With spring time around the corner, it’s the perfect time to treat your home to a detox and make a fresh start for the season ahead. Gabrielle Fagan taps up the Topology design gurus for tips.
Spring is almost here. The start of this new season often makes us yearn for clean, calm, refreshed spaces at home.
Amy Brandhorst and Athina Bluff, interior design duo Topology, have teamed up with Habitat to share expert tips on how to banish your home’s winter hangover and make it warm weather ready and fabulous.
The stylish pair have taken a lot of inspiration from Feng shui. Although it might sound like a tricky concept to get your head around, the traditional Chinese practice basically centres on the belief that the specific arrangement of shapes, furniture and objects can have a great effect on the energy around us, and combine to harmonise and balance a space.
Creating a positive home environment is believed to benefit our mental and physical health too.
Follow Topology’s seven step home ‘detox’ plan to create a serene sanctuary that boosts your wellbeing, and where you can relax and look forward to sunnier days ahead.
- Study the space
As a beginner, it’s easiest to kick off your Feng shui mission in either your home office/desk area or your hall. Placing your desk in the centre of a room or opposite/adjacent to a window, according to the laws of Feng shui, enhances creativity, energy and productivity.
Apparently, it pays dividends if you blitz that hall as well. After all, if your first sight of home when you get in after a days work at the office is a dumping ground for coats, shoes and sports kit, it won’t exactly lift your spirits. “Keeping it tidy, spacious and inviting is a great start for good Feng shui and positivity within the home.”
Cleaning the windows so they let in more light could also be a good move.
- Follow the three colour rule
Sticking to a simple colour scheme can prevent your space from feeling chaotic or busy. Just doing that can make spaces feel much more understated and tranquil but still full of depth and interest. If you are a decor diva and ultra fashionable blue appeals, this could be a great calming choice. As the Topology duo highlight, research has found that being in blue spaces can even lower our blood pressure.
Adding toning shades to your chosen blue colour such as teal, navy or sky blue could be the perfect colour palette for a gentle, harmonious scheme.
- Introduce more nature
Biophilia is a bit of a buzzword in the worlds of interiors and wellness right now and in essence is a nod to upping the greenery in rooms with indoor plants, to harness our innate need to connect with nature. Topology duo point out the powerful potential effect on our wellbeing of filling our homes with plants, as it’s thought we’re significantly happier when we’re surrounded by the natural world. Topology duo insist an interior furnished with natural materials earthenware, marble based lamps, linen and woollen cushions and blankets will increase that feeling of being connected to the great outdoors.
- Lift items off the floor
Lifting furniture, clutter and everyday objects up and away from the floor can easily create a lighter, detoxified and more uplifting space, according to the pair.
“Seeing more floor space and light through and around objects in a room helps a space feel much more weightless and clutter free.”
- Use rounded shapes
Shape, not size is everything. Spherical, round, or gently curving furniture and home accessories can not only create a sense of balance but is visually pleasing to the eye, say the designers.
There’s even science behind the theory, they point out, as research has found that receptors in the brain light up dramatically when people are around the presence of curved or round objects, rather than angular or jagged shapes.
- Designate a clutter drawer
No home can be completely free of clutter so create a place specifically for tucking it away. Try the designers two step plan for a clutter busting solution.
First, home in on that clutter and gather it into one place, at some point you can work out whether you can sort it, reduce it, or get rid of it altogether. Next, select one drawer to store unsightly or practical items that can’t be stored elsewhere in a home.
Then all the unsightly electrical wires, toys, shoes and newspapers, could be the perfect candidates for that ‘tidy away’ compartment.
- Create a multi sensory home
Finally, finish with a flourish by making your home a multi sensory space, urge the interior gurus. This simply means a space which appeals to all of our senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste.
Apparently, if all those needs are catered for, explain the duo, it helps us feel relaxed and nurtured in our homes. While in general, the scent of lavender and vanilla and soft fabrics such as cashmere make us feel comforted, it’s more important to focus on what makes you feel good as an individual. Experiment with different colours, textures, fabrics and scents to help you find the perfect ingredients for your special sanctuary, suggests Brandhorst and Bluff. “After all, our homes should be personal to each of us and adhere to our needs.”
TOPOLOGY TOP TIPS
Sofas or chairs with high legs make furniture appear less dominant. Open storage and wall shelves will contrast and add an airy, uncluttered effect.
Pick three main colours that naturally appeal to you, then build that by choosing different shades or tones that contrast and work with the dominating colour of the three.
A large, rounded mirror above a bed is effective in a bedroom, which should be an oasis of calm, while other good choices are a soft pouffe, spherical pendant lights, or a round coffee table.
As part of The Home Detox campaign, Habitat will host a series of interior design, houseplant and cookery workshops in its London stores throughout March 2020. For further info and tips, please visit habitat.co.uk/inspiration/small-space-living.