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From House Beautiful

While there are many areas in the home that can aid our physical health, the lounge or living room is key to better mental wellbeing.

It should be a flexible space where we can spend time with loved ones, or alone, to relax and restore, and feel contained, safe and comfortable. Yet housing developers increasingly insist on combining kitchen, dining area and lounge into one open-plan space – and trying to deliver on all three functions in one area can create discord. I believe that, if it’s possible, it’s more desirable to have a separate lounge area.

So, how can we create a lounge space that benefits our mental wellbeing? It comes down to ‘place making’ to deliver what you want to feel. What will help you relax? A sofa or armchair is a great place to start. How about a coffee table with a side lamp, plus blankets and cushions nearby, all set up ready for you to instantly unwind? Adaptable lighting helps; choose dimmable, low-level warm options such as lamps rather than harsh overhead lighting. Minimise unwanted noise and increase calm by using thick curtains and soft furnishings.

Keep connected to nature

A view to the outside will help you reap nature’s restorative benefits. Point your armchair towards a window or add a window seat from which you can gaze outside, enabling quiet reflection and maximum exposure to natural light.

Bring nature inside to increase its benefits

Studies have shown that natural materials, such as timber wall panelling, can reduce heart rate and blood pressure. Soothing pastels such as Dulux’s Colour Futures 2020 ‘care’ palette are the perfect backdrop for plants and greenery, which will bring a space to life without overstimulating the senses.

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Think about the position of the TV

It doesn’t have to be the focal point of the room. Introducing some movement is a great way to create visual interest; the obvious one is flickering flames in a fireplace, or you could install a fish tank. These can even be another way to bring people together for passive social time (spending time together without doing anything in particular) – creating a deeper connection to others is fundamental to our overall happiness and mental wellbeing.

From: House Beautiful magazine. Subscribe here.

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