In the busy, cluttered, and often chaotic modern world, your home represents a place of peace and tranquillity. While it provides shelter and warmth first and foremost, your home is much more than a simple place to escape from the elements or store your personal belongings. Your home affects your daily rhythm, your lifestyle, even your mood - acting as a microcosm for the rest of the world and providing you with the space you need to expand and grow.
Location, value, architecture, and interior design all have a huge impact on how we live, with the design of clever and efficient spaces helping us to live better and more productive lives. There are many aspects that define a home, including the surrounding environment, the external building, the interior space, landscaping, lighting, colour selection, and even appliances. By thinking about the impact of each of these elements, you can make a profound difference to the quality of your life.
The location of your home has a huge effect on your lifestyle, including proximity to entertainment districts, shopping, natural areas, and major roads. Many young people and retirees in Australia and New Zealand have decided to swap the suburban backyard for a CBD apartment, giving them easier access to restaurants, concert venues, and public transportation. The value of your home also has a huge effect on your lifestyle, with a large home and mortgage providing an opportunity for capital and family growth, often at the expense of holidays and disposable income.
According to Dr Sergio Altomonte, architect and associate professor in the department of architecture and built environment at Nottingham university, it's important to design buildings around people to ensure a quality lifestyle: “Buildings and urban spaces should be designed first and foremost around their occupants ... The importance of architecture as a trigger to physical, physiological and psychological wellbeing is nowadays becoming a topic of significant relevance.” Even if you're not ready to start a new build, architectural elements such as space, light, geometry, and materials can be incorporated into existing homes.
The layout of your home influences how you feel when carrying out your daily tasks, with organised living areas and good flow between spaces creating a feeling of control and emotional balance. A new field of science called embodied cognition looks specifically at the role of the environment in developing cognitive capacity, with another field called neuroaesthetics examining the biological role of aesthetic experiences. Numerous studies have shown how light and space affect our emotional responses, with well-thought-out architecture and interior design allowing us to feel less anxious and more relaxed.
Along with space itself, light and colour also have a profound effect on our mood. Advertisers understand the importance of colour when designing commercials and packaging, with the colours and shapes of our homes capable of having a much bigger effect than anything we consume. In one famous colour theory study where office workers had their walls painted red, an immediate improvement in productivity was followed by profound tiredness and argumentative behaviour. By matching utility with colour selection in each room of your home, you can create an environment that always feels right and promote the quality of life you deserve.
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