A Mindful Approach to Home Design
“Being in the moment—being present and mindful—enhances your life and your well-being. It’s easier to be in the moment, and enjoy it to your core, if you’re in an environment that supports who you are and the way you like to live.”
– Jennifer Adams
The term ‘mindfulness’ has been on the rise over the past decade, both in psychotherapy studies and in popular culture. But what does mindfulness actually mean? According to The American Psychological Association, mindfulness can be defined as “a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgement.” It can be understood as a state rather than a trait, and while mindfulness may be promoted by certain practices, including meditation and yoga, it is separate from these activities.
What are the benefits of mindfulness? These include:
- Stress reduction
- Better memory
- Decreased anxiety
- Less emotional reactivity
- Increased focus
- Cognitive flexibility
- Mental resilience
- Relationship satisfaction
With benefits like these, who wouldn’t want to harness the power of mindfulness in their lives and homes?
Creating a home environment that fosters mindfulness starts with integrating it into your home design process. Mindfulness improves your ability to pay attention to your surroundings, which helps you to better identify what’s working and what’s not. This is something that I was sure to include in my book, Love Coming Home, so that I could make it easy for my readers to incorporate mindfulness in their home design process. Here are a few of the top tips from the book!
Tap into all 5 senses. Our senses of sight, smell, touch, taste and sound are the key way that we experience the world, but when we talk about home design, we often focus exclusively on sight. Seeing a space isn’t the same as experiencing it. Although colors, shapes, and light all play an important role, we also take in textures, fragrances, and so on. Think about how the sound of walking on a plush carpet or smelling wood or fresh flowers might make you feel. The other four senses are just as important in creating a beautiful and mindful home that feels just as good as it looks. (You can read more about transforming your home using all 5 senses here.)
Assess your home environment as a whole. An important principle of mindfulness is that every act has purpose. In the same way, every object and space in your home should have purpose that aligns to how you live your life. Assess your home, paying attention to your whole day, from the moment you wake up to the time you go back to bed. Mindfully follow your movements and activities from room to room and write down what you experience (using all your senses). What’s working? What isn’t? While it may be tempting to buy something on a whim when decorating, consider whether it truly has a place in your world (even if that purpose is simply to bring you joy or evoke a memory). Make sure you only buy or keep items that contribute to how you live in your home in a positive way, that balances both function and emotion.
Use the gift of observation. Mindfulness can help you to step outside yourself and observe your environment in an objective way. By taking the time to quiet your mind and be present, without judgement, you build your innate creativity and ingenuity. Take some time outside to be present in the wonders of nature and practice observing our natural world. It’s a wonderful way to boost your creativity. You’ll be amazed at how those quiet moments experiencing the outdoors can spark your imagination with new design ideas!
Want to learn more about how to integrate mindfulness into your home? Be sure to check out Love Coming Home, available directly from our shop. Learn how to use vision boards to transform each room of your house with purpose, and how to take care of practical details like budget and organization.