• Andrea Gillard

Create your Mental Health Sanctuary

We may be at the latter end of Mental Health Awareness month, but good mental health is something that has a very protected place in my heart.

Your environment is instrumental to your mental health so it’s crucial you get it right. As described in my blog Eureka! My Way… I’ve always been especially particular about my own space; I constantly need harmonious surroundings and when they’re not I often find myself becoming less positive and soon lack energy.

Also, following on from my blog Making an Entrance on how every one of your senses plays an integral part in how you react to a space, this blog is about how colour and spatial flow impact on your mental health.

To ensure you create a tranquil setting, you need to keep to colours that engender calm and serenity.

Colour Impact

Mossy green living room

Soft mossy greens are excellent for helping you to feel at one with nature; it's something that most people enjoy and helps bring down heart rate and slow breathing; it engenders a sense of freedom.

This particular living room not only has an intriguing vaulted ceiling, but the textured, wool carpet and grassed window blind, add elements of the outdoors into this wonderful space.

Powder blue living room with velvet sofa

Pale and cool blues are fantastic for recreating the feeling of a bright, clear sky on a sunny day or a calm sea.

This powder blue sitting room is the epitome of tranquility, which is further enhanced by the tactile velvet sofa and linen footstool.

The bedroom is a beautiful Duck Egg Blue and different textures have been brought in with the ruched bedlinen and sheepskin rug.

Neutrals can be mixed with a variety of textures, such as rustic wood, or woollen throws that, when needing reassurance through touch, assist in your tactile side.

Both rooms pictured here are finished in a colour very similar to Farrow and Ball's, Elephant's Breath.

This is a particular favourite of mine as it's a very chameleon hue; put heather with it, it brings out its underlying lilac tones, grey its warm-grey base-tone - as shown in the bedroom, and beiges, its natural mid-way linen-esque qualities.

Although the picture here shows a well-presented sitting room, finished in a beautiful heritage red, this is not a colour for inducing calm; red is a dominant hue that stimulates very strong moods, either sensual or aggressive, so is not a colour I would ever suggest, or recommend, for a space to relax in.

'Drunk Tank Pink' prison cells

Baker-Miller Pink, widely referred to as 'Drunk Tank Pink', is a particular shade of pink that psychologists, in 1979, stated as having an extraordinary effect: “if you stare at it for two minutes, you dramatically weaken in strength.”

Several studies since have returned conflicting evidence; it subdues trial participants for a short period of time, then can actually increase violent behaviour.

Tidy Up!

I find that when my home is a mess, I soon become jaded and tetchy; try to put things away to create an air of calm. I always needed to clear away all my daughters’ toys and put them out of sight each evening, or I could never fully relax – this was my chance to be ‘Andrea’ and not ‘Mom’. Buy large wicker chests to pop things in, they’re aesthetic, tactile and complement almost any décor theme.

Special Memories

Finally, put something in every room that you either simply just love, or that evokes special, happy memories, this way, no matter what room you wander into, you’ll feel connected and protected.

My strapline is Let’s find Sanctuary in your World’ and this is exactly what I aim to create for each and every one of my clients, be that domestically or commercially. It’s absolutely no good me putting the ‘Andrea Gillard Design’ stamp on every project I have, at the end of the day, when I leave after completing a project, it’s you that then lives or works there, not me, so I need to make the space work for you.

Your home should make you feel safe, secure and, exactly that, ‘at home’. If you need help with creating your dream space, please get in touch, and we’ll find your sanctuary together :)

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