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Transform the atmosphere of your house: 7 simple strategies to improve your environment and mood.

Friday, July 22, 2022   /   by Laura Larson

Transform the atmosphere of your house: 7 simple strategies to improve your environment and mood.

Since many Americans are spending more time at home, it's possible that your home will double as an office, classroom, gym, and community center. After using the same area repeatedly, it's easy to become bored by your surroundings. However, there is still hope: There are quick, low-cost solutions to make your house a vibrant, exciting space.

These seven suggestions from interior decorators, feng shui specialists, and design enthusiasts will help you give your house some TLC.

Split it up
When you work from home, it's simple to feel overburdened by competing obligations. Consider allocating distinct locations for various activities to help you stay on track. Harry Heissmann, an interior designer based in Brooklyn, New York, says it's crucial to "compartmentalize" your living space. He now works remotely from his apartment with his partner and their dog and has designated particular rooms for fitness, work, and leisure. The living room desk was cleaned and organized, and it now acts as a "command post" for browsing the internet and placing calls. The bedroom functions as a second office and is ideal for naps or in-bed movie watching.

Play around with color
One of the simplest and least expensive methods to instantly revitalize any home is to paint the walls. Choose cool neutrals for a timeless aesthetic that works with practically any décor; if you want something more dramatic, think about painting a feature wall with a burst of color. Greens and blues are best because they "are most associated with health, calm, and well-being," says Reiko Gomez, a feng shui expert and interior designer in the Hamptons, New York. If you're not ready to commit to painting, Gomez advises using accessories like throw pillows, an area rug, curtains, or artwork to add color to your space.
 
Streamline and tidy up
Numerous family members, significant others, and roommates are now living and working with millions of us, making our homes appear smaller than ever. The benefits of a tidy space go beyond aesthetics — research has shown that removing clutter can reduce stress levels. According to Gomez, decluttering is the best way to create spatial harmony because it "works a powerful magic in that it gets your entire space up to speed with you." She advises beginning small with a contained space like a bathroom because it "will give you a quick feeling of accomplishment and encourage you to do the next space."

Practice digital detox
The digital detox movement is not new, but in light of the ongoing COVID-19 news and social media noise, it is important to review. Keeping up with the health crisis is crucial, but it's simple to go from a healthy level of engagement to compulsive checking. Create realistic restrictions based on time or place to lessen screen dependence. For a daily reset, you could, for instance, ban phones at dinnertime or take them out of your bedroom.

Energize with fragrances
A strong tool for improving your mood is an appealing scent. Every room should have a different scent track to score your moment, says Mindy Yang, the owner of Perfumarie, a fragrance lab in SoHo, New York. Yang uses woody scents like cedar, palo santo, oud, copal, and frankincense to feel grounded; rosemary for invigoration; and incense to focus and meditate. There are numerous ways to fill a space with aroma, including candles, oil diffusers, air mists, and fresh flowers. Open a window to let in some fresh air to counteract your chosen smell for a more understated effect.

Purify and make green
There is no better moment to bring the outside world inside than when you introduce greens to your home space. In addition to adding light and color, plants help increase the amount of oxygen in your home, which is something that many of us could use more of as we spend more time indoors, according to Summer Rayne Oakes, host of Plant One On Me. Whichever plant you choose, she says the ritual of caring for it may be very restorative. "Some persons may find something less fussy to be easier to cope with, whilst others may want a more 'high-maintenance' plant that takes attention every day."

Natural light
According to a study of workplace perks published in the Harvard Business Review, natural light is the best office perk. You have more power than ever over the lighting during your workday if your house has become your office. Place your desk near a window, and leave the draperies and shades open during the day to get the most natural light possible. Experts recommend installing aluminum mini-blinds on your windows if you don't get a lot of natural light coming in. "You can direct or cut out light (and nosy neighbors across the street) as needed, and when the sun hits them just right, you can use them to throw light into the room without getting blinded," he says. He also recommends adding reflective surfaces — like a mirror, lacquered table, or chrome lamp — to enhance the light in dark rooms.