What is the ultimate point of a home, anyway? Is it just to have a place where you can store your clothes, get some sleep, and have breakfast? Or is it a place you can use to show-off to all of your friends, and the general public at large?
Whatever else you think a home should be, it seems likely that everyone will agree that a home should be comfortable — it should be a place that you’re happy to return to after a long day of work, and where you are able to spend your weekends and evenings in as luxurious a state as you find appropriate for your own needs.
The problem is that homes, like everything else, tend towards entropy and ruin. If you’re not keeping an eye on things, and ensuring that everything in your home is arranged according to the ideal template, you can expect things to become increasingly messy and uncomfortable, in short order.
Likewise, if you move into a new home, you should expect to have to put in a decent amount of work in order to turn it into the kind of comfortable living space you really want.
Here are some ways to make your home a more comfortable place to live.
Make sure it’s properly insulated, with good windows
A home which is cold, or hot, at all the wrong times, is certainly not likely to be anyone’s idea of “comfortable”. If you find that your home is constantly too cold in the winter, and too hot in the summer, it’s likely that a few things have gone wrong and need attending to.
The first of these, is that your home is more than likely poorly insulated. Hire a professional to appraise the situation, or deal with it yourself if you’re able, but assume that a poorly insulated home is never going to be a comfortable home.
Insulation, in terms of the stuff you stick in the loft, isn’t the end of the story, either. Heat is also lost through poorly insulated windows, and double glazing is essential for keeping the drafts out — as well as reducing noise pollution. Look up double glazing Melbourne options if needed.
Try to optimise the amount of natural light you get
Natural light has powerful, positive, psychological effects on people, and if you doubt this idea, just spend a few days in some area with plenty of natural illumination, and then follow it up with a few days in a poorly illuminated area.
Quite soon, you’ll realise that light — natural light in particular — is a powerful psychological trigger. When you have enough of the stuff, you feel comfortable, upbeat, and at ease. When you live in an environment which is chronically under-illuminated on the other hand, you can expect to feel as though you’re living in a cave, day in and day out.
Needless to say, this isn’t great when it comes to your overall sense of comfort and well-being.
Natural light is also important for overall health and well-being in the directly biological sense that our bodies need a certain amount of sun exposure in order to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D. While you likely need to be outside to get these benefits, it’s something worth keeping in mind.
Optimising the amount of natural light you get could involve having “good natural lighting” as a key criterion on your upcoming house-hunt, or it could mean getting the builders over to install some new windows, or install that skylight you’ve been thinking about for a while.
There are certain other tricks which help to improve illumination in a home. White-painted walls, for example, help to reflect light and magnify the sense of illumination.
Try to stick a fairly minimalistic and unified “template”
Comfort is, to a large degree, a matter of feeling that everything is in its right place, and that there’s a harmonious atmosphere in the home. That things are, in other words, “as they should be.”
To ensure that your home feels “comfortable”, on this basic psychological level, you should try to adopt a semi-minimalist ethos in your home, and reduce clutter to the greatest possible extent.
A cluttered environment seems associated with an uneasy mind in the majority of cases, as we are all conditioned, on a deep psychological level, to view messy, chaotic environments, as containing potential threats and uncertainties.
In addition to minimising the clutter in your home, you should also try and stick to something of a unified design “template”, perhaps for the home at large, but certainly for each room in the home.
When design features seem coherent, and complement one another, the overall sense that things are manageable, neat, and harmonious, is significantly elevated.
On the other hand, if you’ve taken on a more postmodern approach to home decor, you’ll likely find that there’s a jarring sense of disunity throughout the home, which makes it harder to relax.
Remove environmental toxins
Have you ever heard of “sick building syndrome”? If you’re like the majority of people, the answer to that question is probably “no”, but it turns out that the buildings you spend the bulk of your time may be having a pretty devastating effect on your health, overall.
When you think about it, buildings are a bit like artificial caves. They are typically enclosed, cool, and sometimes damp places. And what thrives in caves? Mould spores and fungus, for starters.
Your home is always prone to having toxic air, due to mould, dust mites, pet danger, and also the assorted waste gasses produced by various appliances.
All of these airborne toxins can wreak havoc on your health, and trigger a chronic stress response in the body, which, of course, means you’re not likely to be feeling very comfortable in your own home.
To deal with this issue, invest in portable HEPA air filters, and consider filling your home with various air-cleaning plants. The NASA Clean Air Study found that various common houseplants can be remarkably effective at decontaminating the air in a building.