It is often said that home is where the heart is and as cliché as it may sound, there is no place quite like home. While we may travel all over the world, the feeling of coming back to the comfort of your own home cannot be compared to any other. After all, your home is your haven; a safe place where you can sit back, relax and most importantly be yourself. So, what does it take to build a home that is a sanctuary of positive energy and rejuvenating vibes? Rashmi Gopal Rao lists all the things you need to know.
Natural light, fresh air and the power of plants
There is no denying the fact that a well-lit space always induces a sense of positivity and well-being. Hence, it is always recommended to make the most of the natural light in your home. “Open your windows and drapes; use lamps that produce natural light to illuminate your home’s darkest spaces. An easy way to create a pleasant atmosphere in your home is to simply leave the windows open for cross ventilation and natural light. This boosts one’s spirits and makes people happy,” says Ninada Kashyap and Komal Mittal, Co-Founders & Principal Architects, Alkove-Design. To maximise natural light, keep your curtains and blinds open at least for a few hours in the morning. Opt for sheer curtains that allow diffused light to enter while still maintaining a level of privacy. Ensure that windows are easily accessible so that you can easily open and close the shutters as required rather than having heavy furniture block the space. The latter will also obstruct light from entering the room, so having chunky pieces against your windows is a strict no-no!
The power of plants in keeping your home healthy is undeniable. They not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of any space but also helps improve air quality. Snake plants, pothos, spider plants as well as chrysanthemums are known to purify the air around them by absorbing pollutants and releasing oxygen. The best part is that they are easy to maintain as well. So, add a splash of green to reduce stress and increase feelings of serenity in your abode.
Chemical-free, Natural and Sustainable Materials
Natural, organic and tactile textures go a long way in improving the ambience of your home. Cotton, jute, bamboo, rattan and stone are some popular materials that are calming and can boost your wellbeing. “Invest in a high-quality cotton bed linen set as it can not only enhance your sleep experience but also give your bedroom a plush yet comfortable feel,” says Manjul Jayakumar, founder of Cananor Guild.
When it comes to cleaning, make sure you avoid strong chemicals replete with compounds like phosphates, parabens, chlorine, ammonia and sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS). They have a harmful effect on the space as they release Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are a main source of indoor air pollution. “Vinegar is a versatile cleaning agent that can effectively remove stains, grease, and odours. Mix it with water in a spray bottle to clean surfaces like countertops, windows, and floors. Further, use essential oils for fragrance instead of synthetic air fresheners. Add a few drops of your favourite oil to a diffuser or mix it with water in a spray bottle for a delightful yet natural aroma,” says Akshay and Avani Khurana, Co-Founders & Principal Architects, of Beyond Dreams. Always select essential oils that best suit your needs because each one has unique traits and characteristics. “Essential oils increase your energy levels, lower your stress levels and aid in eradicating any possible mental tiredness. Our personal favourite is lavender as it is calming and helps in relieving anxiety and stress.” adds Ninada Kashyap and Komal Mittal.
Less is more: Clean and Clutter-free Mantra
The importance of keeping your home neat and tidy can never be underestimated. Clutter is a key source of negative energy and it is critical to keep your house organized. “Use smart storage tools and organizers for things you use on a daily basis, whether it is socks or spices! Always remember that less is more; be mindful of what you purchase. While we love to improve our spaces it is equally important to reduce what we own,” says Dev Bathla, CMO at Bathla. Clutter induces stress and chaos; hence it is imperative that one focuses on keeping spaces clean. “Avoid a buildup of allergens such as dust, pet dander and dust mites. Regular vacuuming, dusting and washing of home furnishings goes a long way in making your home a haven of positive energy,” says Abhishek Kathuria, Founder & Principal Designer, Rosabagh.
Colours, candles and more
Choose a colour scheme for your home that promotes happiness and relaxation. This includes soft pastels, earthy tones and light neutrals. Calming hues are of utmost importance in spaces like the bedroom. Further, it is important to surround yourself with decor that reflects your personal style and spark joy. “Personalize your home by adding things you love and trinkets that make you smile. Just thinking about it can make you feel good. For instance, hanging inspirational art on the walls makes a big difference in bringing good vibes into the house,” adds Abhishek Kathuria. Aromatic candles are also a great idea for creating an inviting and soothing atmosphere at home. Depending on the weather, choose fragrances like jasmine, spiced pumpkin, sandalwood or even citrus to elevate your mood and energy.
It always helps to reimagine your spaces at home with a focus on physical, mental and psychological wellness. “Create dedicated areas for relaxation, meditation, or yoga. Designate a quiet corner with comfortable cushions, blankets or a meditation cushion to encourage moments of calm and self-reflection. A cosy reading nook is again a good way to unwind after a long day,” adds Akshay and Avani Khurana.