How To Design A Home for a Healthy Mind

Home design is not just about aesthetics and beauty. For anyone struggling with mental health issues, design and maintenance can be powerful tools for creating a sanctuary for ruminating, depressed, or uneasy minds. How can you apply interior design and home maintenance principles towards promoting mental health? Here are three points to consider:

Dedicate Your Bedroom to Sleep

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It’s no secret that restorative sleep is a key ingredient to sound mental health. In order to dedicate your bedroom to truly restorative sleep, start with your mattress. If it’s no longer comfortable, replace it and take advantage of return policies until you find the right one for you. You should also use blackout curtains to keep any and all light out of your bedroom at night. As clinical sleep medicine and neurology specialist Dr. Brandon Peters explains, the human body’s natural circadian rhythm follow dark-light cycles, which is why we’re more active in the day and more inclined to rest at night. Embrace sleeping in the dark and your mind will thank you for it.

Of course, any sleep oasis would be incomplete without personal touches that bring you feelings of comfort and safety. You can see how it is possible to personalise a sleep oasis in our blog post on ‘A Look Around My Home – Bedroom’. Alongside personal effects like a Himalayan salt lamp and the string lights on the vanity mirror, the bedroom has minimum clutter. This is because visual clutter can seep into the mind and prompt mental rumination before bedtime. Go ahead and personalise your space for comfort and safety, but be mindful of keeping the clutter to a minimum.

Turn Your Bathroom Into a Home Spa

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Any bathroom can turn into a spa where you can relax and indulge in self-care. James Hale writing for Bustle even argues that the bathroom can become a point of stability for those with mental health issues, adding how the bathroom has become part of his night-time routine. He writes that it de-stresses the mind and lets the body know that it’s time for sleep. To this end, you can add a few touches that can turn it into a more relaxing space, such as warm lighting, lavender-scented candles, indoor plants, and natural wood or stone surfaces. You can even add features like a new and high-tech shower or bathtub that are designed to provide a relaxing experience.

Just remember that such improvements come with technical maintenance concerns. If you’re not so handy when it comes to plumbing and boiler connections, it could be easier on your mental health, and your bank account, if you just let the specialists do the work for you. Just make sure you are financially prepared for all outcomes, especially if something goes wrong. HomeServe details how common gas boiler and heating insurance plans can include other things as well such as plumbing and drainage coverage – all of which are needed to create a spa bathroom. It’s one way to keep your mind off these concerns and make more space for mental health. Which you can then replenish in your spa bathroom once everything is complete.

Create a Separate Home Office That Inspires Productivity

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Much like how you’ll sleep better with a dedicated bedroom, having a dedicated home office can help improve your productivity. This means separating your work area at home and doing nothing but work in that particular space. This is why all of the gorgeous home office design ideas on Architectural Digest —big or small— are solely dedicated to the purpose of work productivity. Although the ideal situation would be to assign an entire room in your house for this purpose, a corner of your home or a table will do for smaller flats. What’s important is that it’s a space where you’re as free as you can be from all distractions, and everything you need to do your work is within easy reach. This is true for every profession, from lawyers doing paperwork at home to full-time craftswomen and those who make and sell art for a living.

Home is where you should feel the safest and most comfortable. Keep these design tips in mind if you want to turn your home into a fortress for a healthy and happy mind.

This post is a sponsored post.

A Look Around My Home – Kitchen

Today, I thought I would share a look around my kitchen as I have shared a look around other parts of my home previously (which you can find here) but not yet shared my kitchen at all.

Just to let you know that this post IS IMAGE HEAVY… (just to warn you in case it doesn’t load on your device…)

I’m pretty happy with this room so far but I still want to finish painting it green at some point!

What is your kitchen like?  Let me know in the comments!

House Wish List

House Wishlist

This week marks a year of being in my own home and the time has really flown by, and while I have most things there are still things I wish for.  Today’s post is about the things on my wish list.

  • A wheelbarrow.  I’m not sure whether I will always want or even need one, but for sorting my garden out, and to make it easier to move dirt and stones around in the garden this is something that I think could come in useful for the moment.
  • Secateurs.  I’ve been borrowing my Mum’s pair and they have come in more than useful this past few months so I think that investing in my own pair would be really beneficial.
  • A good tin opener, does such a thing even exits though?  The one that I have seems to like skipping and sticking, mangling the can rather than being efficient and opening things with ease.
  • An ice cream scoop.  I honestly can not believe that I don’t own one yet!  I tend to use a large serving spoon which has sufficed until now.
  • New tea towels.  When I moved in I had loads but now I hardly have any and I don’t have the foggiest idea where they have all disappeared to!
  • A small wardrobe or cupboard for downstairs that I can hang coats in and store my mop, bucket, and hoover in.
  • A bookshelf for the spare room.  I have been looking for the perfect sized one to fit into the alcove for such a long time but can’t seem to find one that fits.
  • A Welsh dresser for my bathroom.  I have a space in the bathroom that is dead space and a Welsh dresser would be perfect to put there to store my towels and other bathroom bits in while being able to display my plants and other pretty things on.
  • Rugs.  I have been searching for the perfect rugs, both for downstairs and in the hallway, since I moved in, I have an idea of what I want but am still waiting to find the perfect ones.
  • Lawn mower and strimmer.  My friend currently comes and mows my lawn using his mower but having my own means that I can get out and cut the grass myself.  Having both a mower and strimmer would be the best option as my grass grows stupid fast so strimming before mowing would make things so much easier!

