Perhaps you need to hear this today – the way you arrange your home can make you feel good about yourself and give you a greater sense of control. A home that’s a nicer place to live will ultimately make you happier and healthier. And you can make it happen over a weekend, wherever you’re staying. Take it from B-hive Living – a wellness coliving brand that does it for you on a daily basis at our Oxfordshire Hives.
Living well starts at home. After all, that’s where we tend to spend most of our free time, or most of all our time if you’re a remote worker. Whether you live alone or with others, your home is also an important part of your identity. Especially during the pandemic, our homes have become a workplace, school, and gym, and still have to be a place to relax and recover from everyday stress. It doesn’t have to be a challenge. Let’s pull up our sleeves and get you feeling much better in these days by taking control of your space.
Declutter and make it yours
At B-hive Living we believe that eliminating things that don’t serve a specific purpose or you don’t personally find beautiful and pleasant is a good start. Apply that rule to your space. A neat home works wonders for our mental clarity and overall health, so start with decluttering. If you haven’t used that candle holder or worn that coat in a long time, consider giving them a second life by donating them (try free stuff! Or Freegle). You will likely find the freed space more valuable than the things that have been occupying it. All the items you keep because they are useful or you love them will naturally find their own comfortable place.
And now, you go ahead and occupy the space. Surround yourself with personal items. Frame your favourite picture, throw that blanket you find cosy on the bed. Keep the books you love near your place of rest. Give your home your own personality. It may feel like you’ve just moved in when you’re done. Feels great, doesn’t it?
Provide for small pieces of comfort
When making changes to your home, we encourage you to consider how you’ll use your home throughout the day, and how you infuse comfort at every step. Pampering yourself is largely in the small things.
Keep comfy slippers next to your bed, and your favourite magazine at the breakfast station. Having pots of fresh herbs in the kitchen will change the way you experience meals, and remote-controlled lighting will contribute to undisturbed evening relaxation. Replace your old shower head with one with beads that makes showers more pleasant and healthier.
Look around and have fun making yourself feel a tiny bit better with every little change, until you get the feeling of ‘Hygge’ from early morning to when your head hits the pillow.
Balance work and relaxing space
Taking care of your mental hygiene is key to design for wellness living. Do it by making sure you accommodate space for relaxation alongside your designated working space. If your home is small, you can use furniture or large plants to create broken-plan zones to separate where you work, relax, cook and eat. If you love reading, organise yourself a nook just for that. A similar space just for crafts and hobbies might become your favourite spot in your home. Personalise, own, and love it.
Make the most of natural light and fresh air
You don’t need to remodel your home to optimise the amount of natural light you get. Try re-arranging the layout of the room instead. Move your desk in front or next to the window. Arrange your sofa to face the windows as well. Not only will you be exposed to more natural light throughout the day, but you’ll also benefit from connecting with the open space outside.
A clever way of bringing more natural light into your home is to install mirrors where the light comes in. It will be more equally balanced throughout your space, filling the room from more than just one source.
Make sure you open the windows frequently to ensure the flow of air through your rooms. Air quality at home is perhaps the most underrated feel-good factor that can keep you healthier and make you feel invigorated any time of the day.
Keep it natural
As humans we are deeply connected to nature. Natural textures, materials, shapes and colours provide for a calm and relaxed state of mind. At B-hive we believe that colour alone has the power to transform a room and create different moods. Seek to create harmony of the walls, textiles and other items in your home. Aligning the shades to the activity and mood you desire in that space is paramount for comfort and creating a space that feels your own. As a rule of thumb, warm colours such as red, orange and yellow are considered to be stimulating, while cool tones of blue and green tend to be more restful and soothing.
In your journey to wellbeing, also cut down on chemicals in your home. It’s not as hard as it seems, it can cut your living costs, and most importantly: a natural home is a nurturing home. Instead of chemical-heavy detergent and cleaning materials, opt for natural alternatives kinder to your skin, general health, and the environment. If you like to light candles in the evening, go for those made from soy or beeswax rather than paraffin-based alternatives (we like those from Oxford Candlemakers).
Love your greens
Houseplants look beautiful and can improve your health and wellbeing too. They can remove harmful chemicals from the air, absorb noise and reduce dust, lower blood pressure, help concentration, improve memory, promote relaxation and make rooms look cared-for and welcoming. For boosting wellbeing go for some of these: Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily), Nephrolepis (Boston Fern), Phlebodium Fern, Gerbera Daisy, Saint Paulia (African Violets), Ficus Benjamina (Weeping Fig), Sansevieria (Snake Plant), Chlorophytum (Spider Plant) and English Ivy.
Houseplants might easily become your new hobby, bringing a whole new benefit to your lifestyle. Caring for plants has been an increasing fun trend over the pandemic times, and you’ll find lots of influencers sharing their love for home greenery and tips on making it thrive in the social media (follow the Potted Jungle, Little North Plants or the Black Plant Man for a start).
B-Hive Living is a wellness-focused coliving brand operating properties in Oxford and Bicester, UK, and now expanding internationally. We drive social change by exploring and promoting the concept of living well. We place it at the heart of our coliving design for a more connected, healthy and fulfilling lifestyle for our residents.