After three months of isolating at home and summer finally here, you might well be feeling the need to revitalize your living spaces. But what to do and where to start?
Fortunately, Hilton global design manager Ashley Michaels has some low-cost, easy, sustainable suggestions that will not only make your home look better but will improve your mental health.
Optimize your home’s feng shui
Feng shui is a practice that aims to balance the flow of energy in a space. Although you may not be inviting guests to your home, that doesn’t mean your front entryway and living room can’t be as welcoming as a hotel lobby. Focusing on these areas can easily create a happier and healthier space.
Declutter and make your rooms more open or well-lit. Studies have shown a link between clutter and the stress hormone cortisol. Reducing clutter can make a huge difference in your mood. “This is a popular concept for the reception and common areas at our hotels,” Michaels says. You can make a room more spacious by simply removing items or more inviting by adding a bit of natural sunlight. This also allows more positive energy to enter your home—a key element of feng shui.
Play around with your existing furniture and décor. “When designing for our hotels and brands, having flexible furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) means you can reconfigure your room setups quickly,” Michaels says.
This also applies at home. You can completely change the look of a room by moving around some interchangeable items including accent pillows or rugs or updating your current “shelfie” situation with a different décor arrangement. For example, have you considered changing up some long-time photos and frames? Or rearranging your books by spine colour rather than size? The options are endless.
Repurpose items you already have.
Sustainability is a big focus area for Hilton’s design team. From incorporating reclaimed wood elements to eco-friendly textiles, the team is always thinking of innovative ways for our guests to Travel with Purpose at our properties. (For example, check out the world’s first vegan suite at Hilton London Bankside.)
Give existing household items a new life. Too many towels? Is your kitchen utensil drawer overflowing? Donation centres are slowly starting to reopen but before you give things away consider whether they can serve a new design-inspired purpose. “Making a hand-braided bathmat or tie-dying old towels can be your next creative at-home project,” says Michaels.
Liven up your video conference backgrounds. Why use a fake background when you can make the real thing look better? Try adding a fresh coat of paint to an old art frame or a piece of furniture and think about creating an accent wall. Studies have shown that paint colours and décor can affect your mental health and overall wellness. Pro tip: If you’re looking to rearrange an existing gallery wall, many small businesses on Etsy also offer digital prints, so you can print yourself and use an existing frame.
Bring the outdoors indoors
Having plants and greenery in a space has been proven to improve air quality and the mood of the people in a space. According to Michaels, Hilton’s design teams have been incorporating this biophilia trend for years. An example? The living wall made from moss at the Hilton Downtown Cleveland.
Create your own herb garden. “An easy way to incorporate this into your home is to salvage some of your vegetable scraps, grab a bowl of water, potting soil and find a sunny window,” says Michaels. “No green thumb required—you’ll be cutting down on food waste and the need to go grocery shopping.” Bonus: It’s a great activity for kids. Here are some instructions.
Incorporate more greenery. Adding more flowers and easy-maintenance plants like succulents can add more colour to your living space and provide you with air purifying benefits for many months to come.
“It’s a great time to make [your home] even more hospitable,” says Michaels. “By borrowing some of these design ideas you may see at our hotels, you can reimagine your space at your house, while practicing self-care.”