I think that everyone who has a home always has some item they want or need on their wishlist, what is on yours?  Let me know in the comments!

1 Year In My Home!!!!

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Today is a special day for me, I’m celebrating a whole year in my home!  I honestly can not believe that I have been here for a full 365 days.  I think that the biggest thing about today is that I have never lived fully alone before.  When I was a kid, I lived with my parents, then I moved in with my Grandma while I was in college, I then moved to Preston and lived in a student house before moving to a house share with another girl.  I was in Preston for a year before moving back to Wales and back to my Grandma’s house.  I then moved in with my boyfriend, when we split up I moved in with another friend and eventually with my last boyfriend.

Celebrating this first year in my own home is not just about marking an anniversary but celebrating a milestone in my life which has been really important in helping me to become who I am now.  I think that living on your own is an experience everyone should have, it can teach you so much about yourself, make you realize that you are a lot stronger than you could imagine, makes you a little more resilient and makes you a little more reliant on yourself.

So, today, it’s not just a celebration of living in my home for a year, but its a celebration f so much more!

House Plants

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House plants are an easy way to bring the outdoors in, they add a bit of life and interest to otherwise bare areas and can help to improve the air quality in the home.  There have also been reports, recently, that caring for house plants can help to lower stress levels, improve our mood and help with mental health.

I have several houseplants which have survived nearly a whole year, I’m quite proud of that as most plants I have had in the past have generally lasted a few weeks or months.  The trick, I have found is to assess what kind of environment the plants need, is it bright, sunny, warm spaces or do they prefer darker cooler spots?  Does the plant mind a draft or will they thrive in areas with little to no drafts?  Other things to consider are how easy the plant is to maintain, for example, does the plant need a lot of watering and caring for, or is it happy to be watered whenever?  Does the plant need regular dead-heading or de-leafing or some kind of pruning or can it just be left to do its thing?

I have learned over time that I am terrible when it comes to watering plants, I tend to forget when they have been watered which can lead to them being overwatered or not watering them enough.  I have also come to realize that I’m not the sort of person that wants to faff around with pruning, dead-heading or de-leafing, a simple routine of watering every now and again and dusting off the leaves occasionally is good for me!

Plants that I have found to be easy to care for are

Areca Fern (which I have in my bathroom) which was purchased in Wilkinsons around a year ago.

Dragon Plant (in my living room) bought from my local Wilkinsons store when I moved in last year.

Peace Lily (in my living room) which was given to me as a moving in present nearly a year ago.  This has only flowered once but I’m hoping that it will flower again at some point!

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Cactus and succulents (in my dining area).  I have had the cacti in the red bowl for 10 years and the succulents are around 3 years old.  I picked up the cacti in my local garden center and the succulents came from my local Tesco.

Avocado trees, which I grew from the stone, in my dining area window.  They are now around 4 years old.

Aloe Vera (which is thriving on my kitchen windowsill).  I bought this a few years ago from Ikea, it seemed like a healthy plant when I bought it but a week or so later it seemed to be dying, after a bit of TLC it has perked up and is now looking pretty healthy!

I am really pleased that all my plants seem to be doing well, and knowing that they can improve my overall mood and health is an added benefit.

What sort of houseplants do you have?  Let me know in the comments!

 

Garden Update

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If you have been following my blog for a while you may have seen me mention that I have been working on my garden.  Today I thought I would share with you what I have been doing in my garden and my plans for the future.

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When I moved into my home, nearly a full year ago now, the garden was so overgrown and the grass was taller than me (and I’m 5 foot 5 and a bit).  Luckily the housing association sent one of their maintenance people to cut the grass for me with industrial mowers and strimmers otherwise I’m not really sure how I would have managed.  Once the grass had been cut all I needed to do was to rake up all the cuttings and get rid of them.

 

It took 7 bin bags to get most of the cuttings off the lawn.  The grass was really patchy and dry but after a week or so it started to turn green again.

I didn’t do much with the garden in the first year but, since the weather has started to get warmer and drier I have been weeding and digging and getting it into some sort of shape.

I started by weeding and de-brambling the top of the garden which took me a few days and filled my green garden waste bin to the top!

I have also dug a flower bed at the bottom of my garden which is going to be a wildflower and lavender border.

It has been pretty hard work, all of the stones that you see have been dug out of the soil and at times, it seemed that every time I put shovel to soil it was coming into contact with a stone or paving slab or other garden waste.

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The good thing about finding so many stones, and large ones at that, is that I have enough to edge all the flower borders that I want to put in and even, probably, to make a stepping stone path.

