Why Design Trends Are Bad For Your Health
Gosh, so many issues with them, so where to start…?
Mental health, not feeling at home, the push for constant gratification, and social acceptance.
Financial and environmental implications, stress creation. Imposter syndrome.
But let’s start with the issue of sustainability.
At its core, sustainability focuses on three main pillars: people, planet and profit. All of which affect our wellbeing. So really sustainability is about wellbeing.
This is the one most people think about when you talk about sustainability. We’re getting more used to recycling as a habit now, although there are still so many items which can’t be recycled.
And not all areas of the country are aligned in what they will accept. Plus *Stop press* NOT ALL REYCLING GETS RECYCLED!! So, it’s a start, but it’s not the answer.
Take care to choose products which are made from materials which can be sourced and manufactured in a way which doesn’t harm the environment is key.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Think about supply chain, packaging, transportation, air miles and carbon emissions are all important considerations. Buying locally and sustainably as possible really is key.
Churning out products to encourage us to rip out our home contents to start again from scratch with the latest trends just isn’t sustainable. Sure, we all want to sell stuff and of course, I understand the relevance and impact of trends. However…
It’s the same for fashion. Just because it’s on trend, doesn’t mean it suits you. They always say to choose well cut pieces in good quality fabrics and spend what you can afford.
Well, it’s the same for your home. Create your own capsule home.
Choose products which don’t have built-in obsolescence is a good start. Those you can clean and reuse or at least repair to enhance their lifespan. Taking care to think before purchasing on a whim.
Do you really need or want it? Is there a point to it?
Sometimes the point of it is to just bring joy and be beautiful, and that’s ok. Art is good for the soul and can be used to express ourselves and our personalities. It’s all good.
Sometimes it’s better to spend well, which might mean spending a little more, to get exactly what you want. Ironically it will likely save you money over time. For example, from having to spend more long term to fix a problem that you haven’t quite solved with a cheaper option.
Buy once, buy better and with careful consideration.
This relates to you and your wellbeing. Buying products which are without (or at least low in) chemicals, toxins, pollutants, contaminants will reduce their impact on your air quality at home.
Using natural bathing and cleaning products reduces the risk to your health, from skin and respiratory conditions through to allergies created or exacerbated by them.
It’s wider that that though. It’s the bigger picture of how your products were made, through from health and safety, ethical production and fair trade.
Are the people responsible for your product treated and paid appropriately for their work? Do they have lives which benefit their health and their family’s existence?
Do they have opportunities to enhance their lives with the things we would consider the basics: education, food, water and healthcare?
The places where we spend most of our time will naturally have the biggest impact on us. How we feel, how we perform, sleep, rest and relax.
As well as our physical health can be affected by the environmental aspects of our homes and workplaces, the wrong environments can also have a massive detrimental impact on our mental wellbeing.
Colours can create a huge impact. Affected by lighting, they can change throughout the day, becoming more and less intense as the light changes. Therefore, the effect of colours in spaces will vary at different times of day.
Colour psychology is a growing field of interest where research has shown that colours can affect our wellbeing and mental health. It’s not quite so simple as that though.
Each colour has many positive and negative connotations.
Therefore it’s the role of a Holistic Interior Designer to selectively choose carefully to use them to their maximum benefit whilst limiting any negative impact.
In some cases, it can be quite a fine line.
A quick side note on grey. Please think carefully about using grey exclusively throughout your home.
It’s been having a moment over the last few years but, when used in this context, can be extremely damaging to your mental health.
I’ve seen homes for sale where the whole house is grey, and it instantly makes me feel depressed.
It’s not Me, it’s You
By styling your home to look like the masses is a bit like wearing something “trendy” which doesn’t suit your personality. It will feel odd and disingenuous.
People might not notice, or think you look nice (urgh – who wants “nice”?) but after a while, you’ll start feeling uncomfortable. Like you’re trying to be someone else. And that isn’t good for your mental health.
Living in a Show Home
It’s so important to be true to your inner voice and values. After all, it’s your home and to help you the most, it needs to feel like your home.
It’s lovely to stay in a posh hotel and to feel pampered and luxurious. And that’s perfectly ok, but when you’re back home you need to feel at home.
Of course, you can still have luxury – it’s positively encouraged! The key though is to decide what’s important, and what that means for you and tailor it accordingly.
Finding natural alternatives for skincare or cleaning products, clothing, bedlinen, furniture or furnishings doesn’t mean dull, worthy, austerity or economy.
On the contrary, to me it means high-end, hand-crafted, organic, special and luxury.
Think sumptuous fibres such as linen, silk, cashmere, alpaca, organic cotton, wool, hemp, sisal, jute, seagrass and coir.
Imagine hard surfaces in rattan, bamboo, ceramic, earthenware, marble, porcelain, glass and solid wood.
Metals such as copper and brass and aluminium are infinitely recyclable and can create wonderful patinas.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a personal connection with the place where you live and spend your time.
With the world throwing us more and more reasons to be concerned, we all need our haven, our sanctuary, to retreat and cocoon ourselves in safety.
When you get the balance right, that moment when you come home, kick off your shoes and sit down with your family feels amazing.
And relax…time to unwind and take stock.
To recharge, rest, sleep and be ready for what life throws at you.
Owning Your Space
To feel like you’ve carved out your space in the world, is vital. To love your home and to feel nourished by the spaces, its contents and its people is surely everyone’s goal.
Don’t underestimate the difference it can all make. Even little steps along the way are all in the right direction. With the right help, it’s possible for everyone to make that their reality.
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