7 Reasons Why Home Decorating Is Good For Your Health

I am so very excited to be entering the next phase of Recycled Interiors and the Hub – welcome to our newly merged site! You can now visit the hub for all of your sustainable home needs, shop the ever growing store and read the blog.  We are most definitely looking forward to sharing more stories, more tips and more inspiration for healthy planet, healthy people, healthy home. When I started Recycled Interiors it was always my intention to share all of these things to encourage you to love your home, to enjoy the process of designing and decorating your home, to celebrate diversity and care for the planet and each other. People often don’t think about decorating as being part of your wellbeing, but I truly believe that home decorating is good for your health.

Here are my 7 reasons why home decorating is good for your health

1. Your Environment

We know that the environment in which you live is an important part of good health. This relates to the wider environment, your home environment in relation to air quality, water quality, sound and noise levels, heating and cooling etc; as well as the aesthetics of what you surround yourself with in your home. The choices you make in designing, building and decorating your home clearly have a huge impact on your carbon footprint, and the way that the waste you produce is managed. Choosing to buy local, sustainable, eco friendly and recycled products, helps to keep our planet and your environment, healthier. The immediate environment of your home is affected by things like planting trees on your property, having a garden, growing some food yourself, refusing chemicals and plastics, reusing, recycling, refusing, repurposing and having a compost bin. Your choice of materials such as timber, wool, sisal and hemp for floorings; zero VOC paints and glues; and natural fibres, all affect your health. Your choice of locally made, vintage, fair trade, recycled, upcycled and handmade homewares and furniture affect your health, and that of the people who make these items, as well as the chain of supply and waste. All of these things are in your power to control, you have the choices to make, and it does matter.

2. A sense of Achievement

There is nothing like doing something yourself and seeing the finished result. I think that decorating a room gives you that sense of achievement. Even the housework can make you feel like you have finished a job well done! A home that is disorganised (note I am not saying clutter as I feel there are some people who are maximalists and some who are minimalists and that is ok) will be bad for your mental health. If you are scrabbling to find space to sit, or place items down when you need to, then it is time to get on top of things and sort out your home. Doing so can really make you feel good. I often find that faffing around the house, rearranging and making new looks, gives me a spring in my step; and I do it often! It does not cost you anything, can be done in a few hours or less, and creating a new feeling in your home is good for your health.

How to care for potted plants indoors and on your deck including strong of pearls, monstera and fiddle leaf fig3. Sensory Stimulation

The things that you surround yourself with in your home are important. That is why mass produced items that you see on television or in a magazine, are bad for your health. They are often badly made, poorly produced, with no consideration of people or planet. They also all look the same, and you can imagine a scene from The Truman Show, or The Stepford Wives, with all of the houses having the exact same look…… What you want is to personalise your home, so that it carries things within it that have meaning for you; and looks the way YOU love. This does not mean everything has to be special, or gathered on a particular holiday or other outing. What it means is that you chose the items wisely and with a conscious decision.  The biggest part of this is that you love the way it looks and you have made conscious decisions about what to bring into your home. I love lots of colour, pattern and texture in my home. You may prefer a more neutral environment. That is all cool – whatever makes you feel happy and engages your brain and heart when you sit and look around the place, is what matters. 

4. Doing Something Positive, Mindfulness and Flow

When you are feeling like the world is all too fast, when terrible things are happening in the world that you have no control over, it is easy to feel like all is lost….there can be a sense that the world is doomed and you have no part to play in making things better. This is when you need to firsly disconnect from social media, because that is just bad for your health; and secondly do something in your local environment that you can control. Taking positive action around the house is something I find soothes my mind and heart, and makes me come back to reality. It gets you into flow and forces you to be mindful, which is good for your health. Focusing on something creative has been proven to increase health and happiness. Choosing things to put in your home that are doing something for others – such as buying from small local businesses, buying fair trade and upcycling something yourself – are all positive steps you can take to make a difference, that can make you feel like you have a hand in something bigger than you. 

