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Home Remodeling Resolutions for 2021

January is a time of committing to health, and a healthy home environment can boost well-being.  An emerging field of study is neuroarchitecture, which is the the study of how the brain and body responds to being indoors.  Think of buildings you’ve been to that felt dreary, closed in, or sterile while others can give a surge of awe and pleasure. There is a science that is learning how does the indoor quality of air, light, intensity of sound, and the dimensions impact the senses, perceptions, thoughts and emotions. Here are six ways to incorporate the science into your home remodeling project.

  1. Invite Calm and Connection. We live in a culture that is overworked and overstimulated. How a room is set up influences our behavior. If the focal point of the living room is the tv, people default to more tv watching which tends to increase unrest and anxiety. Rather, create spaces free from digital distractions that are conducive for intimate interactions with family and friends. Make the main focal point a view to the outdoors for greater serenity and relaxation. Create a separate space for different activities such as reading/praying, or watching tv. They can be in the same room, but defined by furniture arrangement, rug, lighting, giving a sense of its own alcove.
  2. Let there be Light, and Night. Exposure to sunlight is important for the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Locate your largest windows in the rooms you’ll use during the day, such as the kitchen, and if you are working from home, that there is a window nearby that you can easily pause and enjoy the outdoor view and take in the sunlight. Conversely, we need darkness for melatonin production and good sleep. We want to tone down light exposure in the evening with dimmers, especially the blue light emitted from electronic screens. Invest in light blocking window treatments in the bedroom to sleep in total darkness.
  3. Listen to the Quiet Sound can be both welcomed and at other times add stress. There are sound dampening walls, doors, and windows to help block or minimize noise. The choices of flooring, use of fabrics (curtains, upholstery, rugs/carpet, artwork) and patterned textures for wall and ceiling surfaces will decrease the echoing such as a coffered or wood plank ceiling.
  4. Connect with Nature. People will pay more for a home with a view, because of our desire for the ongoing beauty and wonder of nature. We want the sense of a safe refuge in a natural habitat. A beautiful oasis can be created in a small space with the help of a landscape architect with planned layers and textures of materials, plants, curved walkways, and a water feature. Create an outdoor room that invites you relax, read, cook, eat, entertain. Blur the line between the indoors with the outdoors with a glass wall door. Use natural materials in the home to further bring the outdoors in with use of wood, stone, plants, perhaps fire.
  5. Be Strategic with Space. Research shows people find open spaces to be more beautiful, but good design can make a smaller space more beautiful than a larger one. The key to feeling spacious is that the room flows and functions well. People like symmetry, and gravitate towards interesting textures and patterns, and prefer to withdraw from spaces that are plain and monotonous.
  6. Cull the Clutter. This may be the first step in planning for home remodeling. Those with cluttered homes report a lower life satisfaction. Seeing things that need to be done is a distraction and a cognitive load. It may take several passes to either donate or trash what you no longer use/have not used in a long time, or do not need. When you edit your collections to that which serve your needs today, you are ready to plan for the storage you actually need.

Happy home remodeling!


But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.  Micah 7:7

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