How to turn the house into a pleasure for the senses and a source of health.
We need a quiet space where we can relax, a place to forget stress and worries, especially if we live in a city, enduring noise, and pollution. Home is a refuge to regain balance, express one’s personality without hindrance, and enjoy it to the full.
The key is in the senses: you have to remain attentive and cultivate sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing to surround yourself with a positive environment. You have to stop at the subtle effect that everything we see, touch, and hear, produces in our depths, beyond aesthetics and fashions. Any change that is introduced in the home has an internal meaning: getting rid of a certain object can mean overcoming an emotional obstacle, and putting an order in a room expresses the clarity of ideas with which one wishes to direct one’s life.
The ancient art of feng shui, based on the experiences of many generations, provides very interesting suggestions in this regard. On the other hand, health care also plays a role in home design, as well as respect for the environment.
After crossing the threshold, the first space synthesizes the spirit that reigns in the house. To those who live in it, it immediately offers the feeling of security and privacy at home. For visitors, the hall provides the first and most lasting impression: if it is positive, it conveys the desire to open up to others, and to new experiences and opportunities.
1. A good idea is to have a shoe rack, not only to order footwear and prevent it from being scattered throughout the house, but also to offer slippers to visitors. It is not a very common custom among us, but it is frequent in the Nordic countries: it is comfortable, and hygienic and reinforces the idea that a home is a special place.
2. Light in abundance is necessary throughout the house, however, this aspect is often neglected in the halls. A gloomy entrance like a cave makes people suspicious, gives an unfriendly feeling, and encourages people to stumble. Therefore, if there is a window with a blind, it will always remain open.
3. A mirror is useful in a small hall as it increases the feeling of space (a painting with perspectives produces the same effect). It also reflects light and serves to take a last look before going out into the street safely. According to feng shui, a mirror in the hall intensifies the flow of vital energy (chi) and helps it to be distributed throughout the house.
4. Feng shui also recommends placing a mobile in the hallway to moderate the flow of energy. Their sounds will be a sign of the identity of the house.
It is the room dedicated to activity and communication. More than any other space, it expresses one’s personality and way of being in the world. How it is enhanced, and the style depends on the creativity of each one.
5. The door must be visible from the sofa so that people who are sitting feel safe and comfortable. It is convenient that what is seen from each seat is pleasant and that in no place does one has the sensation of being isolated, for this, it is recommended that the seats form a circle around a small table.
6. A blunder is for the television to be the point of reference for the room, the altar that dominates the space. This arrangement, so frequent, favors isolation and the device is always on. To avoid this, it is best to hide the TV inside a cabinet with doors and leave it in a secondary place. This decision can change the life of a family.
7. Natural textures and colors are more pleasing. Furniture can be made of untreated solid wood or wicker, rather than artificial fibers and foam padding. The rugs should be made of natural fibers, such as wool, seaweed, coconut, sisal, jute, or cotton. It is not recommended to varnish the parquet with conventional products, because they emit toxic gases (natural wood is treated with linseed oil and beeswax). As for colors, light shades of green, yellow, or other, for example, facilitate good lighting and relaxation, but striking touches are appropriate in a space that is also dedicated to the activity.
8. The cushions are made with natural and suffered materials, not delicate, creating an informal and comfortable environment. It would not be bad to have a zen cushion or zafú, the most appropriate is to sit in the lotus position and meditate. But do not go too far: if the seats are filled with cushions it seems that they are occupied and if they are saying “Look at me and do not touch me” they do not invite you to take a seat either.
9. Four or five plants are essential. They are beautiful and remove toxic gases from the air, such as formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, or nitrogen dioxide. Among the most decontaminating plants are the bamboo, the focus, the ribbons, the espatifilo, the calathea, the palm tree, the ivy, and the dracaena.
It is the room for the encounter with oneself, through dreams, reading, or meditation in solitude, and also for intimate encounters. The bedroom is the room where creativity and enjoyment can be unleashed. That is why the environment must be very personal and sensual: it is the right place to exhibit that painting or object that we would not dare to show anywhere else.
10. Bedding is crucial to being comfortable: cotton, specifically flannel, is the most comfortable and healthy fabric. Plush, silk, satin, and velvet are other suitable textures in the bedroom. In winter, the heavy blankets can be replaced by light but warm duvets.
eleven. The colors indicated are the skin tones of all races: pearl beige and tan, cream cocoa, pink and reddish peach, subtle yellow, pale violet, and reddish ochre. Also warm pastel shades as well as stronger shades such as coral, chocolate, cream, terracotta, vermilion, raspberry, aubergine, burgundy, copper, gold, and bronze. On the other hand, it is necessary to avoid less sensual and warm colors predominate, such as white, gray, black, blue, and grayish green.
