Girl walking through plants on a patio

Photo courtesy of @criene/Twenty20

Imagine yourself walking through a peaceful forest. The sunlight is filtering through the trees, the breeze is gently swaying the branches, and the only sound you hear is the chirping of birds. Your soul is feeling pretty good, and you secretly wish you could take this feeling home with you. 

It turns out that you can. As the world increasingly adopts a rushed pace, we all need those sanctuaries where our minds and hearts can rest. Although locales like forests, waterfalls, and beaches can instantly make us Zen out, it’s important to harness that tranquility in a place that we spend perhaps more time in than anywhere else — our homes. 

Shelly Lynch-Sparks, Founder and Principal of Hyphen & Co, specializes in wellness interior design and couldn’t agree more. She says, We are all facing some sort of burnout with technology and daily challenges. Vacation is temporary, and self-care is ongoing. Taking the initiative to change and transform an interior environment to be more relaxing or invoke emotion and inspiration can change a person’s outlook and well-being.” 

She says that she and her team achieve wellness-minded design by bringing the outside in, using organic shapes, and carefully considering color palettes. 

These are design elements that you can bring into your own home, which will help foster a feeling of calm even on your most stressful days. Here are Shelly’s top five tips for creating a home that boosts your mental health and self-care. 

Woman and son in backyard pool

Photo courtesy of @crystalmariesing/Twenty20

Create A Meditation Nook

Meditating is an incredibly beneficial way to start (or end) your day, and it can be helpful to set aside an area for your practice. It’s important to make it feel comfy, too. Shelly says, I think it’s all about the cushion. Some of the best mediators I know can sit on anything and transcend everywhere. It’s all about the space you make. Clear out a corner and designate it for that purpose.” 

Scent Your Spaces

Aromatherapy has been proven effective time and time again in studies, and it’s a potent tool to create atmosphere and calm in any space of your home. To really lift the vibes of a room through scent, Shelly recommends Palo Santo, soy candles, lavender, or floral oil sprays.”

Embrace Natural Materials

Natural, sustainable fabrics can contribute to general well-being and foster a closer connection with the outdoors as well. Shelly says that decorative items and materials made from non-synthetic elements are pieces that are made from the earth” and include mud cloth, jute, hemp, ceramics, and clay tiles. She adds, They can be used with accessories like pillows and planters.”

Decorate with Plants

Plants are a wonderful way to purify the air in your home and bring the outdoors into your décor. If you’re new to plants, Shelly recommends starting with succulents and low-light plants. She says, Succulents need bright sunlight, but only have to be watered once or twice a month. Low-light plants are amazing and only have to be watered once a month. Plus, they clear out so many toxins!” 

Inspire Sleep

Perhaps the most important room in your home for wellness is your bedroom, especially since it’s your headquarters for catching oh-so-essential ZZZ’s. Your bedroom décor can lend itself to the quality of your sleep. In addition to clearing out stress-inducing clutter (“Less is more,” Shelly says), she suggests that lighting and bedding are what make a bedroom feel cozy.

She says, We always recommend sconces on the bedside to help keep things off the nightstand and create a bit of mood lighting. Your mattress and your bedding should be one of the nicest things you own. You spend so much time in your life sleeping — better make it comfortable and chic while you can.”

Articles from The Natural should not be considered medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please consult a medical professional.