BACK IN THE DAY, the Chinese practice of Feng Shui was on every self respecting homeowners lips.
Placement of furniture and ornaments in rooms could alter your mood, affect your health, or even boost financial opportunities for you and your family. The wealthier amongst us even employed expensive Feng Shui consultants to harmonise their surroundings.
These days, there is a more scientific approach to making your home environment stress free and calm. These top tips from a report by scientists at the American Psychological Association will help you get started.
Stick with light colours
Aim for dusty blue, sage green, pale ochre and other light colours. These hues and tones promote a sense of peace and calm relaxation.
Bring nature inside
Bring the outdoors inside by displaying decorative natural objects, views of landscapes or other representations of nature. Potted plants are an inexpensive and attractive way of softening corners of a room. Researchers found even looking at nature can lower blood pressure. When choosing art for your home, go for simple images. A landscaped garden, a pathway, or a serene beachscape invites relaxation and enables you to make mental associations with peacefulness.
Changing a sharp edged square or rectangular dining table for a softer round or oval one can promote a heightened sense of control and communication, allowing diners to interact with each other more effectively.
Include personal elements in your home such as family photos, children’s artwork, or self-made pottery. However, don’t overpower rooms with them as this may override a sense of neatness and calm.
Keep decor simple and uncomplicated
People typically feel most comfortable with furnishings not overly expensive or fancy but neither too shabby or cheap. Poorly made furnishings can send the message that you are not doing well. By contrast, if you decorate with furnishings that are too expensive, you might make yourself and guests feel alienated.
Choose the right chairs
Go for chairs that are roomy enough or for ones that can be moved around easily. This enables you and your guests to shift sides and adjust the distance between you. Choose ones with shoulder height backs to promote a feeling of security and in a throwback to Feng Shui, try to position them where you can see the door, allowing you to feel safe when relaxing. Positioning a small table next to a chair as a spot for personal items and drinks ensures convenience and comfort.