Creating a Healthy Interior Space

Posted by Health Hut on

On Tuesday, January 30th Jennifer and Kathryn Findlay, Co-Founders of Core Essence, a Toronto based wellness design and consulting firm, joined us in the shop to speak about the philosophies behind designing interior spaces that positively impact our wellbeing.

During the talk, Jen and Kathryn touched on the sensory elements that you should consider when designing your space and provided some easy to implement tips that you can use to infuse wellness into your home. The sensory elements they discussed included lighting, clutter, sound, touch and smell.

Lighting Considerations:

  1. Dimmer Switches – Naturally support your body’s circadian rhythm by installing dimmer switches in the rooms that you spend the most amount of time in. Slowly brighten the lights in the morning to help your body naturally adjust to waking up and slowly dim the lights at night to indicate to your body that it’s time to wind down/head to bed.
  2. Curtains – Installing black out blinds with sheers over top further supports your body’s circadian rhythm. Allowing natural light in first thing in the morning and throughout the day with sheers indicates to your body that it’s time to wake up and be alert, while pulling across blackout blinds at night indicates to your body that it’s time to wind down/head to bed.
  3. Lamps & Bulbs – Influencing the lighting in your space doesn’t need to involve hiring an electrician. Jen and Kathryn recommended adding floor and table lamps in your space to increase warmth and softness. Also, choosing yellow lightbulbs versus blue lightbulbs can also positively influence the feeling in your home.

Clutter Considerations:

  1. Daily Maintenance – Spending 10 minutes daily to organize the rooms you spend the most amount of time in will help reduce the build-up of clutter that can overwhelm our minds and spaces.
  2. Get Inspired – Jen and Kathryn both love the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Upand highly recommended it for anyone looking for inspiration/guidance to clean up their space.
  3. Happiness – Only fill your home with things that bring you happiness. Anything that adds stress or no longer brings you joy should be packed up and donated.

Sound Considerations:

  1. Acoustic Solutions – Strategically positioning your bed (away from outside noise), adding soft accents to your space (rugs, blankets etc.) that can help absorb external noise and vibrations.
  2. Add an Inch – A quick trip to your local hardware store to purchase an inch of gasket (metal or rubber) can significantly decrease the amount of noise that enters your home by sealing the gap between the bottom of the doors and the floor. This can also be helpful for keeping out cold and unwanted smells.
  3. Calming Sounds – Fill your space with sounds that bring you joy and happiness. This can be done by placing a sound machine beside your bed or purchase a singing bowl or sound bowl which both can fill your space with positive vibrations.

Touch Considerations:

  1. Thermal Comfort – Some like it hot and some like it cold. If you have the option, consider adding a zoned heating and cooling system to your home.
  2. First Impressions – Having something soft to place your feet on first thing in the morning or installing heated floors in your bathroom or basement can help add warmth to your space.

Smell Considerations:

  1. Aromatherapy – Essential oils, soy or coconut wax candles, Palo Santo and sage are all great, natural options that can be used to add a relaxing vibe to your space.
  2. Paint – Standard paints have a lot of chemicals in them that can continue to release toxins years after application. Instead, look for non-toxic options which cost only a fraction more but won’t impact the air quality in your home.

Other Considerations:

  1. Plants – Adding houseplants to your space can not only decrease blood pressure and increase your mood, but can also help purify the air. Some of the best plants for purifying the air include – spider plants, aloe vera, peace lily and ficus/weeping fig.

Have any questions or comments? Please share them below.

First image via Core Essence

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