Design for the Mind | Tips for Fighting the Winter Blues
Brooke Cleaver February 6, 2023
Let's face it. Winter can be a difficult time of year.
Cooler days and longer nights can leave us feeling tired and melancholy. Past the charm of the holiday season– winter can feel like an endless barrage of gray skies and bitter landscapes.
Rest assured, if you're one of the fifteen million people who experience some form of seasonal affective disorder, we’ve got your back.
We’ve locked down a few commonly believed interior design notions thought to improve mental wellness. While we can't do much to change your relationship with the season, we can do something to change how you feel about your home. Follow along to learn how natural elements, color, and light can impact your mental health.
1 | Bring the Outdoors In
In recent years, Biophilic design has taken the world by storm. The concept stems from the theory of biophilia, which believes that humans have an innate desire to be close to nature - and that we are happiest when surrounded by life. This theory of human behavior has extended past that of the humanities and into the world of interior design – where it has comfortably taken its place as one of the hottest design trends.
But what does it look like from an interior design perspective? It means choosing elements that stem from the natural world, like wood or stone, and incorporating them into your home. One of the easiest ways of achieving this is through indoor plants. Prioritizing plants as a design element could help to boost your mood during the winter months – and compensate for lost time outdoors.
The Snake Plant
If you're new to the world of indoor gardening but still want to infuse your home with traces of natural beauty, we recommend you start small. Choose low-maintenance, high-impact options that are built to last. For those looking for style and simplicity, we recommend the snake plant. Recognized for its stiff, dagger-like leaves, this West African succulent is anything but fragile. Known for its resiliency, the snake plant can handle various lighting conditions – and requires little to no upkeep. Just be sure to keep up with its monthly watering requirements. Like most succulents, snake plants prefer dry climates. So you should only water when the soil is nearly dry.
Be that as it may, if you own a pet – you may want to steer clear of these stunning Sansevierias. Snake plants are highly toxic when ingested and can cause vomiting and nausea. For that reason, we’re only recommending this option to those without furry friends.
The Spider Plant
If you own a pet but still want to add elements of natural charm to your home, fear not! The spider plant is a wonderful pet-safe alternative for those new to gardening. Recognized for its long, slender leaves – this warm-weather perennial is one of the sturdiest options on the market. It requires minimal effort and thrives under less-than-ideal conditions, making it the perfect plant for even the most novice of gardeners. You do, however, need to be mindful of its watering needs. Unlike the snake plant, which lasts for weeks at a time, the spider plant requires weekly watering.
One of the most fascinating elements of the spider plant is its remarkable ability to propagate. Over time, spider plants produce small star-shaped flowers, which eventually develop into “baby” spider plants or spiderettes. These miniature plants can be snipped off to grow new perennials to enjoy or share.
Think Outside the Box
If you’re not keen on the idea of turning your space into a conceptual forest, don’t fret! Research led by the Vrije University Medical Centre in the Netherlands found that just looking at pictures of plants can be enough to lower stress levels. Incorporating furnishings and textiles that mimic the natural world could help to balance your space and improve your mental health. Natural textures like jute, sisal, and bamboo can infuse your space with visual interest and organic beauty, while bold prints and daring patterns can help to prevent wanderlust.
Escape the muted hues of winter through Lafayette Interior Fashions’ extensive materials library.
2 | Surround Yourself with Warm Earth-Tones
Another way of bringing balance to your space and repelling those winter blues is through the use of color. Color can enormously impact how we think and feel – and even whet our appetites. For instance, did you know that many fast-food companies purposely incorporate yellows and reds into their branding to elicit feelings of hunger?
As such, there are also combinations of colors that can work to promote feelings of wellness and boost mental health. Earth tones, such as orange, tan, and green, are generally friendly, contemporary, and inviting colors that can operate to improve mood and function. Seek out tones you'd typically find in nature and incorporate them into your home through decorative pillows, plush throws, and thick rugs.
3 | Let in the Light
“O, sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on earth.” – Roman Payne.
Another way to shed those winter blues is by fixing your relationship with the sun. Like most of us, you've probably been told to steer clear of the sun and avoid its harmful rays. And while that may be true, inadequate exposure can negatively impact your health. Natural light is essential for human functioning – and can even affect our physiological and emotional well-being. Reduced exposure can throw off our internal clocks and mess with our sleep. As a result, you might want to seek out durable window coverings that will bathe your home in natural light.
Consider Sheer Shading
Crafting the perfect space takes a lot of hard work – and one of the most significant drawbacks to incorporating natural light is its potential impact on our rugs and furnishings. Direct sunlight can damage and discolor beloved fixtures that have been in our homes for generations. But with Tenera® Sheer shades, you can have the best of both worlds. These beautifully engineered sheers offer UV protection to all your delicate home furnishings – providing up to 88% protection when the vanes are open and 99% when the vanes are closed.
Incorporate Natural Elements with Wood Blinds
Incorporate natural wood elements into your home and achieve light control with Heartland Woods®. Crafted from real hardwood, generate uplifting spaces that are custom-built to fit your space. Choose between a vast assortment of beautiful stains and designer paints for the ultimate look – filled with effortless light control and grace.
Lafayette's Heartland Woods® collection is perfect for those who enjoy the timeless feel of blinds but crave the elegance of modern solutions. Or for the minimalist who wants to dress their windows in fashion-forward coverings that will last for years to come.
The harsh chill and muted palette of winter can take its toll on the best of us. And while interior design notions, like Biophilic design, can help to improve mental wellness, they’re not a substitute for medical treatment. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing extreme distress, we encourage you to seek professional help. Because a design is only beautiful when it has someone to serve.
"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home."- Edith Sitwell
Lafayette Interior Fashions is a family-owned, to-the-trade manufacturer of blinds, shades, shutters, draperies and other custom crafted interior fashions products. To learn more about our products, Find a local dealer near you.