At the top of the garden, in the large bed that I weeded and dug over I now have a hydrangea, rhubarb and a gooseberry bush planted.  I am planning on creating a compost heap, an area for growing my own veg and some other fruit bushes.

To the right of my garden, as I look up from my house, I am intending to dig a border to go right along the edge which will be planted with wildflowers, honeysuckle and rose bushes, sweet peas, and other scented flowers.  I have included a plan of how I want my garden to be like below!

My lawn is not particularly level and has a weird lump in the center of it which I am intending to attempt to flatten at some point by digging out and redistributing the soil over the whole garden.  The only problem with this is that I have no idea what is under the mound so I think I will need to dig a few tester holes to see what is below it first!

What is your garden like?  Id love to hear what sort of things you have in your garden, let me know in the comments!!!!

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Current Interior Trends – Summer

Current Interior Trends

Just like clothing trends change from season to season so do interior trends, today I am sharing a few trends that are set to become fairly big over the summer months.

  • Colour

Colours which are going to be popular in the summer are neons, the brighter the better!  These will pair well with colours such as grey, sand and lighter natural colours.

Another colour that is going to be fairly big this summer is sunset reds, pinks and oranges.  Again these tones will work well with neutrals and also neons.  One thing though, try not to clash your neons with any kind of pinky coloured walls, rather opt for pink and orange neons to mix and add pops of colour to give a more thoughtful effect.

  • Texture

Plain rustic wood which is left unfinished, added as furniture items (think tables and shelving) is perfect for a light, relaxed, casual summer vibe in the home.

Crochet texture is also something to consider adding through the addition of throws or cushion covers, think bohemian chic and you are well on the way to embracing this trend.

  • Shape

Spring was all abut geometric shapes with sharp edges but summer gives way to softer, more rounded shapes, think scallops on chairs, more natural forms and less sharp edges.

  • Fabric

Think tactile as far as fabrics go, whether it is curtains, rugs, cushion covers or upholstery, anything that looks or feels touchable.  Velvet is still a popular choice along with suede and other soft feel fabrics, however, rugs and mats can be made from seagrass or other natural fibres should be considered too.

  • Print

Tropical print is really having a moment right now, think accent walls with covered large green leafy printed wallpaper or windows accented with printed curtains.  Animal print has never really left us but is making big waves in the home this season, the easiest way to add this is with bedding, add a bit and see if it is something you like then add more.  Mixing animal prints can create a bold, statement area and is worth thinking about and experimenting with.

  • Accessories

Anything pearlescent or finished with a pearl effect will look lovely and add a summery, on-trend feel to the home.  Look for ornaments, vases,  picture frames, mirrors and other little accessories that you can easily incorporate into a room.  Silver, gold and rose gold, brass in the matte finish are also set to be big additions.

Anything that has an arts and crafts feels is also going to be pretty big this season, with vases, catch-all dishes, to homeware such as plates and mugs in ceramics with a hand made feel are perfect for this.

  • Look and feel

When thinking about pulling a room together take inspiration from 70’s Scandi style, the bohemian movement and anything that is light and airy.  Textures and fabrics can make a room, and having several different textures going on, in the same colour pallet is a simple way of creating a style.  Even if you don’t go full out on a style just switching things up here and there, adding elements that you like can bring about a different feel to space!

As with all trends, it is about finding things that you like and having fun with them!

Let me know what summer interior trends you are loving in the comments!!!

 

 

A Look Around My Home – Bedroom

Now that I have finished the major part of decorating and all the furniture is back in place I thought I would give you a quick look around my bedroom!

Just to let you know that this post IS IMAGE HEAVY… (just to warn you incase it doesn’t load on your device…)

I’m pretty pleased with how this room is turning out though I would like to get some pictures up on the wall at some point (I have some framed postcards that were my Grandma’s which would be perfect on the wall!) and I want to paint the cornicing an antique gold.  Aside from that the only other things I would like to do is to sort my wardrobe and clothing cupboard out.  I need to pack away my winter clothes and find a way of prganising my t-shirts, jumpers and trousers in a better way…

What do you think of my room so far?

A Look Around My Home – Bathroom

I have been wanting to do another “Look Around My Home” room tour for a while (you can see my living room post here) but I felt, at the time, that none of my rooms were quite how I wanted them to be.  When I scheduled this post into my blog calendar, I was hoping that my bedroom would be ready to show you all, but, in the last few weeks I have moved my room around and am thinking about re-decorating it as the colour on the walls currently, is not my favorite. Instead of postponing this post though, I have chosen to share with you all my bathroom which I’m super happy with right now!

Just to let you know that this post IS IMAGE HEAVY… (just to warn you incase it doesn’t load on your device…)

As you can see my bathroom has a duck theme with blue and yellow accessories.  I really love the little drawer unit which is handy to keep all my bathroom essentials in along with any spare bath products.  I love that I can display my collections of sea glass, shells and pebbles on top.  This room is really bright and fun and always makes me smile!

How have you styled your bathroom?