Designing Your Home Around Wellness Trends
With its flaws and blemishes as well as its natural cycle of birth and death, wabi-sabi is an expression of the imperfect beauty of nature. Therefore, instead of spending countless hours in the home making it perfect from top to bottom, how about finding beauty in a lack of symmetry and odd numbers, unique materials, handmade pottery, aged objects, and nature?
Cwtch, translated as a cuddle, is evident in the trend for comfortable couches, throws, pillows, and fireplaces that contribute to the kind of cozy, cuddly vibe that makes us feel at ease. Discover more ways to use cwtch in your home design.
The KonMari Method
There seems to be an endless thirst for decluttering and storage among Americans. Many factors contribute to that desire for order, including Marie Kondo’s bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Streamlining your possessions and discarding unnecessary objects can give you a sense of calm and renewal, as well as “sparking joy” in your life, as Kondo teaches. Design can certainly affect your mental state.
The 72 Hour Cabin
The proliferation of she-sheds, outbuildings, tiny houses, and artist studios in backyards all over the country cannot be denied. An innovative project called 72 Hour Cabin aims to meet people’s need for solitude, tranquility, and a life free of distractions. Study participants experienced solitude, swimming, fishing, and contemplating nature from a glass-walled cabin in the wilderness after engaging in what are considered key facets of the Swedish lifestyle: solitude, swimming, and fishing. Stress levels decreased by 70% after 72 hours. What can you do to implement this trend? A view of nature, unplugging and reading instead of surfing the web, and finding opportunities for exercise and self-care can help alleviate stress when a trip to Sweden is not in the cards.
In the practice of Niksen, the Dutch allow themselves to be still, even bored, by unplugging, daydreaming and unplugging. The best way to do this is to have a designated, private room at home where you can escape the media, TV, charging stations, and distractions and look out the window or snuggle up and let your mind wander. Allowing yourself to simply “be” is key to increasing creativity and reducing stress.
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that aims to create harmony between humans and the natural environment. Bringing positive energy into your home is the goal. Numerous ways can be used to achieve Feng Shui, including methods found in other wellness traditions, such as getting rid of clutter both literally and symbolically to remove obstructions. Keeping pathways clear, especially to the front door, invites energy into the house, and doors that open inward rather than outward push energy away. A bench or piece of artwork that offers a place for reflection also allows energy to flow calmly and unhurriedly through your home. By allowing light into our homes, we can also enhance positive energy and feelings by using drapes windows, or mirrors that bounce light around. Feng shui also emphasizes the importance of the commanding position of items in three key places. Beds represent individuals, desks represent careers, and stoves represent wealth. The door should be visible from inside or from outside, but not right in front of you. It’s best to never have your back to the door when you’re at your desk or in bed, as that prevents you from receiving positive energy.
The Swedish concept of fika is less well known than hygge from Denmark, but it is every bit as enjoyable. Spending time relaxing, being present, and sharing with friends – whether it be at a coffee shop, on your porch, or over Zoom. Even if you don’t drink hot cocoa out of anything fancy, a splurge like a handmade cup worth displaying on open shelves in your kitchen is a smart move. Yes, you can get a $2 ceramic mug at Ikea, but if you want something that will make you smile every day because it’s just so you, we suggest you go for the $20 mug.
It is a Norwegian word coined by playwright Henrik Ibsen that describes the joy and contentment experienced when living outdoors and being able to socialize, go for exercise, play, and eat outdoors. The term loosely translates to “free air life” or “open-air living,” and we’ve seen this trend manifested in our current craze for design-savvy vans and campers. Moreover, friluftsliv also takes place in our at-home outdoor spaces, which are outfitted with firepits and kitchens, enabling us to expand our year-round living options and beat the stuck-at-home blues. Spending time outdoors has been proven to increase contentment, reduce stress, and bring on a sense of deep satisfaction.
Lagom is yet another Nordic design trend that many consider being the Swedish version of Danish hygge. Lagom is rooted in the Swedish idea of getting what you need without overdoing it. Instead of accumulating things you don’t need, lagom emphasizes buying only the items you actually need. According to researchers, the acquisition is linked to unhappiness, and the Swedes value the quality of life more than accumulation, and they prefer being present in the present instead of obsessing about what they will buy or do next. Creating a comfortable, welcoming home for your family is a good idea, but don’t think that it is the things you buy that are key, but the time spent with your family. Taking time to declutter, to reconnect with nature, whether that be by bringing plants indoors or by opening large windows to catch the view outside, and to connect with those around you every day is part of lagom.