It's no secret that your environment can have a direct impact on your overall well-being. New York City-based architectural designer , who strives to incorporate wellness into her projects, shares her top tips for crafting an inviting home that can have positive effects on your lifestyle.
It's important to balance a busy schedule with sufficient downtime. For that reason, DiCarlo suggests designing an area in your home that's reserved for reading or even meditating. "When you have a safe place, you can be comfortable and effective in the world," she says.
According DiCarlo, embracing nature in your home goes beyond just incorporating greenery into your space. "There is nothing more de-stressing than sinking into the rhythms of nature," she says. "This might mean orienting areas in a room based on the time of day when the best light hits." For instance, it might be helpful to design a reading nook exactly where the sunlight tends to pour in from behind you when reading. If you have an outdoor area, make it more inviting so you're more likely to spend a little more time enjoying the sunshine, which has a calming effect.
The best way to avoid feeling like a prisoner in your own home is to take advantage of your windows. Keep windows clean and pay close attention to where seating is placed in your home. "It’s good to sit near a window," DiCarlo says. "It’s more expansive than sitting in a dark corner." You can also try painting a room in a light color that makes you feel at ease.
The flow of circulation is crucial in a home. "Move furniture around to free up the circulation flow and encourage lingering by creating places to pause," DiCarlo says.
If you are designing a new home, opt for wide corridors to allow for easy movement between rooms. Decorating with books and plants can also encourage relaxed social interactions, which DiCarlo finds to be "psychologically beneficial, as well as give you more places to hang out."
For a more inviting home atmosphere, selecting furniture material wisely can make a major difference. "Materials like marble and wood feel good to the touch," DiCarlo says. However, metals, granite, and excessive use of glass can be "too rough, harsh or just annoying."
If you live in a bustling city, sheetrock is your friend. Manage noise by asking a contractor to install a layer of sound-deadening sheetrock on the particular walls in question, DiCarlo advises. "You’re probably not aware of how stressful it is to hear someone in another room on a regular basis," she says. If that's not an option for you at the moment, a simple indoor water fountain can mask the low-level sounds with the healing sounds of water.
There's no way around decluttering your home. Yes, it takes time, but the payoff is significant. For DiCarlo, works best. "Get rid of things that don’t make you happy, and replace them with those that do," she recommends. "It’s such an easy way to clear your head."