Less Stress Starts at Home
For this season’s campaign we’re taking a holistic approach to reducing stress in all areas of our life and in all different ways. Sam Hood, creative director at designer homeware store amara.com, tells us why the home is the best place to start in order to stress less
We all lead busy and hectic lives so it is good to try to create and maintain a stress-free home that will hopefully result in enhanced mood, less stress and better sleep!
First impressions are key; the first thing you see when you come home should be something you love, whether it is a piece of art, a vase of flowers or a special souvenir that creates a feel-good focal point. Piles of stuff such as old newspapers on the floor give you thoughts of mess and chaos, not of relaxation. The same goes for bags waiting to be dropped at a charity shop, giving thoughts of obligation and then guilt. Have designated area for things entering and exiting the home, perhaps in chic containers - a tidy house is a tidy mind after all!
Anxiety can build in small spaces with too much clutter so a cleaner, tidier home can help. Reduce clutter to make the room feel larger offering a feeling of space rather than of claustrophobia, a table or bookshelf in the same colour as the wall can make it almost disappear to visually increase the space. Mirrors too are good at creating the illusion of more space. Think of mood lighting - switch stark standard bulbs to full-spectrum ones which mimic natural light better to give a soothing, natural atmosphere. Light up locations, not whole rooms, such as spot lighting next to the sofa where you read.
Simplify your colour scheme using restraint with patterns and bold colours and if you mix patterns, keep their colour schemes similar, and if you like lots of colour then keep patterns to a minimum. If you have too many bright colours or contrasting patterns in a room, your eyes will be drawn all over the place making it difficult to relax. Generally we find cool shades of blue and green and natural earth tones to be relaxing because they remind us of nature. If painting is too much of a commitment why not try adding a few accessories such as cushions, throws and lamp shades in calming colours.
Home fragrance is a quick and easy way to create atmosphere and maximise the mood. I love fruity and floral fragrance for refreshing and energising – I love Cocooning (with its fruity mandarin) and Enchantment for its sweet floral combo of bluebell and rose.