The ancient Chinese art of feng shui is based on the belief that balancing the energies of a home can preserve an individual's health and spiritual well-being. Although you may not want to follow the teachings exactly, even small changes to your decor can positively affect your mentality and alter the feel of a room. Here are five ways that rearranging your home could subtly improve your mood.
Certain materials evoke a calm and inviting atmosphere, and encountering a variety of textures stimulates your senses. Even if you’re passionate about maintaining a minimalist look, you can still incorporate accessories to create a room that's aesthetically pleasing and physically welcoming. Bring rich cashmere blankets into your living room to soften the effect of a leather sofa, and use sheepskin rugs to break up areas of hardwood flooring. For additional comfort on hard surfaces, invest in underfloor heating to warm your feet in winter.
Animal lovers can attest to the comfort that they receive from a dog eagerly awaiting their return, and scientists have established that playing with a pet can lower blood pressure and reduce stress. Although owning a cat or dog isn’t practical for everyone, it’s still possible to reap the benefits without the hard work by installing an aquarium. Studies have shown that watching tropical fish has similarly relaxing properties to hypnosis, and can even ward off insomnia. Avoid bringing the tank into a bedroom, as the light can disturb sleep. You may even wish to customise your aquarium so that it doubles as a design statement, adding a living work of art to your home.
Personal preference aside, some chromotherapists believe that being surrounded by certain colours can affect your mood. Warm reds, oranges and yellows reportedly increase activity levels and encourage conversation, while cooler tones like blue, green and lilac have a calming effect. If you're prone to stress, introduce earth tones like beige, brown, and stone to your home, as these are said to soothe the psyche.
Experts in the developing field of neuroarchitecture argue that furniture and accessories with round edges put us in a more positive frame of mind, as our brains find curves comforting. You don’t need to remove all sharp edges; simply adding a few bulbous vases, a round rug or a circular table is enough to give the eye something soft to focus on.
Natural light is an important energiser. Allow as much as possible into your home by draping windows with sheer fabrics instead of heavy curtains, and by installing venetian blinds which allow you to alter the amount of light in rooms that demand extra privacy. Make sure you consider lighting when you’re purchasing a property: Book viewings during the day so you can see how much sunlight gets in, and look for double aspect rooms with windows facing both east for sunrise and west for sunset.
Whether you prioritise large windows, wooden floors, space for a pet or all of the above, our Engel & Völkers real estate agents are here to help meet your needs. With years of experience in the international property market, we can assist you in finding your ideal home in the right area, with advice that's tailored to suit your specific personal requirements.