Three Ways Your Home Decor Can Affect Your Mental and Physical Health

May 25 2012

When it comes time to decorate or remodel your home, there are many things to take into consideration. What kind of look are you going for? What kind of color scheme do you want? Do you like patterns or prints? To paint or wallpaper? Wood blinds or plastic blinds? Ceramic or wood? The questions seem never-ending. However, one of the most important questions you should ask yourself before you ever start decorating a space is this: How can I make this space healthy? Most homeowners don’t stop to consider how their home décor affects their mental and physical health, but it certainly can make an impact. From the difference between dark and sunny rooms, or a layout that is toddler-approved versus one that could potentially cause an injury, there are significant changes you can make to your space that will protect and promote the health of you and your family. Here are a few of the bigger factors:

1. Access to sunlight.
Your home should be a haven away from the elements. It should be shelter from rain and wind, keep you warm in the winter, and keep you as cool as possible in these summer months ahead. However, if your home is designed to completely shut out available natural light, then you could be doing both your mind and body a disservice. Our bodies are built to react to sunrise and sunset, and we adjust our internal clocks based on available light. Even though you may not follow that schedule, your body still needs to be reminded when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to be active, so it’s really important to allow for some natural light in your home. Try to keep a few windows free of shades, or install a window that is perfectly facing the west so you can catch the sunset. Additionally, it’s also important to not let too much light flood your home on a daily basis. This can negatively affect your skin, so make sure to get blinds with appropriate UV filters.

2. Comfort.
You may absolutely love the look of your new, chic sectional, but do you absolutely love hanging out on it? In a rush to create a home that seems perfectly decorated, sometimes we forget the most important part: creating a home that is comfortable. Not only does a comfortable space just feel good, it helps our mental state by allowing us to truly relax, and it helps our bodies unwind and recuperate from daily activities. Make sure that the fabrics you choose for seating and bedding are soft, difficult to stain, and durable. This should be your checklist for the furniture you live on, like your sofa and chairs. For bedding, splurge on the highest sheet count you can afford, and figure out the perfect mattress for your body type.

3. A layout that makes sense.
This seems like a no-brainer, but when people start out designing their homes, sometimes they forget to see that the final result actually makes sense for their lifestyle. One of the most important elements of your home design, and the one that most greatly reduces health risks, is an efficient layout. Where do your kids typically walk as they make their way through the living room to the kitchen? Where do you need a side table, and where is it just an unnecessary piece? Take the time to figure out how you will use your home as your design the placement of your furniture or remodel rooms. It is much safer for everyone if there are clear paths and designated areas for particular activities. Remember when your toddler would always bump his head on that new hall table you bought? Things like this are less likely to happen if you streamline your space of movement.

About the author:
Amelia Wood contributed this guest post. She pursues freelance writing projects in the medical billing and coding online niche. She especially loves hearing back from her readers. Questions or comments can be sent to wood. amelia1612 @ gmail.com.

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