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Let the Light In

Posted On February 3, 2021

Harness the power of interior design to boost your wellness

Text and photos by Amanda Stewart

The wellness industry has its hand in nearly everything; from fitness, to the workplace to beauty. I’m here to offer one more source for wellness to draw from: Interior design.

That’s right. We spend endless hours researching nutrient-dense recipes, and countless dollars go to gym memberships. But at the end of the day, your sense of well-being is enormously impacted by your immediate surroundings. If you’re looking to improve your mental health or boost your overall mood, look no further than your own home. Incorporating wellness into your private living space is the first step in laying the foundation for the energizing, uplifting, and balanced lifestyle that a habitually healthy home strives to create.

To help keep stress levels manageable, let’s just focus on one thing at a time, shall we? Your one design challenge for the month is to let the light in.

Natural light can be an instant mood enhancer, as it pours into your home and brings all the benefits of nature indoors.  The quiet calm of the natural world soothes your mental state, and of course, is scientifically proven to boost your endorphins and serotonin levels (healthline.com/health/happy-hormone). But how do we take advantage of what little of it we may have? On the other hand, how do we manage overwhelming morning or evening rays that burst into our home unrestrained?

Here are three simple and actionable ways to ensure you are making the most of all of that valuable natural light in your home:

1. Give the sun a chance. Take advantage of any windows you have by precariously placing your furniture to let as much of that light in as possible. Avoid placing bulky pieces in front of a window, which will block the light. As an added benefit, you have now created a sun-soaked spot for your favorite pet to nap.

Next up: Hang a mirror opposite that window. Double the amount of light in an instant, and make your room seem larger as well!

2. Set yourself up for success. Arrange seating so that a view of the outdoors can be glimpsed from as many vantage points as possible.

Think of how pleasant it will be to sip your coffee overlooking the pines swaying in your backyard. Or imagine waking up to soft sunlight and a view of a cardinal chirping to its family on a bush outside your window. That’s much more pleasant than looking at a chair strewn with yesterday’s clothes. These little moments bring so much peace and pleasure, and they add up throughout the day!

3. Window Treatments 101. Framing and dressing your windows well is equally as important as furniture placement. Properly hung curtains won’t encroach on the light from the window. Always hang curtains outside and above the window molding (anywhere between 2-6” above, and 4-10” outside), and just cover the window box with a few inches of fabric, leaving the rest to gently flow across the wall toward the end of the rod. Additionally, most windows should have both blinds AND curtains, which will allow you to filter harsh rays when necessary, or enjoy the full sunlight show if that is what you desire.