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This year has probably seen your house taking on the roles of office, classroom, gym and community center — and it’s easy to feel uninspired by your surroundings after occupying the same space day in, day out. But all hope is not lost: There are simple and inexpensive ways to transform your home into a fresh and stimulating environment.
Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Add New Colour
Painting the walls is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to immediately invigorate any home. For a classic look that will hold up against almost any decor, opt for cool neutrals; if you prefer something more dramatic, consider adding a pop of color to a feature wall.
For the best overall calming vibe experts recommend incorporating shades of blue. These are the shades that are most associated with health, calm and well-being.
If you’re not ready to commit to paint, try using accessories like throw pillows, an area rug, curtains or artwork to bring color into your space.
Streamline and Declutter
With millions of us now living and working alongside family members, significant others and roommates, our homes may suddenly seem more cramped than ever before.
There’s no better way to create spatial harmony than decluttering. Start small with a contained space like a bathroom, which will give you a quick feeling of accomplishment and encourage you to do the next space. The benefits of a tidy space extend beyond aesthetics — research has found that clearing clutter can lower stress levels.
Do a Digital Detox
The digital detox movement is not new, but it’s worth revisiting in this climate of constant COVID-19 news and social media chatter. Though it’s important to stay informed about the health crisis, it’s easy to slip from a healthy level of engagement to compulsive checking.
To reduce screen dependence, set up manageable boundaries based on time or place. For example, designate dinnertime as phone-free, or remove mobile tech devices from your bedroom for a daily reset.
Invigorate with Scents
Scent is a powerful vehicle for uplifting your mood. Ideally, fragrance experts say that every room should have a different scent ‘track’ to score your moment.” You can use uses woody scents like cedar, palo santo, oud, copal and frankincense to feel grounded; rosemary for invigoration; and incense to focus and meditate.
There are many ways to suffuse a room with scent — candles, oil diffusers, air mists and fresh flowers, to name a few. For a more subtle effect, crack open a window to balance out your chosen fragrance with fresh air.
Natural light is the top office perk, according to a study of workplace benefits published in the Harvard Business Review. If your home is now your office, you have more control than ever over the light conditions of your workday.
To maximize your exposure to natural light, position your desk near a window and keep drapes and shades open during the daytime. If you don’t have much natural light coming in, try adding aluminum mini-blinds to your windows: “You can direct or cut out light (and inquisitive neighbors across the street) as needed, and when the sun hits them just right, you can use them to throw light into the room without getting blinded.