Does your home feel too artificial?

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Modern homes can sometimes feel overly artificial. We rely heavily on synthetic materials, artificial light and chemical smells. While there are benefits to these artificial options, too much artificiality can affect our mental wellbeing.

Natural materials, light and aromas can all help to make an indoor space feel calmer and more relaxing, while too many synthetic elements can make a home feel jarring and uncomfortable. By striking the right balance, you could help to make your home feel cosier.  

‘Feng shui’ is a Chinese term that is sometimes used to describe this method of creating a balance between indoor space and the outdoor world. If you think your home feels too artificial, here are just several ways in which you can introduce a more natural feel.

Embrace natural light

Our bodies need sunlight. This natural light helps us to produce vitamin D – a vital nutrient that can help to lift our mood, as well as helping us to maintain healthy bones.

By finding ways to illuminate your home with natural light, you could create a happier home environment. It could also encourage you to use less artificial light during the day, saving you money on energy bills.

There are many ways to introduce more natural light into our home. The most obvious way is to build more windows, although this tends to be expensive and isn’t always practical. Many homeowners explore alternative options such as adding skylight windows to ceilings and adding in glass doors.

You can also let in more natural light by getting rid of obstacles that may be in the way of existing windows. Try to avoid placing furniture in front of windows and consider cutting back trees that may restrict sunlight into certain windows.

Add some houseplants

Houseplants are pieces of living nature and they can immediately remove any sense of artificiality from a room (providing that you don’t use artificial plants). Many studies have found houseplants can be beneficial for our health – the help to purify the air in our homes and are able to reduce stress.

There are all kinds of houseplants that you can choose from. Certain plants can be better suited to certain rooms – for instance, jasmine releases a natural scent that can boost sleep quality making it perfect for the bedroom, while plants like Boston fern sport dehumidifying properties and grow well in low light making them perfect for bathrooms.

Flowers are particularly effective at cheering up a room as they can bring an explosion of natural colour. These could be native flowers or foreign flowers. Try to choose colours thskylightwindowat contrast the colour of the room.

Use more wood and stone

Wood and stone are materials that you would find in nature. As a result, they can have a more comforting effect than synthetic materials.

Consider finding ways of incorporating natural materials into each room. This could include switching out a Perspex coffee table for a wooden table or replacing kitchen linoleum flooring with ceramic tiles.

Natural fabrics can also be worth considering on furniture such as couches and curtains. While the likes of nylon and polyester can have benefits such as greater resistance to scratching and easier cleaning, the likes of cotton and leather could help to provide a more natural touch.

Switch to earthy tones

Certain colours can also have an unnatural feel. High-gloss paints have become popular in homes for creating a sense of bnaaturalrightness, but too much of it can sometimes make a home feel overly synthetic. This is particularly the case with bright reds, yellows, blues and greens.

Earthy colours can have a calmer effect. These include greys, greens, browns and cream colours as found in the natural world. Pastel colours can also have this impact.

It’s also worth allowing some natural materials to stay exposed so that the natural texture shines through. Wooden furniture can start to look synthetic if it is heavily laminated or painted in glossy colours. Consider adding a few exposed wooden features to your home.

Use less synthetic smells

Synthetic chemical smells could also be affecting your mood. Some of these chemicals smells also give off VOCs, which studies have shown can damage our respiratory health.

Consider opting for more natural smells in your home. Rather than relying on bleach and chemical air fresheners to cover up bad odours, try burning natural oils or even cooking up your own home-made scents using natural ingredients like peppermint and orange peels. Houseplants can also release natural aromas, helping to make your home smell nice in a non-synthetic way.

Avoid the fake garden

A garden should be a place for connecting the natural world. However, many of us also turn this outdoor space into a heavily artificial zone, laying down fake grass and using synthetic plants.

While caring for real plants takes time and patience, it can be worth having a few natural plants in your garden. Real plants could help to create a more relaxing environment and are more likely to attract wildlife such as birds, hedgehogs, butterflies and bees.

There are plenty of low maintenance plants that you can look into if you don’t want to invest time and energy into gardening including succulents and perennials. Even adding a few of these to your garden could make a big difference.

Natural materials and tones can also be incorporated into your landscaping. Embrace stone and timber and try to restrict synthetic materials.

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