When we’re working from home, it’s all too easy to spend entire days hunched over a computer – a habit that we know isn’t good for either our physical or emotional health. Research tells us that taking time to step away from our desks, to clear our mind, stretch and recharge – even for a few minutes – makes us happier, healthier and more productive.
In today’s world, it has never been as important to create sanctuary spaces within our homes, spaces where we and our families can disconnect and instead focus our attention on self-care activities such as reading, journaling and yoga, taking extra care of our physical and mental wellbeing.
An easy and effective way to create these sanctuary zones at homes is through the use of colour. The team at Dulux, lead by colour and communications manager Andrea Lucena-Orr, have created a helpful and comprehensive colour guide focused on using natural-inspired colours to create calming and soothing zones at home with ease.
1. Unwind in your yoga zone
Gentle earth-based greens make us feel relaxed and connected to nature – perfect for creating a dedicated yoga zone in your living area. Try painting the walls a soft green, such as Dulux Pale Tendril, while adding in touches of grounding clay colours on upcycled décor pieces carrying the colour through soft furnishings for a sense of flow and balance. Keep the look simple and clutter-free, with pale timbers, natural textures and a medley of indoor plants. Then, roll out the yoga mat, light a candle, breathe deeply and relax.
2. Chill out in your cushion corner
If you’re concerned about your little ones spending too much time on their devices, how about setting up a cosy chillout zone in the corner of their bedroom or playroom where they can read a book, do a puzzle or play quietly – all it takes is a lick of paint and some comfy cushions. Begin defining the area by painting a section of the wall, Andrea recommends using a serene light blue, such as Dulux Vanilla Ice, and using a cool white on the remaining walls, such as Dulux Vivid White to create a gentle contrast. To finish the look try adding pops of inky blue, such as Dulux Grid, on accessories and décor pieces, Andrea says, as well as soft furnishings to help ground the space.
Lastly, increase the comfort factor with a soft, textured rug and layers of generous, squishy cushions that your little one can snuggle into.
3. Let your sofa cove nurture your soul
By creating your own little oasis at home, where you can practice your daily meditations, you can significantly improve your wellbeing. Designate a spot where you’ll feel comfortable and settled, such as a nook in the living area or a corner of your bedroom. “Decorate it with natural, earth-based colours that make you feel safe and cocooned, such as Dulux Clay Pipe Half and Dulux Teahouse on the walls, and a warm white, like Dulux Natural White, on the ceiling and trims,” Andrea says. You’ll want minimal distractions in your meditation space, so take a ‘less is more’ approach to furnishings. Opt for pared-back furniture in organic materials, positioned with plenty of breathing space around them. Make comfort a priority; choose a curvy armchair in a tactile fabric such as boucle, layered with sheepskin or faux-fur throws and cushions, and a textured rug underfoot. From there, dim the lights, light a candle and turn your attention inward.
4. Imagine and travel in your reading nook
With travel off the agenda, for now, books are your child’s ticket to faraway places. Help make this quiet activity a joy by carving out a dedicated reading corner. “Set the scene with a welcoming and laid-back palette of mossy green across a feature wall (try Dulux Pale Sage), with accents of forest green and clay in furniture and accessories,” Andrea says. Arrange a daybed or spare sofa with blankets, throws and cushions of differing shapes and sizes, add a side table to store books, magazines and indoor plants to emphasise a natural connection. “Mindfulness is a great way to help our kids – and ourselves – build resilience, self-awareness and gratitude we need to navigate these difficult times,” says Andrea. “Just be sure to choose the space for your mindfulness zone thoughtfully – ideally it should be away from busy spots such as the kitchen and TV room so you can really tap into your zen.”
5. Empower your children to repose in their bedroom oasis
Having spent so much time at home in the past year, chances are your teenager is sick of the sight of their bedroom. Help them fall back in love with their personal space by giving it a quick and uplifting colour refresh. Styling the room with calming pinks, soft layered textures and fresh flowers makes it feel captivating and inviting and, according to colour psychologists, will help in creating a positive outlook. “Create a unique bedhead by painting a circle shape on the wall behind the bed in a dusty pink such as Dulux Victoriana, and remaining walls in a more subtle, tonal shade of Dulux Porcelain Half,” Andrea says. Keep the room bright and open by painting the trims and ceiling in Dulux Natural White. Pile the bed high with soft, tactile bedding – think natural linens, cottons, chunky woollen blankets and decadent velvet cushions – to create a chillaxing bedroom they’ll love,” Andrea adds.