Making Space for Mindfulness
Words by Laura Azzalini
Photography by Mallory Lowe
When planning the decor of your home, it’s important to be mindful and work with strong intention. Mindfulness is a practice of self-reflection -- being acutely aware of what you’re feeling, and sensing in the moment. Having a home which gives space and time to these moments can help alleviate stress and focus our attention.
A home should be a reflection of the self, and a space suited for self-expression. When decorating your home, there are a few main principles to think about:
Trends and themes don’t matter, rather focus on a mood, emotion and mental purpose. Your home should make you happy, comfortable and free.
Focus on vintage, handmade or upcycled pieces and materials. This ensures you have a truly one of a kind space, and a more sustainability-conscious one too.
Choose furniture as you would art. The piece should speak to you. If you come across a truly original piece you find beautiful, you can’t go wrong.
Here are some tips on creating mindful, purposeful and functional spaces great for self-reflection, entertaining and working:
Defining an area designed to give you the mental space to disconnect, think, read and write is important for any home.
This space could be focused in a corner, where walls define security and protectiveness. In an open space, rugs, tables and lighting can help convey that same sense of intimacy.
A big comfy chair with a blanket and pillows is a great start. Using small and low coffee tables as surfaces for books and tea (or even as a footrest) can bring a level of functionality and comfort. It is important that your area is filled with things that make you feel restful. Including a floor lamp with a lampshade will soften the lighting and create a little nook for you to read and write.
A space to entertain and be social in your home should allow the freedom to move and express yourself.
Using coffee tables to anchor the space gives the room a central point for gathering. This doesn’t need to be just one coffee table, but could be an opportunity to mix and match smaller tables grouped into one. For small spaces, this also allows the room to be modular and transformed for different purposes. Flowers and your favourite books and magazines are great ways to accent tables and bring in talking pieces.
"A space to entertain and be social in your home should allow the freedom to move and express yourself."
Devoting an area for work is as important as the rest of your home. It should be designed with the intention to accomplish tasks and be conducive to inspiration and ideas. Starting with a sturdy, tidy surface or desk and a comfortable chair that can accommodate longer periods of sitting is the foundation to a successful workspace.
"It should be designed with the intention to accomplish tasks and be conducive to inspiration and ideas."
Lighting is also key. A well-lit workspace is essential for focus and reducing eye strain. Angled, taller task lamps are ideal for illuminating what you are working on. Gathering a group of smaller lamps is also a creative way to brighten up your desk.
About the Author
Laura Azzalini is co-founder and operator of Reixue, an online vintage furniture shop and home decor destination focusing on reframing and re-appreciating objects from the past. Reixue is inspired and informed by modernist architecture, handcrafts and Italian radical design.
Azzalini studied design at Concordia University and currently splits her time between Montreal and Ottawa where she is a Masters of Architecture candidate at the Azrieli School of Architecture.
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