5. Connecting with History and Other People

Buying old things and giving them a second or third (or fourth!) life, discovering something road side, or in the back of an op shop for small change, really connects you with human history. I have been in love with history since I was a little girl and have binge watched nearly every historical drama and movie on Netflix that there is I think! Having a chair, or sofa or table in your home, that has history, connects you to all of the years of human existence, reminds you that we do not have to live in a throw away world, where everything is based on consumption and trends. It also makes you realise that your time here is fleeting and that you need to make the most of it. Handling a spoon or tea cup that has many stories to tell, is far more engaging and magical than one that has been mass produced. It reminds you that old is not negative, and that there have been many people walk before you, and will be many people who walk after you on this planet, and that is a good thing.

Trees at morialta - photo Helen Edwards www.recycledinteriors.org6. Making a difference

It is not a waste of time, or a small matter, to consider the design and decoration of your home. It matters so much more than many people realise. If you build a home without any thought for the environment, knock it up in a few weeks, with no eaves, no proper insulation, no consideration of the environment for its inhabitants and no consideration for the wider environment, that matters a whole lot. If you decorate your home by mindlessly following the sheep to the chain store and buying the cheap knock off version of a vase, or cushion, made in a factory somewhere, that matters. If you buy a rug in a store because it is so much cheaper than the fair trade one you saw online somewhere, that matters. Yes people need to find things that fit within their budget, but at what cost? And in my experience, decorating your home ethically does not need to cost the earth.

7. Being YOU

And finally, the way that you design and decorate your home should be all about being YOU. Stop worrying about what other people think about your home and more about what you can do to be happier, healthier, and create a home you love that’s better for you, your family and our planet. No matter how big or small, whether it has cracks and knocks, needs some work or is perfect the way it is – your home is YOURS. Whether you rent, buy, or live at home, you have the right to create a space that makes you feel happy and secure. Be grateful for having a home and NEVER let anyone tell you that you are “outdated” or that you are just not “on trend”. Each small step you take makes a difference to the health of our planet, you, your family and your home. It is all connected. Home does not mean the same thing to everyone. But we all have the same basic need for a home, for shelter and a place in the world we call ours. Your home should nurture and hold those who live in it, and it should work with the environment in which it stands, not against it. Most importantly, your home is about the people who live there. Your health and happiness are connected to the way you live, and the way you live is connected to the health of the planet. And that’s a whole lot of beautiful.

Do you agree that decorating is good for your health? I would love to hear so drop me a comment xx

Helen

PS If you want to create a sustainable home you love, my book is about to be reprinted and we have as pre launch special – head here to grab it and find out more

6 Comments

  1. Sarah on November 12, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. Well written and great tips. I truly believe our homes are the centre of our wellbeing.

    Regards Sarah
    @emersondesign_

    • helene on November 13, 2017 at 10:15 am

      thank you Sarah, so important to be able to feel that your home is truly a reflection of you and your place to retreat

  2. Jan Withers on November 13, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    I’ve always thought that Helen. Love changing decor and even just putting a vase of flowers in front of a mirror or lighting some candles on a dull cold day. Love a new doona cover and matching pillow cases or just bringing some potted plants inside. One of my favourite things is to find blue and white pieces in an Op Shop to display with my collection. Makes me feel good inside! 💙💙💙

    • helene on November 15, 2017 at 8:53 am

      so so true Jan, love this so much and flowers are a must!

  3. Claire on November 17, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    My grandmother passed when I was 15 and I could bare to let her furniture go. At 47 I still have a few key pieces that I have worked into every home Ive lived in. Where possible, I never buy new. I like things with history.

    • helene on November 20, 2017 at 7:58 am

      that must have been so very hard…I was lucky to have both of my grandmothers for most of my life, my dad’s mum passing at neatly 102 a year ago. I have things that I have kept from all of the people I have lost. Love your approach

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