People are spending significantly more time at home as a result of COVID-19, which has led to shifts in habits and a renewed focus on how their homes live and breathe. With winter in full swing, healthy habits and homes will become increasingly important: Approximately 20% of the population suffers from seasonal depression. Here are three ways to help fight the winter blues by bringing the outdoors in.
Use Natural Materials
Wood is a great way to add warmth to any home, whether in flooring, furniture or finishes. Various options and colors are available — from light ash and bamboo to deep mahogany and cherry — to match your décor. Other materials, such as stone and organic fibers, can make an impact as well. Studies have also shown the benefits of indoor plants, including improved air quality and reduced stress — both of which are highly beneficial to a work-from-home environment.
Pay Attention to Lighting
A bonus for many who are able to work from home is the decreased exposure to fluorescent lighting, which can increase the risk for migraines and eye strain. Instead, try to allow as much natural light into your home as possible. Daylight provides access to vitamin D, a nutrient linked to fighting illness, heart disease and depression, as well as boosting weight loss. Incorporating circadian lighting — which mimics the range of color temperatures and intensity throughout the day — can also boost your mood, especially where natural light may not be available, and improve your sleep.
Incorporate Nature-Inspired Finishes and Design
In addition to natural finishes, patterns that reflect natural elements — from leaves to birds to shells — can also infuse the outdoors into your décor. Experts anticipate rich earth tones will also be popular to contribute warmth to homes in 2021, and a number of paint companies have selected calming shades of blue as their 2021 color of the year, reflecting natural elements such as water and the sky. Examples include Benjamin Moore’s Aegean Teal, Sherwin Williams’ Urbane Bronze and PPG’s palette of Transcend, Big Cypress and Misty Aqua.