You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz reminded us on that fateful trip, remember?
“There’s no place like home,” she told us. She was right, home should be our haven, our place of refuge – somewhere we can feel calm and content.
Who would have expected a global pandemic to emphasise this so greatly? The time we spend at home has increased, with many of us working and learning for longer at the kitchen table or study. Because of this, we’re focusing more on our habitat and many of us are rethinking how it works for us and our wellbeing. Part of slowing down means a chance to reconsider.
We know when our home isn’t making us feel good – if we’ve outgrown it or if it leaves us feeling frustrated. When you walk around your home, what makes your heart sing? What irritates you? Our homes should be an extension of ourselves so as to emphasis who we are in return. Small changes to our homes for the better can have huge effects on our happiness.
Our homes, more than ever, have become places in which to become more mindful. Choosing soft neutral colours helps to calm our minds and create a sense of well-being in a peaceful, nurturing environment. Selecting calming warm earthy tones, coastal-inspired palettes or nature-evoking greens are all great starting points.
Of course, colour is subjective, the soothing effect of a coffee cream might be someone’s else’s idea of lacking vitality. But there are a few things to consider. How do certain colours make you feel? Is this a short-term effect or do you want to be around them on a daily basis?
Take note of nature. Blue is the superstar colour of the moment, bringing with it a sense of clarity, peace, and strength – honouring the same tranquillity of the sky and the ocean. Dusty shades are holding their own right now and work wonders when creating a relaxing, tranquil space in the home. Try the softness of Resene Duck Egg Blue – timeless and soothing – or go a touch bolder with Resene Blue Bayoux or Resene Juniper in its Nordic blue-green glory. Once you’ve cleared out the visual clutter, let these blue get rid of the mental clutter, leading you to a calmer space.
Other restful hues are Resene Dust Storm or Resene Bud that will help encourage a sense of wellbeing. If you’re drawn to something more energised try sunny yellow, reds or oranges, such as Resene Golden Sand, Resene Red Oxide, or Resene Whiskey Sour.
When designing an interior to enhance the feeling of wellness it really starts with identifying colours that physiologically fit your profile or those in your family, Laura says.
“Generally, you will find the traditional tones of cool blues and greens will stimulate wellness the most, which is why we mainly see these colours in medical facilities,” she says. Wellness isn’t a one size fits all type of design scenario. “While an introvert might prefer Resene Secrets, an extrovert’s wellbeing would be balanced with an offset combo of Resene Smoky Green with an energising but muted Resene Sunbaked. It is about building your palette to suit your personality and the mindset outcome that you want to achieve, then selecting specific pieces to style with.”
Soft lighting and soft colours are key, artist Greer Clayton says.
“Colours that are similar tonally in living spaces always create a feeling of calm, and I’m a fan of different colours in different rooms to add interest.”
Muted colours seem to feel relaxing and varying the strength of one colour if you don’t want to use several is a good idea to ensure the spaces are cohesive she says.
“Fresh whites in bathroom areas for instance such as Resene Half Carrara and Resene Barely There mean clean, bright spaces. Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen is good for a soothing but durable finish. Sage greens and nature colours like Resene Quill Grey, Resene Green Spring, and Resene Ravine could be used on cabinetry to introduce colour and calm.”
Resene colour consultant Brenda Ngatai suggests using paints with no volatile organic compound in them, such as Resene Zylone Sheen Zero and paints with renewable materials such as Resene EarthSense Ceiling Paint.
“Keeping the paint finishes in a low-sheen or flat gives a feeling of calmness to an interior space,” Brenda says.
Remove messy physical and visual clutter and surrounding yourself with homeware that inspires you. Bring in soft, curved lines by way of your furniture for a gentle effect, tying in natural elements such as sisal, linen and wood.
Once you’ve got your colours sorted, tune in to your senses, they’ll allow you to get in touch with where your surroundings.
Add soft rugs underfoot for that added sense of comfort, plant some more trees near your windows that will attract the birds and their song and bring bedding into your bedroom that you love to sink into. Remove any unwanted plastic and opt for organic objects when you can. Get rid of any old uncomfortable bathroom towels and replace them with ones that feel beautiful against your skin. Resene Living collection towels are available in a range of Resene colour hues from Briscoes to co-ordinate with your paint colour palette.
How are the natural light and air levels? It might be time to get rid of those heavy curtains that are obstructing your windows and replace them with something visually lighter. Bring in the outdoors with air purifying plants – the Peace Lily is an easy-care option. How noisy is your home? Constant background noise can add to your stress levels so consider retro-fitting double glazing or high hedge planting to deter unwanted noise.
Ensure you have your own sanctuary where you can really escape to – a favourite corner or comfortable chair near your most-loved outlook. These little things may initially seem not worthy of consideration, but they all play their role in helping create a home that encourages happiness, greater presence and mental wellbeing.
For help getting started with your decorating project, ask a Resene expert at your local Resene ColorShop or on the Resene website with the free ReseneAsk a Colour Expertservice or free ReseneAsk a Tech Expert service.