Home is where the heart is, and we have 12 ways to turn yours into a haven of positive health and wellbeing for 2021.
Whether you live alone or share your living space with family or friends, home is an important part of our identity, says Eleanor Ratcliffe, environmental psychologist and lecturer at the University of Surrey: ‘Our homes have had to become workplace, school, and gym, and yet still be a place to relax and recover from all the everyday stresses and strains. A home design that reflects who you are – your values, needs, and interests – can make you feel good about yourself and more in control. This is especially relevant when life feels uncertain.’
1. Balance work and a relaxing space
The ideal work-from-home scenario is to find enough space to create your own home office, so you can close the door when the working day is over. If this isn’t possible, you may need help to switch off. ‘Use furniture or large plants to create broken-plan zones which allow you to separate work, relaxation and other activities such as cooking and eating,’ says interiors and home-staging expert. Elaine Penhaul at Lemon and Lime Interiors. ‘Zoning an open-plan room helps you utilise big spaces. You could use a large sofa or a tall, open bookcase as a divider.’
You can also deploy lighting to organise open-plan areas; create ‘rooms’ on different circuits so you can achieve the correct balance of task, ambient and accent lighting when natural daylight fades
2. Make the most of natural light
Health-boosting natural light – which helps the body produce Vitamin D and fight off seasonal blues – is in short supply during the dark days of winter, so ‘harvest it and use it anywhere you can’, advise lighting experts Kate Wilkins and Sam Neuman, founders of Home Lighting Ideas.
‘If you need to spend long periods in a space that doesn’t get a lot of light, you may wish to think about installing an additional window,’ says David Knight, digital manager at Roof Windows 4 You. ‘A roof window can be easily added to a variety of different spaces, from a bathroom to a loft conversion, to provide both light and ventilation.’
A sun tunnel is a good alternative for rooms without roof access. It uses a mirror system to direct sunlight inwards to a location of your choice, from £252 at Roof Windows 4 You.