A cozy home doesn’t just make us feel physically warm. It’s soothing to the soul—and many of us feel the need to take refuge in a safe and comfortable haven more than ever.
Samantha Agbontan, founder of interior design firm housedesigner.net, agrees: “The added stress and increased cost of living leave many people feeling overwhelmed, bored, depressed and anxious.”
“Making our homes a comfortable retreat is known to improve our mood and well-being. It is now more important than ever to explore elements of interior design to improve our mood and mental well-being.”
A cozy retreat isn’t just an aesthetic – it’s a feeling – so let this guide you in how you create your space, whether you’re rearranging the room, making just a few changes, or maximizing the little touches, such as extra pillows, blankets and candles.
Agbontaen says it is well established that interior design “can be effective in promoting well-being and an improved psychological feeling.”
Now, she adds, the goal for many of us is to create a warm, restful effect, so that our homes can feel “a cozy, comfortable, bright and happy place.”
Throws, blankets and curtains will all help keep our homes warm this winter, and the feeling can boost our psyche too.
“You may not think of a carpet or rug as a tool to benefit mental well-being, but the positive effects of a luxurious pile underfoot have been measured by researchers. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that walking on a carpet resulted in fewer stress simulators than walking on a hard floor,” says Daniel Prendergast, interior design expert at The Rug Seller (therugseller.co.uk).
“So a rug can be a cost-effective way to add warmth and texture to a hardwood floor. For ultimate comfort, choose a rug with a thicker pile, such as shaggy faux fur. Knitted rugs are also very popular and will give you a comforting feeling with a warm knitted sweater.”
We may usually associate color with summer, but there is also no rule to embrace a rainbow in winter. After all, “dopamine bandages” are common now, for our bodies and homes.
“If you’re planning to update, don’t just go for fuss-free beige – there are lots of beautiful colors to inspire. One that stands out for me is raspberry or damson jam. Super romantic and can instantly lift your mood, designer Avalana Simpson (avalanadesign.co.uk) says it’s seasonal, meaning it will take you from the Indian summer into the depths of winter and wrap you up like a warm hug.
Not brave enough to paint your walls with it? Instead, add accents in your decor. Try fake plants with hydrangea flowers, or add rose gold framed pillows. Rich, dark green brings a deep sense of fulfillment and joy and is the color of the moment for autumn and winter, especially for creating luxurious bedrooms,” adds Simpson.
“A restful sleep is so important for our mind and body, and all the layers of textiles and patterns can help. Green is perfect for adding light and shade to encourage restful sleep. Team a dark green wall with patches of gold and copper for a more luxurious feel, or opt for deep grain charcoal colors, which evoke a nighttime atmosphere.”
For something a little brighter, Simpson likes the idea of ”elevating” a room “with the contrast of hot pinks, corals and sunset oranges.”
Prendergast agrees that “color and pattern play a big role in how interiors make you feel” and nods to this season’s trendy hues. “Golden yellows, soft oranges, muted reds and browns with yellow and neutral undertones—all are good options to give you that aurora borealis, which will instantly improve your health,” he says. “The bold pattern will help create a larger room, making it feel more comfortable.”
Feed the senses“My favorite way to create comfort is to use scented candles and essential oils,” says Agbontaen. I’m obsessed with my publisher’s horns. There are so many oils for wellness, which I feel are amazing.”
According to ConservatoryLand, which analyzed Google data, the most popular scented candles include sage, fig and lavender. Cinnamon and cloves are especially good for winter — but you don’t have to use seasonal flavors.
“The act of smelling scented candles can help stimulate the limbic system, which is the part of the brain associated with emotions and memories,” says Sylvia James, an interior designer at HomeHow, who also worked on the research. has.
“Scented candles can boost the release of dopamine and serotonin, which can help regulate our moods. Candles are also great for helping us feel warm, relaxed and comfortable,” adds James.
Of course, candles also create a relaxing atmosphere through soft lighting effects – but there are other ways to harness the power of scent.
“Visit your local florist or grocer for some seasonally scented leaves, such as eucalyptus or pine, which can then be arranged in a vase and placed indoors,” says Hannah Martin, founder of Scent + Remedy (scentandremedy.com).
“The warmth of the fire can encourage the release of scents and oils, which in turn can improve well-being through the benefits of aromatherapy. For example, did you know that eucalyptus trees are known for their calming and healing properties? “
Fresh or dried leaves, flowers and edible finds such as pine cones and beautiful twigs will also benefit our relationship with nature – while relaxing hibernation is brought to the maximum.
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