Mindfulness may seem like the ‘buzz’ word of the moment but the practice is actually thousands of years old and was first used in Buddhist meditation. The concept of mindfulness is to try to be more present in everyday life by focussing your mind and feelings on the ‘now’. In turn this will improve your relationship with your surroundings and those around you.
The hectic, stressful lives we lead means it’s more important than ever to take steps to improve our well-being and that should start where we spend the majority of our time – the home. Chaos and clutter can muddy the mind so, whilst kitchens adapt well to multiple-purpose use and are the heart of the home, they need to remain organised, ordered and well planned to eliminate the ill-effects of such a busy space.
Choosing soft, muted tones will help to give your kitchen a relaxed, mindful refresh. Blue is a naturally cooling and calming colour that’s also associated with productivity so, is perfect for the kitchen. A soothing colour palette of blues and natural tones will introduce some calm to the room and help a complex world feel simpler. Natural wood and green tones that are found in the outside world will automatically relax and calm and are pleasing on the eye.
A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place
Make sure you create enough space in the kitchen cupboards and drawers for all the practical, less attractive items so they can be put away, leaving decorative open shelving to display your most loved objects. Textile designer William Morris is quoted to have said ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ and this is good advice to ensure clutter’s kept to a minimum which, in turn, will give you a clearer state of mind. Glass jars filled with healthy pulses and whole grains displayed neatly on the shelves is practical and also reminds you to look after yourself and your body.
Bring the Outside in
Adding some house plants gives your kitchen a fresh welcoming look and also allows ‘nature’s air purifiers’ to work their magic. Peace lilies, anthurium (laceleaf) and English ivy all remove toxins from the air, including formaldehyde, ammonia and carbon monoxide so there’ll be health benefits, especially if you live in a polluted area. Another ‘mindful’ benefit to having some greenery in your room is that it gives you the opportunity to be ‘in the moment’ as you water and care for them. You could grow the plants in old kitchenware such as coloured bowls or jugs to give a unified look with your kitchen décor.
Socialising is Good for the Soul
Creating a sociable kitchen will ensure that time spent with friends isn’t interrupted as the cooking, drinking and relaxing can all be enjoyed in one room. Have friends round and savour time with them; chatting and laughing together allows you to enjoy the moment. If space allows, an island unit with seating is the ideal layout to encourage lingering and socialising in the kitchen. Create a space in the room for mindful moments, a comfortable chair facing out to the garden allows you to connect with nature and reminds you to allow some time to relax.
Life’s so hectic and technology-driven these days, we need to make small changes in many aspects of our lives to ensure we relax and maintain a healthy mind. Adopting just a couple of tips from this blog for your new kitchen design will certainly be a step in the right direction.