Design during Lockdown
Throughout these past few weeks and those stretching ahead of us, the focus has been on wellbeing. Trying to maintain healthy habits through exercise and diet. But it is also worth remembering that our home and the interiors can have a huge impact on our wellbeing. At Gillian Victoria Interiors we have put together some ideas for you to consider to help you enjoy your home during these uncertain times.
Up lifting colours
During this time painting your room is an inexpensive and effective way of updating your space. This can be an activity that the whole family can also get involved in.
There has been so much research into colours and what effect colour has on human behaviour. Many books have been written by colour psychologists about the wellbeing of colour and how that effects our mood. We have put together a list of colours which will help lift your mood and keep you feeling positive, while at the same time given your home a new lease of life!
Blue as a primary colour brings a sense of calm and serenity, reflecting the soothing tones of the sea and sky. Getting the right shade on the wall is important. A deep dark blue could be oppressive, and a light blue conjures a feeling of cold, so pick a hue in between. The more relaxed and easy to use blues are those that lean towards grey. You can add colour pops of orange, yellow or pink with accessories or artwork.
Green is also a colour of nature and very calming and restful and is also associated with good luck and health. Green works well in bedrooms and living rooms. Places where we relax. Choose a darker forest green or a sage for a more contemporary look. Henry III ordered all the panelling in his Windsor residence to be painted green to promote a feeling of wellbeing.
Yellow is energizing along with Orange. Yellow enhances larger spaces and creates a room full of energy. We wouldn’t recommend a whole room painting in these colours but by placing a yellow vase at your sink in the morning with plants from the garden or using an orange coffee mug will give you that subconscious boost needed
The colour pink is calming, tranquil and peaceful. This theory was tested on jails in America. Cells were painted pink in one half of a prison and the other half remained the same. Over time there were a significant drop in anger, anxiety and behaviour of those inmates who were in the pink half. We are no means suggesting you paint your house pink! It was just some evidence that colour does affect your mood.
And not forgetting the floors. There has always been a tradition of painting floors, and we are seeing this coming back into fashion. In modern homes floors can be painted in a solid colour for a stylish and practical appeal, and can bring old floors to life. Farrow & Ball have a great selection of washable floor paint.
Shapes and textures can also influence your mood. Shiny surfaces can brighten a room, or adding a mirror on a wall. Adding plants to a room can bring a new brightness, or just filling a vase with some foliage from the garden when fresh flowers are not readily available, is a great way of bringing the elements into a room.
With this extra time on your hands, you may begin to spring clean and start moving furniture around. Suddenly our homes are becoming more than just a place to live. They are now also the office, the gym or the classroom! For the short term we need to zone off areas to reflect this. Perhaps the bedroom should become the calming place with a lazy armchair for reading or a yoga mat for the morning exercise.
Create an area for work or home schooling that you can either close the door on or leave to one side at the end of the day, to allow the work/life separation. When arranging furniture consider arranging them into a circular formation. Circles tend to give a feeling of safety and calm, whereas the more angular shapes are associated with danger.
We have been truly lucky with the weather so far and have manged to spend some time in our gardens which is essential for our daily Vitamin D. Natural light can improve productivity and our mood. Make the most of natural light and throw open the windows and doors and flood the room with light, allow all the shiny surfaces to throw light around the room.
Try to separate your work lighting with your relaxation lighting. Warmer colours for the evening to calm your spirit and just cold blue bright light or natural light during the day. The use of low level floor or table lamps can create a relaxing calming room.
Now is also the time to start thinking about what you would like to see in your garden in time for the summer season and for future years.
Sustainability is key. If there is one thing we must try to take from this time at home is how much of a positive break we are all giving this planet. Going forward think longevity in your purchases and buy for the long haul, even if it does cost that little bit extra. Buy as locally as possible and British products where we can. Start planting the allotment, herbal window box or plant a tree.
While wicker has been on the scene for some time now new materials are coming onto the market. We are seeing garden furniture covered in a solution dyed acrylic fabric. This fabric is totally waterproof and stain resistant. The internal filling is foam which isn’t waterproof and the cushions not removeable so therefor need a storage facility for the winter months.
Aluminium frame – these are light weight and easily stacked for storage. These range in a square contemporary design to a more traditional look. You can remove the cushions for storage.
As we have seen the demise of decking over the last few years due to its intensive upkeep. An alternative is composite decking which comes with a 25 year warranty. All you do is hose it down. It comes in an array of different colours never to be repainted. You can even hire a contractor to make a composite decking table. Choosing the wood effect deck (they come in 4m lengths for large entertaining tables) or cut it to a smaller size. Join the boards together underneath and supported with aluminium legs. You can achieve the large all weather outside entertaining table for around £250 not including the contractor fees.
Coming back to the all weather fabric. Designers guild and Perennials to name but a few have a wonderful new range of fabrics in rich beautiful colours to brighten up any outdoor space. You can use their fabrics which are bleach cleanable, fade and water resistant, mould and mildew resistant for seat cushions and floor cushions. These fabrics will bring a pop of colour to any garden and could be teamed with a garden rug, all washable and rain proof. Some fairy lights and lanterns arranged in plants and you are all set for summer.
Designer guild, The home depot