Whether you believe in them or not, crystals have been used for centuries as a healing tool. Not only do I love them for their energetic benefits, but they look so beautiful around the house.
It's no secret that we love plants! From a design perspective, we recommend investing in a few large plants as they have an amazing sculptural presence and are a great way to create separate spaces within one room. They also improve air quality, by releasing oxygen, regulating humidity, and emitting their own natural fragrance. Small plants are also great but try and keep them to a minimum to avoid creating clutter or clashing smells! I love hanging eucalyptus in the bathroom, and I always put an orchid or aloe vera plant in my bedroom as they emit oxygen throughout the night.
Believe it or not, the different finishes, feels, and textures in our homes are yet another thing that influences our feelings. I highly recommend the Netflix documentary Abstract: The art of design, in which Ilse Crawford explores this further. The main thing to consider is how materials make you feel, and how in sync they are with the pieces around it. For instance, a soft cashmere throw, on a robust leather club chair, is a great combo, as is an antique rug layered over a thick jute.
There's been a ton of research into color psychology over the years, and while there's lots of truth to it (calming neutrals and dramatic black, etc), it ultimately comes down to personal preference. I like a mainly neutral palette but have also done my fair share of experimenting! When I moved into my apartment I painted one room my favorite shade of dark green, which is said to be relaxing. While it looked beautiful, it didn't sit well with me so I reverted back to a soft grey.
This is huge for me and while I understand family life can make it hard to maintain, I think tidiness is something I'll always prioritize. Feel free to say I told you so in a few years' time... Until then I'll keep decluttering!
This is basically a round-up of everything I've mentioned, as finding the right colors, fabrics, and lighting for you is what makes your home yours! Some other great personal touches are fruit bowls, fresh flowers, and family photos - ultimately, anything that makes you feel happy and calm.
If you're after some further reading on this topic, do check out the following:
Alain de Boton, The Architecture of Happiness | Lily Bernheimer, The Shaping of Us | Elina Grigoriou, This is what changed my approach to interior design | Virginia Clark, Interiors and Wellbeing