or transformed using online tutorials on Pinterest and Youtube. As well as being much kinder to the environment, upcycled furniture can be personalised to your taste and you have the added benefit of owning a truly unique piece. Local thrift stores, flea markets, and even facebook marketplace are all ideal places to find hidden gems such as soft furnishings, lighting and handmade decorative items.
Your Home as an Extension of You
Your home is an extension of your individual personality and should reflect all the things that matter the most in your life. You might be a quirky, creative soul that feels at home surrounded by bright colour and varied textures, or you may prefer a more neutral environment paired with scandinavian wall art. If you are unsure of what style of decor suits you, many interior designers advise starting from one important item and building a room around it. It could be a beloved souvenir that you have had for years, a favourite piece of furniture, or an abstract art painting that makes you happy every time you see it. Many people make the mistake of decorating their home solely according to modern trends or of what they believe will look most appealing to guests. Bear in mind that you will be spending far more time in your home than anyone else, so don't be afraid to take risks when it comes to bold colours and artwork if that is what appeals to you.
When someone is feeling low or uninspired, a change of scenery is often suggested as a way to refresh the mind and improve mental health. Changing the layout of your rooms or adding colourful wall art can change your perception of your home. The vast majority of us lead extremely busy lives and struggle to fit in time for self-care. Curating your physical space and being selective about what you allow into your home will help you create a calm and balancing atmosphere that will provide a safe haven from the chaos of the outside world.