Five ways your apartment can enhance your wellbeing

If your flat is feeling a little dull, stuffy, or lacklustre, eclectic online furniture company Where Saints Go shares their five tips on how to tailor your apartment to your wellbeing. 

These days, with a huge choice of entertainment, work opportunities, and basic necessities at our fingertips, the average person spends the majority of their time indoors.

This was exacerbated even further by lockdown restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the extra time spent inside led many people to wonder how they could make their homes more supportive of their mental and physical health. 

This desire to create a more positive, healthy home environment is often felt more strongly by those who live in flats or apartments, as built-up areas tend to have less free space and environmental issues like traffic and pollution.

In this article, we look at five simple ways you can tailor your apartment to your overall wellbeing.

1) Maximise natural light

Getting enough daylight is incredibly important to our mental and physical health and should therefore be one of your first priorities when reconsidering your interiors. Insufficient exposure to natural light interferes with our body’s circadian rhythm, meaning that our sleeping patterns don’t align as easily with sunrise or sunset hours.

In fact, recent studies have found that working in an office without natural light can actually contribute towards poor sleep, low mood, and depression (UCLA Health). So, as we spend more time indoors and remote working becomes more common, it’s vital to bring as much light into your home as possible. If it’s not too cold, remember to open your windows regularly for some fresh air and ventilation, too. 

To brighten up your flat or apartment, be sure to pin back blinds and curtains as soon as you wake up. If you live in a rural area with less traffic and fewer streetlamps, you may even swap your blackout blinds for lightweight curtains to get a more natural wake-up call from the sunlight. 

Keeping your windows clean (inside and out) can help you maximise the natural light you have available, as can clearing windowsills of any clutter. Placing mirrors opposite windows can also help reflect as much light around your home as possible, which can instantly brighten up smaller, low-lit apartments without buying new light fittings. 

2) Experiment with colour 

The colours used throughout your home play a huge part in how it feels. For example, when it comes to painting or papering your walls, it’s best to stick to colours like white or light pastel shades if you have a small apartment. This is because light colours (especially when used on the ceiling) make a space feel much larger than it actually is.

Colour psychology has also found bright colours like yellow and orange to promote feelings of happiness, optimism, and creativity, and cool shades like blue and green to have a soothing, peaceful effect. So, you may also choose to experiment with these colours in your home, depending on the atmosphere you hope to create in each room. 

If you’re renting an apartment and can’t make any drastic changes to the walls or flooring, you can still brighten up the space with colourful accents. These might be soft furnishings like throws and pillows, statement pieces such as unique wall art, or vibrant houseplants that trail their leaves down your bookshelf. Colourful pieces of furniture can always be reupholstered if you fancy a change, too!

3) Separate work and leisure spaces

When it comes to apartment living, space is the most valuable commodity. So, the way you use your living spaces every day will make a huge difference both to the way your home looks and how it makes you feel.

Particularly if you have an open-plan flat or apartment, it’s important to create different ‘zones’ for work, leisure, and other activities like cooking or exercise. You can achieve this with versatile pieces like indoor screens, which can create more distinct boundaries between your home office and bedroom, for example. The beauty of screens is their flexibility, as you can easily fold them away when they’re not in use. 

Larger pieces like bookshelves can also be used to create partitions in smaller, open-plan homes. They may be more fixed than screens, but they don’t require any permanent changes to the property and can help you create the feeling of separate ‘zones’.

If you work from home, this can help you maintain better work-life boundaries and switch off more easily at the end of the day. If you don’t want to interrupt the flow of light throughout your apartment, opt for open bookcases with gaps between the shelving, as these will look less imposing. 

4) Fill the space with personal touches

Making a house a home involves filling the space with special items that are unique or meaningful to you. You don’t have to be an interior designer to get creative in your home either: in fact, according to Diversus Health, creativity can be seen as a wellness exercise everyone should do, similar to having a healthy diet and exercise routine.

You might do this by picking out wall art from a local artist, hunting for vintage furniture, or making your own at-home workout corner. Nothing beats seeing all the handpicked, unique pieces coming together in your home! 

5) Manage and reduce clutter

During a busy work week, sometimes home maintenance can take a backseat. However, this can quickly snowball into a disorganised home, which can have a bigger impact on your mental state than you may realise.

Whether it’s a messy work desk or clothes on the bedroom floor, remember that a cluttered environment can make your brain less effective at processing information and, in turn, more prone to procrastination and frustration.

Try to make decluttering your space as easy as possible. Firstly, invest in plenty of practical, high-quality furniture like wardrobes, shelving, or a chest of drawers to keep your belongings when you’re not using them. Smart features like vertical or under-bed storage also make great space-saving solutions for smaller apartments.

Secondly, try to dedicate just five or ten minutes every day to tidying up your surroundings. This might mean washing the dishes or hanging up clothes just before you go to bed, or making your bed first thing in the morning. These small acts don’t take up a lot of time, but they will help your home be a more organised, positive, and calm environment. 

Use these top tips and you can turn your apartment into a more welcoming, supportive environment. For more advice on leading a healthy, balanced life, be sure to check out the rest of our wellbeing articles

Photo by Patrick Perkins