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Design for the Soul: Utilizing Design to Lift Your Spirits

The saying, “Home is where the heart is,” is quite subjective today. Ideally, home represents all things good, cozy, comfortable, warm, and safe. However, in today’s society, where life is pretty much just a blur, it’s harder for people to maintain a home they can retreat to for rest and relaxation. That’s why most staycations are done in hotels within the city. They need to take a break from the time at home, which is both ironic and sad.

But the reality is, home is not always where the heart is, for the heart is always in constant pursuit of things that give it peace and happiness.

How Architecture and Design Affect Our Minds and Moods

Architecture, just like any art form, elicits certain emotions from people. For instance, if you’ve gone to specific landmarks of historical value, like the Alamo or Liberty Island, you tend to be in awe and amazed just by standing on soil that has been through so much over time. If you’ve ever been to Angkor Wat in Cambodia or the Aztec Ruins in Mexico, you feel reverent, contemplative, and spiritual.

The same thing goes if you walk into an amusement park, an ancient castle, a military base, a nightclub, or a spa. These places make you feel a certain way that affects your psychology and behavior, albeit temporarily.

Given the times we live in, with big thanks to psychological studies, architecture is progressing towards urban design that will improve the psychological effects of buildings and structures on people.

For most urban dwellers, the idea of living in a chaotic environment has become the norm. This norm has drawn different responses from people, depending on how adaptable they are to their fast-paced and dynamic surroundings. Some intentionally keep their homes clean and orderly since it is their only refuge from all the chaos. On the other hand, others are too tired to even pick up after themselves and put their dirty clothes in the hamper. It’s a bit extreme, we know, but you get the idea.

If we do our best to maintain a clean and orderly home, we anticipate coming home from work and enjoying our evenings with our loved ones. An unkempt and messy house makes a person dread going home because, technically, it’s no different from the war zone they went through during the day.

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Incorporating Architecture and Design With Psychology

Often, our minds and our bodies want something but produce different results. If you want your home to be a place of refreshing and recharging, you need to be intentional about it. Your place is not going to clean itself up.

However, creating a space that exudes peace and serenity is more than just cleaning and decluttering. It may also mean making physical changes to your home, such as an interior repaint for a fresh look or a fence installation to give you more privacy. Here are a few tips for creating a home that’s good for your mind and spirit.

1. Take control of your space.

The Batman has his Bat Cave, and it’s gloomy, dark, and cold. On the one hand, Superman has his Fortress of Solitude. It’s majestic, calming, and soothing. It’s a peaceful retreat for the Man of Steel.

Similarly, your home is an extension of yourself. If your house looks like a tornado just passed it, then chances are, your demeanor, mood, and behavior will reflect your home environment. Your home is one of the few things you have complete control of, so do exactly that and take control of it.

First, declutter if you need to. You don’t have to go minimalist, but it’s a solution many people have found to be very rewarding.

Second, clean up after yourself always. Don’t procrastinate and leave stuff undone. Chances are, if you say you’ll get to them later, you’ll say the exact same thing when “later” comes. Do it now.

Finally, keep your house clean. Once you’ve downsized and cleaned up, keep it that way.

2. Look for creative solutions to fixed problems.

We understand that now everyone can afford significant home improvement and renovation projects. It’s not cheap to replace roofing or floor tiles. But that doesn’t mean you can no longer make improvements to your home. You just have to be creative and resourceful. There are plenty of excellent references online for specific DIY home improvement ideas that are suited to your personality, preference, and definition of soothing.

3. Learn to love nature.

By this, we don’t mean that you should live in the wild. What we mean by it is even if you’re a hard-core fan of brutalism, industrialism, and other more masculine architectural styles, bringing in natural elements into your space can help soften it up and make it more ideal for rest and relaxation.

  • Indoor plants: They don’t just liven up the place but also help improve the indoor air quality.
  • Natural color palettes: A well-thought color scheme that involves neutral earth colors helps create a relaxing environment and prevents visual clutter.
  • Natural lighting and ventilation: They lower your energy consumption and help improve productivity at home, especially if you’re a remote worker. We highly suggest that you place your workstation where there’s maximum sunlight.

4. Create a space for some quiet time.

Lastly, look for a space in your home where you can create a mindfulness corner. It can be an unused room or corner where you can sit down and get lost in your own thoughts and musings. Remove all the clutter, remove all the gadgets, and decorate it with elements that make you feel calm and relaxed. Let it be your time-out spot where you can feed your soul— reflect, meditate, do yoga, write your journal, and pray.

The world we live in today is distressing. However, we can still find the peace and serenity we need to refresh and recharge our mind, body, and soul amid all the distractions and noise.

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