12. The position of the bed influences the possibility of resting deeply. You instinctively feel safer if you can see the door from your bed. As for the orientation, the head should be to the north to be placed in harmony with the electromagnetic field of the Earth. Child’s bedroom
Children are especially sensitive to the influence of the environment. Taking into account that they tend to be hyperactive, a tense environment is generally created in the children’s room that does not allow them to relax.
13. Simplicity and order must reign in this space. The child will learn to establish priorities if he is surrounded by an environment where the essential is present and the accessory is unimportant. Toys that encourage action should be stored out of sight in drawers or chests.
14. Due to children’s sensitivity, it is the place where it is most necessary to be rigorous with the products and materials used: ecological paints (without lead or toxic solvents), untreated wooden furniture and toys, natural floors, and rugs…
15. Basic colors are commonly considered to be childish, however the most convenient are the serene colors: pastel, lavender, peach, and cream. The decoration is completed with the works and ideas of the child himself, who needs to express himself and create an identity (if two children live in a room, each one must have their own space).
The place reserved for work must encourage activity and creativity. On the other hand, more and more people want a space to pursue their interests and make it a kind of sanctuary.
16. The chair is a vital piece: it must be ergonomic, that is, adapted to the needs of the body. Above all, it must provide lumbar support and adjustable height. Many people opt for ones that can sway slightly to allow themselves some freedom of movement. Others prefer those with an inclined seat with knee support.
17. In the studios there are usually many devices that emit polluting emissions: computers, faxes, photocopiers, printers… The emissions can be chemical or electromagnetic. The latter can be reduced by moving away from the appliances. Chemicals can be combated with good ventilation and by placing three or four plants, which, as we have already said, have the power to absorb polluting substances.
18. A studio does not have to be an aseptic place. On the contrary, it can shine with its personality. For example, you can place the memories of trips that have changed or enriched us in some way, objects to which for whatever reason we attribute a special intimate meaning or cherished collections. These objects inspire me to be more creative.
The main source of health in a house is the kitchen, where the food that nourishes the body and mind is prepared. The kitchen exerts an attraction on the people who live in the house: it is easy to meet there in an endearing atmosphere.
19. Kitchenware and utensils made of steel, ceramic, cast iron, and glass are healthier than plastic and aluminum, light materials that release substances that can be harmful.
20. If there is a minimum of light, you cannot miss aromatic plants. Pots with basil, rosemary, mint, sage, chives, parsley, thyme, dill, and fennel… beautify, are a fresh seasoning and keep insects away.
The space dedicated to body care is gaining importance every day. It began as a cornered and small place to meet inevitable needs and has become a temple of well-being, an ideal place to get rid of stress.
21. In the bathroom, the element of water and metal predominate. Feng shui recommends balancing this domain by reinforcing the elements of earth, fire, and wood. For this, yellow, ocher, blues, and greens are suitable colors. Some objects will enhance the desired elements and create a warm atmosphere: plants and flowers, large candles, clay, and wooden objects.
22. A lot of water is often wasted. One way to save water is to install controlled flush cisterns (if you have an older model you can reduce the amount of flushing water by placing two or three full bottles inside) and save shower phones (they increase the water pressure and reduce the amount that comes out).
In many houses, the dining room is practically dispensed with or the less time is spent in it the better. Television and sofas exert a powerful attraction. However, considering the dining room as a valuable space means giving the right importance to food, since it takes time and a relaxed attitude. Being comfortable in the dining room is a good help to get the full benefit of food.
23. The characteristics of the furniture should attract us to them, and provide us with security. Feng shui recommends tables without aggressive edges that cause a defensive attitude: circular, oval, or rounded-cornered tables are the most appropriate. The same can be said of the chairs, which should not have pointed projections or right-angled corners.
24. Creating a pleasant atmosphere is the other secret so that attention can be concentrated on the conversation and on the food, which must be enjoyed without haste. You have to eliminate distractions, such as television, intense lights, or striking objects. Shaded lamps, indirect lighting, and candles provide adequate light. The paintings and decorative objects should not suggest anything unpleasant or disturbing, but whet your appetite: simple still lifes, flowers, landscapes, seascapes… The dining room is not a good place for mirrors.
The balcony or terrace, however small they may be, are outdoor spaces within reach at any time. He leaves to get oxygen or to escape a sudden feeling of claustrophobia, so it is better not to find them deserted or full of junk. They better be full of life.
25. Even on a small balcony, even more so on a terrace, it is possible to grow some vegetables in flower boxes or have a fruit tree.