Have the cold weather and dark nights got you feeling a little blue? Here, Nick Acaster, Managing Director of Rugs Direct gives us his top five interior decorating tips to help you boost your winter wellness.
The dreary winter can wreak havoc with your health. But, while cold and flu and the risk of slips and falls in icy weather can pose a physical threat, what about your mental wellbeing?
Your body relies on getting enough sunlight to keep you happy and healthy and keep your circadian rhythm — your sleep-wake cycle — in check. But, as the dark nights roll in, the lack of sunlight can trick your brain into thinking it's night-time for longer, which means it'll produce more melatonin (the sleep hormone). This can then lead to tiredness, a lack of appetite and, in some cases, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) (NHS).
There are many ways you can help to combat these feelings but surrounding yourself with cosy interiors and relaxing touches can help give your wellbeing a little boost. Below, I'll be giving my top interior decorating tips to help you create a more calming home this winter.
Let in the light
If a lack of light can make you feel tired and low, then it makes sense that getting more light can improve your mood. So, try to make your home as bright as you possibly can. Large windows can let in lots of natural light during the day but, at night or for those dull mornings, you might want to add a few extra lamps to brighten things up, especially in the main living spaces of your home like your bedroom, living room and kitchen. It might even help to open your windows a little in the morning to let in some fresh air and wake yourself up.
Be playful with colour
In the winter, it can help to be more creative with colour to brighten things up. Adding bold tones like yellows, light greens and blues can evoke a sense of summer. But you might want to create a cosier space with neutral, earthy hues, like brown, grey and cream, and adding a splash of colour with dark jewel tones like emerald green or ruby red. If you don't feel like repainting and redecorating, you can easily incorporate these colours into your interior décor using accessories like rugs, blankets and cushions.
Add a little texture
There's nothing like snuggling up on the sofa after a long winter's day, and having a lot of textures in your home can help to create a cosy atmosphere and boost your mood. Luxurious furniture and accessories, like soft fluffy blankets, plush sofas and comfortable bedding, can help to create a relaxing space. Add extra comfort to your flooring using rugs to keep your feet warm and enhance the cosy ambience. These look just as good layered over carpet as they do on wooden flooring, just look for soft, inviting textiles like wool or shaggy rugs made from polyester or polypropylene.
Light some soothing candles
The winter is a time for roaring fires and cosy nights in, and what says cosy like a few scented candles? These can really add a sense of atmosphere to your home. The soft flickering of the flame can help to calm your mind. Plus, if you pick the right ones, their smells can also help you to relax, too. Just pick soothing scents like lavender, vanilla, pine or even citrus.
Get back to nature
Although you might not be able to spend much time out in the garden over the colder months, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Why not bring the garden inside? Keeping houseplants can help to spruce up your interior décor and can even have some mood boosting effects. Being around indoor plants can help to reduce stress and anxiety, according to a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology. Plus, if you choose air purifying plants — like peace lilies and English ivy, both of which can remove chemicals like benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from the air (NASA) — you could benefit from fewer breathing problems and reduced eye irritation, which can help to give your mood an even bigger boost.
The dark and dull weather can have a negative effect on your mood. But, by following the tips in this guide, you can add a few wellness boosting touches to your interior décor this winter. These tips are intended as guidelines only. If you're at all worried about your mood, consult your GP for advice.